Week 22: 01/30/12 – 02/03/12

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to cheer on our Kennedy & Washington friends who participated in the Special Olympics individual basketball competition at Deerfield High School. I’m excited to share some wonderful news! Our own Juan from 117 and Gabriella (Washington) earned GOLD MEDALS and Cassidy, Ahmed & Ana (Washington) earned SILVER! :) Please join me in congratulating these talented children the next time you see them! Thank you to all the faculty and staff who made it out bright and early to support our students as they participated in this memorable event!

Soaking in today’s experience and observing how the children, families, siblings,  and spectators cheered on ALL participants made me think of this poem entitled Kids Who Are Different. The next time you look at your students, think about what you see. See where they have grown, understand their needs, see their possibilities and most of all appreciate & celebrate who they are.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 30th:
3rd Grade Field Trip (Rooms 205/206) to Museum of Science & Industry
2nd Grade Field Trip (Rooms 104/105) to P.F. Changs
Paraprofessional Meetings @ 2:30pm & 3:30pm (Teacher’s Lounge)

Tuesday, January 31st:
Buddy Committee Meeting @ 7:30am (Room 109)
Multiage Field Trip (Rooms 103/107) to P.F. Changs
8th Grade Visits with 3rd Grade for Buddy Activity
Faculty Meetings @ 2:30pm & 3:30pm (*Agenda will be emailed out Monday afternoon*)
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS)

Wednesday, February 1st:
SLC to Super Low
Health/Life Safety Visit
TAPS Common Plan
District Calendar Meeting @ 3:45pm
Happy Birthday Christa Henkel :)

Thursday, February 2nd:
Groundhog Day! & 100th Day of School
SLBC to Super Low
Health/Life Safety Visit
3rd Grade Field Trip (Rooms 203/204) to Museum of Science & Industry
Kennedy Singers @ 2:20pm

Friday, February 3rd:
Reading Room Plan
3rd Grade Field Trip (Rooms 201/202) to Museum of Science & Industry

(02/04) Happy Birthday Anne Weinthaler :)

Week 21: 01/23/12 – 01/27/12

I wanted to share this recent blog post by Krissy Venosdale:

I don’t think anyone knows the meaning of the phrase “Only so many minutes in a day!” better than someone in education.  There is always something waiting for us. Meetings. Papers. Calls to make. Email to answer. Things to file. Things to look up. Lessons to plan. Committees. Grad classes. Tech tools to figure out. Family. Commitments. PD.   There may be days when we are stretched to the limit, feeling more like some human version of Stretch Armstrong with our arms pulled in different directions, about to break off.   But, at the end of the day, it’s true.  The things that matter?  We make time for them.   Those people that say,  ”Oh, I don’t have time for that…”  Is this an insinuation that some of us just have more time than others?   Time is not something we just ‘have,’ it’s something we make.  It’s something we make when things matter to us.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 23rd:
SLC Swimming @ YMCA

Tuesday, January 24th:
PreK Field Trip (Room 112) to Make-A-Messterpiece
RTI Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 118)
Event Planning Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 115)

Wednesday, January 25th:
HALF DAY (K-3 students dismiss at 10:55am) – In-Service Topic: RTI — Agenda will be emailed via Kennedy Conference.
1st & Multiage Buddy Activity with 6th Grade @ 9:00am
Happy Birthday Brooke Gorowski :) 

Thursday, January 26th:
2nd Grade Field Trip (106/116) to PF Changs
Kennedy Singers @ 2:20pm
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
Family Game Night 6:00pm-7:30pm

Friday, January 27th:
Spirit Assembly (Respect)
Multiage Field Trip (101/109) to PF Changs
Kindergarten Field Trip to Disney on Ice

We’d like to welcome everyone to come cheer on our District 81 athletes participating in the Special Olympics Individual Basketball Skills Competition on Sunday, January 29th @ Deerfield High School. Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:30am.

Week 20: 01/16/12 – 01/20/12

I hope you all had a wonderful 3-day weekend!
Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 16th:
No School

Tuesday, January 17th:
Happy Birthday Cheri Grimaldi :)
(Faculty Lounge Closed from 8:30am-10:00am)
PreK & 4th Grade Buddy Activity @ 9:30am
Faculty Meetings @ 2:30pm & 3:30pm ) *Agenda will be emailed*
SLT Meeting Immediately After Faculty Meeting
RTI Committee Meeting @ 3:00pm (Room 118)
Reading/ELL Committee Meeting @ 3:00pm (Room 110)

Wednesday, January 18th:
SLC to Aracely’s Bakery
PreK Field Trip to Make-A-Messterpiece (Room 133)
Theme Common Plan
Event Planning Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 115)
Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00pm (LMS)

Thursday, January 19th:
PreK Field Trip to Make-A-Messterpiece (Room 135)
Faculty Lounge Closed from 8:30am-10:00am for ACCESS Testing
Kennedy Singers @ 2:20pm

Friday January 20th:
PreK Field Trip to Make-A-Messterpiece (Room 134)

Happy Birthday Michelle Morgan (01/22)

Explainia is a very cool website which features hundreds of animated explanations & videos on a variety of topics. You can also embed these videos onto your own classroom webpages for students to access on your classroom laptops or at home.

If you aren’t already on Pinterest, what are you waiting for? (Disclaimer: It can be a time consumer) Here’s a blog post that explains a little bit about it. There are many teachers on Pinterest sharing lesson plans, classroom photos, ideas and inspirational materials with others in the profession. You can either sign up on your own, or request an invitation from a co-worker …there are many Kennedy staff members already using Pinterest!!!

Keyboarding Zoo is a fun and educational activity to help early elementary age students learn the keyboard. Children are encouraged to use their index finger or pointer finger to match letters on the screen to their keyboards. Uppercase letters, numbers and symbols are coming soon!

Week 19: 01/09/12 – 01/13/12

 Happy New Year and Welcome Back! I hope you enjoyed a restful, relaxing break~! Of course it’s that time of the year when we make New Year’s Resolutions. It seems that we are constantly setting new goals and we often do this before we have reached our previous goals. Throughout the year, we have opportunities for new beginnings and setting new goals. January is an obvious time where we set new resolutions, in June we set goals for the summer, and in August we make new goals for the beginning of the school year.  What have you been successful at accomplishing? What caused challenges along the way? I encourage all of us to look back at some of the goals we began reaching back in August on our “suitcases” during the 1st in-service and reflect on our progress towards reaching those goals.

Ali Edwards started the “One Little Word” project which has spread like wildfire:

“A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be a ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp or biting or rich and soft and slow. A single word can be a catalyst for enriching your life!”

She began a tradition of choosing one word each January–a word to focus on, reflect upon as one goes about daily life. Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2012? It can be something tangible or intangible…it could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you.

My one word for 2012 is POSITIVE and I’ll share with you 20 Tips to a Positive New Year I found online in addition to 11 Benefits of Being Positive. What’s your one word for 2012?

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, January 9th:
School Resumes
SLC Swimming

Tuesday, January 10th:
Winter Benchmarking Begins
Happy Birthday Ricardo Cano :) 
Classroom teachers: Drop off laptop w/star on it & 1 charger to lounge after school

Wednesday, January 11th:
Happy Birthday Nicole Smit :)
SLC to Dollar Tree
Winter MAP Testing (Faculty Lounge from 8:30am-10:30am)
Assessment Common Plan (Go over Cycle 3 Assessment Results)
District Calendar Committee Meeting @ 3:45pm (District Office Conference Room)

Thursday, January 12th:
PATS Field Trip to Museum of Science & Industry
Winter MAP Testing (Faculty Lounge from 8:30am-12:00pm)
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm

Friday, January 13th:
Happy 3-day weekend! (No School Monday, 01/16)

Happy Birthday Ami Freeman (01/15)

Let’s all keep in mind some classroom management basics as we embark upon a new calendar year at Kennedy, where our students are blessed to receive quality instruction on a  daily basis in safe and orderly classrooms. Below are some articles from Responsive Classroom that might be helpful to revisit this week, as behavior expectations and classroom routines are revisited. I appreciate your efforts with reinforcing behavior expectations.

Reflecting on Classroom Routines 

Revisiting Hopes & Dreams In the New Year  

Questioning Your Assumptions