Week 16: 12/01/14 – 12/05/14

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It’s always important to keep in mind that the school year is a marathon, not a sprint. There are long stretches at the beginning and end, then those long days where winter’s cold temperatures and lack of sunlight drain us. When viewed within the scope of an entire school year, 15 days isn’t really that many. However, 15  is the exact number of days that we have with our little Kennedy Kubbies before Winter Break.

  • For some of our students who will say “it’s almost break” and lack motivation, it is time to push them & keep them excited and eager to learn.
  • For our students who come from challenging circumstances at home and are feeling anxiety about not being at Kennedy for over two weeks (and acting out because of it), it is time to show them how much you care & make the most of these next 15 days.
  • For our students that just keep smiling & working hard each day, it is time to pull them aside and tell them how much you appreciate them (Positive Postcard? Let’s keep our goal of 5 by Friday!)

In these 15 days, we have a lot of work to do & lots of wonderful learning experiences to provide our students.  We’ll continue to persevere as the professionals that we are! No matter what your title is, what grade you work with, or what you do at Kennedy, please look at these next 15 days as times to deliver the highest quality service to our students, parents & community.

Be proud of what we’ve accomplished with our students so far this year, but please keep the focus on learning in your classrooms. In addition, I’d encourage you to:

  • Take a second and tell a colleague that you’ve noticed how hard they are working and that you appreciate them working so hard.
  • Make time to reflect on some of the positives that we’ve had this year that may have been overlooked as we have overcome the challenges of not having enough time.
  • Set a tone for your students that regardless of how much time is left before a long break that all of us will work hard and make the most of our school days.
  • Celebrate being a member of our Kennedy School family

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, December 1st
**If you are interested in bringing a student up for the January TAPS meeting, please sign them up this week!
Please join me in welcoming Anya Talladen (new PreK para in Room 133) and Rosario Vazzano (Kindergarten Para in Room 128). 
Buddy Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 109)
New Teacher Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 131)

Tuesday, December 2nd
Winter MAP Testing Begins
Celebrations Committee Meeting @ 2:50pm (Room 100)

Wednesday, December 3rd
2nd Grade Field Trip to E. Leyden
TAPS Common Plan

Thursday, December 4th
PreK Field Trip to Shed Aquarium
Happy Birthday Michelle Miro :)
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm

Friday, December 5th
PreK Screening
Happy Birthday Becky Zora :)
Reading Room Plan Day

(12/06) Happy Birthday Rosario Vazzano :)
(12/07) Happy Birthday Dr. Boryszewski :)
(12/07) Happy Birthday Sue Motto :)

**Did you see the SLT Meeting Notes from last week? Check them out here!

Week 15: 11/17/14 – 11/21/14

“When asked to identify what made the school so good, every person, without fail, said it was the people of the school: the children, the families, and most importantly, the staff. Nobody said, ‘We have a really great computer lab’ or ‘a brand new reading textbook.’
(Eaker, DuFour, & DuFour, 2002)

With the Thanksgiving holidays quickly approaching, I thought it was a great time to simply offer heartfelt thanks to all of you for enriching the lives of our students. Whether you are a returning teacher, a teacher in a new role, or a teacher new to Kennedy School, I am sincerely thankful that you are here. I have the best job in the world because I am surrounded by the hardest-working teachers in the world. In the above quote, Eaker & colleagues have clearly stated what makes our own school great: It is not our facilities, or our curriculum, or technology; instead, it is each of you performing great deeds day in and day out. THANK YOU for teaching me so clearly what effective teachers do differently, and thanks for teaching with passion each day!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 17th
American Education Week
Vision Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm

Tuesday, November 18th
PATS Field Trip to Shedd Aquarium
Parent Visit Day (9-10am and 1-2pm)
Yearbook Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 208)

Wednesday, November 19th
MyOn Common Plan <–click for agenda
PreK/PATS Thanksgiving Feast (2-3pm)
Santa Visits ABC *Talk this up with your students!
Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00pm

Thursday, November 20th
Staff Thanksgiving Potluck (in lounge)
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
BPAC/Community Forum @ 6:00pm (LMS)
Happy Birthday Rosa Worwa :)

Friday, November 21st
Spirit Assembly
5 by Friday! :)
Happy Birthday Emily Kronlage :)

Thanksgiving Break (November 24-28)

“Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. 
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. 
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who 
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.”
                                   -Author Unknonwn

Week 14: 11/10/14 – 11/14/14

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Parent-Teacher conferences offer teachers & parents the opportunity to see, celebrate and support each individual child. Just as we all appreciate praise for our efforts, parents appreciate praise for their efforts & their child’s progress. As you offer information about the students in your room, always remember that you are speaking about someone’s ‘whole world’ and remember to be mindful of how that information will be received by your audience. I’m confident you will exude professionalism and confidence this week as you inform parents about curriculum, assessment, grading/reporting, strengths & opportunities for growth. I know you will continue to develop a working relationship with your families and deepen that home-school partnership. Thanks for all that you do in preparation for this very busy week! :) If Donna or I can offer you any support this week with conferences, please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your patience as our PowerSchools report cards become available for printing. Please check the email from Eric in the Kennedy Conference in First Class. Should you have any questions or concerns when attempting to print your report cards, please email us & include screenshots of your issue so we can work as quickly as possible to resolve it for you!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 10th
Parent/Teacher Conference Week
Veterans Day Practice @ LMS (8:45am) – 2nd & 3rd Grade
New Student Committee Meeting @ 3:00pm
Happy Birthday Gloria Reyes :)

Tuesday, November 11th
Veterans Day Performance @ LMS (9:00am) – 2nd & 3rd Grade Classrooms
NO FACULTY MEETING (conferences)
Happy Birthday Julie Fister :) 
Happy Birthday Becky Shoufer :)

Wednesday, November 12th
NO STUDENT ATTENDANCE: Full Day of Parent/Teacher Conferences
(no common plan due to conferences)
Happy Birthday Sarah Mixa :)

Thursday, November 13th

Friday, November 14th
5 by Friday!

(11/15) Happy Birthday Sandy Montes de Oca

Click the pictures below to link up to the source of each Parent/Teacher Conference Idea:Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.04.53 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.06.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.07.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.09.10 PM   Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.10.08 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.21.00 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.24.08 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.25.32 PM

Week 13: 11/03/14 – 11/07/14

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“Be positive with people and you’ll get positive results.”
(Blanchard, Lacinak, Tompkins, Ballard, & Blanchard, 2002) 

November is officially upon us as we are surrounded by beautiful warm colors & cooler weather. I hope you had a refreshing, relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

As parent-teacher conferences are upon us, I wanted to share a blog post (an oldie but a goodie) with some tips to keep in mind. Parent-Teacher Conferences offer teachers and parents the opportunity to see, celebrate and support each child. Conferences have provided me with some of my most rewarding moments in teaching. Just as we appreciate praise for our efforts, parents appreciate praise for their efforts & their child’s progress. Our school calendar sets aside days for parent-teacher conferences each year; however, I believe great teachers like all of you at Kennedy know that parent-teacher conferences are held throughout the entire school year. A great te3acher keeps the student, the team, and the parents informed at all times!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 3rd
Buddy Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm
Celebrations Committee Meeting @ 2:50pm

Tuesday, November 4th
Institute Day: No School for Students
Click here for Agenda (K-3 classroom teachers)
*SPED, Reading Room & PreK: Your team leaders will email your agenda to your grade level conference.

Wednesday, November 5th
SMART Demo @ 2:30pm in cafeteria (all K-3 classroom teachers)

Thursday, November 6th
1st Grade & Multiage Field Trip to Museum of Science & Industry
Veterans Visiting 2nd & 3rd Grade Classrooms
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm

Friday, November 7th
Reading Room Plan Day
5 by Friday! :) Keep making those positive connections with families!