Week 8: 09/28/15 – 10/02/15

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“Schools are not buildings, curriculums, and machines. Schools are relationships and interactions among people.”

“What makes a good school has very little to do with how rich or poor the students are, or the type of curriculum that’s taught. It has very little to do with the special programs, expansive playing fields, snappy uniforms, or whether the school is wired to the Internet. What makes a good school, whether it’s public or private, religious or nonreligious, charter or non-charter, is a feeling. A feeling shared by the entire staff that their particular school is special. The feeling that their school really belongs to them.” (Manna, 1999).

At Kennedy School, each member of our team has a distinctive character that cares deeply about each and every one of our Kennedy Kubbies. Your unique attributes and talents contribute to the feeling people get when they enter this building. As a result, our children will remember you long after they leave Kennedy.


Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, September 28th

Tuesday, September 29th
1st Grade Field Trip to Safety Town
APPY Hour in Room 110 @ 2:30pm ~ Come learn about Adobe Voice & enjoy some appetizers! Attend the Appy Hour & enter your name for the raffle prizes!

Wednesday, September 30th

Thursday, October 1st
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
Happy Birthday Sarah Sicher :)

Friday, October 2nd
Reading Room Plan Day
Spirit Assembly @ 8:45am
Fall Spiritwear Orders Due

(10/03) Project Heart Well 5K
Sign up at the link below! There is still time to register. Check-in is at 8:00am & the run/walk begins at 9:00am. The event starts & finishes at Kennedy School. We look forward to seeing you there, as it is a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to community involvement. Please sign up to participate or volunteer. Please join us as we show our children that working together, we can all make a difference!   www.projectheartwell.com

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
Google Keep: It’s a Keeper
Building A Growth Mindset

Week 7: 09/21/15 – 09/25/15

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, September 21st
Cycle 1 Assessments
Kennedy Spiritwear Sale Begins!
RTI Committee Meeting @ 2:40pm (Room 108)
Happy Birthday Bridget Elliott :)

Tuesday, September 22nd
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm <–click for agenda

Wednesday, September 23rd
PATS & PreK Field Trip to Lincoln Park Zoo
*First SIP Committee Meet-Up* 2:50pm-3:10pm
Happy Birthday Amanda Peterson :)

Thursday, September 24th
Project HeartWell Tye Dye T-Shirt Event @ 4:00pm-5:30pm
Happy Birthday Britney Lane :)

Friday, September 25th
Fall Picture Day! <—click here for schedule
Happy Birthday Marta Ocon :)
Happy Birthday Ashely Zolt :)

-Please fill out the Google Form for our Think College Thursdays bulletin board
-Please sign up for a School Improvement Committee for this year (see Kennedy conference for an email sent with link to sign up). Our first ‘check-in’ will be this Wednesday at the end of common plan time.
-Certified Non-Tenured Staff: Please be sure to schedule your first observation with your administrator :)

Articles Worth Reading:
Finding your Teaching Legs

25 Attention Getters

11 Habits of an Effective TeacherScreen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.58.45 PM

Week 6: 09/14/15 – 09/18/15

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Here’s our week at a glance:

*Congratulations to Alicia Villanueva on her wedding this past weekend. Please join me in wishing the new Mrs. Peccatiello all the best!

Monday, September 14th
First Investors Visit (in faculty lounge during lunch periods)
RTI Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 108)

Tuesday, September 15th

Wednesday, September 16th
Happy Birthday Jody (Orange Bus)
1/2 Day of School  ~ SIP Agenda will be emailed

Thursday, September 17th
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
Blast Into Scouting Event @ 7:00pm

Friday, September 18th
5 by Friday!

09/19: Happy Birthday Roger :)
09/20: Happy Birthday Michelle McMorrow :)

*Reminder to Non-Tenured Teachers: Please schedule your 1st Observation, if you haven’t done so already! 

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
Snag Chrome Extension

Did you know you can now write with your voice in a Google Doc? No add-on or extension or anything fancy needed!
Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 5.00.06 PMAdapting Morning Meeting: Speech & Anxiety Needs

Share the Story of Your Classroom with “Class Story” <–if you like/use Class Dojo, you’ll love Class Story!

Add To-Do Lists to Google Calendars

Week 5: 09/07/15 – 09/11/15

I absolutely love this post from Krissy Venosdale’s blog Venspired this week & had to share:

“Every single child in your school is a message to the world.  Some speak in writing, some in song, some in code.  Others speak in paintings created with their hands.  Some have a raw talent for crunching numbers.  There’s even a child or ten who has a a deep passion for understanding the stories of our past.  There’s a kid making Origami who can’t get enough of engineering with paper.  There’s a bunch of students who are on a waiting list at the library for the new book in their favorite series.

There’s a student who struggles to see patterns the way others do.  There are kids who see words differently than you or I.  There are kids who don’t want to get messy with paint.  There is a child who is more bothered by the tag on their shirt than any “consequence” you could impose for their meltdown.

There are kids waiting to be something they are rarely invited to be.


Not the kid described in a teacher’s guide, nor the kid that fits in “Class A” or “Class B.”

The kid that is exactly who they are.  What is their message to the world?

You won’t hear it unless you listen. And if you only listen for words, you’ll miss it even more.

We’ve spent forever celebrating a few skills like great handwriting, work completion, memorization.  Sure, those things make for nice looking assignments.  But do they tell the message?

It’s time for the artists, scientists, engineers, twirlers, hallway-skippers, introverts, doers, thinkers, writers, poets, journalists, problem solvers, Lego builders, deep thinkers, water color painters, paper folding, gadget geeking, history researching, language lovers, creative paper airplane designers… and more…  to have a place where their message, in whatever format is their way to share, is not only welcomed, but heard.

Can we honestly say that we’ve honored every kid in every school for exactly who they are? I’m not talking about a gold star or a blue ribbon. I’m talking about the kind of honor where we  help them believe in what they can become.

Until we can all answer “Yes,” with total confidence, in every school, in every corner of the world, we have work to do.   And it’s probably one of the most important jobs in the world, maybe one of the hardest, but it’s definitely the most rewarding.”

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, September 7th
NO SCHOOL: Labor Day

Tuesday, September 8th
Laura Helm in Faculty Lounge during Lunch Periods
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm
District Technology Committee Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS Conference Room)

Wednesday, September 9th
RTI Committee Meeting @ 2:40pm (Room 108)

Thursday, September 10th
State Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith visits District 81 Schools 9am-10:30am
AXA Advisors in Faculty Lounge during Lunch Periods

Friday, September 11th
Happy Birthday Beatriz Diaz :)
5 By Friday! <—Have you made 5 positive connections with parents this week?

Blog Posts Worth Reading:
A Quick Way to Access a Countdown Timer on Your Computer

Google Sheets: Partial Formatting Within a Cell

Google Drive: Shared with Me is a Filter, Not a Folder

Building A Reading Community For Your Kids In Biblionasium