Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wrapping Up a Wonderful School Year!

Our fifth grade students did an outstanding job taking the initiative to spruce up the Butterfly Garden in the courtyard this month! They are proof that "many hands make light work". We really appreciate their initiative and positive leadership at Dryden. We wish them all the best as they move on to middle school and hope they will come back to visit!


What an awesome Field Day! We are incredibly grateful for the efforts of PE teacher Mr. Gries, PTA chairs Mrs. Klasen and Mrs. Mertes, and the 120 parent volunteers who made this day so much fun for our students! It is truly wonderful to have the school community come together for this culminating celebration for the school year!

As we head into summer break, I'll be heading off to Japan with 30 other educators from across the United States for the International Educators to Japan program. I'll be visiting Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto to learn about Japanese schools and culture. You can join me on this adventure as I share what I learn on this blog throughout the summer. 

Wishing you a safe and happy summer! 
Thank you for a great school year!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Positive Impact

Caring Club is at it again! They have been busy painting bird houses, flower pots and bird baths! They certainly add a cheerful touch to our school!

Congratulations to some outstanding teachers who were recognized at the Board of Education meeting for years of service! Special education resource teacher, Mrs. Moxley, is retiring after 31 years of service in District 25. Mrs. Moxley taught at Dryden for the past seven years. Art Teacher, Mrs. Fuglestad, was recognized for teaching at Dryden for the past 25 years. They have touched the lives of thousands of children, and made a very positive impact on them!

 A highlight for us at Dryden this week was when the students from Shitara, Japan visited our school.  Our students were excited to provide tours of our school, then collaborate with their new friends on a design-thinking challenge. The time flew by! It's amazing how quickly the children connected and how well they could communicate despite the language and cultural differences. 

Here is a podcast by our District Communications Coordinator, Adam Harris, as he interviews two Japanese exchange students and the program originator, Mr. Yutaka Hiramatsu. It captures the positive impact this exchange program between Arlington Heights and Shitara has been having on many children both in Japan and the United States. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Teamwork, Inclusivity & Empathy "TIE"s Us All Together

Each week, this blog gives me the opportunity to reflect on what makes the Dryden community so special. This week, I realize how Teamwork, Inclusivity, and Empathy "TIE"s us all together. 

We were delighted to have so many wonderful volunteers from Komatsu USA come into our classrooms to teach our students about economics through the Junior Achievement program. 

Komatsu employees explained the importance of teamwork in their careers, and they gained a deeper appreciation of the rewards and hard work that goes into being a teacher. 

Last week, we enjoyed the fruits of the Arlington Heights Council of PTA's teamwork. The PTA awarded over $10,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are also former District 25 students. It was so inspiring to learn about the wonderful accomplishments of these students and the amazing teachers who influenced their lives for the better. 

A fun highlight for me this past week was hosting a playdough party! We made our own scented playdough and enjoyed using our imaginations to create all kinds of things. What made it so fun was the way these friends shared and always included one another in their play. 

Learning more about what it's like to have food allergies and what we can do to help our friends with food allergies stay safe strengthens our sense of inclusivity and empathy at Dryden. It was so awesome to see so many teachers and students wearing teal on our Teal Takeover Day to show our support for those with food allergies. According to F.A.R.E., one in thirteen children in the United States have food allergies. Food allergies are life-threatening, so it's important that we all work together to help our children stay safe!

Firefighter Petersen and many Dryden friends came out to support Dryden's MDA Ambassador, Ben, for the Arlington Heights Fire Department's "Fill the Boot Fundraiser" to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and their search for a cure. Thanks to donations of "loose change" from the Dryden community, we donated over $130 to the MDA this year. 

Even though it's been cold and gray outside, we enjoyed a sunny, tropical beach dress-up day indoors this past Friday! 

Older students sharing their love of reading with younger students during our Book Buddies club get-together is another way our school stays warm and bright indoors. These kids sure keep one another "TIE"d together with teamwork, inclusivity, and empathy! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Everyday Heroes

There is a quote, "A true hero is not measured by the size of his strength, but by the size of his heart." That is so true! Here are some examples of how we see this in action at Dryden School:

Older students are developing a love for reading in our younger students.

Rolling Meadows High School Physics Department Chair, Jason English, went out of his way to come to Dryden and help some fourth grade students with their science experiment.

Technology Facilitator, Mrs. Frantz, works with students during the lunch hour and after school. Students are learning all about video production and animation processes. What a great way to express their creativity! 

Caring Club made animal homes for all the little critters who come to the Dryden courtyard.

5th Grade Band and the Kindergarteners performed their hearts out for their families and teachers. What joy their music brings!

Gertrude had her babies--nine ducklings in all!

As Gertrude made her way out of the courtyard, through the school and towards the little lake at the Moorings...

two of her ducklings fell into the sewer! Our hero, Mr. Bocek, rescued them. 

Then, our assistant principal, Mrs. Beane, escorted them to make sure they made it safely to their "lake home".  You can learn more about Gertrude and her journey in this video. We look forward to see her back at Dryden next spring! 

Ultimate Frisbee Club is underway! What a wonderful way to make the most of the beautiful spring weather. Thank you, Mr. Poliszczuk and Mr. Sobota, for sponsoring this fun club!

Ms. Szady and F.W. "Pop" Muller from the Arlington Heights Historical Museum visited Dryden. We enjoyed learning about Muller's soda pop business in Arlington Heights, and other interesting tidbits about his life and impact on our community. 

These fifth grade students took the initiative to research and create a proposal for reviving the butterfly garden in the courtyard! Stay tuned for updates...

Sunday, May 7, 2017

So Much to See and Do!

"I didn't know principals did so much walking!" This is what Alex told me when he was Principal for Half Day at Dryden. Well, when you are at an amazing school like Dryden where there are so many great things to see and do, there's good reason to be out and about! 

Principal Alex was the surprise Royal Reader for his first grade class. 

He also did a great job reading to the kindergarten students. 

We thank Facilities Operations Manager Mr. Bocek for giving us a behind-the-scenes tour of Dryden. What a great view from the roof!
We had a great turnout second annual STEAM Night. Families and staff enjoyed participating in a wide variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math activities. We thank our Advanced Learning Facilitator, Mrs. Wasik, for coordinating this wonderful event. 
Building a robot with Legos
It was fascinating to take apart old computers to see what was inside and learn how they worked.
What a neat opportunity to try painting concentric circles with a paint brush and a compass!
There were many details to explore as students looked at objects up-close with proscopes. 

These cup-stacking challenges prepare students for the logical thinking that goes into coding. 
These frames-and-arrows activities also resemble computer coding. 
Coding Bee-Bots to travel to the correct destination on the grid was a fun challenge!

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library brought Google Expedition. We got to explore the Great Barrier Reef and International Space Station as if we were really there!
It was impressive to see how far cotton balls could fly with the catapults that were built.
There was much laughter and discussion as individuals competed to see who could build the tallest structure out of pipe cleaners. 
Families tinkered and problem-solved to build robots that could create art. 

It was thrilling to build a giant forest out of rolled-up newspaper and masking tape. We figured out how to make the structures balance and stand.
Families built marble runs along the wall with the goal of the marble landing in the cup. 
Participants in this station had to think carefully about how to remove an item from the tower without letting tower collapse. 
It was mind-blowing to learn how electrical currents travel through people bananas. This "bunch" made a real-sounding piano out of bananas! 
Such interesting structures and designs made by using Legos as stamps!

Please stop by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library this month. You will be amazed by the artwork on display at their 25th Annual District 25 Student Art Show. 

Thank you, Mrs. Fuglestad, for the amazing experiences you bring to our students!!!
Aaah! Spring! And that means Ultimate Frisbee Club at Dryden! 

 It's time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air!