Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sparkle & Shine

In the month of December, there seems to be a lot of elementary school projects requiring the use of glitter! All the glitter projects have got me thinking of the special care and attention of many individuals in our school community so that our students can sparkle and shine!

Starting in kindergarten, each of our students has opportunities to sparkle and shine by sharing their favorite books, toys, people and traditions in their lives. Their peers and teachers have an opportunity to ask questions and share compliments to celebrate each child's unique and special qualities and cultures. 

Even our dear crossing guard, Mr. Poteracki, works very hard to make sure our students are able to safely cross the busy intersection to get to and from school. Just a few minutes of everyone's cooperation and patience helps to ensure our students can sparkle and shine at school!


We greatly appreciate our Board of Education's recognition and support of our staff's efforts to help our students sparkle and shine in their learning. We are thankful for the holiday treats they provided!

It was impressive to see the students sparkling and shining in their math work this week! The classroom teacher designed special activities for different groups of students based on the students' needs. Some students worked on their accuracy of showing the repetition of patterns of increasing complexity. Some students worked on illustrating what happens when adding or subtracting numbers. Other students worked on designing pictures with shapes and then counting the number of each shape they used. It got tricky when they had to count rectangles and squares because they had to remember that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square!

We are so grateful for the Arlington Heights Police Department's efforts to go above and beyond to build positive relationships with our students and serve our community. A special surprise from Officer Hamrick made our student sparkle and shine with joy!

As the cold weather settles in, I try to have indoor recess bunches with all of our students. This is a great opportunity for me to get know their interests, personalities and what makes each child at Dryden sparkle and shine!

While it may be cold outside, our second-grade students are keeping it HOT, HOT, HOT inside! Soon they will be sparkling and shining on stage at their winter musical performance. We hope you enjoy the sneak peek!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

An Intentional Effort

I am always awed by the intentional efforts of our staff. While reading, writing an arithmetic are so important, there is also much more to teaching and learning. 

This poster I noticed in a fifth grade classroom is a prime example. Helping our students to develop a growth mindset and use positive self-talk motivates them to keep persevering and problem-solving through challenges. 

It was so exciting to see these students working together to plan a creative story. They listened to and incorporated one another's ideas while making sure they were including all of the story elements. It was impressive to see how respectful and supportive they were of one another. Working cooperatively is not always fun and easy, but with the guidance of their teacher, these students made a  caring, conscientious effort to work collaboratively, and they were very successful!

Our community was quite impacted by the recent blizzard! Fortunately, our students could make the most of thite while at school. The teamwork, creativity and problem-solving while building in the snow was fantastic! It was great to see our staff join in on the fun, helping the students to build on to the creations students in previous recesses had left behind. 

The play and movement doesn't just happen when the kids are outside at recess. Our teachers recognize when students need a break and incorporate the fun and movement inside the classroom as well. Check out the fun these students are having with the paper airplanes they made in art class!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ever Grateful

 The week before Thanksgiving was a wonderful whirlwind at Dryden! 
Our first grade students impressed us with their musical performance, "Food Rocks." They played instruments, sang and danced. It filled my heart with gratitude to be able to see first hand their pride and joy in creative expression through music.  

I also felt so grateful to see our students learning how our words and actions can affect others, and that we must strive to be caring and kind with our words that we use with one another. 

Our morning video announcement production crew makes us so grateful at Dryden! This group brings us a live broadcast every morning, sharing all kinds of important updates and announcements. Students are responsible for all the roles in video production including directing, script-writing, video-recording, and live-reporting. 

These representatives from our Student Council's Environmental Commission are giving a public service announcement. They are spearheading a crayon and marker recycling project for our school. I'm grateful for their caring leadership and their efforts to care for our environment!

When things get a little crazy, I'm grateful for the smiles, laughter and not taking ourselves too seriously on days like Crazy Hair Day. 

Gobble! Gobble! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Let's continue to focus on gratitude beyond this special holiday! 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Through a Child's Eyes

This week I participated in the Shadow a Student Challenge. It was very powerful to experience an entire school day through the eyes of a student! I rode the school bus, took a math quiz, made a science video demonstrating the seasons and day and night with the group above, ate the school hot lunch, did cartwheels and rode the tire swing at recess, read and discussed about current moon exploration efforts, played the xylophone in music class, and played Gator Ball in PE class. It was an action-packed day of exciting learning and playing! I can certainly see why our students love coming to Dryden. Learning is hard work, but it's also so fun and exciting with our amazing teachers and caring friends. 

I love how these second-grade students brought their understanding of the fragility of this kelp forest ecosystem to life! There was a lot of meaningful collaboration and discussion as each student contributed to this mural. 

At Dryden, we were happy to honor 45 local Veterans and their families on Friday. The service of the Veterans who came to spend time with us spanned over 70 years and all branches of the military. We appreciate how the community came together to provide a warm breakfast, and how our Scouts led us in a special flag ceremony. We're grateful for the opportunity for our students to learn from the experiences of our Veterans as well. 

Our students were proud to sing  "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land" for our Veterans. 

Our first snow happened on Friday, too! Even though there was only less than a half an inch, our students figured out how to work together and build this smiling snowman! What a special treat to see this when I looked out my office window! What wonderful persistence, teamwork, problem-solving and creativity they are demonstrating when they play. Kids are awesome!!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Best Treats

The beautiful fall weather made our Halloween parade a big treat! We appreciated the families and neighbors who came out to cheer us on as we walked through the neighborhood in our creative costumes. 

It was also a big treat to have so many fun games and activities provided by our parent volunteers at our Halloween parties. I enjoyed getting in on the fun and playing with the students, and I think our teachers did, too! Slime-making and mummy-wrapping were just a couple highlights of the celebrations.



Perhaps the biggest treat of all is working with this most amazing team of teachers! They truly are superheroes to our students and our school community. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Jumping Good Time!

We had a jumping good time at the PTA Just Jump fundraiser! All of our students were involved in showing their support for PTA by jumping rope. We thank our PE teacher, Mr. Gries, and our PTA volunteers for making this a fun, healthy activity for all of our students!




On the outside, these students look calm and serious as they carefully paint their creative robot designs with precision and accuracy. On the inside, they are jumping with pride at how beautifully their work is turning out! 

The fourth grade musical performance gave us reason to jump for joy! The patriotic songs that they sang invoked appreciation for our freedoms and inspiration for being "united".

It made my heart jump for joy to see this teacher involving this student in working the sound system during the musical performance. Whether in the spotlight or behind the scenes, there are so many important ways to contribute and participate. 

 Here's another jump-for-joy moment! I love how at any given moment I can spot a staff member connecting with kids at their eye level.  Our students look up to all of the adults who work in our school district, so it's great to see our staff members taking the time to interact with the children in such caring and friendly ways. 

What makes you jump for joy at Dryden?