Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Festivities

It has been a fabulous, festive week at Dryden!
We have been celebrating Character Counts and Red Ribbon Days. 
Each day, our mascot Echo and all of the students and staff would dress in the color of the Character Pillar of the day:
Blue = Trust
Green = Responsibility
Yellow = Respect
Orange = Fairness
Red = Caring
Purple = Citizenship

Our Student Council shared information about the Character Pillar during our morning announcements. They tied red ribbons on every door nob in our school to remind us to make healthy choices. 

Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Moxley led students in special activities during lunch and recess that focused on making healthy choices and using the six pillars of good character. 

Our PTA, staff and students worked together to learn about Food Allergy Awareness and the Teal Pumpkin Project.  

It was a beautiful day for a costume parade through the neighborhood!

Our staff Halloween costume theme was "Emojis".  It was so fun to see the many characters and expressions together! 

We thank the PTA for bringing us many fun games, crafts and treats for the classroom Halloween parties following the parade! It was very special and fun-filled week! Many thanks to our staff and parents for making it so wonderful for the children!

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Be a PAL"

With Halloween just around the corner, we are sharing the following tips with our students so that we can all "Be a PAL" (protect a life) to others with food allergies.
  • Food allergies are serious.
  • Don't share your food with others. 
  • Wash your hands after eating.
  • Help all of your classmates have fun together.
  • If a friend gets sick, get help right away. 
Teal is the color for food allergy awareness. All of our students will receive "Be a D25 PAL" teal wrist bands on Wednesday to help remember these important tips.

We encourage our school community to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project. This project focuses on offering non-food treat options for trick-or-treaters. Those who offer non-food treat options paint and place a teal pumpkin in front of their house. This way, children with allergies know that they can get a safe treat at homes that display teal pumpkins.

We thank our PTA for creating a Teal Pumpkin bulletin board at Dryden where students can share their artwork and caring messages for allergy awareness.

More information can be found at Together, our shared focus on allergy awareness can truly help Protect A Life from food allergies.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Stop, Walk and Talk

Regardless of our intentions, we all demonstrate behaviors of a bully, bystander or victim from time to time. That is why at Dryden, during Bully Prevention Month in October and throughout the school year, we practice and review the "Stop, Walk and Talk" strategy with all of our students and staff.

We encourage all of our students to assertively say "STOP" to someone who is saying or doing something mean or hurtful.

We remind all students that when someone tells you to "STOP", you have to stop what you are doing, take a deep breath and choose a different, appropriate behavior.

We encourage all of our students to "WALK" away if mean or hurtful behavior continues.

We encourage all of our students to "TALK" to a teacher or staff member if mean or hurtful behavior continues after walking away.

We help our students understand the difference between "talking" and "tattling" by explaining that talking is when you are seeking help to solve a problem and that tattling is when you are trying to get the other person in trouble.

We practice the "Stop, Walk and Talk" strategy in different, age-appropriate scenarios where students may face inappropriate remarks, gossip and cyberbullying.

I am so proud of how every student and staff member at Dryden plays an important and active role in preventing the cycle of bullying behavior from happening. It feels great to be part of a school where everyone can feel safe, accepted and respected!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Safe, Healthy and Fun!

For Fire Prevention Week, we had an all school fire drill with the Arlington Heights Fire Department. Many of our students enjoyed learning about the fire engine and seeing it up close. Lieutenant Larson made many visits to classrooms to teach our students about fire safety and prevention. We thank the Arlington Heights Fire Department for their wonderful involvement in educating our students and helping to keep them safe!

 October 7 was International Walk to School Day. Communities in all 50 states and over 40 countries all over the world participate in this event. It's a great opportunity for us to focus on building healthy habits while caring for our environment. It was a delight to see so many Dryden students, families and teachers participating in this special event together!

What an exciting celebration for all of our Chicago Cubs baseball fans! They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates (my childhood hometown and favorite team) in the Wildcard game this past Wednesday. It was fun seeing our students and staff dressed in their favorite baseball team colors, and engaging in some playful competition! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Curiosity & Wonder

 My family and I enjoyed observing the lunar eclipse of the "super moon" Sunday evening. Did you? As we sat outside, my youngest son asked many questions:
Why does the moon look red?
Why is it called a super moon?
How does the lunar eclipse happen?
Why won't this happen again until 2033?
How do scientists know it will happen again in 2033?
Why is it taking so long? 

As a parent, I sometimes feel frustrated and embarrassed not to know the answers to my children's questions. Thanks to modern-day technology, many of the answers are right at our finger tips. 

However, I have to be careful not to rush to find the answers to my son's questions for him. I've learned from our teachers that it is very important for the student to have ownership in searching for the answers through their own research, investigation and experimentation.  

Our teachers encourage our students to ask many questions and to delight in the process of wondering. It's truly a joy to see the students sharing their curiosities so spontaneously! Just yesterday, after school, a large group of students were huddled in a corner during dismissal. 

When I went to see what they were up to, it was a pleasant surprise to see that they had discovered an enormous praying mantis in the grass. Oh, the questions they wondered aloud!
What is that?
How did it get here?
What should we do with it?
Will it bite?
Where does it live?
How will it find its home?
What does it eat?
Why is it so big?
Does it make any noise?
How will it survive?

I truly hope our students maintain this sense of curiosity and wonder throughout their entire lives!