Friday, September 30, 2016

Up and Running!

As we head into our second month of the school year, we are literally and figuratively up and running!

The PTA Running Club kicked off last week with great success! It's wonderful to see so many children participating in the different stations--running bases, running laps, relays, and more! Many thanks to the parent volunteers who coordinate and help out this after-school club. 

Some fourth and second grade students have been partnering in their study of landforms to find examples of specific landforms on different continents. They used google maps, took notes and drew illustrations of their findings. 

PTA Art Appreciation volunteers met at school one evening to review the wide range of resources and activities that they can use to bring famous pieces of art and famous artists to life with our students. The art pieces they share with students align with the art lessons in Mrs. Fuglestad's art classes. When our students take field trips to the Art Museum, they make enthusiastic connections to their school experiences thanks to our Art Appreciation volunteers and Mrs. Fuglestad. 

We've had our share of indoor recess this week due to the rainy weather. Regardless, the students have been enjoying building towers and pattern block designs, putting together puzzles, playing brain-teaser games and Twister, drawing and more!

It was great to see all the beautiful smiles on Picture Day! 

Fourth grade students have been working hard and gearing up for the Global Cardboard Challenge! They creating a variety of games in which points can be scored. They are collecting data and feedback as they test out their games before the final presentations that will take place on October 13. This has been a very engaging and purposeful way for students to apply their mathematical learnings of mean, median and mode. 

In the LMC, students are excited to learn about the books nominated for the 2016-2017 Dryden Dolphin Book Awards. Throughout the school year, students will be reading the nominated books and then voting for their favorites.You can learn more about these books by visiting the Dryden LMC website

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Learning from the Past... Imagining the Future, and Celebrating!

The fifth grade students have been studying our nations history and the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

They apply their learning as they take on the roles of famous Patriots and Loyalists and debate whether America should declare independence from Great Britain.

To make this time period come alive, students took a field trip to Naper Settlement where they observed and experienced the daily life and careers of colonial times.

As our fifth grade learns about the past, primary grade students have been imagining the future.  Students were fascinated by the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and technology) careers of our parents and community members. We are very grateful for the demonstrations, interactive presentations and hands-on experiences they shared with our students. 

Mechanical Engineer





Medical Professions


Computer Science/Coding


Advanced Learning Coordinator & Treehouse Builder


Technology Director

Students are applying elements of STEAM as they work on the Global Cardboard Challenge, inspired by Caine's Arcade. They have been doing a lot of creative thinking, problem-solving and collaborating as they work on their projects! It's great to listen in on their discussion of all the possibilities they are imagining!

Other fun celebrations this week included Sports Day, where students dressed up in their favorite sports uniforms or represented their favorite professional and college sports teams.

Congratulations to Brendan, Dryden's Top Typer! He was recognized at the Board of Education Meeting for his outstanding presentation in the Summer Keyboarding Challenge. 

Congratulations to First Grade Teacher, Mrs. Johnson! She was also recognized at the Board of Education Meeting for attaining tenure. We are proud of Mrs. Johnson for this accomplishment and the wonderful qualities she brings to the teaching profession. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

A WINning Team

As many in the Chicago area are celebrating the Cubs baseball team clinching the division title, we continue to celebrate the "WIN"nig Dryden team! 

"WIN" is an acronym that we use at Dryden in two different ways. The first acronym represents "What I Need".  Every grade level in our school has a protected block of "WIN" time where students have the opportunity to work on their specific learning goals without having to miss any new  instruction. During "WIN" time, students might participate in interventions, enrichment, special services or work on personalized learning projects. 

The second acronym for WIN represents "What's Important Now?"  By regularly reflecting on this question, we can identify and feel confident about our school's priorities. So, what is important now, during our first month of school? Here are a few things...

Finding "just right" books to read--books that spark our interest and stimulate our thinking

Building a classroom community where students feel safe taking on challenges and being themselves. 

Developing cooperative, caring relationships so that students can successfully and joyfully learn from one another.

Making the most of life's surprises, and having fun!!