Thursday, September 20, 2018


 Walking through Dryden, you will always find reasons to smile!

We had Picture Day this week! We appreciated the PTA's help in capturing our students' smiling faces. What special memories this will be when we look back through these photos in our school yearbooks.

It made me smile to hear the "wow's" of wonder and excitement from our kindergarten students in art class this week! Art Teacher Mrs. Fuglestad taught them how to use the Quiver app to bring their color wheels to life by making them look three-dimensional and animated. 


Of course, any child immersed in a book makes me smile! This student was so excited about the book she got from the LMC, she could not wait to take it home and read it!

We smile when we are learning and having fun at the same time! I loved the laughter, discussion and analysis from this group of students as they compared cards with numbers written in different forms while playing a fun game of spoons. 

This sign made by one of our students made me smile. Not only are our students learning important skills, strategies and content, they are learning important life lessons. 

This recent, very kind and thoughtful gift from a student brings a huge smile to my face every time I look at it! It is incredibly rewarding to see our students enjoying their total school experience - learning academics while strengthening relationships with pride and a sense of belonging!!

Sunday, September 16, 2018


We once again welcomed our families back to school at Curriculum Night! It's so wonderful to have our school alive with students, families and staff once again! Thank you to all the teachers who took the time to explain all the exciting things our students will be learning and doing at Dryden this year. Thank you to all the parents for joining us on this special evening and for showing your support and care for your children as well! 

Thank you to the many parents who participated in our LMC's Hook-A-Book program to purchase books for the LMC!

Now that routines are becoming more second-nature, we are beginning to dive more deeply into learning. It was so great to see how this teacher used a book written by one her students from last year as a learning tool for the new students in her class this year!

These heart maps have been a great way to learn about what is most important to our students. They will be a great source of inspiration during their personalized learning and writing. It would be interesting to see how our heart maps evolve over the years, too!

Opportunities for students to show their creativity even happen in math! These place value monsters were a great activity in which students could also practice respresenting numbers in different forms. 

We are looking forward to the many deep learning explorations our Dolphins will encounter this year!

What Makes Our Community Special?

Oy! It was not easy for many of us to see Echo donning a Packers jersey Monday morning! But, this did give us much to laugh and talk about. And, this reminds us that amidst the many Chicago Bears fans there are some of us who are fans of other teams. This also reminds us that there are many ways the people in our community are similar and different, which makes for many rich and rewarding relationships as we learn more about one another. 

Speaking of rich and rewarding, it was very fun and uplifting to enter this first grade classroom as the children were beginning their school day! They were singing and dancing to a "hello" song in many different languages.  What a great way to kick off each day at school as we learn about each other and our world.

September 11 was a very special morning for our community to come together. The tragedy of this day in our nation's history remains with us. Yet, coming together with music instills us with healing and a sense of hope of how we can create a more peaceful future. 

There indeed is richness and reward as we learn and share about our lives and experiences with one another. While we are getting to know our students through a variety of math and literacy assessments at the beginning of the school year, it is also very important that we get know our students in many other ways as well. As we learn what our students care about and what's important to them, we can help make their learning more meaningful. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Getting into the Groove

With the first couple weeks of school under our belt, we're getting into the learning groove and enjoying every minute of it! 

In art class, these fifth grade students have been designing robots. I really enjoyed listening to their "ooh"s and "aah"s as they visited with each other and admired each other's work and creative ideas. A snake-bot, music-bot, dog-bot and baker-bot were just a few of the unique robot drawings I got to see. I'm looking forward to seeing how these students will bring these sketches to life in the coming weeks!

Bongo from Wishtree by Katherine Applegate has been found flitting about Dryden! It's fun to see the personal connections our students feel with these imaginary characters, and how these characters come to life with the children's vivid imaginations! Our One Book, One School reading of Wishtree has all of us focused on thinking about friendship and what it means to be welcoming. 

Engagement!! This group of writers truly captures what deep engagement in learning is all about. I was so impressed by their attention to detail as they wrote personal narratives including a problem, vivid description of emotion, and a solution. They were proud of their work and excited to share what they wrote with one another. 

Play and social and intellectual learning collide during recess! I witnessed this firsthand during indoor recess on a rainy day this week as children play all kinds of games and engaged in creative, imaginative play with one another. 

And who wouldn't want to enter this classroom??? No wonder there is such a deep love of reading in our school!!