Sunday, March 31, 2019

Celebrating our Accomplishments

On March 16 & 17, we were so honored for Dryden to be one of six schools in Illinois showcased at the international ASCD Conference at McCormick Place! This was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet educators from around the globe and share our work as we focus on our school vision/mission of empowering our students to become caring, resilient global thinkers who collaborate, innovate and problem-solve!


Connecting with caring adults in our community helps bring our school vision to life. We were thrilled to have Ms. Morrell bring her therapy dog to Dryden. Our students enjoyed learning about the training and work Ms. Morrell's therapy dog, Lucy, at Northwest Community Hospital.

We are also very proud of the work of our Administrative Advisory Board and Kindness Ambassadors! They worked together to plan and implement a Kindness Challenge for our whole school. Each day throughout the month of March, every class was challenged to complete a specific act of kindness, such as complimenting a teacher, saying thank you to the lunch supervisor or helping to pick up garbage. We celebrated accomplishing this challenge with a "Choose-Your-Reward" recess. Students got to choose between watching a movie, playing games or participating in a dance party. 

While they had a super-fun time, we hope this experience will inspire our students to continue their kind acts towards others!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Feeling Lucky

On St. Patrick's Day and every day I feel so lucky to be a part of Dryden!

This past week, our staff hosted a Family Reading Night. We felt so lucky to see so many kids come to school in their jammies to enjoy some great books and activities by their favorite teachers. At Dryden we believe that an important key to students' growth in reading is to have a love of reading, and that love of reading starts with our teachers sharing their love of reading with students. 

It's always so rewarding to have our former Dolphins return to visit us. This week we were lucky to have a very special visit from a former Dolphin, who is now a student at Yale University. He brought his Yale a capella group to Dryden to perform for us. What wonderful entertainment and inspiration for us all!

We are also lucky to have such an awesome group of fifth grade students! They gave their best during the basketball shoot-out fundrasier, as their efforts result in a special legacy gift to Dryden - a beautiful picnic table for the courtyard! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

March Onward!

With so much to learn and so much to enjoy, the month of March is going by quickly!

We thank the PTA for a super-fun 4th & 5th Grade Volleyball Night! And, we thank our PE teacher, Mr. Gries, for all the behind-the-scenes set-up and take-down. It's great to see students and families come together for this event. It's also great to be able to let off some steam indoors when the weather is too crummy to play outside. 

It's been wonderful to see the creative writing and book-making our students are doing. They are learning to organize their thoughts, map out and expand on their ideas, work collaboratively, utilize feedback and so much more as they work through the writing process!


Engaging in inquiry keeps science meaningful and interesting for our students. Rather than just telling students the facts, our teachers invite our students in sharing their background knowledge and ask questions. As students read and explore, they then reflect and document what they have learned, noting similarities and differences to their background knowledge and whether they were able to answer any of their original questions. 

Hands-on exploration and data-collection is another way our students are learning about science and making hypotheses about friction. Below, students measured distances of how far programmable Spheros traveled on different surfaces. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Caring,Creative Collaboration

It's always a treat to see people working together in such caring and creative ways at Dryden.

Students shared all kinds of reusable materials to make a marble run that went all the way across the LMC with the PTA Book Club. What a great accomplishment by working together!

The books read in PTA Book Club all had a STEM theme, and students had an opportunity to participate in a science activity at the end of each session. This group is making paper rockets.

It was super-fun for the students to launch them indoors!

These caring kindergarteners worked together to make a sweet treat of playdough cookies!

We enjoy the creative, caring collaboration of our morning announcement video production crew! They bring such great enthusiasm to their work and get our school off to a positive start every day! 

A student in this class started a production line of hand-made squishies. This class thought it would be fun to make and send squishies to their pen-pals in another school. They put a lot of care and detail into making a squishie that their pen-pal would like.  

It's exciting to see the students working on this all-school collaborative sticker mural in the LMC. I wonder what kind of picture will emerge in the coming days!