Mrs. Erin Hall
Principal, Seventh Avenue Elementary School
Principal Message: 9/8/16
Last Friday we unveiled our school theme to the students, SHINE. The Responsive Classroom (RC) Teacher Leadership team picked this theme after reading the book Shine by M.H. Clark. We felt a strong connection to the compilation of quotes the author chose to highlight in the book. This author shares in the introduction that, “There's something about you that people notice right away. It's a light that beams outward and brightens everything it touches. It's a glow that makes everything more vibrant. This light is always there. And it turns on anytime you're feeling confident or full of possibility. It's the light of a person who's doing good in the world, by being fully, richly, and beautifully alive. Show this light, it's the best that is in you and your gift to give the world. Feel bold and bright in all you have to offer. And always remember to shine.” The RC team also took our theme and turned SHINE into our very own acronym that we will embed into our school year through all-school social emotional lessons.
S= Show your 3 Bs
N=Never give up
E=Exceed your expectations
Our 2016-17 theme of SHINE continues to support the philosophies of Responsive Classroom (RC). This is an approach to teaching and learning that fosters safe, challenging and joyful elementary classrooms and schools. Our teachers will be using this approach which “consists of teaching practices for bringing together social and academic learning throughout the school day.” This means that staff will pay special attention to getting to know all of our students individually, culturally and developmentally. Additionally, teachers will create a learning environment that fosters a positive social context while developing social skills. As a result, we hope that students will become responsible community members and will balance their individual needs with those of the community.
Once again we are excited to be adding a family component to this whole process! We are inviting you to participate by developing Hopes and Dreams as a family unit. We sent home a template for your family’s Hopes and Dreams in the shape of a sun on 9/2. When students create Hopes and Dreams at school, they reflect around their academic, social/emotional, and long term goals. Take some time at home to discuss your family goals. These don’t have to be school related; you can choose to think about personal goals too, short or long term. Our families’ Hopes & Dreams will be posted around Seventh Avenue for our school community to read and enjoy. You only need to complete one per family. Please have them back to your child’s teacher by Monday, September 12th.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to a strong partnership this year. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
Dream big, dare greatly, and shine brightly. – Robin Sieger
Principal Message - Avoid The Summer Slide
Good Afternoon Amazing Seventh Avenue Community!
Today's "avoid the summer slide tips" comes from one of our 5th grade teachers, Mrs. Berkley. She reminds us that it is just as important to avoid the summer slide in math too! Below is an article from Greatschools.org (one of my go to websites) & Mrs. Berkley's tips, enjoy!
Between pool time, T-ball, and tag, I’ve managed to work reading, word games, and story time into my kids' summer game plan. But every one of the academic activities I’ve snuck in has been reading-related. My kids and I rarely, OK never, play math games during long car rides or puzzle over tough math problems while lounging on the beach. My math-anemic family, it seems, is not alone. Researchers say on average kids lose 1.8 months of math skills during summer break.
The loss of math knowledge affects every kind of kid. “Whether you are a low-income child or a high-income child, you lose math knowledge or skills at the same rate over the summer,” says Catherine Augustine, senior policy researcher for the RAND Corporation, which released a 2011 report on the summer learning slide. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why kids' math slide is so steep: reading is more naturally woven into a child’s daily life; math, no so much. “Even though we as adults use mathematics every day of our lives, I’m not sure kids do,” says Linda Gojak, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Tasks like balancing the checkbook or price comparing while shopping are hardly part of a child's day-to-day life when school is out. A kid's math deficit during vacation is made worse because keeping math skills sharp takes more rigor and focus than simply picking up a book to pass a lazy summer day. Math, points out Augustine, requires a student to follow carefully a specific set of steps. Without a tutor, teacher, or parent reminding a student to do each step, most students have a tough time tackling math problems on their own (from Greatschools.org).
Hi Seventh Avenue Families!
I hope you had a fabulously fun 4th of July weekend! With all the fun and sun in the summer, sometimes we forget about how easily Math skills can be incorporated into our everyday activities. In 5th grade, we really hit adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals pretty hard. Here are some ways you can naturally integrate some of these skills into all your summer fun (and even get your younger brother, sister, cousin, or friend involved!):
1. Endless pool days? Find the total cost of items purchased from the snack shop at the pool, beach, or movie theater by adding up all the decimal prices (Challenge: Multiply items of multiple quantities before adding to the rest of the tab. For examples, if you buy 2 hot dogs, multiply the cost of one hot dog by 2 before adding to the other items) Check to see if your answer is reasonable by rounding all decimal numbers to the nearest whole number and add.
2. Road trip anyone? Every time you stop for gas, calculate the miles per gallon. Divide the miles traveled (to the tenths place) by the amount of gallons it took to refill the tank. The result will be your car's average miles per gallon yield for that driving period.
3. Grocery shopping for goodies? Summer offers so many delicious, in-season fruit and veggie varieties. At the grocery, determine the total cost of fruit by multiplying the total weight (to the nearest whole pound) of the fruit by the cost per pound. Check to see if your answer is reasonable by rounding all decimal costs to the nearest whole number and then multiplying by the total pounds.
4. Swimming at the pool? Time yourself swimming across the pool and record to the hundredths of seconds. Repeat 5 times. Find your average time by adding up all 5 times, then divide the total sum of the times by 5.
There are so many engaging ways to keep Math in the forefront of your summer day fun. Encourage your child to brainstorm other ways they can practice their Math skills in order to achieve their summer academic goals.
Principal Message - Avoid The Summer Slide
End of June
Good Morning Seventh Avenue,
I can't believe we are heading into July! June has been such a wonderful month, I hope you are enjoying it too! Miss Adducci is our guest teacher (message below) and she has provided a great way to avoid the summer slide with friends. Knowing our students and how they love to plan and create events here at Seventh Avenue, I bet they would enjoy creating backyard book clubs together. This is a great way to get our intermediate students' re connected to literature, non fiction, graphic novels, or other chapter books. I can envision students wanting to read or re read the BFG and then head to the movie with their book club!
**Don't forget to save your gently used books for the Seventh Avenue Big Swap. We will continue to host those each month during the 2016-17 school year.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Hi Seventh Avenue!
I hope you are enjoying your summer break! I also hope you are dedicating time to your summer goals. My summer goal was to read 8 novels. My reading idea to share is to start a book club with your friends this summer! My mom recommended a book to me and we found out the book is going to be a movie in the fall! We both read the book (I read it in 24 hours! I was hooked!) and then we met for fro-yo to talk about the book. It was so fun! Here are some steps to starting your own summer book club:
- Gather old friends and invite new friends to join your book club.
- Talk about some of your favorite books and decide on a book you all want to read. (Check out the ideas Miss Pape shared for finding a book too!)
- Make a plan. When will you meet and what pages will you have read?
- READ :) (This summer I fell in love with reading outside on my patio! Find a new spot!) Can you use Google Docs to check-in with your club members? No spoilers!
- Plan your last book club meeting! Click on the link for some questions to discuss Discussion Ideas . Create your own questions. Can you plan a snack, craft, or game related to your book?
- Meet with your book club and have fun!
- Celebrate with your book club when you meet your goal and finish the book.
- Start again at 1!
I hope you have fun! I would love to hear about your book club when I see you again in August!
Principal Message - Avoid The Summer Slide
Good Afternoon Seventh Avenue,
This week I kicked off a math and reading schedule in my house. The Hall children each picked out a book and have begun reading it. Dryden picked Lincoln's Grave Robbers, Dylan has borrowed my copy of The War That Saved My Life, and Molly is re reading Magic Treehouse book #1. I signed up for a free trial of IXL and dusted off some multiplication and subtraction flash cards. One website Dylan really likes is called Front Row. As he solves math problems correctly he earns points for a silly pet he has created on the site. He can update his pet with the points he has earned.
I love seeing you on Tuesdays during our Open Library times. Don't forget that students can also use the computers and school approved sites during this time.
This week both Miss Brand and Miss Orosz have tips for you to avoid the summer slide (see below).
Have a great day,
Hi Seventh Avenue Community,
I hope this email finds you enjoying the dog days of summer! Summer is the perfect time to recharge, reconnect, and re-ignite your love for reading! Attached is a summer reading BINGO sheet to encourage reading in a fun way. Summer Bingo Sheet
Did you know how crucial summer reading is for kids? If your child reads for 20 minutes every day, he/she will read 1,820 minutes this summer!!! Every minute counts, Seventh Avenue!
Summer Fun for your body and brain!
Creating addition and subtraction number sentences is an important second grade skill. During the super-hot days of summer head outside with some bubbles. Have a parent, sibling or friend blow some bubbles, count what you see, then blow more or pop a few and make an addition or subtraction number sentence to represent the change in the total number of bubbles.
Free-time means the chance to earn some extra cash! Set up a lemonade or popsicle stand! Practice counting coins and making change as your customers come by for a refreshing treat.
Summer means longer days! Keep track of when the sun rises and sets for a week or longer. Figure out how many hours the sun is out and how many hours of darkness there are for each day. Create a bar graph to show the change in daylight and nighttime.
Principal Message - Mid June Check In
Good Morning Seventh Avenue Community,
Throughout the summer I will be sending emails from staff who have developed reminders and fun tips for your child to stay connected to learning, especially reading and math. Seventh Avenue Staff want to ensure our students play hard and enjoy every minute of their summer break, however we also need your support in avoiding the "summer slide". The first guest teacher email is from Miss Pape, enjoy!
Happy Summer, 7th Avenue!
I hope that everyone has enjoyed their first few weeks of summer! Our first day of Open Library is this week, June 14th. Don't forget that the 7th Avenue library will be open every Tuesday from 1-4pm until August 4th. If that time doesn't work with your schedule, check out the Open Library schedule below to see when the other District 105 libraries are open!
Parents, set aside some time to talk with your student about their summer goals. Goal setting is so important, but attaining them is only possible if we are constantly revisiting them!
Remember that making reading and math work over the summer can be fun... check out the calendars in your student's Summer Connect folder for ideas! On June 8th, I followed the Primary Literacy Calendar and asked a friend for a book recommendation. She suggested I try out Kate DiCamillo's newest book, Raymie Nightingale. A few weeks ago, I got the book signed by Ms. DiCamillo at the Chicago Book Convention, but I hadn't had time to read it yet. I'm only at the beginning, but I like it so far! If your student is having trouble finding a good book to read, suggest that they also ask a friend or go to http://imaginationsoup.net/2015/05/03/summer-reading-list-for-kids/ to find summer reading lists by grade level!
This website, http://www.readingrockets.org/, is also a great resource for summer reading activities. If your student loved the last book they read, type the title or author into http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/ and see what else they might enjoy! Tell me what book you are reading by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for more reading ideas and updates throughout the summer!
District 105 Open Library Schedule (June 13-August 4)
Spring Avenue 1-4pm
Seventh Avenue 1-4pm
Principal Messsage - 3/9/16
Dear Seventh Avenue Parents,
Each year students in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade are required to take an Illinois standards based achievement test. This will be our second year taking the PARCC test. PARCC stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It is a consortium of states and the District of Columbia that are working to create and deploy a standard set of K–12 assessments in mathematics and English. This test is intended to measure student learning against these Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders take PARCC tests in reading and math. The data from standardized tests including MAP and PARCC, classroom observations, developmental continuums, and individual pre and post unit assessments are used to help reflect around the needs and strengths of Seventh Avenue students. All of these pieces of data are used every year to determine student learning over time and help inform our instructional focus throughout the year.
To ensure our students will “Hit it Out of the PARCC” our teachers focus on high quality instruction throughout the year. Seventh Avenue teachers meet weekly to talk about their students, created flexible reading and math groups, and discuss ways to enrich all of our students through core instruction. For the past two years we have increased our student math discourse and problem solving through Number Talks or Math Numeracy Development and continue to ensure our students are writing during their reading and math blocks. This focus is what continues to make our students well prepared to show growth on any standardized test!
To make sure the students feel our support, we have surprises planned for them. These surprises make the PARCC test fun, yes I actually said fun! It has even become a rite of passage for our primary students. This year I had a third grade student ask me, “When will we get to take that test and have the younger students send us testing surprises?”.
Some of the PARCC surprises in the past have included:
- Our theme for our testing week: Hitting it Out of the PARCC.
- The primary students help with a PARCC kick off assembly.
- Each primary class adopts a grade taking the test. These buddy classes do special things to encourage their buddy testing class, including providing testing treats.
- PARCC spirit days are planned for our whole community.
As the April testing window approaches, I will reach out to you with testing window details and ways to support your child at home.
Last summer the Seventh Avenue Building Leadership Team (BLT) met to review our data. Part of that summer work was reflecting on this data to set our building wide goals and priorities for the year. After looking through parent surveys (5Essentials & D105 Parent Survey) and parent feedback from the CEC visit during the 2014-15 school year, the BLT developed the K-6th Student Communication Binders. You asked for more specific communication about what your child was learning and how they were progressing. So, this has become a priority for Seventh Avenue staff.
Because the Student Communication Binder is a new tool, teachers and I met last Wednesday to reflect around the successes and challenges. The 4th – 6th graders provided us feedback through a recent binder survey that was shared during this staff meeting too. The wonderful news is that the commitment is still strong on our end to provide you thorough communication around your child’s progress within a unit through specific assessments, their goals, and weekly/monthly reflections. I want to urge all of you to spend time with your child when the Student Communication Binder comes home. Both the teachers and the students put a lot of effort into compiling this information for their binder each month. Carve out some time with your child and have them walk you through the binder while you honor their work and celebrate their progress. As a reminder, there is also a place for you to write a positive message to your child. They are always excited when you write a note on the Parent Communication Page. We will be reaching out to you in the spring for your feedback as we plan for next year.
Below are some sample questions and/or conversation starters you can use to guide your conversations when the Student Communication Binder comes home:
- Show me one thing you are really proud of in your binder, and tell me why you are so proud of it.
- Tell me about a goal you have met so far in this unit OR tell me about a goal you are close to meeting in this unit? What did you do to ensure you met your goal OR what have you done to ensure you are making progress towards your goal?
- What is one thing you are working on that you still find challenging in this unit? What can we do at home to help you feel more successful in this area?
- What are your Hopes & Dreams and what can we do at home to help you achieve them? Think about setting Family Hopes & Dreams too.
- Share one new thing you have learned in this unit?
- What has been the best part of your week (or month)?
Many of the K-6th grade teachers will be using the Student Communication Binder as a tool to guide your parent conference on February 2nd or 4th. Thank you for taking some time to revisit your role in the success of the Student Communication Binders.
Good Afternoon Seventh Avenue,
- Wow! Our first Big Book Swap was such a success! Thank you so much to everyone who donated books and to Mrs. Eterno for helping out during the swap. It was amazing to see students finding “new” books to take home with them, but also excited to bring those books back next month to swap for something different! Our next Big Book Swap will be on Monday, December 7th during lunch recess and after school from 3:00-3:30pm. We will continue to accept book donations at any time – just drop them off for me at school! We are particularly in need of some books for our older students. If you have any of these that perhaps a junior high or high school student is not reading anymore, we would appreciate the donation. I can’t wait for next month’s swap!
- Starting November 11th , our Wednesday Folder will be going electronic! I have been monitoring the handouts and fliers that Mrs. McHugh copies and prepares for families each week for the past two years. Over 80% of the time the forms sent home are informational versus a form that needs to be signed. By moving to an electronic version of the Wednesday Folder, we will save hundreds of sheets of paper each week, and give Mrs. McHugh and Mrs. Fern back important time to focus on our students and their other duties on Wednesdays. Because I want to ensure you always have access to a hard copy of any form you might need, we have placed acrylic shelves in the main office that will house all Wednesday Folder information. At any time you can stop by the office and get what you need, send your child to the office to get a form, or call the office and a secretary can pull that specific flier to send home. Mrs. Nestlinger will continue to update our Wednesday Folder each week on the Seventh Avenue webpage. Thank you for your support as we transition electronically!
- Mrs. Petrak had a wonderful idea for Veteran’s Day. She would like to recognize and honor the veterans of our Seventh Avenue families at our Morning Assembly on Wednesday. If you have a loved one that has served in the U.S. Armed forces, please send or email a picture of them to Miss Pape at email@example.com. Miss Pape and Mrs. Petrak will be creating a slideshow to use on Veteran’s Day with our students. Please include your veteran’s name, your family name and any important information you would like to include. Also, we would like to invite our Seventh Avenue Veterans to join us on Wednesday at 8:30 am for an all school Morning Assembly.
- As the weather changes, so must the students’ clothing/gear. As students arrived to school this morning the temps were in the mid-30s, however I did notice many of our intermediate students with shorts on. I do worry about the impact the wet cold air has on one’s health and hope we can work together in getting our children ready for the fall/winter weather.
- It is that time of year to be thankful for all we have in our lives: a wonderful job in an amazing community, family, friends, and health are just a couple that pop into my mind. Mrs. Moran and our PTO would like to take the next two weeks to host a Thanksgiving Food Drive. All food donations will remain in D105. We have access to PTO freezers in our lunchroom and we will be able to store food items until Thanksgiving break. Below is a list of needed items, broken down by grade level. What a wonderful way to support our families in the community or at the other D105 schools! If your family is in need of assistance at this time of year, please contact myself or Mrs. Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- KG = pasta
- 1st = pasta sauce
- 2nd = stuffing
- 3rd = vegetable (frozen)
- 4th = dessert
- 5th = potatoes (sweet or regular)
- 6th = bread/ rolls
- All grade levels donation of a turkey, turkey breast, or a gift card and Seventh Avenue staff will shop for items
Thank you for all you do for us,
Videos and Podcasts