Redbird Roundup, Vol 16

Friday, December 14, 2018

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!

There is lots of excitement in the air as we move towards winter break. We are seeing a ton of summative activities and projects out there that are fantastic. Keep it up, and make the most of these last days!

Next week features a bunch of great activities, including another trip to the Durham, a Chorus concert, our fundraiser dances, and our holiday crockpot exchange. Check out the calendar below and all the other important announcements so you're in the loop.

I will not be doing a Redbird Roundup next week, but instead will be using the Bulb app to display pictures from our week. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

Preparation for Winter Break

As we near the end of the semester I'd like to share a few important reminders:

1) Vigilance is huge. Please be in the hallways, at your supervisions, at your door as much as possible. NLT is going to up our supervision in the cafeteria as well.

2) Instruction doesn't stop because we're close to a break. You should be engaging your students in summative assessments and reflecting on goals for first semester with your students.

3) Please take time to come to our Crockpot Exchange on Thursday, December 20. It will be a great opportunity for us to see each other and celebrate before break.

4) Take time for you over break. Get rest, get refreshed, spend time with family and friends.

Dr. Carr unavailable December 26-January 2

We're finally taking our honeymoon :) I will be out of the country and won't be checking email or my phone. Please contact Mrs. Denning, Mrs. Greco and Mrs. Zukaitis if you need anything. Please be reminded that room access over break is limited to January 3 and 4.

December 17-January 4

Monday, December 17: NAC Meetings after school

Tuesday, December 18: VILS PD by teams; Chorus Concert, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, December 19: Fundraiser Dance for 6th and 7th grade during 7/8 block

Thursday, December 20: Crockpot Exchange and Ugly Sweater Contest during lunch; Grading Window Opens; Fundraiser Dance for 8th Grade during 7/8 block

Friday, December 21: LAST DAY BEFORE BREAK!!!

Thursday, January 3: Building Open for teacher use/access

Friday, January 4: Teacher Work Day

Mark your calendars, New Student Open House

Our new student Open House is set for Tuesday, January 8 from 6-7:30. This is a required staff event, much like our regular open house, conferences, and academic awards night. Please mark this in your calendar!

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Michelle Coniglio, Leanna Jurgens and Gordon Russell.

Michelle Coniglio

Name: Michelle Coniglio

How many years have you been teaching? 9

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The staff and students. People are very nice here!

What is one of your favorite quotes? People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Reading

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? I hate sweeping the kitchen floor!

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Go on vacation with my family and pay off everything I owe.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Poldark

Leanna Jurgens

Name: Leanna Jurgens

How many years have you been teaching? This is year 53.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Caring staff members and students

What is one of your favorite quotes? Please pardon the length.

Isn't it strange, that princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common-folk like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

To each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass and a Book of Rules;
and each must make 'ere time has flown,
a stumbling block or a stepping stone.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Just about anything that can be called housework.

What is something you learned in the last week? Reminded again to be patient and kind when talking to the person that I think has made a mistake, because it just might be my mistake. (It was.)

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Student rights and responsibilities.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Mini- series, “Manhunt: the Unabomber.”

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? Sweet and my favorite is Ritter Sport candy bar--milk chocolate with hazelnuts.

Gordon Russell

Name: Gordon Russell

How many years have you been teaching? I have been teaching for 23 ½ years – 21 years at Norris and 2 ½ in Iowa.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I just love the students and the feeling of family here.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? I enjoy hiking, just spending time in the outdoors.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning house, I want someone else to do it for me.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Playing piano.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? I would pay off all of my debt and then buy a private island in Alaska.

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? I like them both. I like almost all sweets and as far as salty – potato chips!

Big picture

Powerful Practices

Summative Projects/Visiting Castelar Elementary

Students in Ms. Wright's Language Arts classes took their final book projects to Castelar Elementary to read to students. Each student was able to read their story and share their illustrations with eager kindergarten students!

Take Flight Mentoring Day

Mrs. Evans and Ms. Recic visited Beveridge and Marrs on Wednesday as a part of their Take Flight Mentoring Day. This is a great opportunity for mentors and mentees to spend time together and observe other teachers in the district.

Library PLC

Ms. Wakefield and her library peers met at Norris on Wednesday for their monthly PLC. They discussed utilizing Teams as well as the Bulb app (which I am going to explore next week instead of the normal Redbird Roundup). We were happy to host them!

Chat Stations

Check out this cool article on Chat Stations-a way to engage your students in conversation during class time. You can use this with content-related material, or as a brain break.

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

Scheduling Updates

Mrs. Denning and members of our Scheduling Committee provided an update to teams on our 19-20 schedule. They have done a ton of work to make sure our deal breakers are in our draft version of our new schedule. There is still a lot to do, and we invite you to send us any questions or concerns you have. A big shout-out to Mrs. Denning and this committee for all their work.

Durham Field Trip

As a result of having the tree located so close to Norris, we received free field trips to the Durham for many of our student groups. Ms. Jacobberger took the lead in coordinating these trips. Our first two groups have already gone, and our last group will go on December 18th. Student visiting the museum are able to learn about how holidays are celebrated around the world.

Think Tank

Ms. Jacobberger took our 8th graders to Think Tank on Tuesday for the annual competition. Shayden Gotto's team placed 3rd overall. Great job to these students!

Swim Finals

Congrats to our 7th and 8th grade girls who participated in City Swim Finals this week at Burke. 7th graders competed Wednesday, and 8th graders Thursday. Thanks to our coaches, Ms. Boyer and Ms. Greco, and congrats to our students on a great season!

Superintendent's Town Hall

I took these six amazing kids to the Superintendent's Town Hall on Thursday. After some pizza, students were able to ask the Sup and her panel any question. Several asked about grading and preparation for college. One of Presley Urwin's questions was asked regarding how to deal with stress. Very cool event for our student leaders.

Final Thought

"All children need reliable, positive adults in their lives. Children who grow up with positive relationships learn healthy, appropriate emotional responses to everyday situations." (Eric Jensen, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind).

We only see them for around eight hours a day, but we have to take advantage of the time we have them. How many positives are you giving out in a class period? During a school day? I challenge you to kick it into high gear on your positives given to students in this last week before break.