Redbird Roundup, Vol 15

Friday, December 7, 2018

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!


We have had a great week and many highlights are below. A specific personal highlight was our scheduling time with Dr. Elliot Merenbloom. Mrs. Denning put a ton of preparation into our time with him, and it was so worth it. She will be providing updates to teams next week.


There are some powerful classroom practices happening out there, including tech integration, stations, and much more.


Check out the calendar for next week's activities and updates!



Have a great weekend!


Dr. Carr

December 10-17

Monday, December 10: Durham Field Trip for selected students during day, MTSS-B Vision Team Meeting after school

Tuesday, December 11: Durham Field Trip for selected students during day, Dr. Carr at Principal's Meeting; Student Support PD with Jacquie by Teams; Boys Basketball home vs. Beveridge

Wednesday, December 12: Team PD (Scheduling Update by Denning); Girls Swim City Finals (7th Grade)

Thursday, December 13: 6th Grade Scheduling PD during team time; Girls Swim City Finals (8th Grade); Boys Basketball City Tourney begins

Monday, December 17: NAC Meetings after school

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Lacie Hansen, Danielle Hardt, and Karen Larson.

Lacie Hansen

Name: Lacie Hansen

How many years have you been teaching? This is year 14!

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The Redbird Pride!

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Anything outdoors – running, hiking, biking, walking dogs.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning the bathroom.

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Yoga, walking my dogs or cooking.

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Essential oils! #theresanoilforthat

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? Neither – SPICY. Extra, extra spicy. Like level 10 spicy.

Danielle Hardt


Name: Danielle Hardt

How many years have you been teaching? 1.5.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I love those goofy kids.


What is one of your favorite quotes? “Get in, loser! We’re going shopping!” – Mean Girls

OKAY FOR REAL THOUGH-

“Things turn out best, for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” -John Wooden

What’s your favorite outdoor activity? Hiking, hammocking, and playing Spikeball.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? I am really enjoying being 26!

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

I usually will nap or watch an episode of Jeopardy.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for? Driving across town with a regular, non-travel mug, without spilling.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? The Office for the 18th time.

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category?

Salty. I think I am turning into a Norris 8th grader, but Taki’s are absolutely my jam.

Karen Larson

Name: Karen Larson

How many years have you been teaching? This is my 39th and last!

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? I am so amazed at how involved the staff is with the students but I love the kids here the most!


What is one of your favorite quotes? “Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather to skid broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming…WOW! What a ride!

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Do I have to pick one? All of it actually. That’s why I have someone help me!

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Retire, oh wait I am already doing that! I would pay off my daughter’s debts and help the rest of my family to be debt free and then I would buy a red Suburban with all the bells and whistles!

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Big Brother…going back to season 1!

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Dyslexia or Online Dating…take your pick!

Sweet or salty? Hello! Sweet and salty together! Fritos Scoops used as spoons for ice cream, amazing!

Powerful Practices

Faculty Workshop

I absolutely LOVE when staff learn from one another (have I said this before?). It is so powerful to hear teachers and counselors talk about what works and engage colleagues in discussions. Thank you to Ms. Greco, Mrs. Nyatawa, Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Rossell, Mr. Cobelens, Mr. Kennedy, Mrs. Zermeño, Ms. Ward, Mr. Gutmann and Mr. Allen for sharing their expertise as well as the math district supervisor, Ginny Yuhas. We will continue this format at our next faculty workshop….sort of.. Next month's meeting will feature an Unconference. What's an Unconference? You'll find out!

Technology/Movement

Ms. Lodge utilizes lots of small group time to enhance learning for her students. In Thursday's lesson, they did a gallery walk to practice skills and then were able to use their iPads to scan a QR code to check their answers. Great way to incorporate movement and technology!

Collaboration and Technology

Ms. Hardt and Ms. Reid's students are identifying ethos, pathos, and logos in commercials and working in groups to create their own products to gain a better understanding of persuasion. To take it a step farther, they use iMovie for their commercials. Great activity!

Stations

Ms. Recic had her students working in stations this week to practice using synonyms, understand an informational text, and identify text features. She moved through gradual release in all the stations, and was able to provide great feedback throughout. Great job Ms. Recic!

Career Connections

We were fortunate to have Claire from McCarthy back in action at Norris talking with Mrs. Nyatawa and Mrs. McDonnell's classes about a future in ACE (architecture, construction, engineering). Students learned about future programs (they can do in high school and are FREE!) and even participated in a sample challenge.

The Learning Continuum

Mrs. Collington got us moving with a great PD on Thursday on the Learning Continuum. Understanding this continuum and using this in our lesson planning will help us design appropriate lessons for our kids, and also help us differentiate. We will keep moving forward with this!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

November Redbirds on the RISE

Congrats to these amazing students for being Redbirds on the RISE for the month of November, demonstrating respect, integrity, safety, and empathy.

Scheduling Committee and Updates

We hosted Dr. Elliot Merenbloom, the scheduling guru, on Monday and Tuesday. Mrs. Denning has worked tirelessly to provide some ideas and options in moving forward with our schedule, I am excited to hear our conversations. She presented to the scheduling committee on Thursday, and will present to all staff next week. Thank you, as always, for your input!

Double Duty

Mr. Kennedy pulls double-duty at Norris, not only teaching Reading, but also officiating basketball! When he's not coaching golf at South, he officiates all throughout the winter. Last year he was selected to officiate the NSAA State Tournament. What an honor!

Microsoft Innovative Educators

We are fortunate to have Ms. Greco and Ms. Wakefield who have already gone through the Microsoft Innovative Educator program (MIE) and are a resource for our building. Mrs. Nyatawa, Ms. Gatson, and Mrs. Carver are beginning the program this year, and Ms. Cochran and Ms. Real y Vásquez will be participating next year!

Final Thought

True story. I don't know about you guys, but I have felt absolutely pooped lately. The weeks leading up to break are so exciting, but so exhausting. Thank you for giving it your all every day. Thanks for continuing to be kind to our kiddos and each other, and keeping a smile on your face. We have lots to be thankful for and lots to celebrate, so if you lose sight in "your why" just look around and you'll find it again.