Prairie Point Panther Press

Newsletter for Prairie Point Elementary School

Friday, February 12, 2016

Welcome to the Prairie Point Panther Press!

February Principal's Letter

Dear Prairie Point Families,

I still can’t believe the year is already half over! We have a lot of things to look forward to in order to prevent the winter blues. Fun Fair and the Variety Show are all ahead of us in the coming WEEKS.

Throughout the past several school years, we’ve implemented new curriculum in math and English language arts. These standards represent a huge shift in how we teach, and more importantly, what we ask students to know and do. They are based in teaching students to think, really think, about the tasks they perform and the information they receive. But how do we do that? How can you help? To answer those questions, we can start by examining how we approach tasks and solve problems. But it is important that we go further than that by reviewing current research into learning and brain development. Upon this evaluation, one thing is clear; it is necessary for us, as teachers and parents, to stand back and let children generate possible solutions on their own. It is through trial and error, the development, evaluation, and readjustment of plans that we learn to think critically.

The first step in fostering this type of thinking is modeling. We need to talk with our children about what we are doing, why we are doing things as we are, and how our plan is working, including any changes we may need to make as we go along. By doing this, our children benefit from our thinking, and they also begin to think about their own thinking. The more aware we are of what we are doing and why we’re doing it, the more critical we become of our thinking on future tasks. This awareness also helps us learn that we aren’t always proficient on the first trial—we need to continually make adjustments as we go forward.

Encouragement is another important way to build the critical thinking skills of our children. But it’s more than praising successes. We need to ask questions about their thinking. Questions like: “How do you know that?” and “Why did you use that?” and “What would happen if…?” can raise a child’s awareness of their thinking in a way that fosters continued development. Of course, part of this process requires that we ask our children to solve problems regularly. Look around, there are a multitude of everyday tasks that can become opportunities for our kids without the need for extensive preparation.

It is important for us to remember that skillful thinking is hard work. In the same way that athletes must practice and develop their skills as they become proficient, effective thinking requires that same attention to method.

These are the type of conversations we are having here at school. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns at any time, please contact Mrs. Kern or me at any time. We appreciate having the opportunity to talk with our parents.


Dr. Heidi Podjasek

Home & School President's Letter

Dear Prairie Point Parents and Staff,

Happy February! How can that be?! We have already had a lot of fun in 2016 and there are so many people to thank:

Tuesday Night Dinners: Thank you for continuing to do an amazing job organizing great places to eat. Papa John’s was wonderful. We look forward to eating at Chili’s this month. They are offering a four-week program, an awesome chance to bring more money into the school.

Staff Appreciation: Prairie Point staff really loved the fruit pizza bar and hot cocoa packets. They feel so pampered each and every month.

Family Fun: Thank you for setting up another great night at Bouncetown. The kids had a chance to burn off some cabin fever! Next up – Skate Night! (Date TBD)

Father’s Forum: Donuts with Dad was a huge success. It’s so nice to see our families enjoying time together. Morning with Mom is in March.

Health & Wellness: Wednesday night was open gym for 4th & 5th graders and their families. It was definitely a family night, a lot of energy and a lot of fun. Thank you.

Each month, we have a number of volunteers working behind the scenes, to help our school. Our PAWSS volunteers come in to sort and stuff Thursday folders. Our “Marquee Manager”, rain or shine, keeps us informed. Our Beautification chairperson keeps our entrance and halls festive. All classes have Great Art volunteers, either parents or members of the Senior Center. How wonderful to share art and allow our students to be creative and imaginative. To all of you, we appreciate your time and commitment to the school.

Fun Fair: Probably the most fun event of the whole school year – is on the 19th. We hope to see you and your family there.

Thank you for your time and have a great month!

Lisa Eloe

Home & School President


Volunteers still needed for the 7:20-8:30 shift, please contact Kim Tully at 630-554-2710

Fun Fair Reminders

The Fun Fair is next Friday- Feb 19th 5:30-8:30

Pre sale orders can be picked up at “Will Call” during the event.

If you plan to bounce, please fill out the waiver and bring it to the event to avoid a longer wait.

If you have volunteered “THANK YOU”! We will be contacting you soon to confirm your volunteer times and locations.

We are looking forward to a fantastic evening of fun, games and prizes!

Basket Raffle Fundraiser

Basket Raffle Fundraiser

Prairie Point Fun Fair

February 19

Hello Prairie Point Families!

The Student Leadership Team is planning a fundraiser for families in need. We will have themed baskets at the Family Fun Fair on February 19th that will be raffled off to assist different families in our community.

Each classroom will have a basket theme - list attached - and we are asking families to donate a gift to their child’s classroom, corresponding with that theme. You can go big or small and you can be as creative as you want!

We need all donations by February 16th in order for Student Leadership to put the baskets together before the Fun Fair. You can send the item(s) to school with your child or drop them off at the school office with your child’s name and teacher attached.

With your help, we can have a successful basket raffle!

Thank you,

Student Leadership Team

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Mockenhaupt (630) 636-3605 or Mrs. Paluch (630) 636-3625.

*If you have big baskets at home that you can spare, we would accept any donations.

Kindergarten Registration

Fun in P.E.

Here are two students working hard during our gymnastics unit. One student is working on balance and the other student is doing a tripod. The third picture is a fifth grade student working on dribbling during our basketball unit.

Go Panthers!

P.E. Reminder

Dear Parents,

The P.E. Department would like to remind you to provide your child with a pair of gym shoes to be left at school. Now that winter is upon us, many students have missed P.E. due to having boots. It's also helpful if all students are able to tie their shoes. THANK YOU!

Upcoming Home & School Events


19 - Fun Fair

19 - Six Flags forms are due

23 - Tuesday Night Dinners - Culver’s

26 - Lunch Ticket


3 - Home & School Meeting, 7:00 in the Community Room

4 - 4-hour school day - Dismissal 12:45pm

4 - Variety Show

8 - Tuesday Night Dinners - To Be Determined

11 - Morning with Moms

18 - Lunch Ticket

21- 28 Spring Break

Community Sign Language Course

Aramark Positions Available

Want to work close to home? A schedule that works for your kids? With lots of opportunities for advancement? Aramark Food Service is hiring in District 308!

For details visit or call Kate Kloet at 630-636-4611.