Reed School's April Newsletter

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Reed School's March Students of the Month

Reed students who demonstrated responsible citizenship throughout March were celebrated in a very special way. Three students from each classroom were recognized for their outstanding efforts. Students nominated for this prestigious honor demonstrated the 3 B's (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Peaceful) consistently throughout the month.

All students nominated for the monthly award were recognized and celebrated at the school. The District 92 Foundation for Educational Excellence generously funded the lawn signs for this school-wide project. Look for Student of the Month signs soon in your neighborhood!

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"Pass It On Donation Challenge"

Goodwill, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, is sponsoring the "Pass It On Challenge", which runs from April 1st through the 30th. Face-off your clutter...clear the zone...clean out your closets!

Our school will compete with other elementary and middle schools in the Chicago area. When donating items to Goodwill, simply indicate our school's name, city, and number of items donated. It's that easy! The top school with the most donations made will win a visit from a Chicago Blackhawk.

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FAMILY Math Problems of the Month

Problem #1: Deir had an app that asked him to place shapes according to directions. He could choose from circles, triangles, rectangles, or hexagons. He was given 1 of each shape to arrange in order from left to right so that (1) the circle was the third shape, and (2) the hexagon was not next to a triangle. How might Deir arrange his shapes?

Problem #2: Mika was using an app in which he could build towers by stacking cubes. The app gave Mika 3 cubes of 2 colors, red and green. Mika quickly built the tower shown. What other towers could he make? How do you know whether you found them all?

Block 1 on top: Green

Block 2 in the middle: Red

Block 3 on the bottom: Red

Have fun solving these problems! Turn them into the office to be hung on the Problem Solving wall!

Celebrating Music at Reed School

Did you know that March is Music in our Schools Month? It is a celebration of how the arts impact children’s learning and enriches their lives allowing them to develop insights and abilities making connections to the world around them. From learning about notation, rhythm, listening, and singing, music inspires our students. Creativity, self-expression, and musicality are emphasized through deftly created lessons by Janelle Riopell, Reed’s music teacher. Experiences with drums and other instruments combined with games, movement, and singing are the sights and sounds which fill our building. Music truly inspires not just the children at Reed School, but staff and parents alike.

Financial Literacy: 8 Ways to Promote Money Management Awareness

April is National Financial Capability Month, and there are a lot of resources available to help consumers, particularly young people, become more educated about money.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) offers the microsite Pocket Cents that includes the game Hit the Road, which takes players on a virtual road trip across the country, promoting saving and spending wisely to complete challenges along the way. The game provides an opportunity to introduce other areas of learning as well.


  1. Learn about government and money: With the Hit the Road trip starting at our nation’s capital, talk to your kids about our government’s role with regard to money. Do they know it is the government that decides to make new paper bills or coins? The government’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing makes our paper money, while the U.S. Mint produces coins. Play games, like the U.S. Mint’s Break the Bank, to test kids’ knowledge of coin production and usage throughout the ages. Try this and other U.S. Mint activities, such as starting a coin collection, to promote appreciation of the value of careful consideration of expenditures.

Social Studies

  1. Think about careers and salaries: Hit the Road players are offered six choices of career in the game. Talk to your kids about what each of these professions entails and what each might do on any given day in their job. Get kids thinking about what kind of skills and interests they would need for each job. For younger kids, find interactive games that can help explain what people do in different jobs. Get kids thinking about what to do with money earned, what kind of spender they may be, and the power of saving.


  1. Build arithmetic skills: Although Hit the Road players receive some upfront cash to help cover road trip expenditures, additional funds must be earned along the way to remain solvent. Help kids understand keeping within a budget. Involve your kids in making a budget for an upcoming family activity of your own, like shopping for food or clothing, and show them during the trip how to stay within budget by not spending more than planned for.


  1. Identify coins by president: Although Hit the Road game players deal solely with whole dollar numbers, have kids become familiar with coinage as well. See if kids can identify the presidents on the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Ask kids why they think these men are commemorated on our nation’s coinage. See if they can place the coins in the correct denominational order. Try with larger denominations for an extra challenge.


  1. Become aware of coin-making operations: The Hit the Road final trip destination is Colorado. One of the U.S. Mint facilities, where coins are made, is located in Denver. Help kids find the city of Denver on a state map.

  2. Foster awareness of currencies as universal means of transactions: Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are highlighted in Hit the Road. Talk to kids about the fact that the statue was a gift from France, find France on a world map, and talk about the distance one would travel to get to the U.S. from places like France. Have kids play act as to what it was like to leave the only home they’ve known, pack what little they could bring, get on a ship, and ride across the ocean. Would the money they have be good in the U.S.? What would they do if it was not? If you were to take your road trip in another country, what would you do for money?


  1. Promote financial awareness with books: Read stories to your kids, such as A Chair for My Mother, that promote financial responsibility.

Older kids might enjoy books, such as Money, that explores the history of money around the world.

Get Moving

  1. Combine learning with exercise. Set out some coins in a pile for each kid. Make each coin equate to a certain exercise; for example, a penny means do one jumping jack; a nickel equates to one sit-up; and a quarter is one squat. Let each kid get moving with their individualized exercise plan based on their coins.

There’s much more to experience in the game than mentioned here, so find out just how financially savvy you and your kids are with Hit the Road. NCUA, an independent agency overseeing federal credit unions, offers financial literacy resources for consumers of all ages.

This feature is based on a blog post that originally appeared on, a site that is now retired. Please visit for more information.

Earth Day: 9 Ways to Promote Environmental Consciousness

April 22 is Earth Day. Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin founded Earth Day in 1970, as a means of bringing attention to environmental issues. Promote a deeper awareness of environmental stewardship in your kids with these suggested resources from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and more.

Get Outdoors and Get Moving

  1. Visit a national park: Get a first-hand look at the flora and fauna close by, by seeing if you have a national park in your area and take your kids for a walk or a hike in one of these parks. Or go to a local park instead. Ask your kids what kinds of plants and animals they see. How many different kinds of plants and animals can everyone point out?

  2. Start a garden: Whether you plant flower or vegetable seeds or both, you and your kids can enjoy some time together in the outdoors. A small space in the backyard, a flower pot on a balcony, or a window sill planter box are all fine. Give your kids a packet or two of seeds to plant, and some potting soil, and remember to follow the directions on the packets regarding sun and water for the best results. Once seedlings appear, sharpen arithmetic skills by measuring the tallest plant once a week, and keep a log for several weeks to see if the plant grows by the same amount each week. Or have kids keep a garden journal from year to year to see how much they’ve learned from their experiences.


  1. Learn more about the water cycle: Instill a greater awareness of natural resources, such as water, by exploring the water cycle. To help kids gain an understanding that resources are finite, look at the water cycle in either online or in poster form, or watch the cycle in motion.

  2. Develop energy awareness: Kids may not be aware that energy is a resource, just like water, and should be conserved. To help kids understand the need for energy conservation, try playing some online games.

  3. Go bird watching: Put some bird seed or bread out on your patio, balcony, deck, or back step. See how many different birds come to eat. Try making a bird feeder with pine cones and peanut butter, to attract local species of birds and increase your kids’ appreciation of nature. If you go to a National Park, check out what kinds of birds are indigenous to that area.

  4. Explore the neighborhood’s geology: Take a walk with your kids and find different rocks. See how many different kinds of small rocks you find, based on the color, size, shape, and texture. Make a log of these descriptors, and include where you found each—was it the park, a friend’s front yard, your backyard—and draw or put a picture of the rock with each entry. Can you find any similarities among the rocks? Are there different kinds in each location or are they all the same kind? Dig deeper into the study of geology with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Education website.

Healthy Eating

  1. Go to a farmers’ market: There are a lot of reasons to shop at a farmers’ market. If close enough, walk or bike with your family to a local farmers’ market. Have your kids pick out a favorite fruit or two to make smoothies, or pick out a favorite vegetable that can be served with a low-calorie dip or with another favorite food, like peanut butter.


  1. Find books and other information about the environment: Take a trip to your local library and check out books on the environment. Some books that have messages to share with your kids about the environment include:

    The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    Recycle! A Handbook for Kids by Peter and Connie Roop

    Let’s Celebrate Earth Day by Gail Gibbons

Also, check out websites where kids can learn about different ecosystems, recycling, and the importance of plants and animals.

Arts Connections

  1. Get creative with recyclables: Talk to your kids about why it’s a bad idea to litter—not only can it be unsightly, but it can actually harm animals, water, and soil. Explain that recycling things, such as plastic, glass, and paper, also can help by not creating as much trash that could become litter. See if your kids can identify recyclables around the house and come up with ideas of something they could make and use, like a pencil holder from a plastic milk bottle or a desk organizer from an egg carton.

This feature is based on a blog post that originally appeared on, a site that is now retired. Please visit for more information.

Reed School Kicks Off Its First-Ever Girls on the Run Season!

Reed School is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a host site to offer the Girls on the Run/Heart and Soles Program this year. Carlie Yacobi, Reed School's Social Worker and avid runner, broached the subject with Principal Cathy Slee when she first started in the position this past fall. Having heard about the empowering and motivating features of the program, Ms. Yacobi was determined to bring it to Reed School. After sharing the idea with staff members, it didn't take long before her coaching team was in place and ready to go.

Once Reed School learned that it had been approved as a host site, the fun and excitement began. The first session was held on Wednesday, March 7th. The GOTR Program runs for 10 weeks with two practice sessions per week. Over the course of the program, 3rd grade participants will make new friends, build their confidence, celebrate themselves and their unique qualities, and give back to the community by participating in a local service project. As a culminating activity, the girls will take part in a celebratory, non-competitive family-friendly 5k run at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet later this spring.

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St. Baldrick's Day

Thank you to all who contributed to our St. Baldrick's event. We raised a little over $250 for this great cause. Thanks too to Mr. Jim for being such a great sport!
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The Monarch Award: Illinois' K-3 Readers' Choice Award

Reed students let their voices be heard when they vote on their top books for this year's Monarch Award.

Reed's Winners were the following:

1st: Sam and Dave Dig A Hole by: Jon Klassen

2nd: I'm Trying to Love Spiders by: Bethany Barton

3rd: Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals

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Principal for the Day

We kept our "Principal for the Day" Gracie Kane quite busy as she took part in the following activities while she served as building principal:

-morning announcements

-changing out books in our Little Free Library

-delivering birthday cards with the birthday basket

-enjoyed a working lunch

-took important phone calls

-met with the superintendent

-wrote an inspirational note to staff

This was one of many silent auction prizes at the D92 Bowling Night.

Reed's 3rd Quarter Perfect Attendance Recipients

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3rd Grade Student Sees His Play Become a Reality

Congratulations to our 3rd grade student Payton Skalnik as he wrote and directed a play that his third grade peers put on for the school during a Monday Morning Meeting.
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Reed's Readbox is Officially Open!

We've officially opened our Readbox, which allows students to take a book, read it, and return it when they're finished. Students can also donate gently used books to add to our collection. We ask that donated books be given to Mrs. Wedewer or Mrs. Noodwang for preapproval first.
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Stay Fit This Summer with a Free Bowling Opportunity!

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April's Composer of the Month: Duke Ellington

Click to learn more about Duke Ellington, this month's featured composer:

News From the Art Room

Both the 2nd and 3rd grade classes will be continuing their current projects. The 2nd grade students are hard at work on their jungle collages, and the 3rd grade classes are in the process of drawing and coloring seashells.

April is Poetry Month

To celebrate National Poetry Month, staff and students shared their favorite poems during our Monday morning announcements. No better way to start our day!
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News from the Music Room

Happy Spring! This is always an exciting time for Music at Reed School! The Second Graders are busy preparing for their Spring Musical, Bugz. It will take place on Wednesday, May 23. There will be two programs, one at 10:00 and one at 2:00. We ask that if your last name begins with A-M, please try to attend the 10:00 show if possible. If your last name begins with N-Z, please try to attend the 2:00 show if possible.

The Third Grade Choir students are busy rehearsing for our upcoming District 92 Elementary Choral Festival at Oak Prairie Junior High School. It will be on Thursday, April 26. Choir students who have turned in permission forms will be bussed to Oak Prairie at approximately 2:00. They will have a fun and musical afternoon rehearsing with the Ludwig choirs and eating pizza! They will perform a concert for family and friends at 6:30 in the Oak Prairie gym. The concert will be over by 7:15, so if you are unable to attend the concert, students will need to be picked up at that time from Oak Prairie.

A Month at a Glance - May


1 Family Fitness Night 5:30-6:30

7-11Teacher Appreciation Week

11 District 92 Foundation Golf Outing

16 Wheel of Wisdom Assembly

17 Third Grade Step Up Day to Ludwig School 10:00-12:15

23 Second Grade Music Program 10:00 and 2:00

25 Third Grade Spelling Bee 9:15

25 Dismissal 11:55

28 Memorial Day No School

29 Career Day

30 Field Day

31 Second Grade Field Trip to Museum of Science & Industry

31 Third Grade Field Trip to Drury Lane Theater


1 End of Quarter

1 Report Cards Issued

1 Dismissal 2:00

2 Enjoy your summer!