Redbird Roundup, Vol. 27

Friday, April 26, 2019

Breaking News: Congrats Ms. Hansen!

Ms. Hansen is a 2019 Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher winner. She was celebrated last night, along with 14 others at a special dinner with Warren Buffett. She even got a signed copy of his report card that he shared with us! This is an incredible honor, and much deserved. I have always said to Lacie that I don't know how she does it all and makes it look so easy. She is an energizer bunny, always moving and running around. She has a persistent positive attitude with kids, and is so committed to Norris and our school community. I know I speak for us all when I say I am so incredibly proud. We will hold a school celebration for her later in May.

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!

Another great and busy week. Beautiful weather, great student events and activities, and lots of high engagement strategies happening in classrooms. I am seeing lots of classes taking advantage of our campus and taking instruction outside. I love the change of scenery for keeping our kids engaged!

I want to remind you all I will be gone next week. Never easy to be gone, but I know you are in good hands with the NLT. They are outstanding. Please know my goal is to always be available to you, so don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything.

I love Todd Whitaker's "What Great Teachers Do Differently." He reminds us to bring a positive attitude, ten days out of ten. "One of the hallmarks of great teachers is that they create a positive atmosphere in their classrooms and schools. So many things can bring teachers down: an upset parent, a troubled student, limited resources. These are the facts of the job (and life). As educators, our role is to take a positive approach, ten days out of ten."

Make that your goal the last 18 days (18 days!!). Let's make it 18 out of 18, a positive approach and attitude each day.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

April 29-May 3

Monday, April 29-MAP Testing Begins, NAC Meeting After School

Tuesday, April 30-Boys Soccer at Morton, Girls Soccer H vs. Morton, JV2 Soccer at Hale; Field Club Visit to Norris at 1:30

Wednesday, May 1-Track vs. Bryan and Hale at Norris

Thursday, May 2-Girls Soccer City Finals TBA

Friday, May 3-Casetlar Visit to Norris at 1:30

Saturday, May 4-Cinco de mayo parade featuring our Redbird Posse, 10 a.m. on 24th St.

Reminder-Spring MAP Testing Begins Monday

A reminder that our last round of MAP testing begins Monday. The schedule is to the left. Remember, there are two competitions happening:

1) For students: If 8th graders grow by 5 pts in one testing area they earn a school dance (6th and 7th graders will earn a dance based on NSCAS scores in fall).

2) For team teachers: Team by grade level that grows the most on MAP gets a lunch delivered by NLT for their team. Second place gets to pie the NLT of their choice in the face.

Reminder-Carr gone April 29-May 3

Just a reminder I will be gone April 29-May 3. I will still have access to my phone and email, but it won't be a rapid response like normal. My amazing NLT will be on hand to help with anything.

Staff Introductions

This week we will get to know Brandy Burse and Matthew Pepperdine.

Brandy Burse

Name: Brandy Burse (Formally Gatson)

How many years have you been teaching? 3 year teaching, 16 year with the district.

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Students and The RedBird Posse

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Lawn Care

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Washing Dishes

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

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Build my dream home.

What is something you learned in the last week? Chewing gum makes you hungry

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for? Buying shoes

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? Will and Grace (old and the reboot)What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? Cooking

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

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Matthew Pepperdine

Name: Matthew Pepperdine aka Puma

How many years have you been teaching? 18/ 15 at Norris

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? The things that my students ask or say like, "Do you like donuts?"

What is one of your favorite quotes? "Hands are made for shaking, not tying." Chris Cornell

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Watching TV outdoors sounds interesting.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? dusting

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? I was pretty awesome at 22.

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

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Start planning my dungeons and dragons hideout.

What TV show would you binge watch if you had the time? The Punisher on netflix

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? How to properly cut a pineapple.

Sweet or salty? And what food is your favorite in that category? My ectomorphic shape demands that i say all particularly snacky cakes.

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Powerful Practices

New Formative Assessment Tool-Gimkit

Ms. Rechkemmer uses Gimkit, another formative assessment tool, to check her students' understanding on literary terms such as main event, title, cause and effect etc. This app lets students work at their own pace while still competing against each other. Students were super engaged in this new app!

Dancing Classrooms

Our ACP classes partnered with Ms. Jacobberger's HSP and Ms. Reid's HELA students for the spring round of Dancing Classrooms through Arts in Motion. They spent 10 weeks learning a variety of dances including the waltz, merengue, polka, and tango. They performed for their families on Tuesday, April 23. What an amazing experience for our students.

Service Learning Final Project

Our Service Learning students have been working all semester on an event to celebrate diversity at the South Omaha Library. This class teams up with UNO students to design activities that will serve the community. They held their DIA event on Friday, April 19, and it was a huge success and great learning experience for these students.


Mrs. Newman was joined by our MIE teachers (Microsoft Innovative Educators) for this month's VILS PD. Mrs. Burse and Mrs. Carver helped provide PD on Classflow which aligns with our promethean panels. Great PD on something we can use every day!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard

Fellowship Games

Our ACP students traveled to Burke to participate in the annual Fellowship Games, which provide an opportunity for ACP students to compete just like their gen. ed. peers. As you can tell from the photos, it was a wonderful day!

Boys Soccer

Our boys soccer team picked up a big win over Bryan Middle School last week. They are looking forward to the city finals which are right around the corner! The varsity is coached by Mr. Silva, JV by Mr. Plank, and JV2 by Mr. Hammond.

South High Orchestra Performance

Mr. Brown arranged for South High to have their freshman orchestra perform for our orchestra students. This is a great way for them to get a glimpse into what high school will be like! They were very attentive listeners, and even saw some former Redbirds out there!

Girls Soccer

Our girls soccer teams have had quite a bit of action these last couple weeks. These photos are from their match against Beveridge. The varsity are coached by Mr. Heybrock, JV by Ms. Maddock, and JV2 by Ms. Parks.

Final Thought

I am so proud of the showcasing of our ACP students these past few weeks. Through the Fellowship Games and Dancing Classrooms, their smiles have been shared all over the place! I am especially proud of the partnerships that have been developed with some of their general ed. peers. I love to see the interactions between the students, and the genuine care for our ACP students. Our students are learning how to be kind to one another through their interactions, and this is obviously a huge life skill. Thank you to Maddie and Katie for opening up their classroom to us, and to Katrina and Keli for jumping at the opportunity to help. This collaboration is truly a glowing star of our building.