Redbird Roundup, Vol. 8

Friday, October 4, 2019

Our Mission and Vision

Norris Middle School prepares all students for their future by providing a safe, caring, and diverse school environment that maintains high expectations, academic excellence, and respect for all. Success, achievement, respect…It’s a Redbird thing!

La Escuela Secundaria Norris prepara a todos los estudiantes para su futuro ofreciendo un entorno escolar seguro, atento y diverso que mantiene altas expectativas, excelencia académica y respeto para todos. Éxito, logro, respeto…Es una cosa de los Redbirds!

Principal's Greeting

Happy Friday Norris Staff!

A teacher said to me on Thursday, "This has been a very middle school kind of day." Isn't that the truth? Definitely a busy week as we have hit October.

A reminder that we do have a faculty workshop after school on Monday. If you haven't signed up for sessions, you can do it here:

We host our big Quiz Bowl tournament on Saturday, October 4. Thanks to Katrina for all her work in coordinating, and staff members for helping out with the event.

We are less than two weeks from conferences, and teams are working to schedule conferences with families this year. Remember, our CSI outcome is to move from 40% to 50% conference attendance.

Get some rest this weekend, recharge, and relax.

Have a great weekend!

Dr. Carr

October 7-October 11

Monday, October 7: Team Meeting-Data Discussions (Keep up, Move Up), Faculty Workshop after school, Girls Swim begins, XC City Finals at Bryan

Tuesday, October 8: Make-up Faculty Workshop for Coaches and Sponsors at 7 a.m. in room 129; Student Support during Team Time, JV/Var VB at Morton

Wednesday, October 9: Nothing Scheduled

Thursday, October 10: Picture Make-up Day, Grading Window Opens, VB Finals TBA

Friday, October 11: FB vs. Marrs

Staff Introductions

This week we get to know Dave Dinslage, Jenn Moore, and Anna Vetter.

Dave Dinslage, Building Technology

Name: Dave Dinslage

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 11

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? Working with friendly, talented people every day.

What website/app do you use most often?


What is the best thing that happened to you this week?

Finally got a crown on my tooth.

Would you rather go 30 days without your phone or an entire lifetime without dessert?

30 Days without my phone.

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

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?


Is a hot dog a sandwich? Why or why not?

Hot dogs are not sandwiches; they are a type of sausage.

Jenn Moore, 8B ELA

Name: Jenn Moore

How many years have you been teaching/in education? 18

What is your favorite thing about Norris Middle School? All of the people I’ve met along the way. Students, their families, colleagues… all are so much a part of who I am today.

What is something we would never guess about you? I have never had a cavity.

What is the best thing that happened to you this week? My team helping me out during my mini little breakdown. (anyone else really overwhelmed??)

What is the worst food you ever ate? Okra for sure.

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

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home? Jamaica

Anna Vetter, Nurse

I’ve been in nursing for 2 years

My favorite thing is how involved the staff is with making learning fun!

Something you’d never guess about me is that my family owns a horse.

I would rather go 30 days without my phone, rather than 30 days without dessert.

I would binge watch New girl or Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The farthest I’ve been from home is Santorini Greece.

The song I would karaoke to is Piano Man.

Up Next Week in the Redbird Roundup

I do three staff introductions each week. You'll be getting an email from me with questions. Even if you have done it before, please participate and do it again! Please respond and include a picture by Thursday! I will do the first week.

Up next: Charli Cochran, Jared Good, and Cody Kotrous

Wellness Word to the Wise

Avoid processed junk food (eat real food instead)

Processed junk food is incredibly unhealthy.

These foods have been engineered to trigger your pleasure centers, so they trick your brain into overeating — even promoting food addiction in some people.

They’re usually low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients but high in unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.

Powerful Practices

Learning Goals vs. Learning Activities

We talked Monday in our NAC meeting about focusing on clear learning goals vs. activities, and worked with our content areas to differentiate between the two. Mrs. Wagner has a great tool for this in her room. She posts her learning goal on her board which includes statements of knowledge and strong verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy. Then, she posts the activities below, which tells students what they will do to meet those goals. Great strategy!

Norris Academic Community

Our NAC content groups were hard at work on Monday discussing clear learning goals, and giving one another feedback on their level of verb. Our NAC groups only get to meet once a month, but our time to touch base with our content area colleagues is so valuable!

Escape Room

Mr. Smith engages his Anthropology students in an Escape Room activity to not only build teamwork, but also to understand primary and secondary sources. Students solve riddles and work together to escape. Super engaging and fun! He'll be doing it in a couple weeks with his Social Studies classes if you'd like to go take a look!

Learning Walks/Using Padlet

Mrs. Carver utilized Padlet following 7B's Learning Walks last Monday. Padlet is a great tool because it lets others see input and feedback. Awesome!

Painting Portfolios

Ms. Faris engages her students in utilizing their iPads as Painting Portfolios. They can keep track of proper set-up for different projects, and track their progress. She really works to create an "open studio" feel. Great job!

House Cup Update

It's a heated competition for the House Cup! Here are this week's standings.

Strive for 95

Our attendance posters have arrived! We'll be posting these outside the main office and in a few other central locations in the next week and sharing our students' progress on Strive for 95. Thanks to Collington for helping with the design and ordering!

Norris Staff and Students Seen and Heard


Thank you to Mrs. Rossell and Ms. Rechkemmer and the Leadership Ambassadors for organizing our first Spirit Week of the year! Staff and students alike have fun with these days. Below are some pictures from our fun week!

Girls VB Goes to Creighton Game

Ms. Parks and Ms. Reid took several of our volleyball players to the Creighton VB game on Sunday. It was an amazing opportunity to see some D1 volleyball in action, and catch the daughter of one of our Norris Staff (Emily Bressman, daughter of Mrs. Bressman) playing!

Final Thought

I know this final though will totally embarrass her, but I feel compelled to do it...

I have the great joy of my hallway supervision being by Bowzer's room. I end up popping in and out of her class sometimes 10 times a day to grab my tardy clipboard (she is kind enough to keep the door open for me until I'm done). I share this because I daily, and I mean daily, see her knock it out of the ballpark with her classes. She is wrapping up a huge summative assessment with her students on the timeline of their lives and she is engaging them in using a variety of presentation tools with technology to share with the class. She would admit that technology is not her strong suit, but she is so eager to try new things and meet the needs of her students. She has wonderful clear learning targets posted every day, and has since added learning activities to show students how they will reach their goals. She taught her RBB how to juggle. She watched another teacher's class in the morning when there had been an accident on the interstate and they were running late. And earlier this week I saw her using her remaining time in class to teacher her students the logic of dominoes (critical thinking and math!).

So my final thought today is a shout out to Ms. Bowzer. Thanks for always being beyond kind, willing to try new things, a team player, a supporter, a listener, and a proud member of our Redbird staff.