Exciting learning leading into final exams

What a way to end the semester! I've been able to meet with my Student Advisory and visit classes at each of the schools this week and I am energized by the learning taking place as we head into final exams next week. I know well that these last few days leading into winter break can be a bit challenging. I am thoroughly impressed with the enthusiasm and passion shown in the classes I was able to visit. 

While the holidays and upcoming vacation are enjoyed by so many of us, they can also be stressful. I encourage each of you to keep an eye out for students or colleagues who might be struggling this season. Please know that the administration and our PPS teams are here to assist. 

Thank you to all who opened the doors to their classrooms to me this week, including:

Andrew High School
  • Carrie Ward and Colleen Termine and their Biology students who were preparing for an osmosis lab in which the students were identifying the reactions of plant cells to different types of solutions with the use of microscopes.
  • Jenny Knezz and preschool students during Child Development.  The preschool students were working on fine motor skills by creating different seasonal crafts.
  • Mark Lobes and his Graphic Arts students who were finalizing their last skill set that will prepare them for the upcoming performance assessment.
Sandburg High School
  • Jason Koch's Sports and Entertainment Marketing students were critiquing each others' board game designs.
  • Scott Friedericks and Andrea Walker's Math 2 Co-taught students 
    creating their own story based on a given function. To help students better understand the meaning behind graphs students worked in pairs to create a story using the information provided by the graph.
  • David Vales' Math 3 Honors were divided into teams and as they played the game of Jeopardy as part of a review for final exams. It was all tied-up when I had to leave. Nail biter!
Stagg High School
I am headed to Stagg this afternoon, where I will be visiting:
  • Jennifer Baniewicz's class who will be participating in a Socratic Seminar where students will be discussing primary documents from Abraham Lincoln including his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address. 
  • Stagg Athletic Director Terry Treasure will show me the technology used to highlight boys and girls varsity basketball starting line-ups.  Each players' screenshot was taken in front of green screen technology done by Krisitn Pila and Gordon Oliver's Graphics Arts Classes.
  • Kristin Pila's Sports Medicine 1 students will discuss a video demonstrating how a common knee injury is arthroscopically corrected and the rehabilitation that follows the surgery. The class will utilize Flipgrid to dive deeper into how the corrections are made surgically and treated post-operatively.
  • Nick Jelcic's Junior Leaders Class will utilizing the Omnikin Ball as they focus on maximizing movement and increasing communication skills as students work within their teams. The intent is that the leaders need to building their communication skills to facilitate similar activities when they progress to being a senior leader.
Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army
If you are in Orland Park on Saturday around 3 p.m., stop by Mariano's as I will be ringing the bell for Salvation Army as students from Sandburg sing Carols. I'm excited to spread good cheer and raise funds for this worthy cause in our community in collaboration with the district and Rotary.