Sunday, June 3, 2018

Celebrating Our School Year: 2017-18

We closed out the 2017-18 school year by recognizing talents and accomplishments.  Our Horace Mann's Got Talent show brought out lots of great performances.  Kids sang, danced, played piano, tumbled, showed off their magic skills and even did Kung Fu!  Our whole school - and Ohio School Board member Meryl Johnson  - were highly entertained by our young performers!  Big thanks to Mr. Waryk and Mrs. McCafferty for all their efforts in putting on this event.

We were also proud to honor 11 students who earned perfect attendance this year.  Each child was never absent, tardy or released early for 180 days of school: Ainsley Tracey, Noah Sloan, Abby Dubecky, Olivia Dubecky, MacKenna Muzychenko, Gianna Smallwood, Dominic Smallwood, Elijah Sok-Sepulveda, Colin Moss, Nathan Kopko and Rhianna Mann.  Way to go!

On the last day of school, our 5th graders put on a touching recognition ceremony.  Student emcees kept things moving along as many students shared memories and announced award winners.  Check out the video to watch our whole school "clap out" our class of 2018:


If you watched the video, you could see the joy on kids' faces.  I wish you the same joyful feeling each and every day of the summer ahead!



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

7 Schools 1 Book Comes to a Fun End





We have had a blast reading Kenny and the Dragon this month, not just as a school but as a whole district!  We culminated our reading quest with kids making dragon puppets (classes of younger and older students were paired) and then sharing them at a whole school assembly to end the day.  Grade levels showed off their creations :)



There are SO MANY people to thank for this amazing extended activity (and I hope I haven't missed anyone):


  • Teaching & Learning for writing the grant to get the books and providing the daily comprehension questions
  • PTA for bead necklaces for daily chapter participation
  • PTA for plenty of prizes for a bit of extra motivation
  • Mrs. Phillips for organizing and emceeing the opening and closing events
  • Horace Mann library staff for behind the scenes work
  • Parents, teachers and students for reading and enjoying the book


I hope this serves as a springboard for reading all summer long.  If you haven't done so already, please head up to Lakewood Public Library to sign up for their summer reading program!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Horace Mann 5th Graders Learn About Wellness

Thanks to a three-part program sponsored and provided by the Cleveland Clinic, Horace Mann 5th graders have some new tools for long-term wellness.  For three consecutive weeks, students enjoyed sessions with Cleveland Clinic chefs and a yoga teacher to learn about nutrition, healthy food preparation and exercise for stress reduction. 

The kids made yogurt parfaits and lettuce wraps in the first two sessions and brought in yoga mats and towels to try out down dog and other poses in week three.  Each time, they were buzzing about their experience - so different from a typical school day!

Many thanks to Program Manager Jenny Evans and the team at the Cleveland Clinic.  Students took pre- and post surveys to assess their understanding before and after the "Food, Fun & Fitness" activities.  Results aren't available yet, but I feel certain they will remember what they learned as they head into summer and up to middle school.

We plan to invite Jenny and her team back to Horace Mann to do the program with next year's 5th grade.  Who knows, there may even be a whole school yoga event in our future...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Seven Schools, One Book - Kenny & the Dragon

 Lakewood elementary schools have joined a nationwide trend of having the entire school read a book together.  It is wonderful to unify and excite the students with literature!  

Two years ago, we enjoyed The World According to Humphrey, and last year's text was The Lemonade Wars.  We hope you've enjoyed having you own copy at home to re-read and discuss :)

This year's selection is Tony DiTerlizzi's Kenny and the Dragon.  After a week of suspense-building clues, we had a fun pep rally on Friday - complete with our very own dragon (whose name is Graeme, by the way) - to introduce the book.  Thanks to the sponsorship of Lakewood Kiwanis, students received a copy of Kenny and the Dragon to keep (or will have access to a modified book if appropriate). 

Seven Schools One Book runs from now until Tuesday, May 29th.  Be sure to read and help your child answer the comprehension question each night.  Courtesy of our PTA, kids who turn in answers to the questions will build a bead lanyard for participation.  There will also be a drawing each day from correct answers for prizes. 

At Horace Mann, we will close out with various classrooms pairing up to make their very own dragons and talk about their experience of the book.  At our end of the project, whole-school gathering, "big prize winners" will be announced.

This should be a blast, and a nice way to end the year.  We welcome your feedback on any aspect of Seven Schools One Book!


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Happy Birthday, Horace Mann...and Other Celebrations

Our schools' namesake, Horace Mann (known as the father of public education in the United States), had his 222nd birthday on Friday, May 4th.  He was honored with a blurb on the Morning News and by dressing up his likeness in our lobby.  We are very grateful that he advocated for the education of ALL children, as well as for high quality teacher training programs.

There are plenty of other celebrations happening here at The Mann, as well.  Our 4th graders celebrated their math skills by having a "scratch paper" contest.  Kids were challenged to make the most of their scratch paper as they worked out answers for the statewide AIR math test.  We can't show examples due to test security, but I can tell you these kids know how to show their work.  Great job encouraging them, Mrs. Kehn & Mrs. Rolfe!




The party continued in 3rd grade, where students celebrated the end of a Reading Workshop unit.  In Mrs. Cali's class, kids performed Reader's Theater-style, acting out their recent class read aloud, Because of Winn Dixie.  Mrs. Lynch's class is in on the fun, too, as they work with their book clubs to compare texts in preparation for a gallery walk to check out everyone's good work.


We 💗 these combined learning and fun activities!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Horace Mann Music Program Breaks New Ground

Mr. Waryk and I started here at Horace Mann at the same time in the fall of 2013.  As we planned the first music concert, we both thought it would be great to have a performance in the cafeteria space.  However, we knew from what others shared that there was no way we could fit for a whole-school performance.

In those 5 years, we've had many wonderful performances in the gym, attended by hundreds of friends and family members here to see students sing and play.  Can you remember your favorite moment?

While things have been very good, Mr. Waryk just couldn't get the opportunity to use our professional-grade stage out of his mind.  We talked about ideas, and problem-solved various aspects of putting on a show in the cafeteria.  I can tell you...he thinks of everything!

As many of you know, all the brainstorming came to fruition last Friday with the Horace Mann Spring Showcase.  Our students in special music groups (Band, Orchestra, Choir and Singers) put on a wonderful show against the backdrop of bright stage lighting, crisp sound and, of course, the velvet curtain.

We owe a hearty thank you to parents for supporting your children's musical talents, PTA and our staff for flexibility on concert day (especially our custodian and Mrs. Mac behind the scenes).  We hope families enjoyed the options of morning and afternoon performances, a link to live stream the concert, longer sets by each group and the availability of the book fair.  Any feedback is welcome as we make notes for next year. 

Here are a few still photos:

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Horace Mann 5th Graders "Go Wild" on Field Trip

We are very fortunate to have a world-class hands-on science "lab" nearly in our backyard.  Many readers have been there:  The Lake Erie Science & Nature Center in Bay Village.  How it has grown since my grandmother used to take me there as a little girl in the 70s!

Courtesy of our generous PTA, Horace Mann 5th graders enjoyed the wide variety of experiences available at the Center.  The awesome photos in the link show the boys and girls (so close be being middle schoolers now) learning about habitats on earth...and beyond:

Lake Erie Science & Nature Center Photos

I hope the memories of this trip are fond and last our 5th graders well beyond the 6 weeks they have left at The Mann.  Many thanks to Mrs. Martzolf and Mrs. Robinson for arranging the trip and to our PTA for covering the cost.  Horace Mann is ALL IN!