Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horace Manners Helping for the Holidays

      Generosity is running high at Horace Mann!  Heading into the holiday season, Horace Mann students, families and staff showed they care about others with not one, but two, charitable drives.

     First, big piles of canned/boxed food donations came in to support the work of the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation.  I talked to the two guys who came to pick up the donations, and they were really impressed by the sheer number of donations (they were spilling out of their container)!

     Also, our thriving K-Kids Club organized a new toy drive for children who might otherwise go without presents over the holidays.  Again, the boxes were overflowing with toys, representing the kindness and consideration of the children and adults at Horace Mann.

     At their club meeting, the K-Kids and their advisers sorted the toys according to the age of the student who might like to receive them.

     Finally, for those who may be interested, Cops for Kids raffle tickets are available in the main office.  This raffle (with a big screen TV as first prize) provides funds for the Lakewood Police Department to adopt families for the holidays, providing a range of presents.  Tickets cost $1 apiece. This is just another great example of how this Lakewood community comes together to take care of its own!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Data Meetings & Severance Hall

 The Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII) process for the elementary schools in Lakewood includes the use of brief reading assessments through AIMSweb.  Children in grades 1-5 were assessed at the beginning of the year and small group interventions began for students who were not meeting the benchmark.

While the entire group of students will not be assessed again until January, students receiving interventions have been reassessed on a weekly or monthly basis since the interventions began.  The point of this is to monitor whether or not the intervention is moving students toward being on track in reading.

In order evaluate the progress of students, Horace Mann teachers met in small groups last week to analyze the data, discuss the interventions and determine whether to make any changes or keep things on the same course.  These were valuable meetings, and the evidence shows that nearly all students are making strong gains as a result of the reading interventions in place.  If you have any questions about interventions or these periodic assessments, please feel free to contact your child's teacher or the principal.

Horace Mann 4th graders had the good fortune to travel to University Circle this week, where they took in a performance of The Cleveland Orchestra.  Based on staff and student comments, the pieces performed were enjoyed by all, and Horace Mann's students conducted themselves appropriately (pun intended :-)

Our music teacher, Mr. Waryk, helped students prepare to appreciate their experience with lessons before the performance, some of which used the SCORE publication provided by The Cleveland Orchestra.  Future lessons also will tie into this significant common experience of our students.  How lucky we are to live in a city with a world-class orchestra and for all students to have the opportunity to hear it!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hooray for Veteran's Day

     For many years, it has been a tradition at Horace Mann to honor veterans of the U.S. military with a program on Veteran's Day.  Before her retirement, music teacher Mrs. Hildebrandt played a lead role in developing the all-school assembly.

     Music continues to be featured in our Veteran's Day event, and current music teacher Mr. Waryk is carrying on many of the ideas of the past, while also introducing new ones.  For example, everyone listened to the theme songs for each of the five branches of the armed services, and we all sang God Bless America to close the program.

     Many 5th grade students exhibited leadership as part of event.  and Mackenzie Moraco taught us the history of Veteran's Day, and Mia Condosta and Charlie Ditchman read Veteran's Day poems.  At the end of the program, they also handed out certificates to the 30 veterans in attendance.

     A color guard comprised of Horace Mann Girl and Cub Scouts made the ceremony special.  The flag bearer was Bridget Severino.  Other uniformed Scouts included  Isabella Fallon, Darcy Hogg, Grace Hoppel, Claudia Irwin, Nathan Kocsis, and Ryan Smith,  Several students also brought in photos of family members who served in our nation's defense.

     Thank you to many families who attended this important event, the students and adults who produced the show, and the K-5 Horace Mann students who behaved appropriately.  Most of all, we thank the veterans--those who joined us and those who could not be here with us.  We are free because of you, and we are grateful for your service.

Mr. Waryk and the color guard

Everyone sang God Bless America

30 veterans attended the assembly


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Two Kinds of Theater

 The big news at The Mann this week was the end of the quarter reward activity:  Popcorn and a Movie.  As part of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Star program, students who show expected behavior at school participate in a school wide activity to acknowledge their effort.  

     We can't share the name of the movie in print (due to copyright laws), but it was enjoyed by kids in grades K-5 according to post-movie interviews :-)  

     Parents were invited to attend--and about 50 parents came to enjoy the movie with their children! We hope parents joining in on   our quarterly events will be a successful replacement to traditional class parties.  

     Thank you to the Horace Mann PTA for providing bags of popcorn and small bottles of water for the students.  Star Students of the Month from September and October did a great job helping each classroom know where to sit!  We were very proud of students' attention during the movie and their help in cleaning up afterwards.  


     In other news, Horace Mann kindergarten and 1st grade students recently traveled to Playhouse Square to see the play, Stella.  Being the wonderful organization they are, Playhouse Square provided on-site follow up sessions to extend the learning (and fun) of the experience.  Below, check out a picture of the two actors having some fun with the kids in Ms. Sessin's kindergarten class.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

J is for Jump Rope, K is for K-Kids!

    Although it was the last week of the 1st grading period and students completed math units and put final touches on their personal narratives, we still found time for some fun!  It is an important life skill to find a way to stay in balance, right?

In partnership with the Lakewood Kiwanis, we are so pleased to offer a K-Kids Club here at Horace Mann.  K-Kids is the elementary version of Key Club, a service learning club for high school students.  We had our first meeting last week and had an astounding 44 students in grades 1-5 participate!  Students got to know one another, learned a little bit more about the mission on of the club, and began planning their upcoming projects.  We are grateful to Mrs. Bringman, Horace Mann's Family Resource Coordinator, and Mrs. Bocho from Kiwanis for bringing this club into reality.  Thanks, too, to the teachers and parents who joined in the fun.  Parents are encouraged to accompany their student to this club if interested in taking part in community engagement activities. 

     Under the direction of Phys Ed teacher Mrs. Anderson and Speech-Language teacher Mrs. McCafferty, the 4th and 5th Grade Jump Rope Club put on quite a show on Friday afternoon.  the whole student body, as well as plenty of the performer's parent, really enjoyed the tricks performed by the kids. Crowd favorites were when students did unique combinations like two kids jumping in the same jump rope :-)

     Thanks for a great show everyone.  With Mrs. Anderson headed to Lincoln for the rest of the school year, maybe we'll see jumping rope continuing on the playground during recess...