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Narnia Comes to Aspen

All Aspen Elementary students received a treat today. Actors from Libertyville’s Improv Playhouse performed an adaptation of the classic tale “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” during an afternoon assembly. The actors brought the world of Narnia to life. The special event was in celebration of all the reading that Aspen students have been doing.

Students performing

Students Give Stellar Performance

Elementary South and Aspen Elementary’s fourth and fifth grade band concert on Tuesday showed just how far students have come this year. They played beautifully.

Students playing games

Nora Project Brings Students Together

On Wednesday, fifth-grade students in Mrs. Pogachnik’s class were introduced to four guest students from the middle schools as part of the Nora Project. They played games as a way to get to know each other better. It was great to see how well the students connected. Co-founded by an educator and the parents of a child with disabilities, the Nora Project aims to normalize difference, demystify disability, and promote meaningful connections between students and their peers with disabilities. 

Nora Project students

Nora Project Teaches Empathy at Aspen

As part of the Nora Project, two Elementary South third-grade students visited fourth-grade students in Mrs. Chandler’s class at Aspen Elementary. The students got to know each other by playing games such as Bingo and Hedbanz. They also decorated frames. The Nora Project aims to normalize difference, demystify disability, and promote meaningful connections between students and their peers with disabilities. This is the first time that Aspen is participating in the program.

spelling bee contestants

Spelling Bee Tests Students’ Skills

While the words were simple at first, they became harder as the fourth and fifth grade spelling bee at Aspen moved from round to round. The six contestants showed their strong spelling skills as the words became more complex. At first it seemed as though no one would ever misspell a word. But after an amazing 41 rounds, Michelle B. was declared the winner. Congratulations to Michelle and Annika T., who came in second. Congratulations to all the contestants who clearly proved their great spelling abilities.

Students in Geography Bee

Aspen Holds a Geography Bee

It was an exciting day at Aspen Elementary as six contestants competed to become the winner of the school’s fourth and fifth grade Geography Bee. With steady nerves, they answered some pretty tough questions. Congratulations to the winner, Jonah B., a student in Mr. Viviano’s class. He now has the opportunity to take an online test to see if he can qualify for the State National Geographic GeoBee.

American Education Week

Parents Visit Classrooms During American Education Week

American Education Week is celebrated each year during the month of November to encourage parents to visit their child’s school and spotlights the importance of family engagement in education. Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, students earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior. Aspen invited parents in to take part in learning activities in each of the classrooms today. We were thrilled to have so many parents join us during our learning today.

Family Night

Family Night Has Global Theme

Aspen held its November Family Night sponsored by the Aspen Family Partnership Council on Friday, November 2nd.  The theme of the evening was Games Around the World. This particular family night was organized through cooperation between two committees of the AFPC, our Social Team (which traditionally plans and organizes family events) and the Multilingual Family Alliance (which is a new committee on AFPC).  The hope was to be able to engage families and students with diverse cultural backgrounds and give our students and families the opportunity to experience games
played across the globe.  Upon arriving, families received a booklet with a description of each of the games and the country of origin.  Games played were from a number of countries including Mexico, Israel, India, Slovenia, Untied States, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Malaysia, and Korea.  There was a great turnout for the evening!  Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped to bring games from all over the world to the students at Aspen.

Photo #1: A student is playing “Topfschlagen” (pot-banging), a game from Germany where a child is blindfolded and given a wooden spoon.  A pot is then placed upside down on the floor and the child uses the spoon to try and locate the pot.  Once found, the child removes the blindfold and gets to see what special surprise is hidden under the pot.

Photo #2:
 Students and parent volunteers played Murray (Bricklayer) a game from Poland.  Students are trying to get from one side of the area to the other without getting tased by the Bricklayer.

Photo #3: Families are planning games from Mexico, India, and Israel.  For Mexico, students and parents created Papel Picado with tissue paper and scissors. At the Israel table, students got to learn about and play Dreidel.  The game from India was Carrom, a game similar to billiards, but played using your fingers and paying special attention to the Queen.

Photo #4: The passport of games is used to show how to play each game. But no worries if the directions were difficult to follow.  Each area had many parent and student volunteers to show participants exactly how to play.
Classroom that won a SOAR award

Aspen Students are Soaring

We want to congratulate three classes for winning the Aspen Eagle Award. Classrooms are recognized for consistently demonstrating SOAR behaviors throughout the month of October. October winners include Mrs. Brock’s kindergarten class, Mrs. Saliba’s second grade class and Mrs. Motley’s fourth grade class. Recipients of the Aspen Eagle Award receive a special visit from Regal the Eagle and Mr. Fredricksen. Each class is presented with certificates, a parent letter explaining how the class was picked and they get to keep one of Regal’s eaglets in their classroom for the next month. Congratulations to the classes of Mrs. Brock, Mrs. Saliba and Mrs. Motley for demonstrating SOAR behaviors.

Exciting STEM Work at Aspen

Students in Mrs. Zurek’s third grade classroom were busy today testing their catapults. Each group of students began creating their own catapult designs and then built their creation. After the design and building phases, students tested their catapults for accuracy and power. While testing their creations, students recorded important information and tried to make some design changes to get better results.