Great News!


We can all rest a bit easier now that full day kindergarten has been restored to Chicago Public Schools and class sizes have been restored to normal.   I would like to thank all those parents who were so willing to support the school by donating money to purchase kindergarten positions to ensure the success of our young learners.   I look forward to meeting all new parents at the annual ice cream social on September  2 .  Watch for confirmed date and in upcoming posts or in the Ray Enews.

Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm Comments (0)

It’s a Small World After All

Earlier this year, one of our faculty took the excursion of a lifetime. Ms. Star Breit went on an expedition to Antarctica.   Below is her description of a truly amazing meeting.

met Dr. Susan Osterberg in January 2010 on board a Russian expedition ship named the Lubov Orlova (named after a Russian actress)in Ushuaia, Argentina en route to Antarctica.  After talking for a few minutes, she revealed that she had attended Ray Elementary School when she was in 2nd and 3rd grade!   She presently lives in Houston, Texas and is a professor at the University of Texas at Houston.  after the expedition she said she usually comes  to Chicago several times a year and would look me up.  To my surprise, she came to my classroom Wednesday, April 14. 

The trip we went on was an 11 day expedition that included 6 stops via a Zodiac (rubber boat)to different places on the Antarctic Peninsula.  It was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget.  I was lucky enough to be able to bring my 11year old nephew as well.  Susan spent one night camping on the peninsula in a tent!  She is planning to return to Ray School next month, after looking on her old report card to see who the principal was at that time, as well as her teachers.  If anyone would like to meet her or ask her questions, let Ms. Breit know.  We also have many photos to share!!!  It shows that no matter how far one travels… there is always a chance of meeting someone from Ray School.

Ms. Breit and Dr. Osterberg

Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm Comments (1)

Second Grade Poetry

In my last post, I featured kindergarten students and a fifth grade students via a podcast, broadcasting our morning radio show.    This week, I would like to showcase second grade students from Ms. Sheridan’s room, reading their own poetry and showing illustrations of that poetry.  The work was part of the gallery walk, a culminating activity for Black History Month.  The presentation is beautiful  and the children’s voices evoke quite an emotional response  to their words.  The charcoal drawings feature seven year old perceptions of a slice of life during slavery.  Click here to see the project.     Thank you to Mrs Sheridan, Ms. Dyson and the students of 215.

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm Comments (0)

Ray Tekkies

Our sixth grade students are learning how to create podcasts.  The following is the first.  Kindergarteners were recorded broadcasting our morning radio show .

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm Comments (2)

Black History/Literature Night

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm Comments (0)

Fun @ Ray This Month

  February 1st marks the beginning of African American History Month and the beginning of lots of fun activities.   To begin, our morning radio show program will feature trivia questions for kindergarten through third grade and questions for fourth through sixth grade.  I will read the question and classrooms race to buzz the office with the correct answer.  Our students love it.

Secondly, this Friday night, we will host Black Literature Night from 6 to 8pm.  We will serve pizza and beverages.  Students and adults will share their favorite African American or African children’s book or poems.  Students will read poetry, create their own cartoons that will be entered into the Gallery Walk at the end of the month.  There will be children’s storytelling,  and 57th street books will be there with books for purchase.

Jazz, blues and R& B will be played in the cafeteria during each lunch period and each class will begin month long projects with projects on display for the our finale, the Gallery Walk on February 26.   This event will be held twice on that day.  It begins at 8am with a breakfast and Ray Cafe (fearturing Ray’s Brand of Coffee)followed by walks through the school to see student projects.  The evening walk is from 6pm to 8pm and includes a potluck dinner of soul food.  Each classroom will have a display.  Everyone is welcome.

On Tuesday, February  2, we will have a craft fair, the benefits of which will go to support our technology program.  Please come and show your support of those entrepreneurs who are helping support our students’ achievement.  Booths will be open during poll times, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  We will have our Ray Cafe open for coffee and…and in addition will sell chocolate bars from World’s Finest.

Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm Comments (0)

Celebrity at Ray

Our own Bethany Pickens (music teacher) taped a segment for the Oprah Winfrey show that will air Tuesday January 19, 2010. She sang background vocals for Susan Boyle.
                               Ms. Pickens 2009-10
Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm Comments (1)

Recycling at Ray

Community person  Roger Huff helped organize Ray Elementary School in its new recycling program, Recycle Bank.   You may help Ray School earn points by going to the Recycle Bank  website and registering.  Points can be earned from any city or state in the country.  Points can be donated to earn actual dollars.  One hundred points will earn $10.  Ray School will use all proceeds to improve our garden to be used for curriculum projects.


Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm Comments (0)

Ms. Travis’ Girls Save the Earth

Some of the best buys this December came from the hands of Ray School’s Sewing Club.

Students who are a part of Ms. Travis’ after school sewing club made lovely handmade bags from recycled fabric.  The fabric came from jeans, dresses, shirts  and many other odd items.  The result was a  beautiful  assortment of  various sized bags.  which the group sold for holiday gifts.  The profits go back into the coffer to fund other sewing projects.  The idea behind the club is to help  us change from being a throw away society into a recycling society.  Club members have made many  other items from old jeans such as skirts, vests and belts.  Their work was featured in American Girl magazine as Shining Stars.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm Comments (0)

Nutcracker Mania

Ray School has been hit with a brand new interest, “The Nutcracker!”

The Hyde Park School of Dance performed excerpts from its yearly program of the Nutcracker here at Ray.  Students were thrilled to see other children dance on point.  Both boys and girls danced in costume to the amazement of many of our students.    After the performance students learned that their principal was going to perform in the Nutcracker   as Mother Ginger at Mandel Hall.  As a result, classrooms did activities and studied the beginnings of the famous ballet.

Ms. GingerP1010011

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm Comments (0)

Principal For A Day

Chicago Public Schools is hosting the annual Principal For A Day on Thursday, October 29.  Ray School will have two returning principals, Mr. Jason Hale from ING, and Mr. Williie L. Pickens, renowned musician and Hyde Park resident.  Two other principals will join them, Mr. Dante L. Mosely, Vice President  of Business Development from the 57 Street branch of the Hyde Park Bank and Ms. Patrice Miner, President and CEO of Kiddie Kuts Salon here in Hyde Park.  The principals will breakfast with members of our local school council and our PTA  to begin the day.  They will have a tour of the school and have an opportunity to spend time in classrooms leading an activity.  Finally, they will sit on a panel to talk about their jobs and entertain questions from our fifth and sixth graders.   Our student council leaders will  moderate the discussion.  The morning will end with a luncheon at the Chicago Hilton and Towers.  We hope to build partnerships that will result in resources and opportunities for Ray School  students.

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm Comments (0)

Reading Day

Please remember that we are celebrating Reading Day (traditionally Halloween) on Friday, October 30 this year.  Students are expected to choose a literary character and dress in costume as that person.  Pre-k and kindergarten may come dressed in traditional costumes.  The day is devoted to activities around literacy.  Please come and share in the fun.  Each grade level and/or classroom has activities planned.  Please volunteer to be a special reader to a classroom.  We will have our parade around the school in the afternoon

Published in: on at 2:20 pm Comments (0)

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