Poetry Cafe


On April 29, 2011, the second graders at Dunlap Grade School celebrated National Poetry Month with an all day Poetry Café.  Parents and grandparents were invited to join in on the fun by participating in poetry activities with the kids.  The day began with doughnuts and continued with some of the following poetry activities:

Newspaper Poetry: This is where students cut out words/headlines out of newspapers and rearranged them until a poem emerged.

Tanka Poetry: This is a type of Japanese poetry but instead of counting syllables it counts words on the line in this pattern: 2,3,2,3,3.  We wrote these poems about what it would it would feel like to be a kite.  We then decorated kites with our poems written on it and took them outside to see if they would fly.

Performance Poetry: Students (and visitors if they wanted to) were placed into groups and chose a poem to perform for the class.  The groups practiced fluency and created actions to go with their poems.

Concrete Poetry: This type of poem is where the meaning is suggested by the arrangement of words.  Students created a picture using words instead of lines. 

Magnetic Poetry:  The day ended with making our own magnetic poetry by finding words in magazines and attaching them to magnets!

We even had some of our visitors share poems they had written.  The Poetry Café really helped students’ practice authentic writing, develop a purpose for writing and share their writing with a real audience.  It also reinforced our literacy series genre study of poetry.  It was great to see so many families participate and help empower our students to excel in a global society. 

~Stefanie Pitzer and Stacy Lingenfelter~

School Improvement Update

Updated drafts of the DGS School Improvement Plan and Balanced Scorecard have been posted to the DGS web page.  The students and staff have identified two areas for improvement.

Goal #1:  DGS will improve written language skills to 80% of students meeting or exceeding the national benchmark by spring 2011, as measured by the AIMSweb Correct Writing Sequence assessment.

We have made significant progress towards our writing goal.  We began the year with 65% of our students meeting or exceeding this goal on the fall benchmarks.  Results on the winter benchmarks increased to 71%.  We remain confident that with continued focus and targeted support for students, we will reach our goal of 80% by the end of the year. Great job everyone!

Goal #2: DGS will develop a satisfying school learning environment by implementing a school-wide behavior management plan to decrease disruptive behavior, as measured by a reduced number of reported incidences.

We are just starting our work on the conduct goal.  An assembly was held this week to set the expectations for hallway and bathroom behavior.  The rules for the hallways are (walk, no talking, and keep hands and feet to self).  The rules for the bathrooms are (get in and get out, quiet voices, respect school property, and no playing).  The staff will be using a ticket system to address these behaviors during the school day. After collecting baseline data, the Building Leadership Team will set a goal to reduce the number of tickets being issued.      


Mr. Etnyre

Illinois State Board of Education Academic Excellence Award

I am pleased to share the news that Dunlap Grade School recently received the 2010 Illinois State Board of Education Academic Excellence Award. This recognition is reserved for only the highest performing schools in the state. Dunlap Grade School was one of only 459 schools to receive this award. This is our 4th consecutive year being recognized. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement! You can read more about this special recognition and view a complete listing of schools receiving this award at http://www.ilhonorroll.niu.edu/ .

Drama Club!

Drama Club is off to a wonderful start at Dunlap Grade School this year!  Drama Club is a program offered through the Peoria Park District and it teaches kids how to communicate, act, perform and be confident in front of an audience.  Miss Negley is in charge of the program at our school.  This is 3rd year teaching drama and her 5th as a second grade teacher at DGS! 

This is a 20 week program.  This first 10 weeks will be spent practicing dramatic and communication skills.  The second 10 weeks will be spent applying the skills we have learned into auditioning and presenting a play! 

We had over 60 kids who were interested in participating in this program!  Due to the large numbers we were only able to take 36 students from 4th and 5th grade.  Our first meeting was in September and we got to work straight away coming up with what Drama Club should look like for the year.  As a group we came up with the following:

Ground Rules
1. Be Dramatic
2. Participate
3. Be Safe
4. Be Responsible
5. Be Encouraging
6. Treat others the way you would want to be treated by being nice, respectful and understanding

Mission Statement
We, the Drama Stars, will have fun and be dramatic so we can learn how to act, build sets, memorize lines and work on a team.  We will do this by obeying the rules, listening and being energetic!

I was super impressed with what the students were able to come up and how they have all been working hard to meet our mission and follow our rules.  Please check out some pictures from our first few weeks of practice and we hope you can join us for the Spring Performance! (Stay Tuned for details coming at the beginning of 2011!!)

Drama Queens and Drama Kings

Go Eagles!

The first and fourth grade students were treated to a special presentation from Wildlife Prairie State Park on Friday, Oct. 8.  The students were able to see up close and learn about Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, and Barn Owls.  Below is a slide show of pictures taken during the program.  Thank you to Joe Hand and Wildlife Prairie State Park for bringing this experience to DGS!

Box Tops Video

Check out this customized Box Tops video I made for our school.  It’s a fun, inspiring way to celebrate all the good your clipping (and clicking) did last year – and how we can do even more this year. 


Please share this video with your friends and family!  Each person who views our school’s video before November 15th can enter for a chance to win 5,000 Bonus Box Tops!  Another simple way to make a big difference.


Jackie Ripper

Camp Wokanda

Mrs. Lanser and Mrs. Ketcham’s third grade classes attended a field trip to Camp Wokanda for the storytelling and music festival on Friday, Sept. 24.  The students enjoyed learning about various musical instruments like the jaw harp and dulcimer, as well as, listening to stories about haunted houses and sun babies.  Definitely a trip worth “telling” about!

A special thank you goes out to our Parents’ Club for covering the cost of the trip.  Below is a slide show of some of the pictures taken on the trip.

DGS Students Reach Fundraising Goal!

Thank you to all the DGS parents, students, and staff who participated in the Fall Fundraiser!  This year, our goal was $24,000 in sales.  Right now, BEFORE online sales have been received, we have a total of $23,768.50, with seventy-seven percent of the student body participating. Way to go everyone!  Once online sales are totaled and we reach our goal,  the ENTIRE school will qualify to have a Games2U event party.  Details and dates will be announced soon!  Thank you again for everyone’s involvement in making this a successful fundraiser!

Please mark your calendars for the delivery date of Wednesday, Oct. 20.  Additional information on the pick-up times will be posted in an upcoming Parent Bulletin.

DGS will receive approximately 45% of the total sales in cash profit.  The money has tentatively been set aside to purchase a sound system to enhance our drama and music programs.  Additionally, the GSC is considering the purchase of picnic tables and benches for school and community use.   A special thank you goes out to Deanna Shively for all of her extra work making this year’s fall fundraiser our most successful ever!

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