Monthly Archives: October 2016

Let’s Talk Tuesday: Halloween Safety Trips

Happy Tuesday, Dinos – let’s talk Halloween!  In just under a week lots of superheroes, princesses, pokemon, and all kinds of other cute and/or creepy little creatures will be wandering around, knocking on doors and asking for treats.  Halloween is probably right up there under that certain holiday that is quickly coming up and I am totally not ready for yet, as one of our kiddos’ favorite holidays.  Who doesn’t love dressing up and getting free candy all night long?  But unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous and tragic holiday if you don’t take certain precautions, especially while trick-or-treating in the dark or carving pumpkins with sharp knives.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great website here with tips to keep kids safe, including:

Costume Safety


Pumpkin Carving


Front Porch/Yard Safety Tips


Trick-or-Treating Safety


Having a Healthy Halloween


Check out the website for all their tips – they have some really good ones to make sure our kiddos have a fun and safe Halloween.

Let’s Talk Tuesday: Red Ribbon Week


Does anyone else remember when Red Ribbon Week meant you were given a red ribbon and wore it all week to school?  And McGruff the Crime Dog told us that winners say no to drugs?   It sure has changed a lot since I was in school and I’m sure the kids have much more fun with it now!

Since Red Ribbon Week is next week, I thought we should focus on it for this week’s post.  If you don’t know much about the program’s background, you should definitely have a look at the official website located here.

The National Red Ribbon campaign was actually started in 1985 by the National Family Partnership in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.  Agent Camarena believed that just one person could make a difference, and he was right.  After his murder, people began wearing red ribbons as a “symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.”  Out of this, an entire movement was born that still goes strong today.  Every year for one week in October the Red Ribbon campaign strives to educate children about the dangers of drug use and encourage participation in drug-free activities.

Here at Dodd Elementary, the school has planned out a full week of activities to highlight the dangers of drugs in an engaging way for the kids.

Monday is crazy hair or crazy hat date because “drugs make you crazy in the head.”

Tuesday is pajamas days because “it’s my dream to be drug free.”

Wednesday is dress like a spy day because we don’t want to “let drugs sneak up on you.”

Thursday is dress like a superhero day because “superheroes don’t do drugs!”

Friday is costume or black/orange day because we want to “say booooo to drugs.”

It’s easy to think that drugs is a problem your child will only have to deal with when they are older so you don’t have to deal with it now, but it’s important to start the conversation early.  Talk to your children about drugs and their destructive side effects and how to effectively stay away from them now, before they have peers or even friends influencing them to try them.   Let’s remember Agent Camarena’s belief that even though he was only one person, he could make a difference, and let’s keep proving him right.

Let’s Talk Tuesday: Reflections

Good afternoon!  I hope everyone enjoyed their day off yesterday and was able to do something fun, whether at the Fair or somewhere else.  For this Let’s Talk Tuesday, I thought I would focus on the Reflections Art Contest held each year by the PTA.  The creative arts can be so rewarding for young and old minds alike, and it’s important to acknowledge that, because they can sometimes get lost in the focus on academics.  Hooray for National PTA for highlighting just how important creativity can be, each and every year!


This year’s theme is What Is Your Story?  Creative Arts are perfect for story-telling, so if your child has ever thought about entering the contest, this would be a great year to start.   There are six different categories and students may choose one or all of them to submit entries.  Let’s take a look at the categories.

Dance Choreography – Do you have a child who loves to create dances?  Well, this is the category for you!

From the National PTA website – Accepted styles include solo/ensemble include: ballet, contemporary, ethnic and folk, hip hop, jazz and tap. Choreographer may be the perfomer, or one of the performers, but does not have to be. Video recording must not exceed 5 mintues and must be less than 1GB (one gigabyte) in file size. Accepted file formats include: AVI, Quicktime (.mov), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp4), Windows Media (.wmv), and Flash Video (.flv, .f4v).

Film Production – Have a little movie-maker?  This is the perfect category!

From the National PTA website –  Accepted forms include: Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental, or a media presentation (PowerPoint is prohibited). Entrant must be the director, screenwriter, and camera person including all storyboarding and editing. Video recording must not exceed 5 minutes and must be less than 1GB (one gigabyte) in file size. Accepted file formats include: AVI, Quicktime (.mov), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp4), Windows Media (.wmv), and Flash Video (.flv, .f4v).

Literature – Does your child love to write?  Literature is the category for them!

From the National PTA website – Accepted forms of fiction and nonfiction include: Prose, poetry, drama (screen play and play script), reflective essay, narrative, and short story. Entry must not exceed 2,000 words and must be handwritten or typed; one side only. Students for whom English is not their first language may submit literature entries in their own langauge. An interpretive translation in English must accompany the entry. Accepted formats include: Single-sided print on 8 ½ x 11 paper, or PDF (.pdf) file format.

Music Composition – Does your child play an instrument or compose music?  This is your category!

From the National PTA website – All instruments, sounds, styles and combinations are accepted. Copyrighted material is prohibited. The composer may be the perfomer, or one of the performers, but does not have to be a performer. Notation, score or tabulature is required for middle and high school division. Audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes. Accepted file formats include: MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV, ACC (M4A) and FLAC formats. Music videos are not accepted.

Photography – Have a budding photographer?  This is the one for them!

From the National PTA website – Accepted forms of photography include: A single photo, panoramic, photomontage (one seamless print of multiple original photos), a multiple exposure, negative sandwich or photogram. Original black-and-white and color images are accepted. Entrant must be the one to take the photograph. Must be mounted or matted on cardboard matte, poster board, or other sturdy material. Accepted formats include: Matted print, or high resolution digital photo (.jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp).

Visual Arts – Have a little artist on your hands?  Visual arts is where they want to be!

From the National PTA website – Accepted forms include: Architecture (2D/3D), carpentry, ceramics, collages, photographic collages (multiple photos cut/pasted), computer-generated image, crafts, design, dioramas, drawing, fiber work, jewelry, kites, metal etching/punch work, mobiles, painting, printmaking, sculpture and wind chimes. Framed entries not accepted. Paper entries must be mounted on sturdy material and 3D works must include packaging materials and 3 high resolution photos of the entry for judging and ID purposes.

Rules and Forms for each category can be found on our Reflections Page.  While some of these areas may seem a little difficult for our elementary kiddos, it doesn’t hurt to try!  If your child is interested in one of the more advanced categories like music composition or film production, please encourage them to submit an entry.  We’d love to have a wide range of submissions from Dodd this year.

Completed submissions can be turned into the art teacher any time between October 24 – November 11.   So it’s definitely time to start thinking about those entries!

Let’s Talk Tuesday – Fun Fall Outdoor Activities

Good morning Dinos and welcome to another “Let’s Talk Tuesday.”  Since the weather has been beautiful lately, I thought it would be good to focus on fun local activities you can do with your kids outside.  We all know Fall does not last long here in Texas, and we need to make the most of it!

The Texas State Fair


October means it’s State Fair time in Texas.  Great food, fun activities, and lots of local flavor.

The Dallas Arboretum


Okay, the Arboretum is worth a trip year-round as every season is something different, but I just love their pumpkins in the fall!

Local Parks


Wylie has some great parks.  Why not enjoy the new equipment at the Olde City Park downtown, or all the fun at Founders Park (or as most kiddos know it – Pirate Park).  All of the Wylie area park information can be found here:

Pumpkin Patches


This is the time of year to get those pumpkin patch pictures in!  You can find a list of the best DFW area pumpkin patches here:

Dallas Farmers Market


The beautiful weather is a perfect excuse to check out the Dallas Farmers Market, especially if you’ve never been!

So, what did I miss?  What kind of fun outdoor activities do you like to do with your family in the fall?

Hello October!

It’s October and you know what that means – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it! At least the stores seem to think so, if you go by the Christmas decorations next to the Halloween costumes.


Well, we aren’t quite ready to skip to Christmas yet here at the Dodd PTA.  October is a busy month, full of all kinds of fun activities.  Here are some of the things going on this month:

October 5 – tomorrow is National Walk/Bike to School Day!  Let’s get some exercise and enjoy the cooler weather on your way to and from school.

October 6 – 14 – the Fall Book Fair!  Your kiddo will probably come home this week with a wishlist of books.  There will be one family night on  Thursday, October 13, from 5pm – 8pm.

October 10 – Fair Day!  Enjoy a day off from school and check out the state fair.  It’s worth it just for the food alone!

October 13 – 4th Grade musical and Austin trip meeting.

October 19 – Fall picture retakes and Wylie Way: Day of Unity.

October 20 – Teacher luncheon – if you are interested in signing up to bring food, let me know at and I’ll add you to the list!

October 26 – Spirit Night at Orange Leaf – come enjoy yummy frozen yogurt!

October 28 – Wow, what a busy day this will be!  We have our first classroom parties at 1:45 p.m., and our Boo Bash at 6:30.  More information will be coming about the Boo Bash as we get closer – you will not want to miss it!  Today is also the end of our PTA Membership drive!

October 31 – Halloween!  We will be passing out our “You’ve been boo’d” lollipops today to all those people who got boo’d!  You should have gotten an order form in your child’s folder, but they are also available on our forms page so you can print and turn in as many as you’d like – each “boo” is only $1 each!

The canned food drive also starts this month as Wylie Way gears up for Thanksgiving.  More details to come.

Have a great month everyone!