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Mr. Wdowiarz (Fifth Grade)

About Mr. W


  • West Chicago Community High School, Class of 2001

  • B.S. Elementary Education, Northern Illinois University, 2006
  • M.A. Education in Reading, Olivet-Nazarene University, 2009

Educational Philosophy:

  • The role of the educator is to encourage, foster, and assess the progression of the student into a positive and active citizen of their local, state, and national communities.

Favorite Quotes:

  • "In this living world, the body that I give up and burn would be wretched if I thought of myself as anything but firewood." - Ryonen
  • "We write our own destiny.  We become what we do." - A fortune cookie

Extracurricular Activities:

  • I enjoy spending time with my wife and two sons.  I've been a guitar player for over 20 years.  I play periodically play in and around the Chicagoland area.  I exercise and train in martial arts regularly.  I also like to read and play video games.
News From Mr. Wdowiarz's class by PAige Dragosh

It’s already week 19. I can’t believe it’s already 2019, either! The months go by fast, don’t they?  This week in writing, we were shown models of what our Research paragraphs should look like. In art, we are working on some masks. And, we have no school on Friday!

First, let’s talk about writing. Writing this week we were shown models of what our Career Research papers should look like. Next week, I think we will be writing them. In art class we are still working on our tribal masks.  In science we are working on ecosystems. Ecosystems are the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit (Merriam-Webster dictionary). In social studies we are working on a new unit with the guiding question of “what makes a place a home?”

There’s no school tomorrow.  Well, at least for the kids. The teachers have to work. (Sorry teachers, I feel you) week 19, and it’s 2019. The new year kinda crept up on us. I’ll see you next week on Mr. W’s homepage!

Audio and Book Picks

American Serengeti, Dan Flores

Dan Flores' American Serengeti is fascinating.  He bridges American History and Natural History of the Great Plains in a beautifully written narrative format in a way that makes subjects like the Mule Deer interesting.  I'm only about a third of the way through the book, but the section on Coyotes was my favorite so far.  He recently released a book specifically about Coyotes, so I have a feeling I'll be reading Dan Flores for a while.

Star Wars: Catalyst, A Rouge One Novel, James Luceno

This book details the backstory of Galen Erso, the scientist who designed the super-weapon in the Death Star, as well has his relationship with Orson Krennic, the Imperial officer who tricked him into doing it.  While completely unnecessary for enjoying the new Star Wars film, the book adds some nice historical layers for super-geeks like me.  The book also had me thinking about a lot of different ideas, like being a parent during the rise of the Empire, which made it one of the better Star Wars books I've read in a while.

Social Studies & Exceptional Learners, Darren Minarik and Timothy Lintner

I recently joined the National Council for the Social Studies, a teaching organization that gathers news and ideas about how to be a better teacher in the subject of Social Studies.  I got to choose a free book when I joined, and this book seemed like the best pick, as it essentially discusses methods and ideas for how to make sure everybody in my classroom gets a better grasp of what I'm trying to teach.  So far, they've talked about ideas that do a nice job connecting to the C3 philosophy, or College, Career, and Civic life Framework, which helps focus instruction of the new social studies standards.  We'll see how it goes! 

The Star Wars Trilogy, John Williams
My copy of the Star Wars Trilogy music has officially been in my car's CD player since August.  Literally every time I get in the car, my sons, Jimmy and Tony ask to hear the "good guy song" (the opening fanfare), or the "Darth Vader song," (the Imperial March).  Jimmy's been working on learning the names of the different songs, and where they line up in the movies.  It's neat to hear.  "Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars..."