Renie Petropoulos » Ms. Petropoulos' Biography

Ms. Petropoulos' Biography

Ms. Petropoulos is excited to be wearing several teaching hats at Decatur: 4th-grade Homeroom, 3rd-grade Mathematics, and Makerspace. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and holds her BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. She earned her MEd in Elementary and Middle-School Education from DePaul University in Chicago. Ms. Petropoulos is endorsed to teach middle-school English Language Arts, French, Social Science, and Science.


This is Ms. Petropoulos' eighth year of teaching with Chicago Public Schools and her very first year at Decatur. Prior to Decatur, Ms. Petropoulos taught Exploratory Science (STEM Lab) for four years to Pre-K through 8th-grade students at Saucedo Elementary in Little Village. Before that, way back in the ‘90s, she taught Library Media to Pre-K through 8th-grade students and then First Grade. After that, she worked full-time for eighteen years creating K–12 curricula for the Great Books Foundation’s Junior Great Books program, Encyclopædia Britannica, and National Geographic Learning.


Being an editor allowed Ms. Petropoulos to work flexibly at home so she could cook healthy, delicious meals for her family and spend time with her two sons as they grew. When her sons reached middle-school and were more independent, Ms. Petropoulos realized she missed exploring this fascinating world with children and missed providing opportunities to help children find their passion in life! So, she returned to teaching.


In her spare time, Ms. Petropoulos loves reading, writing poetry, gardening, birdwatching, and thrift shopping. She also enjoys playing the violin, bass guitar, and electric keyboard—while her pet birds sing along.







Makerspace Activity Rubric
Makerspace Project Rubric
3rd-grade Math Rubric
3 = Mastery
2 = Emerging Mastery
1 = Below Mastery
0 = Insufficient Response
Classroom Behavior Expectations
* Respect everybody 
* Take care of our stuff
* Get into the work 
* Ask for help and help others
* Have fun
* Put our stuff back
Makerspace Science & Engineering Practices
* Ask questions and define problems
* Develop and use models
* Analyze and interpret data
* Use math and computational thinking
* Explain and design solutions
* Argue from evidence
* Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information


My fourth grade homeroom rocked the jogathon! Thank you to Elsie's mom for providing us with fabulous masks, sticker decorations, and spider rings! Thank you to Alex's mom for taking this photo!

Week 10

G3 Math
We completed lessons 1–3 of Chapter 3: Factors and Multiples! Next week we will cover lessons 4 and 5. Our Chapter 3 test will likely be on Nov. 1, 2, or 3.
Jellyfish anatomy and life cycle; Lego build; Code Bee bots
Marble runs; Lego builds; Code Kibo Robots; Code Bee bots
Scratch challenges; Microscopes
The four forces involved in flight; paper airplane designs; satellite lesson

Week 8

Parent-Teacher Conferences are from 11 to 6m on October 26, 2023. Any parents interested in conferencing with me, please sign up here: 
G3 Math
Students are indeed taking more responsibility for their learning in G3 Math! Ch2 Math Test results were overall much better than our Ch1 results. We started Ch3 (Multiples and Factors) Thursday, and are using our multiplication knowledge to see more deeply into its related patterns. 
GK–2 Makerspace
Students watched music videos about the the Moon and its phases and skip counting by 10s, 5,s and 100s. Students highlighted their own recognition of number patterns in a one hundreds chart, and colored a scientific diagram of the Moon, Earth, and Sun.
G3 Makerspace
Third graders programmed Kibo robots to perform certain actions, sounds, lights, and paths.
G4 SEL/Makerspace
SEL: Fourth graders were given a chart to fill out about what they know about people who work in our school. They were instructed to list several staff members and interview them, then listing what they learned about them. On Friday, we shared what we had discovered about people who work in our school.
Makerspace: We programmed Kibos to do our bidding. We also built marble runs.
G5–6 Makerspace
Students built a Marble Run and discussed how potential energy, kinetic energy, friction, and gravity affect the motion of the marble as it travels through the course. Some of us also drew a blueprint of a home and built it out in Legos.
G7/8 Makerspace
Various groups of students researched how to utilize a motor using a Micro:bit, created working circuits to power a siren, and completed a programming assignment in Scratch (created for gifted students by Purdue University).