Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
ssovereign@howard-winn.k12.ia.us
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign


g2 Exhibition
There are many highlights in a week's time when you are working with students, teachers and school programs. This week, I had the opportunity to see the 9th graders in the g2 Program present their projects to parents, teachers, administrators and patrons from the business community. The key concepts of the g2 Program are:  
  • Complex, real-world projects
  • Apply skills and knowledge
  • Preparation skills for the 21st Century
  • Problem Solving
Julie Carter, Chris Govern and Karen Steffen are the teachers of this innovative program. Their 9th grade students presented their first project in small groups. They designed brochures and websites featuring recreational activities in Cresco. I have had the privilege of knowing some of these students since they were in the elementary grades, and it was a fulfilling experience to see the progress they have made in their learning and skills. This was a definite highlight of my week! Great job g2 teachers and students!
 
Website:  Cresco, Iowa Biking Tour
Brochures: g2 Program, Cresco Park Tour, & Recreational Activities in Cresco

Reports to Parents
First quarter report cards were sent home to parents of elementary students on Oct. 30th. Students in grades 6-8 will receive their report cards on Nov. 1st. Teachers will be sharing the student scores on DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy) and MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) during Parent-Teacher Conferences. Conferences will be held in the evenings on Nov. 4th and 7th. Parents may schedule Crestwood Elementary/Preschool and HS conferences electronically. Elma and Lime Springs/Chester conferences may be scheduled with the teachers. Grades 6-8 teachers are available to conference with parents in the K-8 cafeteria. 

Kiwanis Provide Dictionaries
Our local Kiwanis group provided a dictionary for every 3rd grade student in the district. During my classroom visits this week, Mrs. Buehler's students were writing thank you letters for this gift. The students were excited to tell me about the features, which include information on sign language, American Presidents, and calendars for several years in advance. This is a good reminder to me that sometimes it's the smaller things that are significant to young students, things adults may take for granted. A huge "thank you" to the Kiwanis for providing dictionaries for the 3rd graders!

Mrs. Buehler's 3rd gr. students with their new dictionaries


First Grade
Mrs. Karen Kuhn posted a photo on Twitter of one of her students scanning a QR code. I learned that Mrs. Kuhn creates QR codes for each of her 1st grade reading groups. The codes are posted in the classroom, and the students use their iPads to scan the assignments for the jobs during the 90-minute literacy block each day. This strategy makes efficient use of instructional time, helps students become more independent and is another way of using the 1:1 iPads in the classroom.

Using QR codes for the Daily 5 rounds
 
Title I
Mrs. Foster used a motivational tool to promote reading practice in her Title I reading classroom on Halloween. Her students used "witchy" fingers to track their reading this week, and they had a lot of fun doing it!


Kindergarten
Students in kindergarten bring their Halloween costumes on Oct. 31st and parade through the school. Other classes have parties for a fall celebration as well. Mrs. Timp's students paraded through 6th period study hall to show off their costumes on Thursday afternoon.








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