Friday, October 24, 2014

October 23, 2014

It is an honor serving Crestwood Schools!
Terese Jurgensen (Mrs. J.)
Principal 2-6; 
Director of Special Education

Kirstin Kerian sent this information to share with us about an opportunity to financially support our students at Howard-Winneshiek and our teachers to create projects. This is what we do best! Project-Based Learning! Thank you!

Ms. Kerian writes:
If you already know about Donor's Choose, create a project because Donaldson's has $6,000 they want to donate toward H-W!!!! 

If you don't, you choose what you want in your classroom (I've done an easel, storage ottomans for my reading table, whiteboard sets, etc), create a project (takes about an hour), and you post it. If yours is funded - you get your materials! SUPER EASY!!! And not just for elementary teachers - for all teachers! 

Donaldson's has $6,000 to donate for us so create a project - I swear, it's that easy!  
I will help you create a project if you want - supplies can be ordered through almost anywhere (School Specialty, Amazon, Blick, etc). Anddddd, a lot of times, the projects get "matching" donations, which means if someone donates $30, Donors Choose will match that so now it's a $60 donation. 
Anyways - create a project with your dream materials! Go wild - if you want help, ask me! 

Does Music Affect Learning?
Anna Ptacek is an 8th grade student working hard to discover better ways to learn. This year for her science class she is doing a project called Science Fair. 
Anna writes:
For this project we must come up with a question that we must prove with an experiment. My Science Fair question this year is: “Does Classical Music Effect Concentration?” 

With my procedure for the experiment I was planning on using two third grade classrooms. Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Midthus have agreed to assist me and put together a spelling list for me to use in my experiment as well. In the experiment we will give the spelling test to the students in each third grade class. While they are taking the test, for three weeks there will be classical music playing in the background. For another three weeks, we will play no music whatsoever while the students are taking the test.
My objective of this experiment is to test to see whether or not the 
classical music will effect the concentration of the students as it explains in my 


National School Lunch Day!
Awesome Ladies!
I had a great experience last Friday, October 17th when I served lunch for 5th and 6th grade students. I am pictured here "rockin' the hairnet" with a few of our wonderful ladies who serve delicious meals to hundreds of students every day. I want to give a huge SHOUT OUT to these women who serve us every day. They have a challenging job and they do this daily with grace and kindness. Please remember to say THANK YOU every day!
Delicious food served to hungry students!
Just think if Dr. Suess and his amazing drawings/art didn't have words with the pictures? Think of how easily students can learn to read with words like, "One Fish - Two Fish - Red Fish - Blue Fish!" Or fluency words that constantly repeat, "I do like them Sam I am! I do like Green Eggs and Ham!" Art and reading go hand-in-hand!
Mrs. Branum, our elementary art teacher is starting a 2nd Grade Art Reading Club!
She is looking for students who are in 2nd grade and would like to keep improving their reading skills and incorporate it with the world of art. Recently, Mrs. Branum attended a workshop at the AEA learning more about the Iowa Core and incorporating it into the fun, exciting world of art. If your 2nd grade student is interested in joining the Art Reading Club, please watch for information coming home in student backpacks. Thank you Mrs. Branum! 

Third Grade Students Skype with the Knoxville Zoo!
Third Grade students had an awesome opportunity to Skype with the Knoxville Zoo on October 10th! The zoologist was Jason and the students reported that he was great! He focused on three animals not common in the Midwest: a chinchilla, a toucan from the rainforest, and a ball snake. The zoologist engaged the students in discussions about the animals' habitats and adaptations, which was exactly what Crestwood third graders were studying in science. He then allowed students to ask all sorts of questions about animals at the zoo. The students asked excellent questions and one student reported to me that he wanted to visit the zoo with his family! The students really enjoyed it, as did we!
Jason holds a chinchilla to show the students!
The students were engaged & asked great questions!
Special Education - BEYOND BELIEF Closing the Achievement Gap
A few years ago, data revealed that Iowa Schools had the LARGEST achievement gap between general education students and special education students in our nation. This sent out a huge shock-wave among educators and families of students with disabilities. The achievement gap was a primary focus, and I remember Jason Glass stating, "Their is an achievement gap that is not acceptable, and it is not just the responsibility of special education - but all "eyes will be on general education."  We needed to change how we did business. This month in the Every Child Newsletter, data was revealed about what truly makes a difference in a child's life and closes the achievement gap of special education students.  

A survey was sent out to educators, counselors, parents, administrators and support staff asking the question: "What is the number one indicator that a child will close the gap and meet his/her goals and be staffed out of special education?"

The article was titled "Beyond Belief!" It is no surprise that the most important indicator that students will close their individual learning gap is when:

A critical piece of this belief system is that we do everything we can to avoid pulling students out of instruction. They must be with their peers and receiving FAPE in the Core Curriculum plus specialized individual instruction.  At Crestwood Schools we refer to this as the Core + More! We are moving towards this practice throughout our building. Every day, as I interact with teachers, staff, students and parents, I am so encouraged by what an amazing school and community we have! Our entire staff is hardworking, willing to go the extra mile, encouraging and believing in our students and families - every step of the way. We do believe in all of our students at Howard-Winneshiek! 

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