Friday, October 31, 2014

Terese Jurgensen - October 30th

Terese Jurgensen - Wrapping up our First Quarter!

Terese Jurgensen (Mrs. J.)
Principal 2-6; 
Director of Special Education

Heading into 2nd Quarter!

Happy Halloween! This week's blog is focused on great things that have happened at Crestwood Elementary first quarter. The last nine weeks have flown by, and I have been overwhelmed with the passion, creativity and love for learning at Howard-Winneshiek Community School District! As we move toward the Holiday Season, it is my hope to get to know more of our families and students. Please know you are always WELCOME to call, email and visit us at Crestwood Schools!

Shout Out!
Greg Murphy
I want to give a "Shout Out!" to Greg Murphy. Greg is one of our many staff members who goes the extra mile for kids here at Howard-Winneshiek Community School District. Last Friday, we had an unexpected fog day with no school. I was notified by the mother of our student shown in the pictures below, that Mr. Murphy was taking her son fishing on a day with no school. Mr. Murphy's relationship with our happy young man here, has not only impacted this student, but has made a profound impact on the entire family. Thank you, Mr. Murphy, "for going above and beyond for kids!" Nice Work!

                       Blake Fitch shown here with Greg Murphy fishing last Friday, October 24th.  
Sara Fitch, Blake's mom, texted me Thursday, October 30th saying, "I just wanted to thank Crestwood Schools for everything they have done for Blake. He is having the best school year so far that he has ever had! Greg is amazing with him - he has made a huge impact on Blake's life!!! He is a special person for sure!!! Thank you so much again!!!" 

When I asked Sara if  I could put Blake's picture and name in our our weekly update, she replied, 

"Yes! Please do....everybody should know how amazing his school year is going and what a great person Mr. Murphy is!"

~School & Reading Readiness ~ 
We can make a difference!

The Statisticks Lottery - Video from Youtube

The issue of students struggling to read is impacted by many factors. This video was sent to me, and it outlines realities and strategies we can do at Crestwood to support reading instruction. As a school, we are working hard on our preparations for 2014-15 SINA plan. We will be setting up our SES tutoring of students this month and our after-school tutoring program will begin the first weeks of January. If you are a parent/caregiver in our community, please be sure to check out our homepage and share any insights/ideas/thoughts about our SINA plan for the upcoming school year.

Characteristics of Effective Instruction:
Miss Kerian - working with her 4th grade students during Math
Daily 5 - instruction is student centered, with students rotating
through assorted learning, hands-on, visual math strategies.
One of our goals this year is to define, recognize, mentor each other in becoming educators who implement the characteristics of effective instruction. We know it is not about teachers is about students learning! Characteristics of effective instruction outline student-centered classrooms, rigorous instruction, engagement, connections to real-world experiences to name a few. Please enjoy the following pictures and video that outline just a few great things happening at Crestwood Elementary!


Socratic Seminar - Mrs. Sorenson's 5th Grade Literacy Class

Socratic seminar is a type of formal group discussion based on the learning and teaching methods employed by Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher often credited with founding Western philosophy. While most classes are based on lectures intended to directly transmit information from teacher to student, a Socratic seminar is based more on inquiry and discussion. Socrates held the idea that it is more effective to help students think for themselves than it is to simply give them information. A Socratic seminar is, therefore, intended to be a discussion of a specific topic among all of those present rather than a situation in which one teacher gives information to students.

Every Thursday Mrs. Sorenson's 5th grade students engage in a Socratic Seminar Discussion. There are 3 roles: Discusser, Evaluator and Audience. Mrs. Sorenson, prepares questions for the discussers and during the week they study, investigate and prepare. Discussers are located in the inner circle. The evaluators are surrounding them on the outside and each student with a clipboard is evaluating one student in the areas of ideas, presentation of those ideas and reasoning skills. The audience listens and will eventually be in the inner circle to recap the discussion. At any time, an evaluator or an audience member may stand up and stand by a chair in the inner circle. The discusser will call "Hot Seat!" and the person may sit and ask a question regarding the current discussion. It is amazing to watch 5th grade students learn how to "be a part of the future executive board rooms involving sharing of ideas, debate and great listening skills."  

Happy Halloween!

Mrs. Shekelton had students bring in and share pumpkins that were created to look like their favorite characters. Here are just a few for your Halloween enjoyment!

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