Friday, November 14, 2014

Terese Jurgensen

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

Science - Technology - Engineering - Math

Crestwood Community Schools are passionate about STEM opportunities for students. I had a wonderful experience this week. We had two new students enroll, one was a 2nd grader and one was a 6th grader. Their mom, Amy, had called me earlier in the week and stated their family had moved into the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District over the summer, and for the beginning weeks of school, she had done her best to transport them into the district they had grown up in. She said it had gotten to be too much, and they would like to enroll their children. The biggest concern she stated was that her oldest son, Brayden, "Was hesitant to move away from his friends." I told her my daughter, Emily, was a new sophomore student at Crestwood High School and had a seamless transition. My words, "She has never been happier! The students at Crestwood are very warm and welcoming." I invited Amy and her children, Ezra (2nd grade) and Brayden (6th grade),  to visit school the next Friday, Nov. 7th, and have a chance to meet some students, see our facilities, and meet their teachers, to make the transition smoother. Amy was thrilled to have this opportunity, but we were both surprised at what happened during the visit. 

Mrs. Fretheim, 6th grade teacher, & Brayden

Brayden, Ezra and their mom, Amy, showed up right on time, and Brayden had brought a friend with him because, he told me, "We will only be here for a few minutes, and we are going to hang out this afternoon." Well, hang out they did! I had visited Mrs. Fretheim's room earlier in the day, and knew they would be programming, learning coding with their Sphero's at the time of the visit. Coding Sphero's philosophy is that  “play is a powerful teacher.” And rather than teaching students about programming by having them write lines of code on a computer, SPRK puts a Sphero and an IPAD device in students’ hands to let them see what coding and programming look like with an actual robot."   

When Brayden and his family walked into Mrs. Fretheim's class, they were really surprised by what they saw! I wish I had taken a picture of their faces when they saw what was going on in Brayden's future classroom! Mrs. Fretheim interrupted her teaching to introduce Brayden to his class, and invited him up to use her IPAD and learn how to Code. His response, "COOL!Brayden had such a wonderful experience with his new 6th grade class, that he didn't stay for a "few minutes." He stayed all afternoon! 

Parent Teacher Conferences!
Monday, November 17th     4:00 - 8:00 

Thursday, November 20th  4:00 - 8:00
If you have not signed up for your child's conference,
please call Linda at Crestwood Elementary at (563) 547-2300
or Connie at Lime Springs at (563) 566-2221

Crestwood 3rd & 4th Grade Students
 Attend STEM Conference 
Rocks, Robots, and Roller Coasters!
This past week, four 3rd graders and four 4th graders from Crestwood Elementary/Lime Springs Elementary were asked to attend a STEM Day in Elkader, hosted by Keystone AEA and the Iowa Science Center. Staff from the Iowa Science Center started the day by teaching about the science behind fires, fireworks, and explosions. Students then rotated between three different STEM focused sessions. The students were asked to find the program code for robots, create effective roller coasters, and discover the composition of rocks and minerals.

Students Brittania Garcia, Cloey Horns, Kaleb Adams, and Gabe Slavin, along with Britain Ferrie, Chase Thomas, Olivia Ollendick, and Domanick Henry attended the STEM Day with teachers Kirstin Widell and Melissa Adams. “Our favorite was the roller coasters because we had to make the roller coaster fun with hills and loops (foam noodles cut in half), but safe for the passengers (marbles),” said students Britain, Chase, and Domanick. Third graders really enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the program code of the cube robots. When describing the day’s activities, a fourth grader said, “It makes us really think!”

Student-Centered Learning!

Science & Math made Fun!

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