Friday, January 30, 2015

Jurgensen 1/30/2015


Many of you may recall that my "Word for the Year" is Culture. When I was a missionary years ago, I remember that the most important part of reaching out to any people group was to respect their culture. I have reflected on those lessons during the last several weeks, and despite the obstacles and challenges our district faces, from my desk and from my experiences, I am excited and extremely optimistic about the future, and indeed the positive culture, of Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools.

The 5th Grade Literacy Block is learning about THEME
~ the deeper meaning of a story. Book Clubs are also in action and it is exciting to see our students engaged and telling each other about the stories they are reading.

Our Elementary Students have completed all FAST Reading Assessments for the winter period. The NWEA test (MAPs) for reading proficiency is near completed. Please look forward to your child’s results during parent/teacher conferences on February 17th and February 19th.

Sign up for conferences opens on Wednesday, February 4th at 9:00 a.m. ~ go to - Parent Information...

Please READ with your children every day!  Reading along with your children (at least) 20 minutes daily makes all the difference in their ability and love of reading!

One of the key learning strategies at Crestwood is our protected 90-minute literacy block that is enjoyed and practiced throughout our elementary. 

Our special education students are included in this literacy block because we believe and know that the CORE + MORE is the reason why several of our students are meeting their reading goals and being staffed out of special education services! The Core + More means that our special education students learn along with our general education students and then receive direct instruction in a small group setting.

Scribbler Bots!
Heather Suckow’s 5D students started coding Scribbler Bots today! It was really exciting to see the students learn new ways of coding robots and to see the excitement on their faces when they connected. I was sharing our student experiences this week when I was with administrators from across Iowa on Tuesday. Administrators from huge districts in Iowa were awed by video taken in our classrooms at Crestwood. As Mr. Carver often says, “There is nothing like this happening anywhere! We have a wonderful and unique learning!"

The Zones of Regulation!
Crestwood Elementary School is teaching Self-Regulation Strategies for our students using Research – Based strategies known as the Zones of Regulation. The Zones is a wonderful way to teach young people how to pay attention and recognize their feelings ~ but most importantly how to REGULATE their emotions and impulses ~ creating a SAFE and Supportive Learning Culture!

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