Friday, February 20, 2015

Terese Jurgensen

Focus on Literacy
High Impact Literacy Routines
On 2/18/15, I had the opportunity to attend professional development at Keystone AEA called High Impact Literacy Conference. The team of teachers representing Crestwood Elementary were Michelle Ihde (2nd grade), Pam Jackson (4th grade) and Melissa Adams (3rd grade). We will be presenting to the rest of the elementary teachers next Wednesday, during professional development. The information we learned was focused on intensive reading interventions taking them from small group instruction to daily large group routines to increase reading proficiency.

Interesting Things We Learned About Literacy
Learning to Read is a Difficult Task for Many Students:

  • 5% of students learn to read effortlessly.
  • 20 - 30% learn to read relatively easy once exposed to reading instruction.
  • For 60% of children, learning to read is a more formidable task = not easy at all - it takes lots of work and practice.
  • For 20 - 30% of children, reading is one of the most difficult tasks that they will ever have to master in their lives.
  • For 5% of students even with explicit and systematic instruction, reading will continue to be a struggle throughout their lives.
Reading to Self during Daily 5
Kindergarten Student

6th Grade Students Reading - Book Clubs!

Sixth Grade Students Study the Holocaust             
Mr. Sorenson, 6th grade teacher scared some students and staff members today. He was ordering 6th grade students to stand perfectly still, keep their eyes on the ground, and be quiet! As he explained later, in an email to staff, the 6th grade classes were simulating what it was like to be Jewish in the concentration camps during WWII. The teachers were the SS Guard and the students wore yellow stars on their shirts.  "It was a powerful lesson and experience." Let's have Mrs. Freitheim explain:

Mrs. Fretheim is explaining to the 6th grade students the horrible reality of the Holocaust. As a group, the 6th grade students will read together the book, Daniel's Story, and then will begin their reading book clubs. The simulation had a great impact on the students and many expressed to me, "That it was really cool, acting out the story, not just reading about it."

The 6th grade students all wore gold stars on their shirts - to simulate the Jewish People's reality during and before WWII.

I had the privilege of visiting Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland in 1990. I was amazed at how huge the concentration camp was. We climbed to the top of the tower shown here, and I could not see the end of it. It is a city...not a we think of a camp. The worst part of it is...much of it was shut down. I will never be the same. I am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences with the 6th grade students.                                                                                                        

This is the tower I stood on and looked out at the enormous size of Auschwitz Camp.
The streets are still paved with the ashes of the Jewish People.


Daniel's Story is a children's novel by Carol Matas, telling the story of a young boy's experiences in the Holocaust in World War II. It is honored at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. by means of an exhibit.                                             
  • The 6th Grade Message to the World!

  • "Our mission is to prepare and empower our students to
    think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools 
Mission Statement
Crestwood Elementary is focused on literacy. We are working from Preschool through our 6th grade on the 5 Pillars of Literacy:  
    1. Phonemic Awareness
    2. Phonics
    3. Fluency 
    4. Vocabulary
    5. Comprehension

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