Friday, March 6, 2015

Grimm 3/6/2015

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

March is National Read Aloud Month. Research shows that reading aloud with children is the single most important thing that you can do to prepare a child for reading and learning. Reading aloud to your child at least 15 minutes a day starting at birth can help your child start successfully on their learning journey. Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. Some important tips to help:
  1. Get excited. Your enthusiasm will get your child excited too. 
  2. Read with expression. Go ahead and use funny voices or make sound effects. Your child will love it. 
  3. Point to the pictures and talk about them. Compare things to your child and their life.
  4. Kids can be squirmy. Have them help hold the book, it will keep them more interested.
  5. Let your child turn the pages, run your finger under the words as you read occasionally, this will give your child a sense of how books work. 
  6. Talk about the pictures. This will help your child learn more about the story. 
  7. Make reading a habit by incorporating it into your everyday routine. This will help your child see the value of reading for pleasure and enjoyment. 
  8. Build your home library. Read lots of different books to your child, but be prepared some will probably become favorites and you will get to read them over and over.
  9. Enjoy the time with your child!

Preschool Program-Wide PBIS
Staff Member Highlight

This week our staff member highlighted for PWPBIS is Shari Marr. Shari is one of the internal EC coaches and is part of the PWPBIS Leadership Team. She does a great job of explaining PWPBIS to the other staff members and supporting them as they implement it in their classrooms. She helps the students in her classroom learn how to “Be Kind, Safe, and Respectful” by modeling what these expectations look like and recognizing the students throughout the day when she sees them following the expectations.

Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration was a great day in preschool! They read several silly, rhyming stories by Dr. Seuss. They also made birthday cards and decorated pretend cakes with play dough. They made “patterned” Dr. Seuss hats. They were very excited to have guest readers join their classroom to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ love for reading.

The preschoolers are enjoying their new study about dental health. The students have learned some new vocabulary words about teeth. They can tell you about molars, incisors, and canines. They also explored using these different kinds of teeth by taking bites of a soft banana and hard carrot. Did you know that we use our incisors to bite through soft foods like bananas and our canines to bite through hard foods like carrots? We use our molars to chew all kinds of food into little pieces to make swallowing easier for our bodies.
     Our Dr. Seuss pajama party

Exploring our teeth

Transitional Kindergarten
This was the students’ final week of the Gizmos and Gadgets STEM unit. They did several activities to celebrate their learning. On Tuesday Mrs. Sorenson’s 5th grade buddy class came to visit. Students rotated through several activities. Those included drawing favorite machines, reading non-fiction books about machines, playing board games, making a structure out of a given set of materials, and constructing a snack. Students really enjoyed the learning opportunity with their 5th grade buddies! Students used their drawings and plans to create their own machines. Using their plans helped students add in details such as correct number of wheels.

NEA’s Read Across America Day is held on March 2nd annually. The nationwide reading celebration takes place on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Thousands of schools across the country, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids and books!

Here are some of the kindergarten students who celebrated!

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Leifeld received $200 in grants from the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF). She received the grant to integrate agriculture into social studies or language arts lessons and conduct ag in the classroom-type projects. The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants are designed to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students. IALF awarded 179 grants to schools throughout Iowa. The grants are a special project of IALF and were made possible through support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. The projects will be completed before the end of the school year with final reports due by June 5. For more information visit Lois is suing the money to purchase an incubator and will be hatching chicks in her classroom this spring.

Every day is a learning experience for our students and some learning experiences are non-traditional. One of our kindergarten students (Ella) was down in Des Moines this week with the girl’s basketball team, so she Skyped back to her kindergarten class to tell them what she has been doing.  

First Grade
In honor of Read Across America Week, First Graders have been learning all about Dr. Seuss. They even started writing their our own story. Check these out... "once upon a time" "I once went to a..." Our story starters are amazing!! After they wrote the beginnings of their stories, they met with buddies who helped them make changes to their writing to make it better. Next they will work on the "middle" of their story! Usually a problem happens in the middle of stories so we look forward to see what the students can come up with!!

This week was Read Across America week and also World Read Aloud Day. To celebrate many students had fun with different reading activities!

WEBSITES Worth Checking Out . . .
Are you looking for some websites to check out with your kids so that you can both learn together?  Check these out:

PBS Kids  Find all your favorite PBS characters, each with learning games for kids to play: Clifford, Curious George, SuperWhy, The Cat in the Hat, and lots more.

Wonderopolis Discover a new wonder each day. Wonders are amazing facts and intriguing questions such as: Why are they called Lava Lamps? What Badger has a sweet tooth?

Pottermore J.K. Rowling created this site so kids could read the books and do interactive features and games.

Spatulatta Get into cooking on this kid-friendly cooking website with lots of videos and recipes.

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