Monday, April 13, 2015

Grimm 4/10/2015

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

Spring is finally here and the snow is gone! Now is an excellent time to get outside and take advantage of the nicer weather. Mother Nature is a great teacher and getting kids outside to learn and play is good for their brains and their bodies. Getting kids out in nature is more essential today given that children are spending nearly 8 hours a day using entertainment media and only 6 percent of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own. We are at risk of losing an entire generation’s appreciation for how nature works and what it needs to remain healthy and productive.

“Fresh air, exercise, and creative exploration are just a few of the benefits children can experience when they spend time outdoors. Encouraging children to be active while outdoors is important for their physical, cognitive, and social development. By fostering more opportunities for outdoor learning, we will help the next generation grow and develop as they build an appreciation for nature at an early age.”

Dr. Courtney Crim, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Trinity University

This website has some great resources to make your experience outside a learning adventure--In your own backyard


Preschool Registration Spring Open House on Friday, April 17th at the Crestwood Preschool Building, 1135 Canterbury Street, in Cresco from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Kindergarten Round-up at Crestwood Elementary on Friday, April 17th
from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Children only.
Kindergarten Parent Informational Meeting at Crestwood Elementary on May 5th at 5:30 p.m. 
If parents have any questions please call the Crestwood K-8 office 563-547-2300

Preschool Program-Wide PBIS
Staff Member Highlight
This week our staff member highlighted for PWPBIS is Kristi Holthaus, the Lime Springs preschool teacher. Kristi does a great job of creating a positive classroom by teaching and modeling the classroom expectations of being kind, safe, and respectful. When she sees students in her class following the expectations and making positive choices she recognizes their hard work using the Preschool Cadet Pride Junior Tickets.  

Preschoolers celebrated spring in the classroom by coloring Easter eggs and going on an egg hunt. While coloring Easter eggs, the students practiced their math skills by counting to 45 as their egg was “bathing” in the color dye. They decided their fragile eggs needed a basket and the preschoolers brainstormed a list of ideas to create a basket. After a bit of thinking, they decided they could “recycle” and turn their milk cartons into baskets.

The preschoolers also learned how to recycle old “sprouting” potatoes. Mrs. Tieskoetter had a few “sprouting” potatoes in her cupboard and the students in her room watched a short movie clip that showed them how to “recycle” a sprouting potato and turn it into a potato plant. The preschoolers worked hard to prepare the dirt in a “recycled” milk jug. The movie clip informed the preschoolers that a plant likes two kinds of food…sun and water. They placed their potato plant in the window and they have been great gardeners by watering each day. Last week they found some exciting news…they have a sprout poking through the dirt!

Thank you to the Elma families for coming to Family Fun Night! The students were very excited about it and we’re glad they got to share what they have been learning through their STEM experiments with you! The students have moved on to learning about farms. They made a web about the things they knew about a farm. All of them already have a lot of prior knowledge about farms, as they learn more they will keep adding to their web. The students also used pompoms and pipe cleaners to make their own caterpillar to go along with their “Very Hungry Caterpillar” books they made. Students also painted a paper egg with watercolors and then cut it to make it look like it cracked open. They then decorated a chick to put in their egg, so when they open the egg up they can see the chick. Before Easter the students used a map of the classroom to find an egg hidden in the classroom. Once they found their egg they got a little prize.

Garbage truck visits preschool

Recycling sprouting potatoes

Save the Date
May 7th- 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Family Night - Celebrating STEM Learning
This will be a come and go event for current Preschool families to visit the classrooms in the Cresco Early Childhood Center. We will be highlighting activities from our STEM units the students have been studying. More information to follow! This will be our only end of the year evening event.

Transitional Kindergarten
This was the final week of the STEM weather study. Students shared their learning by creating a class Smartboard book with weather facts. The March weather graph results were most school days were sunny. At the beginning of the study students had shared what they knew about weather in a web. The student did the web again at the end of the unit. The concepts students shared showed growth in their knowledge of weather. Students had the opportunity to do choice time centers and activities with peers from each of the four early childhood classrooms before break. They really enjoyed it.


Kindergarten students enjoyed coloring eggs last week. They learned about dissolving, mixing colors, wax crayons resisting water, and of course patience and taking turns.

Now that Kindergarten students have been building stamina for reading during the Daily 5, they are more eager to partner read with mentors and peers. Cadet Time is building skills such as comprehension, sight words, and segmenting/blending words. They are so excited to read, read, read!! Here they are pictured reading with Lime Springs friends.

As a part of our "Being a Writer" curriculum the students are to interview someone within our school. The students chose to interview Kim Witt, our associate. After interviewing Kim, the students wrote and illustrated a nonfiction story about her life.

First Grade
In math students are reviewing money and what coins they can use to make these amounts. Here students worked on buying items and finding the amounts of money needed in order to purchase the items.

In writing, students are writing about something they know. Students are writing about themselves and their families. They are also working on publishing these with Scribble Press on our iPads.

Last week students were working on symmetry in math and the kids made some pretty cute chicks for their spring party! They are made completely from symmetrical hearts. They were able to incorporate their curriculum into their celebration and the chicks turned out very well! 

In literacy students are working on unit 6 about habitats and what makes a perfect place to live. The students blogged on KidBlog about what animal they would be and what their habitat would be. You can check it out here:

Here are some pictures of the chicks. :) 

The elementary students were fortunate to have an author visit this week. Maribeth Boelts came to present and teach the students. She talked to these first grade students about what they could write about and shared a couple of books with them.

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