Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25 Preschool & Elementary

PK-6 Principal
Sara Grimm
Twitter: saramarleygrimm
SKYPE: saramarleygrimm

Read Aloud
Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate
language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to language development. Among other things, reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children, a potent predictor of reading success. Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child's vocabulary at age 3. The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life. Reading aloud is a proven technique to help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.

Our elementary school guidance counselor, Mrs. Tiffany McCabe, is available to meet with students, parents, and teachers in their school. The counselor helps in the development of academic, personal, and social growth of the student and meets with students in classrooms, small groups, and on an individual basis.

Our guidance counselor is here to help children: 
  • understand themselves and others
  • to prevent problems from developing
  • to identify children with special needs
  • to provide crisis intervention
  • to develop personalized programs for students
  • to provide guidance related information and activities
  • to coordinate or facilitate efforts of the psychologist, social workers, parents and other care givers, teachers, students and administration
During the regularly scheduled classroom guidance times, the counselor provides age appropriate information and activities to all children in the areas of:
  • learning skills
  • self concept
  • personal safety
  • friendship/social skills
  • cooperation
  • alcohol and other drug information
  • making choices and understanding the consequences of various choices
  • feelings
  • career awareness
Individual and small group counseling can help children understand, accept and express feelings, develop social skills, make better choices, develop problem solving skills, and better understand how to deal with the problems and changes that life presents. Small groups are formed as needs arise. Some typical issues that can be addressed in counseling are: 
  • problems with unhappiness, anger and other feelings, social/friendship 
  • concerns, frequent school absences, classroom academic or behavior 
  • concerns, and coping with family issues such as drug and alcohol 
  • problems, violence, illness, death, absent parent, separation, divorce, or any other areas of concern.
Parents and other care givers are encouraged to call the counselor with any questions or concerns they have about their child, as well as any parenting questions or concerns they may have.

Emergency Drills

Fire drills, tornado drills, and lock down drills are conducted several times during the year. For fire drills each class has an escape route to an outside area a safe distance from the building. During tornado drills each classroom goes to a designated area within the building. Children are moved to these designated areas in a safe, quiet and orderly manner. Teachers conduct practice sessions under guidelines developed for their building before building-wide drills are conducted. We will be conducting emergency drills (fire, tornado, and evacuation) soon, so please discuss this with your child. 

Planning ahead is important in most of the activities that we do. Planning ahead is also important for emergency situations. At Crestwood Elementary we have developed an emergency evacuation plan that will be implemented in emergency situations. In an actual emergency, students may be forced out of the school quickly without jackets, hats, boots, or mittens. Having a pre-arranged location and plan available will do several things to reduce the trauma of an emergency evacuation.

The emergency plan will proceed in the following steps:

1. The school building will be evacuated as soon as the emergency situation occurs such as: fire, bomb threat, etc.

2. Students will be escorted by staff members to emergency locations.

3. District administration and local emergency responders will be advised of the emergency situation.

4. Students will be assembled at the first available emergency location.

5. Bus transportation will be arranged through the district transportation director's office.

 6. Parents will be able to pick up students in person.

Field Trips

Various classroom teachers throughout the school year schedule field trips. These trips are designed to supplement different aspects of the classroom curriculum and to introduce students to the resources of the community. Parents will receive notices of field trips in advance of the scheduled trip date. Teachers may ask a few parents to accompany the class to act 
as chaperones. Each student must have a field trip permission form completed and signed by his/her parents before participating in these trips. Students will conduct 
themselves on these trips in the same manner as in the classroom.

Substitute Teachers and Associates Needed

Do you like working with children and helping them learn? Do you enjoy working in a high-energy, creative learning/working environment? If your answer is "YES" we need you! Howard-Winn is looking for substitute teachers and associates to work in our classrooms. In the absence of the regular classroom teacher or associate you would be helping students to learn subject matter and/or skills that are required for curriculum lessons and providing meaningful instruction for our students in their classrooms. If interested please submit a letter of application and a resume to: Superintendent, 1000 Schroder Drive, Cresco, IA 52136

The preschool class has been a bit insect crazy the past week! They started the week with friends sharing the knowledge they had about insects. These conversations led to some questions they had. The big question was…how do insects get inside apples and tomatoes? As a preschool class they decided to do a little research. The preschoolers thought they could observe this in the classroom by bringing in an apple and putting it in a jar with an insect. We are anxiously observing this process! Exploring the donated classroom insects has helped the preschoolers discover that insects have 2 antennae, 6 legs, 3 body segments, and compound eyes.

Students also read the silly story 10 Apples Up On Top, by Dr. Seuss. The preschoolers worked hard retelling the story by placing beanbags (apples) on their heads just like the story.
Preschool students have been practicing their three program wide expectations: 
Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Respectful by reciting a cheer and by recognizing examples 
of these behaviors in the classroom. The visuals that represent these expectations and the cheer are found below. These expectations will help them develop their classroom rules.
They also read together the Positive Behavior Instructional Strategies-PBIS social story "Tucker Turtle". Now they know if they have a problem the "Think like a Turtle!" They also introduced their classroom problem solving cards. These visuals will be used to help them to learn to solve classroom conflicts.

Mr. Knobloch “Mr. K” came to visit preschool! Mr. K will be visiting preschool once or twice a month to talk to us about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-STEM topics. Recently he talked to them about ocean fish! Mr. K told them that when something swims by a puffer fish that wants to eat it, it puffs up. Puffing up is it’s defense. One of the puffer fish Mr. K showed us had a beak mouth like a bird! The puffer fish uses the beak to pull crabs out of where they live, crush them, and eat them. The other puffer fish’s mouth was soft. It eats plants. That one had 100s of spikes! They also learned about Reef Fish and Mackerel. Mr. K even showed them a Flying Fish!

Transitional Kindergarten
Transitional Kindergarten students are showing they are mastering the routines and familiar with the schedule.  Each week students have 
specials that help them to explore and develop their talents.
Monday is Art. Tuesday is Music. Thursday is Library. Friday is P.E.
Each of these specials lasts 20 minutes. The TK students also will have visits from Mr. Knobloch. He will be sharing information with students about various science topics.
TK students have also started FAST district wide assessments. Transition Kindergarten students are being assessed on Concepts of Print, Onset Sounds, Letter Names, and Letter Sounds. These are all literacy skills that will help the students as they grow in their abilities to read. We look forward to watching them grow as learners this year.

Our Kindergarten students are working very hard on their Jolly Phonics sounds. Students are also practicing at home by singing the songs, doing the actions and also going on YouTube and searching for Jolly Phonics songs to help them practice. In literacy, they have been working on recognizing words in sentences, using context clues and picture clues to understand meaning, setting a purpose for reading, and identifying how many syllables are in a word.  Daily 5 rotations for literacy have also been a focus. Students are working on "Word Works" and "Listen to Reading".
In math, they practiced comparing lengths throughout the classroom. They 
looked for things that were shorter, longer, and the same size as themselves.  
They have also been working on their counting skills, number and shape recognition, providing experiences for the students to manipulate and combine shapes, and using 10 frames to explore numbers and number relationships. ST Math, continues to be a hit in the classroom! The students are very eager to see their progress daily.

The kindergarten students loved having their grandparents at school last week to celebrate Grandparent's Day. They enjoyed smoothies in the cafeteria before giving their grandparents a tour of their classroom and showing them what they are learning. Some grandparents were even learning how to use the kindergarten iPads.

First Grade

First grade science has been busy as students were found to be completing their Investigating Water studies by learning about the vocabulary words ABSORB, DISSOLVE, and EVAPORATE. They had so much fun learning and investigating the properties of water! Students were excited to see what happened to their celery that they submerged in red water!! 
In literacy they were learning another Comprehension Strategy that they have now been practicing called Compare and Contrast. When they compare and contrast, they decide what things are the SAME and DIFFERENT between those two items. For example, they compared and contrasted the Iowa Hawkeyes and the ISU Cyclones. They are BOTH football teams,  BOTH in Iowa, but they are DIFFERENT because one is in Iowa City and one is in Ames. They read a book "What do Dinosaurs Do at School" and students compared and contrasted what things dinosaurs DO, such as eat meat, lay eggs, growl, etc. and what dinosaurs DO NOT DO, such as wear clothes, ride a school bus, brush their teeth, etc.

Second Grade
For the past couple of weeks second grade has been all about numbers in math. They have been comparing numbers, ordering numbers, skip counting, exploring number lines and number patterns. They practiced comparing numbers with candy corn by using it to point at the lower dice-rolled number. What a "sweet" way to practice math.
Second grade has also launched Read to Someone! Students are doing an AWESOME job building stamina and practicing the strategy Check for Understanding with their reading partners.

Third Grade

Do you remember studying subjects and predicates in school? Or maybe nous and verbs? Mr. Hable, the student teacher in third grade, has been teaching the students and to their surprise and delight the other day he started the day with a rap about subjects and predicates!

Literacy has also been a focus area for students. They have been working very hard on their reading fluency this year. With all the practice the teachers are adding a bit of variety too. 

Puppet play scripts are a fun and interesting way to practice their expression and ability to read smoothly.

Fourth Grade
Learning about local heritage and history is important for our students. Fourth graders had a great time doing this at "Pioneer Day" last week. Each group rotated through different stations as they learned: Hayden Prairie, pioneer word searches, Iowa trivia, Lidtke Mill/Lidtke House, and a station in which Angela Bries from the Howard County Nature Center taught them about food chains.

Students in fourth grade have also been super busy learning and practicing Daily 5 rotations: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, and Listen to Reading. Stamina has been increasing every day! Way to go! 

During their geometry unit, student volunteers came together to create convex 
and concave polygons. They tried their best to make their sides of each shape straight!😉

Fifth Grade
Fifth graders were extremely busy last Friday at the Norman Borlaug Farm as they learned about one room school houses of the past, plants and growing things, biofuel, and watersheds. A favorite activity of the students was the meal packaging where the students got the opportunity to package meals for the hungry.
Recently one of the 5th grade classes was lucky enough to have a parent come in to demonstrate how to make Origami creature bookmarks! The class had a BLAST using their own creativity to make their own monsters, animals, and minions!  Several students got out their iPads to search for samples of what they could make! Great 21st Century learners! 

Sixth Grade
Learning to write well is a skill that students will use their whole lives. The sixth graders have been working on their creative writing and helping each other determine if they are using complete sentences.

Students have also been working on their research skills to find out about many famous scientists. They have created Wanted posters to share their information.

Thursday, October 1       Chip Shoppe Fundraiser Kickoff
Friday, October 2            1st Grade Field Trip to LaCrosse Children's Museum

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