Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 23 Preschool & Elementary



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

READING is IMPORTANT

Parents--you are your child's first and most important teacher.  Are you reading with your child?

We know reading aloud every day to a child from birth through 3rd grade is essential to a child's early brain development and successfully making the transition by third grade from learning to read to reading to learn.

Every day is a fleeting opportunity for parents and primary caregivers to make a difference in their child's life.  While many parents are strongly committed to reading aloud every day to their child, far too many parents still do not understand the incredible influence and impact only they can have.

Some suggestions for Encouraging Reading Practice
  • Try relaxing your family's bedtime rules once a week on the weekends. Let your children know that they can stay up as late as they want, as long as they are reading in bed. 
  • Help your child start a home library; paperback books are fine. Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Check used book stores. Give books as gifts. 
  • Want your children to be good readers? Let them see you read. 
  • Try holding D-E-A-R times at your house. "DEAR" stands for "Drop Everything and Read." During DEAR time, everyone in the family sits down for some uninterrupted reading time. 
  • With young children, try reading to them during bath time. 
  • Use the "Rule of Thumb" to see if a book is on your children's reading level: Have them read a page of the book aloud. Have them hold up one finger for each word they don't know. If they hold up four fingers and a thumb before the end of the page, the book is probably too hard for them to read alone. But it might be a great book to read aloud.

LITERACY ASSESSMENT

Crestwood Elementary is in the second year of the statewide reading test called FAST. FAST is the test which stands for Formative Assessment System for Teachers. FAST is given to every student three times a year to identify students who are reading on grade level and those students who need additional help in reading. Throughout the school year, students are assessed on a variety of skills that are essential to reading. The FAST assessment screens on the following skills: 

KINDERGARTEN-
● Reading letter names and identifying letter sounds
● Understanding concepts of print (eg. We read from left to right on a page.)
● Identifying individual sounds they hear in a word (eg. “at” has two sounds:  /a/ and /t/)
● Reading commonly used words by sight (eg. "the”)
● Blending sounds together to read simple words

FIRST GRADE-
● Reading simple sentences 
● Number of words read correctly in one minute—related to decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension
● Identifying individual sounds they hear in a word (eg. “at” has two sounds:  /a/ and /t/)
● Reading commonly used words by sight (eg. "the”)

● Blending sounds together to read simple words

GRADES 2-6-
Students in grades 2-6 are given the aReading test. FAST Adaptive Reading, or aReading, is a computer-administered measure of broad reading skill developed to screen students three times per year. It is individualized for each student based on their skill and pattern of responses. aReading is aligned with National Common Core Standards and is based on recommendations from the National Reading Panel. Concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary are assessed.  aReading provides an overall indication of how well the student is reading and is related to other reading skills like decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Your child's teacher will be sharing the results of the assessment with you at Parent-Teacher Conferences.


MAP TESTING

Students at Crestwood Elementary this fall have taken an assessment called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). These tests determine each child’s instructional level and measure academic growth from year to year in the areas of mathematics, reading, language usage, and science. MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests each child took on a computer. That means that the test became more difficult the more questions the child answered correctly. When the child incorrectly answered a question, the test became easier. Therefore, each child took a test specifically created for his or her learning level. In addition, each child should have had the opportunity to learn the information presented on the test because the tests are aligned with the curriculum.
Each child’s MAP results are reported in RIT scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. It is also different than many tests that provide results based on a child’s score compared to others in his or her grade. Instead, the RIT score is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, that is independent of grade level. As a result, we can easily measure growth in learning. This type of score increases the value of the tests as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for your child’s learning. MAP testing is a powerful tool for monitoring student growth over time. The charts document the average RIT scores for different grades for a typical school district. The table below documents scores.  
Understanding Your Child’s MAP Test Results         
MAP is a test to identify a student’s instructional level—in other words, the concepts they know and those they are ready to learn. Over time, MAP measures academic growth and MAP data is used by teachers to plan effective instruction. The charts that follow will help you to see your child’s progress in terms of skill level. Scores are reported in terms of a RIT score—we like to refer to this as a Ready for Instruction Today score because this helps us to know what types of skills they are ready to be taught in the classroom. Since this test is taken several times during the year, the average RIT scores for each grade level for a typical school during FALL testing are in the Beginning of the Year column, WINTER testing is in the Middle of Year column, and SPRING testing is in the End of Year column. Your child's scores will be shared with you at Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Reading Norms (RIT Values)

Mathematics Norms (RIT Values)
Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year

Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year
K
141.0
151.3
158.1

K
140.0
151.5
159.1
1
160.7
171.5
177.5

1
162.4
173.8
180.8
2
174.7
184.2
188.7

2
176.9
186.4
192.1
3
188.3
195.6
198.6

3
190.4
198.2
203.4
4
198.2
203.6
205.9

4
201.9
208.7
213.5
5
205.7
209.8
211.8

5
211.4
217.2
221.4
6
211.0
214.2
215.8

6
217.6
222.1
225.3
7
214.4
216.9
218.2

7
222.6
226.1
228.6
8
217.2
219.1
220.1

8
226.3
229.1
230.9
9
220.2
221.3
221.9

9
230.3
232.2
232.4
10
220.4
221.0
221.2

10
230.1
231.5
233.4
11
222.6
222.7
222.3

11
233.3
234.4
235.0


Language Usage Norms (RIT Values)

General Science Norms (RIT Values)
Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year

Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year
K




K



1




1



2
174.5
184.9
189.7

2



3
189.4
196.8
200.0

3
187.5
192.6
195.4
4
198.8
204.4
206.7

4
194.6
198.7
201.0
5
205.6
209.7
211.5

5
200.2
203.7
205.7
6
210.7
213.9
215.3

6
204.3
207.1
208.6
7
214.0
216.5
217.6

7
207.2
209.5
210.9
8
216.2
218.1
219.0

8
210.3
212.3
213.5
9
218.4
219.7
220.1

9



10
218.9
219.7
220.4

10



11
221.5
222.1
222.1

11





VOLUNTEERS

Parents are welcome to volunteer at school. There are many tasks, which volunteers can help with. Some parents choose to volunteer to do tasks at home while others come to school to volunteer. If you would like to share your time and talent with us please talk to your child’s teacher about volunteering or call the school office. We welcome your help. In 

school volunteers must complete a criminal background check. This can be completed through the district office. This may take a minimum of 2 weeks to process. Volunteers must complete the background check every three years.


Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Up

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, November 3 and Thursday, November 5.  Times for conferences are from 4:00-8:00 each night.  Conferences will be 15 minutes in length with a 5-minute transition time between conferences.  The system that we had been using to schedule conferences has crashed, so we have switched to a new system.  A NEW note was sent home with students on Friday with directions for how to sign up for a conference time.  If you have already scheduled your conference, you don't need to do anything, as we transferred those conferences to our new system.

If you don't have Internet access or simply want to schedule your child's conference directly please call Crestwood Elementary 563-547-2340 and ask for Linda Middlebrook.  It is VERY IMPORTANT for parents to attend conferences.  Kids do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives.  Attending parent-teacher conferences is a great way to be involved and help your child succeed.

A parent-teacher conference is a great opportunity to:

  • start or continue ongoing conversations with your child's teacher
  • learn how to help your kids do their best in school
  • let your child know that what goes on in school will be shared at home

Annual Fundraiser
Chip Shoppe fundraising envelopes have been collected and orders are being tabulated. Money from the fundraiser goes to support field trips and supplies for school. Orders and items sold will be delivered to school on Thursday, November 5th from 3:00 to 5:30, so add that date to your schedule to pick up your items.
Thanks for your support!




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

A look at our learning . . .
Preschool
The preschoolers in Lime Springs have been talking about Fire Safety. They practiced crawling under the smoke and calling 9-1-1 for an emergency. They also went on a scavenger hunt around the school to see if they could find some fire safety things, such as, a fire alarm, smoke detectors, fire hydrant, and sprinklers. Each student had to circle each object that they were able to find around the school. They reviewed all they learned about Fire Safety with a rhyme, check out their Facebook page for the video--  https://www.facebook.com/Mrs.HolthausPreschoolClass?fref=ts
The preschoolers are also observing the changes that come with fall. They took a Fall walk
to see the changes that are occurring outside and collected some leaves. The students told the lass what they knew about Fall, ideas ranged from the leaves changing colors, pumpkins to combining corn and beans. They will continue observing and experimenting with Fall over the next couple weeks.
P was the letter of the week, they have been painting, doing puzzles and learning what sound P makes. They also figured out the P is for pumpkins, which they find during the Fall. 
Transitional Kindergarten
Transition Kindergarten welcomed robots Dash and Dot this week. These robots work via apps on the iPad. Dash is a classroom favorite. Students are creating pumpkins for our fall display. We are focusing on the parts of the pumpkin plant.   Input and output were the focus of several lessons and activities this week. Students worked with several different machines- Bee Bot, Ozbot, and Cubelets. Each student created their own robot with boxes and art materials. Part of the creating process included what kind of input their robot would require and what the output would be. The students have great imaginations! 

Kindergarten
These kindergarten students were showing their respect during our Cadet Pride Week. They came up with the idea of using yellow paper to make something yellow to wear.  They wrote the word respect on their crowns to remind them of the character trait for the yellow pillar.
Of course when you wear a crown you are very respectful, and everyone respects someone wearing a crown.  When wearing a crown you love your picture taken, so here they are!



First Grade
Students had a Skype session with author and Firefighter Dayna Hilton and Firedog Molly. They read the students their book called Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog and talked about fire safety.

Teachers do many things to encourage students to get their creative ideas down on paper and write stories.  One of the favorite things to do is to show their writing skills to the rest of the class.  Here is one of the first grade students showing their writing on the smartboard
.

Second Grade
Our caterpillars have made their chrysalis! We are now patiently waiting for the butterflies to hatch.  

So many ways to practice math fact strategies,whether it be making "Double dudes or divas", using flash cards, ipads, math homework sheets.... The end result intended is math fact fluency and a better understanding to help with future math skills.

Some of the second grade students are super excited to start their new literacy mini-unit!


Third Grade
So proud of this class as they worked so hard with partners on the editing stage of the writing process to improve their stories. "Good stories are not written, they are rewritten!" The next step is the revising process to put their proofreading skills to a test.

Cadet Bucks are earned by students for showing Cadet Pride at school. These students sure were excited to check out the items at the Cadet Store and spend some of their Cadet dollars. Some students decided to save their money for something bigger while others enjoyed spending their money on little treasures!

Fourth Grade
Do you know how to make your writing more interesting and engaging to the reader/listener? Well 4th grade students do! It's called figurative language! They have been working extremely hard to understand and apply similes, metaphors, onomatopoeias, alliterations and idioms! So just ask them! Don't be afraid to GO OUT ON A LIMB (idiom) to improve your writing! They can surely help. They are AS BRIGHT AS SHINING STARS (simile) when it comes to this stuff! They can TURN YOUR TERRIBLE TEXTS INTO TERRIFIC TALES (alliteration). Let them help make your writing piece POP and SIZZLE (onomatopoeia). Literacy lessons have also led students to activities reviewing antonyms and synonyms. Students were given 4 words and used their ipads to dig in and find the antonyms as well as synonyms for those words.

Fourth graders are on their last days of working with electrical circuits. On this day they built a circuit tester to use on circuit puzzles. Their task was to find the closed circuits in each puzzle without looking!





Fifth Grade
The Cadet Store visit seemed exciting for many 5th grade students. Some chose to hold on their cash for the next visit as they picked out something worth saving for. This is a great lesson for students to learn as saving for things that are special to you is a great life-skill.

Fifth graders can often be found digging right in to school every morning. Each class has their own unique way to start the day. These classes were found already immersed in what they were doing after only being in the building for a few minutes.




Sixth Grade
This class used their knowledge about ionic and covalent bonds to build models of compounds using gumdrops.











Coding and Creating- Writing code to develop mazes with their Spheros.




Book-It:


The sixth grade students are participating in the "Book-It" reading program. This program has been implemented in the past so students are familiar with it.  Each child reads the number of minutes required on their reading calendar and he/she can earn a Pizza Hut certificate.  In order to earn the certificate, they needs to not only read the minimum number of minutes, but also need to have their calendar signed by parent/guardian.  All parents are encouraged to help support their readers at home. 




We would like to thank you for sharing your child with us. “Our Business is Kids” and we strive to maintain a student-oriented, teacher-directed school serving the unique needs of our students and our community. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to give us a call and we will do our best to assist you.

REMINDERS
Friday, October 23         End of 1st Quarter
Tuesday, October 27     Picture Retakes
Monday, November 2    Report Cards go home
Tuesday, November 3   Parent-Teacher conferences from 4:00-8:00
Thursday, November 5  Parent-Teacher conferences from 4:00-8:00
Friday, November 6       No School


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