Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30 Preschool & Elementary

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

Help! I don't know anything about what my child is telling me...
We encourage our students to go home and tell their parents about what they are doing in their classrooms. Our goal is for parents to feel informed, and involved. Your children are excited about what they are doing. Students may be going home and talking about things like Skype, Showbie, Google Docs, YouTube, Eduvision, iMovie, Spheros, coding, and robots . . . the list goes on.  Do these conversations leave you scratching your head and wondering what is going on?

Your personal experience with school and education is probably very different from what is happening in our classrooms today. You may also be wondering, "Is my child getting a great education or is this technology stuff just something to entertain them?"

Well . . .Education Has Changed

In the past, teachers may have taught a lesson and the students then completed a worksheet to practice their new learning or a quiz to show that they had mastered the material. The graded worksheets and quizzes then came home and you, as a parent, had a feel for what was happening in the classroom. This is probably the system that you grew up with and are used to. The problem lies in the fact that these are 20th century methods and we are well into the 21st century and we need to prepare our students for life in the future. 

Our mission at Howard-Winn is to prepare and empower our students 

to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally. 

You may have heard or read our mission statement before. We take this mission very seriously. We need to prepare our students for their future, whether it be in Northeast Iowa, the Midwest, or somewhere else. There are core skills we are working to build in our students to help them be successful. Collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving are skills, which we work to build in our students to help them thrive in the world. Teacher work every day to create lessons that reflect our Howard-Winn Design Essentials.

Our students have spent their entire lives surrounded by technology with information at their fingertips. Technology that is integrated into our daily teaching presents us with great opportunities to personalize the educational experience for our students. We have noticed a tremendous positive impact on learning when students are allowed to engage with content, analyze what they are reading, construct their own knowledge, question what they are learning, and communicate their knowledge. Technology integration provides many of these opportunities.

We are working to build 21st century classrooms for our learners:

  • a multimedia environment for learning core content (websites, video chats, digital resources, apps) 
  • the promotion of essential learning and innovation skills (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity) 
  • building knowledge & information through the integration of media and technology skills in the context of the classroom environment 
Our 21st century classrooms are building a strong foundation in the core subjects for our students. So the next time your child comes home excitedly talking about the Skype session that they had or the new app that they used on their iPad, please take the time to talk to them about what they are learning, doing, and creating in class. Their learning will astound you!

What Does Your Child's READING ABILITY Mean for Their Future?

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. If you haven't signed up for conferences please contact Linda Middlebrook at 563-547-2340 at the Elementary/JH office.

We Want You to . . . invite a Veteran to Lunch

Crestwood Elementary Schools would like to honor our Veterans by hosting a special lunch in their honor. Students are being asked to invite a veteran that they know to have lunch with them at school. This event will be held on Wednesday, November 11th during the student’s regularly scheduled lunchtime. A note will be sent home on Monday with all elementary students containing details. We hope to see many Veterans here for us to thank and honor at lunch that day.

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

Winter Weather

The winter weather will soon be here. Please make sure that your child is dressing appropriately for the weather. Once the temperature starts dropping they will need to wear warmer coats, hats, and mittens. Snowfall will also mean snow pants and boots. Now is a good time to make sure that your child has all of their gear together and to make sure that it fits. Winter will be here before we know it.

A look at our learning . . .

Preschoolers took a virtual field trip to Mrs. Tieskoetter’s farm. They watched a combine shell corn out of the field and unload the corn into a wagon. After the wagon was full, they observed a tractor drive the full wagon out of the field. The preschoolers were amazed by this process and agreed that they couldn’t shell corn as fast as the combine!

Pumpkins here. Pumpkins there. Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! Preschoolers used four of their five senses to help describe the outside and inside of a pumpkin in their classroom. The students came up with some great words to describe the pumpkin, such as hard, soft (inside), has seeds, orange, smooth and wet, to name a few. They then were able to pick their own pumpkin and do some investigating and experimenting with their pumpkins. They were able to measure how tall their pumpkin was, they used a string to measure the circumference and see if their pumpkin would sink or float. Some students were surprised to see them float!!

Students also started making a Fall Glyph. What is a glyph you ask? A glyph is a way to gather data and it tells you more about the person who created it. While working on this the students are also working on following directions.

The preschoolers also have been working hard on their student portfolios and are excited for parents to see them at conferences!

Check out the fire safety movie made by one of our preschool classes!
Transitional Kindergarten

Transition Kindergarten students are completing their study of coding. They have enjoyed using the materials provided with the STEM kit and materials borrowed from the AEA lending library. As the school year progresses they will revisit some of the tools they used to code. Each student will share what they have learned by contributing to a classroom book made on the Smartboard.

The students have been working so hard learning that on Friday they were rewarded with Special Halloween Centers. Children brought Halloween costume to school to wear while they rotated around doing special centers for some holiday fun.  There were many parents that came in to help.  Fun was had by all!

The Kindergarten students work very hard on their Jolly Phonics sounds.  Recently they worked on sh, th, and qu.  These sounds are getting more difficult for the students to remember.  It is very important that parents help be reviewing these sounds at home.  In literacy they have also been working on initial sounds, phoneme matching and categorization
(Example: - Give student three words.  Have the student identify two words that start with the same sound - pail, bird, beach), identifying main idea and details, and having students summarize or retell stories that have been read to them.

One of the classrooms has also begun working with the Daily 3 Math framework.  During Daily 3 Math students select from three categories:  math by myself, math technology, and math with someone.  While students work independently on these, the teacher meets with students individually and in small groups to work on math skills.

The Cadet Pride Store was open for the Elementary last week. Cadet Pride Bucks are given to students that exhibit Cadet Pride expectations by Crestwood staff members. Students are encourage to show ”Cadet Pride” and are acknowledged for positive behaviors.  This class was very proud of all the Cadet Pride Bucks that they had earned!

First Grade
Practice manipulating letters, sounds, and words helps student learn to read.  This student is using the Magnetic ABC app to segment & blend phonemes during Cadet Time.

This week two Howard County deputies came and talked to students about "Red Ribbon" week and how they should stay away from any medicine that their parents or doctors do not give them to make them better when they are sick. The kids loved the red ribbon they received to show they took the pledge to be "Drug Free"!

We worked on adding pennies and nickels together by playing BINGO!

Second Grade
Second graders have had some special visitors in their classes for the past month.  Joining them were caterpillars and waxworms.  To begin, students inspected each to see what was the same and what was different about each.  Next they learned about how butterflies and moths stayed safe from predators by using camouflage.  Students decorated butterflies so that they would be camouflaged somewhere in the classroom.  Some were very tricky to find. By this time, our caterpillars were no longer caterpillars, but were now in their chrysalis.  This week the butterflies appeared.  Students took a close look at their proboscis and the color of their wings.  Some thought they looked like a monarch when the wings were open.  They know though, that they are Painted Lady butterflies.  They are patiently waiting for their waxworms to change.  We'll keep you posted on further developments.

Students have been learning about adjectives and how they describe nouns. To go with this, they have been reading the story Crankenstein. It's about a very cranky boy! This week they drew Crankenstein and described him using some great adjectives.

This group of students is using the iPad app Keynote to create a presentation about bats for their classmates. Each presentation will have facts about where bats live, what they eat, how they find their food, etc. Students found their information from books and using kidzsearch, which is a search engine that is safe for kids to use.

Making good Cadet Pride choices during indoor rainy recess is very enjoyable with classroom buddies.

Third Grade
Students are working hard on their Videolicious Research Videos!
Wow! Students were working so hard that their brains. They were making inferences from picture books. Students worked with a partner to determine/make inferences using what was stated in the story combined with what they know or their prior knowledge. Lots of thinking involved!

Students are loving their Global Read Aloud Book- Fish in a Tree. They enjoyed listening to the author, Linda Mullaly Hunt, read chapter 24 from her blog page. A recent reading shared several important lessons...
1. Accept your differences and be unique. Do what works for you even if it isn't the same as what works for everyone else.
2. You can't control other people's actions, but you can control how you respond to them.

Fourth Grade
In math, students have been working on a data unit. Collecting data and turning it into line plots, stem and leaf plots, bar graphs, pictographs, coordinate grids, ordered pairs, and line graphs. Earlier this week, students were given M&M's to create a bar graph using their ipads. They've been using a really neat website called, "NCES Kids' Zone." Students are able to create different types of graphs. 

This fourth grade math lesson was focused not on the ANSWERS to different mathematical word problems, but more so on the PROCESS of finding those answers! Students were given a word problem to solve and had to determine the best OPERATION for solving. They did an amazing job! It's always great to see the teacher and students making connections between what they are doing in math and why they are doing it.

Fifth Grade
Practicing your reading skills by reading aloud will help make you a better reader, but often times it is not an exciting activity. This 5th grade class found a way to make it a lot more exciting. They chose to practice their fluency by working on a reader's theater story. The picture below shows them demonstrating their fluency with the reader's theater story to Luther College students using Skype.

Who learns more?  The younger or the older students? Sometimes it's hard to tell!

The 5th grade students participated in a number of service projects on Friday, October 30.  A bus-load of students visited Country Winds Manor to connect with residents inside and do grounds work outside.  Another group of students worked to "mentoring" younger students at the school to work on projects.  One group also worked to craft Origami bookmarks and Get-Well cards for hospital patients.  The students were extremely excited to make an impact on others much like that of Norman Borlaug - the boy who changed the world!  

Sixth Grade
What do you know about Mix It Up Day? Our 6th grade students celebrated it on October 29th. Hundreds of schools were involved in getting students to move out of their comfort zone and do something different. The program, sponsored by Teaching Tolerance, encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. "Mix it Up" Day was celebrated at Howard-Winn using Tootsie roll pops to promote a "tolerance" discussion.

ART Adventure

What does art look like in your school? Do your students use technology to demonstrate their art skills? Students at #2020HowardWinn do! Here's a video of a student using @Seesaw to explain their art drawings and vocabulary of landscapes Check it out!  

Music Magic

Some Halloween Candy Rhythms and learning syllables! 

Gifted and Talented

Learning the names of the human bones with guest Mr. Bones. Great inquiry project. 

Thank you to all the students (and their families) for the entries in the "Character" Pumpkin Contest in the Discovery Center!  Here are a few of the entries.

Friday, October 30         End of 1st Quarter
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
                                      Chip Shoppe Pick up of orders (Elem Cafeteria) 3:00-5:30
Friday, November 6       No School

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