Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13 Preschool & Elementary

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


When the Halloween pumpkins are gone,

And the leaves have all fallen to the ground,

When the air has turned windy and cold,

Then Thanksgiving will soon be around.

As Thanksgiving time approaches it always reminds me of all the things in my life that I am thankful for. It is my goal to always express thanks whenever a good thing comes into my life. Somehow, there's always something to be thankful about! I have this simple statement that I make often, "Thank you for all that you do for kids!"

Most often I am making this statement to my teachers and staff, but this is something that I also want to express to you, the parents of our students. Thank you for all that you do for your child. You are the most influential people in their lives! You have helped them to learn and grow into the wonderful human beings that you share with us each day. We are very thankful to have both you and your children in our lives. I hope that you'll find many things in your life that fill you with thankfulness. Have a wonderful November full of thankfulness! Enjoy your day!

Cold and Flu Season

The cold and flu season is upon us. If your child experiences any flu-like symptoms, we ask that they stay home from school. They may return to school 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. If your child is vomiting, they need to have been able to keep food down for 12 hours prior to returning to school (so vomiting the night before, no breakfast and returning to school is not acceptable). Teachers are prepared to help students catch up upon their return.                                                          

Lost and Found

We have lots of sweatshirts, coats, hats, and mittens that are looking for a home. Please check our lost and found right outside the office to see if your child has left anything.

Astronaut Visit

On Thursday, Astronaut Clayton Anderson came to Howard-Winn. At the elementary all students with perfect attendance were put into a drawing to "Have Lunch with an Astronaut". The lucky elementary winners were: Kendall Schwickerath, Clayton Thiele, Kayla Burke, and Tyler Konkel. Several secondary students also got to join in the lunch. The students enjoyed asking him questions and hearing about his adventures while they ate. Astronaut Anderson also gave presentations to the all K-12 students during the course of the day.

Just a friendly reminder . . . if your child is riding a bike to school please remind them to park their bike in the bike rack and not just leave it in the grass. At dismissal, bikes need to be walked on the sidewalk all the way to the crosswalk. They are not to be ridden on the sidewalks as there are too many walkers sharing the sidewalk. Thanks!

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all of the parents and guardians who attended our Parent-Teacher Conferences last week. Conferences are a great opportunity for both parents and teachers to learn more about the students. Two-way communication is key to strengthening our partnership and providing the best education for your child. We had over 96% of our parents attend conferences. Thank you for your support of your child and their education!

Thank you to all parents who participated in this year's Chip Shoppe fundraiser. We raised over $16,000 to support elementary field trips and activities to enhance their school experience!
Veterans Lunch
Crestwood Elementary School was very pleased to honor our veterans by hosting a special lunch in their honor. Students were asked to invite a veteran that they know to have lunch with them at school on Wednesday, November 11th in honor of Veteran's Day. We were thrilled and honored to be able to thank and honor almost 90 veterans and guests at lunch that day. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

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

Parent Teacher Organization
Our Parent-Teacher Organization is doing a shirt fundraiser. All proceeds will be used to support the Howard-Winn Elem and JH. Order forms have gone home with students. Orders are due by November 20th. These shirts would make great Christmas presents!

Check out this website

Bedtime Math - Fun Math Activities for Parents To Do With Their Kids

Bedtime Math ( ) is a great site on which you can locate fun mathematics activities for elementary school and middle school students. The activities are designed for students to do at home with their parents. The Bedtime Math activities incorporate common household objects. Today's lesson has a new lesson posted each day, for example a lesson about mixing and sharing milkshakes. In addition to the written math lessons Bedtime Math has a few math videos that you may want to check out. 

A look at our learning . . .


The preschoolers Jack ‘O Lanterns Rotted! They read a book on the SMARTboard “Pumpkin Jack”. In the story, the mother tells the boy to put his rotten Jack ‘O Lantern in the trash, but instead he puts it in the garden. The preschoolers put their rotten Jack ‘O Lanterns in the garden boxes in the Natural Playground so they can observe what happens to them and compare their observations to what happened in the book!

Preschoolers also learned how to program their class STEM robot “Bee Bot”. First they did a large group activity. There are four ways that Bee Bot can move: forward, backward, left, and right. Each student got to give Bee Bot a direction, which they called “in-put”, by pushing one of the arrow buttons on Bee Bot’s back. Then the teacher pushed “go” and they watched to see where Bee Bot went on the carpet. When Bee Bot follows their directions, they called it “out-put”. Next they worked in small groups, taking turns to program Bee Bot to get “nectar from the flower” and take it to the “beehive to make honey”. This activity helped teach students to use the grid and the programming arrow cards that came with Bee Bot. It also taught students that when they add input, their input adds to what the other students already put in, so Bee Bot has to be placed back on the flower before they press “Go”. The students did an amazing job of taking turns, trying to figure out which arrow to use as input to collectively get the Bee Bot to the hive, and following the steps: pick an arrow card, match the arrow to Bee Bot, push the arrow button, move Bee Bot back to the flower, and press “Go”!

Students used ears of corn to measure how tall they are. They also used plastic links to measure how big our classroom pumpkins are. Measuring is an important math skill for preschoolers. You can use standard measurement tools like rulers and tape measures or you can use non-standard measurement tools like your child’s feet and hands or objects from your home or nature. It is a great chance for preschool aged children to practice numbers, counting, comparing, and math vocabulary (tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest, inches, feet) in a meaningful way!

Transitional Kindergarten

Students have now practiced all of the consonant and vowel Jolly Phonics songs and sounds. They will continue to sing the songs, practice writing both capital and lowercase letters, and review the letter sounds.  Parents are encouraged to read with their children at home and use that opportunity to reinforce some of the skills the students are learning at school. Things like pointing out the first and last words of the sentence, asking the child to count how many words are in the sentence, and choosing a word from the story and asking your child to give rhyming words are great pre-reading skills to practice. 

Transition Kindergarten students are working on science investigations and experiments. Their classroom now includes a question board where they can collect the questions that come up during their discussions. Students will be participating in hands-on investigations over the next several weeks. Students shared what topics they would like to have in the classroom library. Books were checked out from the AEA to match student interests. Maps are a new topic of study for them. They are beginning by looking at a variety of maps and finding out what kinds of things are on a map.

Everyday a few third graders from next door come over during partner reading time to read with students in Mrs. Leifeld's room.

These kindergarteners were invited to 5th grade to listen to the stories the 5th graders wrote to accompany wordless picture books.  

Kindergarten students love to use the stampers on the Doodle Buddy app to practice addition and show what they know.

First Grade

In math 1A students have been working on patterns, odd/even numbers, skip counting, and adding and subtracting using a number line. They worked with partners and used the number line app to practice adding and subtracting.

In writing they wrote stories about a member of our family. The class discussed using the word wall and dictionary to find unknown words.

Classes discussed the meaning and importance of Veterans Day and enjoyed lunch with some of their favorite Veterans!!

Second Grade
There's a new book in literacy that students are excited about -- "I Need My Monster!" Students are learning many different skills with this book.

Crestwood Elementary honored the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to keep us free. In this class, students used a QR code that took them to a Wonderopolis video explaining the meaning behind Veteran's Day. When everyone was done watching the video, the class discussed some of the details. It was a wonderful learning experience for us.

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

Using @TodaysMeet to share predictions and thinking during small group reading. 

Third Grade
Monsters were everywhere in math! This class had a little fun with monster measurement to get their minds back on their math topic. Students worked through three stations that centered about measurement with a monster theme: measure hunt in the room, create a monster and measure the parts,and story problems that involved measurement. The kids did awesome and loved their afternoon!

Measurement can be a lot of fun. How long is your foot? How wide is the door? How tall is the table? These students enjoyed the challenge of estimating the measurement and then seeing how close they were. Some of the students even found out that their foot was the same length as their teacher's foot!

Fourth Grade
In math this class reviewed many of the multiplication concepts they have been learning about. They also practiced finding the MEAN (or average) of a set of numbers. Introducing long division was a challenge for many students but they need to start somewhere and it will get easier with time and practice!

Some students have given their book club presentations to their class! After reading Dear Mr. Henshaw which was about a boy writing to his favorite author, they decided to do the same! Here are the letters written by our very own 4A students! We can't wait to see if we get a response! Check it out!

Fifth Grade
Our students are great at creating things to show their learning. You should check out this video students made while studying about Veterans Day and learning about nouns, verbs and adjectives. Check out this LINK HERE of their video.

Students also read America's White Table. They set a table and discussed what each item meant; then the students were given the assignment to create a "thank you" or artifact to show gratitude. 

Sixth Grade
In literacy, students began their first book club for 6th grade. The theme, or topic, for their book clubs is on tolerance and acceptance of others. Students were able to choose their top 5 book choices and then were placed into groups based upon that. They have assignments with their book clubs nearly every night so they will be busy reading and learning.

In science, students have been studying the ancient Egyptians and their process of embalming. To give them the hands-on experience of embalming and mummifying, they mummified potatoes in their classroom. They were surprised to see the changes that occurred from placing potatoes in a "natron" salt mixture as compared to leaving the potatoes out without any salt. The students discovered the potatoes turned black and shrunk! Embalming can really work!

In social studies, students participated in a STEM activity where they made their own mummies with just three pipe cleaners, one piece of tape, and a whole roll of paper towels. The students loved this activity and the mummies turned very interesting!

Students used the "Thinking Blocks" app for working with ratios and proportions.

Using FreeRice to practice grammar and vocabulary. 

Rockin' Reading
Rereading familiar text helps students develop fluency. A fluent reader reads with proper intonation and expression, making the book sound just like talking. Readers learn to read in phrases rather than word by word, making for a smoother flow to their reading. Students also work on reading fairly quickly. It is important for students to reread these stories at home, too.

Word work with magnetic letters provides students with a tactile way to manipulate words.  This is a regular part of the lessons in both Reading Recovery and Title I.  

Students think about words they know to help them with words they don't know. Students will hear something like this as they manipulate words, "If you know eat, then you know meat. If you know meat, then you know meal."

In second grade Title I, students are working on hearing blends in words.  By saying the word slowly and stretching
it out, it is easier to detect some of those tricky blends. This not only helps when writing words, but also helps to more readily recognize those words in print.

Monday, November 16   Preschool Parent Advisory
November 16-20            American Education Week
November 25                 NO SCHOOL (Teacher Inservice)
November 26                 NO SCHOOL
November 27                 NO SCHOOL

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