Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20 Preschool & Elementary

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

The Holidays are a time for . . .

The holiday season can be a time full of joy, good spirits, and merriment. But for families experiencing financial hardship, the holidays can be a disappointing, stressful time of the year. Due to life circumstances, families who are struggling to meet the financial demands of day-to-day life question how to provide holiday meals and gifts for their children to make holiday wishes come true, but there’s hope for these families. Numerous agencies offer support and assistance to families lacking resources during this season of giving. If you are struggling to make ends meet and need some help, you can contact Denise Headington, our Success Program Family & Student Case Manager. She will connect you to resources that can help your family during this challenging time. Denise's office phone number is 563.547.2300 or you can reach out by email  

If you are fortunate enough to be able to provide for your family during this upcoming holiday season, please take a moment and consider holiday giving opportunities, sharing your good fortune with our neighbors in need across our community. During the holidays, it is a time of increased awareness of vulnerable families and individuals and a good time to start thinking about easing the burdens of others. You can make a difference this holiday season. Please consider helping to bring joy and the magic of the holiday season to those who are in need of your time and generosity. You can choose an opportunity most

appealing to your personal spirit of giving. There are numerous ways you can help, for example -
  • Collect food and make a donation to a food bank
  • Contribute to local toy drives
  • Lend a hand at a community holiday dinner
  • Make a monetary contribution to a community resource that helps those in need
  • Adopt a child or family in need and go shopping to purchase gifts
  • Provide a holiday meal to someone in need
  • Incorporate service projects into your family’s holiday traditions
  • Practice random acts of kindness
The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.

Musical Moments          By: Mr. Bieber

We are off to an exciting year at Howard-Winn in the music department! This year the students have shown huge growth in their skills and abilities as performers in the music classroom. It is my goal to not only have a fun classroom but one that challenges the students to do things they were not able to do before and these kids have exceeded my expectations!

In Music, I have three goals that I thrive to meet with each class.  
  1. To have 100% participation.
  2. To increase the students’ knowledge, comprehension, and awareness of music.
  3. To make them stronger performers on instruments and through singing.  
This year I am excited to announce that I have changed the music program schedule to allow for similar grade levels with similar abilities to perform together. The 5th and 6th grade Christmas concert is set to take place on Monday, December 21st at 7:30 p.m. The 5th and 6th graders have been working very hard to put together a program that mimics one of a traditional choral setting with a twist. The music we are performing is all holiday music, but is inspired by holiday films. You should recognize some of these favorites and the kids have a blast singing them. Our rehearsals try to mimic what is being done at the Junior High Level in that we start each class with vocal warm-ups and solo opportunities. I hope you can make it to join in the holiday cheer!

The 3rd and 4th grade concert is scheduled for March 31st, at 7:30 p.m. and is going to be extremely different than years past. Last year my 3rd grade students started a brilliant program called Recorder Karate. Due to popular demand I have now continued recorders through 3rd and 4th grade. The students will also be adding in some drumming from our World Drumming Curriculum and Singing. It will be something like Howard-Winn has never seen before! 

The 1st and 2nd grade concert is scheduled for April 14th at 7:30 p.m. This concert will be a traditional program with some added fun. We will incorporate drumming and musical styles from other cultures to show the many different styles of music from around the world. Sometimes its hard to see the world outside of Cresco, Iowa, and these students love learning about what music sounds like on a global spectrum.

Last but not least I have decided to do something a little different with the kindergarten class this year. This year they will be putting on a performance of their own which will be a reflection of what goes on in the music classroom. More like an informance (an informational performance). The students will sing songs we have learned, dance, play instruments and just have a blast. It will be a complete insight as to what your child does every day in music class and is scheduled to take place on May 5th at 7:30 p.m.

The final event to look forward will be the Elementary Talent Show which will take place in the Gym. This will be an event full of more current popular music with vocal solos, instrument solos and group numbers. This includes all grades K-6 and will take place May 20th at 7:30 p.m.

We hope you can make it to one or all of these concerts this year. The students have been working very hard and are excited to share what they have been up to in music!

Fun Turkey Facts

A spooked turkey can run 20 m.p.h.
A baby turkey is called a poult.
A turkey can drown when it is raining by looking up.
Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell (what's cooking?), but an excellent sense of taste.
Happy Thanksgiving!


The weather is changing and temperatures are dropping. Dressing your child appropriately for the weather is important. Students will be sent outdoors for recess, weather permitting. It is important for the students to go out in the fresh air and get some exercise.  As fall turns to winter, please be sure your child has a winter coat, gloves or mittens and hat. For your child’s comfort please include boots, snow pants and an extra pair of dry socks when there is snow on the ground. Thank you for your extra effort. 

Notes to Teachers

If your child has different plans than normal after school, we ask that you send a note to your child's teacher. When sending notes to teachers for parent pick-up, etc. please make sure that the paper you write the note on is large enough to be found by the teacher. Tiny scraps of paper are often overlooked or get lost.

Arrival and Dismissal

School begins each day at 8:15. Students who are eating breakfast may begin eating at 7:45. Please do not drop off your child or send them to school until 7:45, as there is no supervision until that time. School is dismissed at 3:20/3:25 each day. Dismissal time may be a bit chaotic with all the parents who pick up children at that time. Please be patient when picking up your children as there are a lot of students coming out of the building at the same time. We ask that you drive slowly through our loop and be on the lookout for children crossing the street. Thank you in advance for your help in making dismissal time safe.
Students who are late for school interrupt the classroom and miss valuable instruction and work. PUNCTUALITY IS VERY IMPORTANT. Please allow extra time getting your children to school in the morning. 

Change of Address/Phone Number
To ensure your child's safety, the school must have accurate information--and be able to reach parents/guardians quickly--in the event of an emergency. Please report any changes of phone number(s) and/or address(es) to the school office immediately. Having current contact information is very important.

Bus Questions?
If you have questions or concerns about your student riding the bus, please contact the bus garage at 563-547-2341.

Reminder for Parents and Visitors
If you come into the school, our doors are locked. You must ring the doorbell and be buzzed into the building by the office staff. You must check in to the office each time you enter the building. This is required for the safety of our students.


This time of year, it’s important to brush up on the symptoms of Influenza, and what you can do to safeguard yourselves and your families. Influenza is a viral infection that can make you feel very sick. It is generally spread from infected droplets in coughs or sneezes. Symptoms generally come on suddenly and include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, and fatigue. (some people may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children than adults). The best treatment for the flu is prevention. Unless contraindicated, individuals should receive a flu vaccination each year during the fall. It’s also important to wash your hands regularly, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and avoid exposure to those that may be sick. There are antiviral medications that may shorten the duration of the flu and lessen the severity of the symptoms. If you have flu like symptoms, you should contact your health care professional to discuss your options. Go to to find out more information. 

After-School Tutoring

This year we are again offering after-school tutoring for our students, which is a continuation of our SINA plan. Registration was completed during conference week for qualifying families, and we have 50 students signed up for tutoring services.Tutoring will begin on January 5 and run for 30 sessions. Students participating in the tutoring program will receive individualized support in the areas of Reading and Math. Teachers from the H-W School District will be providing our tutoring service, with materials provided by EduCare Learning Centers, Inc., based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Lynn Murray, one of our district’s Title 1 Reading teachers, is our program coordinator. Our tutoring program gives our students structure during their ‘after-school’ hours. Students receive a healthy snack, provided by the H-W Food Service, giving them time to unwind from their school day, socialize and refuel for tutoring. Our students will be assessed prior to our tutoring, from which an Individualized Learning Plan is developed for each student’s specific areas of need. At the completion of our tutoring sessions, a post-assessment will be given and students’ progress will be shared with parents. Last year out students made an average 
growth of 5 months in both Reading and Math (in 2 ½ months time). Parents help build the success of our program by signing up their children, seeing that they attend daily, picking them up after tutoring and encouraging them to do their best. Pictured above are students participating in a tutoring session from last year.

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

“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson, American Former First Lady

Check out this website: Smithsonian Education

Sites for Students Will direct your child towards the Smithsonian Education Students

This fun and educational site brings American art, history, science, and culture to life. All content is based on Smithsonian research and collections from their museums. On the website you will find IdeaLabs. The Smithsonian's online IdeaLabs are dynamic and interactive learning sites for children. Your child can learn about American Presidents, re-live the Apollo 11 space mission, explore treasures from the Smithsonian’s collections, and much more.
Secrets of the Smithsonian lets your child can go behind the scenes to explore the Secrets of the Smithsonian. Are the bones of the Smithsonian's founder really buried in the Smithsonian Castle? Is the world's largest diamond cursed? Each story is a fun and fascinating look at the history of the world’s largest museum complex. Read All About It has suggested reading featuring educational books for your family's home library. Smithsonian experts—historians, curators, researchers, and scientists—contributed their expertise to each title. Activity Sheets includes word and number games, art exercises, and fun quizzes. With each activity, kids learn about something new, from the anatomy of the giant squid to the history of chocolate.

Our Learning This Week.....


In preschool they have started the STEM Pint Sized Science topic “Science Sprouts” by reading two introductory books and by participating in the science experiment “Color Changing Milk”. The books and the experiment introduced the preschool students to science vocabulary like: experiment, measure, observe, record, predict, and liquid. Science safety was also introduced. The students learned they have to wear goggles, use gentle touches, and “waft” instead of smelling directly. The children did a good job “wafting” by waving their hands above the mystery liquid to direct the air towards their nose to smell it. We discovered that the mystery liquid was powdered milk. Students then used gentle touches to squeeze food coloring into the milk. Then students touched a Q-tip dipped in liquid dish soap to the food coloring in the powdered milk. Each student then completed a science journal by drawing a picture of what he or she remembered from the experiment. While journaling students were interested to experiment again and see what might happen if they used chocolate milk or real milk instead of powdered milk and what might happen if they mixed the food coloring together instead of just using one color of food coloring at a time. The students were interested to see the results of their ideas as they tested them out. They discovered that with real milk the food coloring made a star shape when touched with liquid dish soap and when food coloring was mixed together when touched with liquid dish soap it made a rainbow!

During the month of November the classrooms will do some cooking activities. Their first cooking activity was making pie from a pumpkin. The teacher showed the children through pictures to prepare the pumpkin for cooking and then the children discovered how the heat from cooking make the pumpkin soft and they could mash it. They used the mashed pumpkin as an ingredient in the recipe. Children observed how to read a recipe, how different ingredients are measured in different ways (cups/spoons), different cooking tools (whisk/spatula/can opener), and how the ingredients changed as they mixed them together and then how it changed when they baked it. The students enjoyed eating the pie for snack time. Their next cooking project will be making banana bread.

Here is a picture from their recent field trip to Fareway.

Transitional Kindergarten

Students were introduced to solids, liquids, and gases. We used several liquids in the color changing milk investigation. This hands-on activity used dry milk, food coloring, and liquid soap. Students can try this at home with different kinds of milk to see if they get the same results. Our investigations will continue to focus on states of matter. 


In literacy students have been working really hard on blending sounds to make words. They are beginning to write words and stories with confidence. The students enjoy drawing and writing stories, labeling objects, and making lists.

In math they continue to work on one-to one correspondence. A great way to practice this is by playing board games. Kids love to play games! They have also been working on sorting and classifying objects, adding and subtracting numbers, writing and identifying the numbers 1-20, and identifying numbers that are greater than or less than.

The featherless turkey in the hallway is growing. This November tradition is an excellent way for families to spend time together. Students were asked to decorate their feather with as many family members as possible. Beside sharing their creativity, they were able to take time to share things they were thankful for and favorite fall memories.

First Grade
In literacy students are reading about how the world changes. Their focus question that they are working on is: How does nature affect the way we move and change? They have also been working on the comprehension skill of summarizing. They have learned that when they summarize, they pick out the important ideas to remember. Once they have those important ideas, they put them together into a summary in their own words. They have talked about starting at the beginning and telling the important information, next go to the middle and then the end.

In math classes students have been working with counting on a number line. They have also been working with odd and even numbers. Their chant is “Odd Todd” or “Even Steven”. Odd numbers end in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9. Even numbers end in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8. Students could also be found working on telling time to the half hour and beginning to talk about dimes and working on exchanging dimes, nickels, and pennies.

Science discussions involve the Moon. Students need to look at the moon each night and record what it looks like on their calendar that was sent home.

In social studies they are talking about life long ago and how things looked in the past compared to how they look today.

This picture shows students working on learning how to control their feelings during Guidance class with Mrs. Halverson.

Second Grade
Students made play dough creatures during writing time. Through their play dough creations, they talked about brainstorming,creating, fixing, adding, changing, and commenting. The play dough activity helped to demonstrate all of the steps to the writing process.

They have new fluency partners to work on improving their ability to read text accurately, quickly, and with expression.

Our Food and Fitness friends from the high school were in classrooms, teaching students about squash. They presented a skit about squash and students helped act it out. Alyssa was corn, Rose was beans and Blake was squash. At the end, students sampled some delicious pumpkin dip. You know, pumpkins are technically squash!

Students also started their next literacy unit on the book Turk and Runt, a funny Thanksgiving story! They made predictions before reading and practiced changing those predictions during reading to match the events occurring in the story. They learned about the vocabulary words graceful and orchard, they made their own turkeys and wrote letters to the characters in the story!

Third Grade
Look what our writers have been doing! Students have been practicing writing in complete sentences while introducing what a paragraph is. They were able to show off their best handwriting while writing a paragraph about all the things they love about our school.

Student enjoyed a STEM Wednesday as they worked on their first ZOOB Challenge. Teamwork and engineering skills were definitely at work!

You could have heard a pin drop during this class working on writing!!! Students all were
putting their hearts into writing personal narratives. They have had some authors share, and there have been laughs as well as tears listening to them read their piece. They have listened to different examples of personal narrative picture books, talked about elements of personal narratives, and used a checklist as a simple guide to remind them what can go into a personal narrative. The greatest thing is that everyone is loving writing and building a passion for it while learning!

Fourth Grade
Students are busy, busy, busy reading anything and everything they could get their hands on, working their way through the writing process as they tackle a persuasive writing piece, and studying several reading strategies and text structures! This week students had to create 5 stories using CHARACTERS, a SETTING, a PROBLEM and a SOLUTION.

In math students worked on number sentences. Their teachers were very impressed with the students on a daily basis for making worldly connections to what we are studying in school! This classroom got another option for daily 3 math up. This option gives students a number written in word form and asks them to write that same number in standard form! They can then scan the QR code to check their work!

Talking about summarizing and using a graphic organizer to help make connections in their learning.

Students are working on story summaries with partners.

Fifth Grade
Inquiry project on the first steel plow.

Students ended their week sharing their gifts of gratitude to those who have served and fought for our freedom.

Students enjoy being engaged and learning with ST Math.

Here students are presenting inquiry projects in the Discovery Center.

Sixth Grade
Students are learning how to identify acids and bases using litmus paper. After they experimented with using litmus paper, they became the experts and recorded their learning that will be added to their individual book called, Understanding Acids and Bases.

Students have been working on creating their own textbooks in science. Here they explained how a glow stick shows a chemical reaction.

Making ancient Egyptian reed boats with straws and tape, and seeing which one can hold the most weight.

A creative way to make an ancient Egyptian reed boat from straws and tape.

What is the cheapest yogurt at Fareway?? A and E wins! 

November 25                 NO SCHOOL (Teacher Inservice)
November 26                 NO SCHOOL
November 27                 NO SCHOOL
November 30                 School Resumes

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