Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 6 Preschool & Elementary

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

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!

2015 Teacher Rewards Celebration Event from Walmart

Someone very wise once said, “Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions.” As important a job that teaching is, teachers often do not receive the praise and rewards that are due them. We therefore were excited to received a call from Walmart in Decorah. Walmart wanted to do something to thank our teachers. Teachers spend more than $500 a year out of their own pockets for classroom supplies, including snacks for students who may not have regular access to food. The Teacher Rewards program, which helps to offset these costs, provided a $200 donation for extra things for our classrooms (marker, craft supplies, card stock, playdough, and snacks). Walmart also gave 20 of our teachers a $50 Teacher Rewards gift card to use in their store. A HUGE Thank You to Walmart manager Luke Wilkins and the Decorah Walmart store for their support of our school.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all of the parents and guardians who attended our Parent-Teacher Conferences this 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. Make sure that you follow-up after the conferences. Stay in touch with the teachers. If you think of a question you didn't ask, contact the teacher. Talk with your child. Stress the positive things that the teacher said and talk about suggestions for improvement. Plan with your child how to carry out those suggestions and develop a concrete plan for what to do. Thank you for your support of your child and their education!

                   THANK YOU
A HUGE Thank You to Girl Scout Troop 75 for offering free babysitting to our parents during Parent-teacher Conferences! It was great for parents to not have to worry about their little ones while visiting with teachers.

Studying Smart

Does your child struggle getting their studying done? Do they think of every excuse in the book to postpone sitting down to get at their homework? Studying is a skill that your child will need for their entire school career. You can help your child to study "smart" with these tips. 

  • Create a Study Spot--Create a spot where your child is comfortable studying away from all distractions. Make sure that there are studying supplies organized there for them to use (pencils, paper, note cards, highlighters, scissors, glue, markers, etc).
  • Start a habit--Encourage your child to treat studying as a daily assignment, not just something he does the evening before a test. For example, he might study 15 minutes every night for a test that they will have on Friday. After he finishes his regular homework, he can spend a little time reviewing his notes, handouts and study guides. 
  • Tackle textbooks--When your child has a chapter to study out of a book, have him “preview” it to generate thoughts and ideas and increase his understanding. He should look over headings, graphics, and photos and go to the glossary to look up boldfaced, highlighted, or italics words. Tip: If he finds a section hard to understand, he could read a picture book on the topic. 
  • Mix it up--If your child reviews information in several ways, he’ll be more likely to remember it. He might use colored pencils to copy each spelling word or math fact onto a separate index card. Then, he can shuffle the cards and study them in a different order each time. For extra reinforcement, suggest that he spell each word or recite each fact aloud.

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. RSVP by Monday, November 9th if your child is bringing a veteran to lunch. 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.

Free apps to support your child's math learning--Learn more about this
game app and others available from McGraw-Hill Education at

A look at our learning . . .


The Preschoolers sure had fun at their special Halloween centers! During centers they played in sensory materials (goop and corn/tractors), “ghost” painted, listened to a spooky story, played a guessing game, drew silly pumpkin faces, created a candy-corn craft, and made a pumpkin snack.

They also stayed busy carving their classroom pumpkin. Each preschooler helped pick a shape for their pumpkin’s face. During the carving process, they observed the inside and outside of their pumpkin. The preschoolers did an excellent job using their senses to describe the touch and smell of the pumpkin.

Mrs. T.'s class was very proud this week for earning all of their “wows” for their classroom pumpkin puzzle. Students earn “wows” when they are observed following classroom rules and exemplify positive behavior. They had a small party to celebrate by eating popcorn and watching the book, Spookly the Square Pumpkin on their classroom smart board!

All three preschool classes visited Hawkeye Nursing Home last week. They went to parade through the nursing home and sang one Halloween song. It was a great experience for all involved!
Transitional Kindergarten
The students did several special center activities last week in TK. Students were grouped with peers from the Cresco and Lime Springs preschool classes. They had a special center day. This activity helps students get to know classmates they will be in Kindergarten with next year.

Cold Weather Reminder--Students go outside every day unless the windchill or temperature is below 10 degrees. Parents need to male sure to please send warm coats with their child and hats and gloves when needed. November can mean our first snow. Students will need snow pants, boots, hats, and gloves to play in snowy areas. All snow pants and boots need to be labeled. Many times students will have the same brand and even same size. We will help label when they come to school.

Students have been working very hard on their Jolly Phonics sounds. This week the students will begin their home component to the Jolly Phonics program. To give the students extra practice, teachers will be sending home "Sound Books" for each child to read at home. Once the students have mastered the sounds in the Sound Book they will return the book in the Jolly Phonics envelope. Students will then bring home the next Sound Book.  
In math the students have been working on measuring objects with interlocking cubes or nonstandard measuring devices. They talked about the length of the blue whale (the largest mammal ever known). In the hallway the students measured the approximate length of the blue whale (100 feet long). They were amazed at the length of this beautiful mammal. The students have also been working on addition and subtraction problems using concrete objects, counting to 115, number recognition to 20, and sequencing numbers 0-20.

A special thanks to those parents that helped out with the Halloween/Fall party. The kids had a wonderful time!

Mrs. Adams third graders practice fluency much to Leifeld's Learners delight 

First Grade
Practicing patterns, creating a starting pattern for our partner to finish

Short video clips are a great way to reinforce learning in classroom. This classroom is learning about odd and even numbers. 

Second Grade

During writer's workshop this class has been focusing on adding details to their writing. Sometimes this can be a daunting task for young writers...but not with these
SUPER FUN ways to add details! They have learned how to add "spider legs", use arrows, stars and perform "surgery" on their writing to add interesting details in just the right places!

Engineering at it's best! Halloween treat launch challenge, in 2nd grade

Third Grade
Measurement is this week's topic in math. Students are working on measuring to the nearest half centimeter and nearest half inch. They have also been introduced to measuring to the nearest quarter of an inch which is a little bit more challenging! Students have been challenged to measure different objects at home in both centimeters and inches.

Students working to get their Halloween pumpkins to dance using the Quiver augmented reality app.

Students had a lot of fun connecting Halloween to their learning. They did Halloween riddles to work on Inferencing, worked on recognizing plot and climax in a Halloween book, did a STEM activity to build the highest tower out of pumpkins and candy corn, created augmented reality Halloween pages, and wrapped up the day watching Hotel Transylvania!

Fourth Grade

This Fourth grade class enjoyed their Fall celebration. Students wrote scary stories, decorated cookies, played with oobleck, did a fall word search, and watched "Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Lots of excitement was had by all!!

A huge thank you goes out to Hawkeye REC. They visited fourth grade and shared electrical safety. The students had a lot of great questions to ask!

These students spent some time reading "cowboy style" as they read about the Middle Atlantic States. Their current Lead 21 unit is "A Nation's Beginnings."

Fifth Grade
Last Friday was FULL of excitement for everyone in 5th grade! In 5B students had a Fun Pass Celebration. They had all sorts of activities from indoor basketball, Guess Who?, bracelet making, Hangman, Apples to Apples, Pumpkin Toss and much more! Their teacher captured a FEW of the activities!

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 a positive impact on others! Here are a few pictures from their day.

Fifth grade student continue to work hard on their math skills. Currently they are working hard on: multiplication using the "old-fashioned" method or moms and dads learned it, place-value, decimals, and order of operations (the kids can show you how to PEMDAS karate!)

5A recently started book clubs and are reading "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom," "The Kid Who Only Hit Homers," and "The Kid in the Red Jacket."  Students really enjoy being able to participate in these groups and discuss their books. They also have been working on: using text evidence to support our answers, main idea, summarizing, using context clues and genres.

Sixth Grade

The two students in the photo (Kyleigh and Marissa) were awarded for reading 20 minutes for two week in October to earn their BookIt award. All the sixth grade students are participating in Book It this year. Every month the students are asked to read at home for 20 minutes five days a week. Students started half way through the month of October so their first goal was only two weeks. Their goal for November is for the whole month 20 minutes 5 times a week. Happy Reading!

Students created mummified potatoes while studying embalming in ancient Egypt

Here they are creating Egyptian mummies for their STEM project in their ancient Egypt unit

ART Adventure
Fourth graders try their hands at printmaking

Music Magic

Who says that music can't be fun?? During Parent-Teacher conferences our elementary music teacher, Mr. Bieber, had a few instruments in the cafeteria for students to experiment with. The staff got involved too, as Mrs. Ringeon & Mrs. Ortner showed their playing skills.

What are students doing during Parent-Teacher conferences? 

Student-led buddy practice.

Gifted and Talented

Creating a robotic puppy with LEGO Mindstorm.

Students get creative with a green screen
Want to know more about the Howard-Winneshiek school district--check out our iBook.

Friday, November 6              No School
Monday, November 9           RSVP is due for Veteran's Lunch
Wednesday, November 11   Veteran's Day Lunch
Thursday, November 12       Astronaut Visit

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