Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015 Preschool & Elementary

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

The Holidays are a time for . . . GIVING of yourself and your time!

The holiday season is an especially busy time for many of us and our time is very precious. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle it is easy to be distracted thinking about all of the things you have yet to accomplish. I find myself sometimes losing sight of my priorities. I read recently about a Rochester, Minn., father whose Facebook post went viral after a recent breakfast with his daughter. Here is his post:

The woman who watched the exchange between father and daughter definitely left an impression on the father with the note that she left on his table. Here is her note:

This father's commitment to give his daughter his undivided attention during that breakfast is something that we could all learn from. Spend time with your family and friends and appreciate the things that they bring to your life. Choose to be present, even if only for little while. Reconnect with old friends and family members with whom you have lost touch. Spend time with your children doing things that they enjoy. Be present. Give them your undivided attention. This will be one of the best "gifts" that you can give them this holiday season.


Last Friday our K-6 students were treated to a school-wide character education program that centered around a 45-minute assembly called The NED Show. NED is a cartoon character whose name is an acronym for Never give up, Encourage others, and Do your best. NED is simple, relatable and kid-focused. Never give up, Encourage others, Do your best.

This presentation was free. It was made possible by a school that chose to Pay It Forward by selling yoyos after the performance to promote the NED message. The profits from the yoyo sales are then used to pay for the performance at another school. Howard-Winn is also paying it forward by selling yoyos to our students in order to pay it forward and allow another school to have the opportunity for the NED show to visit their school. Thank you to all who purchased yoyos.

Crestwood Elementary students purchasing yoyos to "Pay It Forward".

Parent-Teacher Organization

Our Parent-Teacher Organization will be having their next meeting on Tuesday, December 15th at 6:30 in the Crestwood Elem/JH Discovery Center. Please consider joining us. We would welcome your involvement and ideas!

Winter Weather

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.

Weather Alerts, School Delays and Closures

As we move into the winter season keeping informed about weather conditions and school closures is a priority. If road conditions are in question WE WILL ALWAYS START WITH A 2 HOUR DELAY. The two hour late start gives us time to completely evaluate the situation. The goal is to have "2 hour late starts" announced prior to 6:00 a.m.  
How will this be communicated? You have several options:
Twitter at #2020HowardWinn (Instantly know!)
School Messenger: This is an option you can subscribe to in PowerSchool. It will give you the option to receive an email, text message or voice mail to your phone. You may call the office at the elementary if you have questions (563-547-2300).
IOWA SCHOOL ALERTS: Many signed up for this last year, If you did you should be good for this year. Go to to subscribe.

Area TV and Radio station will also be notified. Please note that if you use a text service from a TV station it may be as much as 30 minutes lag time from when they post it and when it is announced on Social Media. 

Holiday Gift Ideas from the Art Room!

Children as young as a year old love to create and art supplies can make a wonderful Christmas gift (or stocking stuffers!) to encourage them to imagine, create, explore, problem solve, and have a great time in the process! Art supplies don’t have to be expensive to be appreciated. Here are some things we use in the art room that are favorites with students. Keep everything in an old sheet (to use as a drop cloth) or a plastic bin and your budding artists are ensured hours of fun! Most of these items can be found at stores like Dollar Stores, Wal-Mart, or any crafting or fabric store. Have fun shopping, I guarantee you, and the kids will love these!
 -Rebecca Ortner / Art Teacher

Ages 0+
Colored Construction Paper 
Pad of large white paper
Markers (skinny or thick)
Crayons (regular, fluorescent, metallic…)
Pencils (colored and regular)

Ages 3+
Oil Pastel Crayons
Scissors (I like the Fiskar brand for paper cutting)
 Pipe cleaners, all kinds!
 Craft foam (in sheets or shapes)
 Colored felt squares
 Pom poms or cotton balls 
 Googly eyes
 A box of craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
 Glue Stick 
Wikki Stix

Ages 5+ 
Watercolors/brush (these are not very messy, good for at home
 Brown or white paper bags
 Elmer’s Wet Glue (works the best!)
 Tin foil 
 Glitter glue
 Save cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, etc. (the kids love creating
 and building things with them using masking tape.)
 Yarn or string
 Sequins
 Assorted buttons

Ages 8+
Small Acrylic Paint Set
Drawing pencils
 Sharpies (thin, thick, metallic)
 Gel Pens
Assorted Paint brushes
Watercolor Tubes
Chalk Pastels

Teacher Leadership Grant

On Thursday, Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise announced the next group of school districts chosen for teacher leadership grants through Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System. We're excited that Howard-Winneshiek is among them. We have had a core group working on the application for over a year. It meant many long hours after school doing research, discussing, drafting, rereading, revising and rewording to craft a plan that would fit the needs of the district. Thank you to the members of the group for your dedication and hard work to make this a reality: Superintendent John Carver, Alicia Soukup, Terese Jurgensen, Shirley Sovereign, Tim Felderman, Brenda Lentz, Pam Jackson, Julie Franzen, and Scott Wiley. It was a pleasure to work beside you on this project.

Our teacher leadership grant will tap into the expertise of our top teachers to improve classroom instruction and raise student achievement. Howard-Winn will receive over $380,000. The money will be used to create teacher leadership positions within the school district to assist as instructional coaches, curriculum leaders, and mentors. The grant will also raise the minimum teacher salary to $33,500. We are excited to take the next step on our journey to be the best that we can be.

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

Classroom Redemption Contest

The Crestwood Cadet PTO is sponsoring a Classroom Redemption Contest. The classroom that brings in the most redemption items (boxtops, labels for education and milk moola) between now and January 29th, will win a class party. Be sure to ask friends, neighbors and out town and in town relatives to start collecting on your behalf.

Our Learning This Week.....

The preschoolers continued their study about being a healthy person. They
talked about dairy products and how they keep their bones strong. They also worked to create a class book called, “It Looked Like Spilt Milk,” based on Charles Shaw’s story. Each student used white paint (milk) to create an imaginative design on paper.

The preschoolers also talked about healthy fruits. They discovered that fruits and vegetables are used to make juice and the preschoolers created their own juice by using apples, grapes, pears, and oranges! This healthy drink was a BIG hit in the preschool class!

The students also went to visit Regional Health Services of Howard County. The students learned that the hospital is a place we visit to keep our bodies healthy or help us get better when our bodies are sick. Their hospital tour included an inside look at an ambulance. The students observed the truck, the tools used, and the flashing lights/siren. Before they went on the field trip to the Hospital one class made a classroom chart on the SMARTboard listing what we thought they would see at the Hospital. Students thought they might see grandparents there because they had visited grandparents in the hospital before. Other students said they would see doctors, medicine, and shots because they had been to doctor’s appointments before at the Hospital. When they came back from the hospital they made a classroom chart listing what they saw at the hospital.
Transitional Kindergarten
What is in a town? That is the question students in Transition Kindergarten are exploring through the creation of their own classroom community. Students have become the city engineers and are using recycled materials to build the town. Each student can contribute and some work on their pieces multiple days. They are in the beginning phase. Watch for progress next week!


Generating ideas for writing animal stories on the ipad

Watching the NED Presentation in the gym.  No charge for awesomeness!

Reading aloud to someone is a great way to practice your reading skills and become a better reader.  Here kindergarten and 3rd students are shown reading together to build fluency.

Giving kindergarten students directions about proper use of a paintbrush and the painting activity 

First Grade

Our high school friends stopped by to give us a brain break. This is a quick break in our learning in which we do some type of movement activity to help us refocus and get our blood pumping. We enjoyed dancing with the songs.

Learning to measure using tape measures. How big are parts of our body?

Second Grade
Food and Fitness friends visited second graders this week. They taught students a new version of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes that had to do with the parts of a plant. After singing and moving, they had students think of different foods that are grown on each part of the plant. Their teachers then explained that they brought beets, which are root vegetables, for them to try. Each student was given a pickled beet and a slice of chocolate cake made with beets. Here is a picture of the recipe to show the doubters in the classes. It may be fun to try this delicious recipe at home.

Students are ROCKING their Daily 5 time this week!

Students worked in pairs during math to solve "change to more" problems.

Third Grade
Third and fourth graders enjoyed a quick Skype call with Mr. Carver who was in Washington, DC this week. He showed them the outside of the White House and talked about the area. What a great virtual field trip!

Students are working hard practicing those basic multiplication facts as the Gumball Challenge has started.

Do you know your facts fast enough to beat someone solving them on the calculator? Some of these third graders can! That was the challenge recently in their math game of "Beat the Calculator"!

Coding activities have begun for The Hour of Code. This activity took students to the website in which they could code familiar games such as Angry Birds, Star Wars, and other fun activities. Everyone is getting the hang of coding and loving the challenge! ‪#‎HourofCode2015‬

This activity for Hour of Code allowed students to explore with some of their favorite coding apps - Kodable, Fix the Factory, and Bee Bot.

How did you start your week? In this class they started with a quick game of Categories by naming as many states as possible!

Fourth Grade
Fourth grade classes are studying Fact and Opinion. In this class the students had to categorize a word that they were given as a fact or an opinion and then provide reasons for their decision. Great thinking involved in this lesson.

In literacy students worked on analogies! Did you know that an analogy is a type of word problem that often appears on standardized tests? Analogies show a relationship between two words.

Fifth Grade
Students enjoying coding in binary using 5bytes 

This 5th grade class got to celebrate both their Fun Passes and enjoy an indoor snowball fight!

Students really enjoyed The NED Show last week.

Sixth Grade
Math should be messy....don't erase!!!! 

6th grade used iPads to create animal book to show their note taking & citation skills. The book contains great information and is a true demonstration of meaningful learning. Check it out:

The 5th and 6th grade bands had a concert on Thursday night. The performance was outstanding! Thank you to all of the students for your hard work practicing your performance pieces and to Mrs. Ringeon for your hard work preparing the students for the concert. Great job!

The 5th Grade Band

The 6th Grade Band

These 6th grade students have earned "Black Belts" in band karate.  Great Work!


December 14                 7:00 School Board Meeting in Chester
December 15                 6:30 Parent-Teacher Organization meeting 
                                                    (Elem/JH Discovery Center)
December 21                 7:30 5th and 6th Grade Vocal Concert
December 22                 Elementary Big Blast

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