Friday, January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

The Howard-Winn Experience

When you think about what your child is doing at school, many of us tend to think about the things that happened during our school experience.  The teacher stood in the front of the class and taught.  The students sat at desks in orderly rows.  Students didn't talk without raising their hands.  The teacher taught from the teacher's manual and presented the lessons in a predetermined order.  Students were often given worksheets or workbook pages to demonstrate that they learned what the teacher taught that day.  Field trips took place rarely and usually only at the end of the school year.


Our teachers work hard to individualize the learning and the classroom experience for our students.  We work to discover what our students are interested in and tie that to our grade level learning.  Students' passions energize their learning experience.  Activities to demonstrate learning are linked to real-world experiences.  We have the processes in place to provide resources and learning experiences that meet each child's learning needs.  Our instruction is flexible and differentiated to focus on helping all students learn at high levels and master content.  We use technology to improve students' access to information and enhance their opportunities for learning. We are transforming the learning experience to prepare and empower our students to succeed in life!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Sara Grimm

Teaching Children the Value of Reading

In this digital age it is more important than ever to instill in our children a desire to read and to give them the understanding of the impact reading can have on the rest of their lives. The Teaching Children the Value of Reading Infographicis illustrates the value of the written word and how reading can pave the way to success.

Literacy corresponds with a child’s future ability to:
  • Attain personal fulfillment
  • Be understood and taken seriously
  • Take part in and understand civic issues
  • Earn a higher salary
  • Succeed in a chosen career path

Literate people are more likely:
  • To attend or take part in a sporting event
  • To do volunteer or charity work
  • To attend a performing arts event
  • To visit a museum

Tips for Influencing a Desire to Read
  1. Read Daily Have your child read for 30 minutes before allowing them to watch TV or play video games.
  2. Journal Writing - One’s desire to read is amplified by one’s ability to write.
  3. A Word a Day - Focus on expanding your child’s vocabulary and teach them a new word each day.
  4. Different Genres - Once your child is old enough to read regularly encourage them to read science fiction to poetry.
  5. Read Non-fiction - Encourage your child to read the news and memoirs to expand their understanding of society.
  6. Books as Presents - This gives your child a sense that books are special and important.
Apps to help
Technology isn’t solely a distraction from reading; there are many apps for the iPad that help to encourage reading in children and teens!
  1. Bookster - A reading storytelling app that reads to your kids, with the recording of a child their own age. It also records and plays their voices after they have learned the book, and teaches vocabulary throughout the process!
  2. Tales2Go - An award winning read on-demand app that allows your child to pick from a catalogue of thousands of popular children’s stories. The stories can be sorted by age group and genre, and will have your kid excited for reading once more!
  3. A Story Before Bed - A perfect interactive read-a-long experience that makes bedtime stories a seamless experience. You can even record story time so your child can watch it while you are away!
  4. PlayTales - Engaging sounds and captivating animations make reading a magical experience for kids from the toddler age through the tween-age years. It is multilingual as well!
  5. Good Reads - This social network for book lovers offers a place for your kid to review and share their favorite books while making friends who have similar tastes! How do you have a book loving kid? Surround them with other book lovers!

The latest research shows that one in three children is directly involved in bullying as a perpetrator, victim, or both.  Many of those who are not directly involved witness others being bullied on a regular basis. Parents, as well as schools, have the power to help reduce bullying. Here are some tips on how you can help.

*Talk with and listen to your kids. Spend a few minutes every day asking open-ended questions about who they spend time with at school and in the neighborhood, what they do in between classes and at recess, who they have lunch with, and what happens on the way to and from school. If your children feel comfortable talking to you about their peers before they’re involved in a bullying event, they’ll be more likely to get you involved after.

*Be an example of kindness and leadership. When you get angry at a sales clerk, another driver on the road, or even your child, you have an opportunity to model effective communication techniques. Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is okay.

*Learn the signs. Most children don’t tell anyone that they’ve been bullied. Learn to recognize possible signs of victimization, such as frequent loss of personal belongings, complaints of stomach aches, avoiding recess or school activities, and getting to school very late or very early. Talk to your child and the teacher about what is going on at school and find ways to observe your child’s interactions to determine whether your suspicions might be correct.

*Create healthy anti-bullying habits early. Help develop anti-bullying and anti-victimization habits in your child as early as preschool. Coach your child on what not to do—hitting, pushing, teasing, or being mean to others. Help your child to focus on how such actions might feel to the child on the receiving end. Equally important, teach your children what to do—kindness, empathy, fair play, and turn-taking are critical behaviors and skills for good peer relations. Children also need to learn how to say “no” firmly if they experience or witness bullying behavior. Role play with your child about what to do if other kids are mean. They can, for example, get an adult right away, tell the child who is teasing or bullying to “stop,” or ignore the perpetrator and find someone else to play with.

*Establish household rules. Make sure your child knows that if he or she is bullied physically, verbally, or socially, it’s safe and important to tell you about it—and that you will help. Kids also need to know what bullying is (many children do not know that they are bullying others), and that such behavior is harmful to others and unacceptable.

*Teach your child how to be a positive bystander. Although it’s never children’s responsibility to put themselves in danger, kids can often effectively diffuse a bullying situation by yelling “Stop! You’re bullying” or “Hey, that’s not cool.” Kids can also help each other by providing support to the victim, not giving extra attention to the bullying behavior, and/or reporting what they witnessed to an adult.

Efforts to effectively address bullying require the collaboration of school, home, and community. Bullying is a serious problem, but if we all work together, it’s one we can impact.

Source: National Association of Elementary School Principals Report To Parents By Guest Editors: Shelley Hymel, Amanda Nickerson, & Susan Swearer

Web Resources’s Bullying Special Edition explores cyberbullying, action steps to take if your child is bullied, and more.
Check NAESP’s Bullying Prevention resource page for top resources, including articles, sample policies, and videos.

Snow Day Activities
With all the snow days that we’ve had recently I thought some suggestions about how to spend the day might be useful. Here are a few suggestions for sprinkling some reading and writing in-between sled rides and hot chocolate.

1. Getting ready for any winter storm usually includes a trip to the grocery store. Use these simple ideas to focus on vocabulary and math skills at the grocery store.

2. Do you subscribe to a newspaper? If so, dig out the paper from the snow, and try a few of these newspaper ideas for developing research and comprehension skills. It might be fun to write a review of your favorite sledding hill or creating a recipe for the best hot chocolate.

3. Time on your hands means a chance to take a fresh look at your home library. Spend an afternoon with your child sorting through books and organizing them in a meaningful way. Donate any books they’re ready to part with and make some room for new ones!

4. Ready to get creative? Let your creativity flow by thinking like an inventor. Being curious and making mistakes are all part of the fun.

5. Last, don’t forget to spend time reading aloud. This one activity can make a huge difference in your child’s literacy growth. Remind yourself of some of the simple yet powerful things to do while you read aloud.

"We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how." ~~ Anonymous

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.....
Preschoolers have been enjoying the snow outside…and inside their preschool classroom! They discovered that snow does not like warm weather and melts shortly after being inside. After exploring the melted snow, the preschoolers discovered why snow is not for eating (they found dirt and rocks after the snow melted). After hearing several stories about building snowmen, the preschoolers enjoyed a sensory experience of creating their own snow creature using shaving cream and glue. Their snow creature are displayed in the hallway.
They read Jan Brett’s book, The Mitten and acted it out by pretending to be the animals crawling into the mitten (a bed sheet)! They had lots of fun when the bear sneezed and the animals (preschoolers) flew out of the mitten! 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

 Exploring the chemical reaction between sodium polyacrylate and water (insta-snow)

Transitional Kindergarten
This week students looked at animal X-rays. They looked for similarities and differences. Patterns are starting to emerge that animals in common habitats share similar features.

 Students studied their individual animals using books specific to their animal of interest. Students used the book to draw and share where their animal lives and what it likes to eat.

Every day during afternoon rotations students use their iPad to practice skills. On Friday they get “Free Choice Fun.” These students are working together during rotations.


Upper Elementary students practicing fluency & supporting kindergarten students!

3rd grade readers model fluent reading during daily 5 in Kindergarten. 

Here's a peek at a kindergarten color mixing book

Working toward independence

First Grade
 Learning place value using cards to make the highest number

Using cards to learn greater than, less than and equal to. 

It's too cold to be outside -9 but cold doesn't keep us from learning before school! 

Color mixing and painting caterpillars makes art fun

Second Grade
What do your students do when school is cancelled for cold? Ours READ! 

100 books read at home! 

This is our latest Gold Trophy Reader--200 books!

Exploring equal shares in math

Third Grade
Using our Creativity and STEM designing marble runs 

Creating and designing moving wind turbine blades

Celebrating a working wind turbine

We enjoyed a virtual field trip visit to Denali National Park 
in Alaska via #Skype to learn about sled dogs. 

Fourth Grade 
We've been using a new way to solve 2 digit by 1 digit numbers as well as 2 digit by 2 digit numbers called, partial product. 

Wrapping up our study on the solar system by making a model of it and drawing the elliptical orbits of the planets.

We're studying story elements setting, time and place.

Fifth Grade
Paper bag challenge in 5th grade

These paper doll cut-outs are great examples of how we can live our lives in a way that shows we care about anyone, no matter the color of their skin, hair, eyes, height, weight, interests or anything else!  Awareness activity for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Sixth Grade
Divisibility Rules help 6th graders put fractions in simplest form. 

Finding themes from quotes 
Completing our Minoan labyrinths in social studies
Attempting to solve our partner's Minoan labyrinth in social studies 


January 25         No School (Teacher Inservice) 
February 3         District Advisory Meeting at 6:00 in the Discovery Center
February 15       No School (President's Day)
February 22       One Hour Early Out/Parent-Teacher Conferences
February 25       One Hour Early Out/Parent-Teacher Conferences

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