Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

School/Family Partnerships

Research shows that reading proficiency by third grade is an important predictor of school success. Early identification and support of a child who is a struggling reader is essential and increases their chances of success. We look forward to partnering with you in order to improve your child’s reading skills.  

As part of this partnership, we would like to work with you to ensure you have access to resources for your child. At-home support is critical to improving students' reading skills. You may already have some resources, but, if you are interested, we are willing to share the following ways that can help families support students at home.

IRRC Family Resources:
The Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) has an online collection of literacy resources. The IRRC works with parents and educators across Iowa to evaluate online literacy tools that will effectively support students at home. The link below is where the online collection is located:

Community Resources:
We have many local community resources that you can use to help support your child’s literacy growth.

Cresco Public Library
320 North Elm Street, Cresco, IA 52136
(563) 547-2540

Lime Springs Public Library
P.O. Box 68
Lime Springs, IA  52155
(563) 566-2207

Elma Public Library
710 Busti Avenue
Elma, IA 50628
(641) 393-8100

Decorah Public Library
202 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101
(563) 382-3717

Resources provided by school:
Online Literacy Resources
Our school has many resources available that you can use.

Howard-Winneshiek Library Website:

Howard-Winneshiek’s Online Library Catalog:

    • Students can search for print and electronic books in our library collection in any of the attendance centers    

MackinVia eBooks:

  • Each student has a username and login. They may contact the teacher librarian or library associate for their username and password.

Keystone AEA’s Online Resources:

  • Students can choose their grade span
    • Username:  kaea137
    • Password:  kaea01

Students in grades 3rd and up may access Follett Shelf’s eBooks, and they each have their own username and password for this resource. Contact the teacher librarian for the password

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools Title I Website:

  • Parents and Students may access this resource for help with reading strategies, reading at home help, reading websites, and reading apps for use on iPads or Smartphones.

If you have any questions about using these resources, please contact your child’s teacher. We will work with you to provide the tools to ensure that your child receives support at school as well as at home. 

Keystone AEA has added StarWalk Kids Media eBooks to their collection of online resources. The eBook collection includes many fiction and nonfiction titles. The students can read to self or listen to reading using the “Let Me Read” and “Read to Me” features. Students have enjoyed exploring the new resource and have shared new learning from the texts. Did you know a car called the Thrust SSC went over 763 miles per hour on a special track in the Nevada desert? Wow! Check out Cool Cars by Seymour Simon to learn more.

Elementary students can access these ebooks on their iPads through the SWKids Reader app. Students with laptops can access the books on the Keystone website. There are two ways to access the resource at home. Using a computer, students can go to the Keystone AEA website (, click Online Resources, K-5 or 6-8, and enter the username and password. The other option is to download the SWKids Reader app and log in using the same username and password.
Username:  kaea137
Password:  kaea01

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

Sara Grimm

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." ~~ Thomas A. Edison

Early Literacy
This post will be used to share with you important information regarding your child’s school progress and how new laws impact our school’s plan to improve our students’ reading skills.

New Laws
Iowa law was changed to support statewide literacy efforts for students in Iowa. This law requires that Iowa’s school children read at grade level by third grade. As a result, the rules below were put into effect in order to improve reading within the state.

Your Child’s Progress
We know you want your child to be successful in his/her education. We also want your child to be successful with learning in the classroom. The ability to read is critical to your child’s success in school.  

We recently completed universal screening assessments for reading at our school. From the results of this testing some students have been identified as having a substantial reading deficiency; that term is in state law. Substantially deficient means that a student has shown difficulty in the area of reading during the testing completed in the Fall, 2015 and the Winter, 2016.

School Implications:
Students are identified as having a substantial difficulty when:
1   their reading skills are below grade level on screening tests and they are making minimal progress.  At our school, we are doing the following, as required by Iowa law, to support students who have been identified as having substantial reading difficulties:

Progress Monitoring:
All students who are identified as substantially deficient or at-risk for substantially deficient are required to receive weekly progress monitoring. This allows our school to monitor the improvement students are making toward end-of-year goals (i.e., spring benchmark) given the intervention they receive.

Intensive Interventions:
All students identified as substantially deficient are required to receive intervention to remediate their reading difficulties. This intervention is required to continue until the student meets grade level expectations at the next screening period.

Starting in May, 2017:
Our school will be required to provide an intensive summer reading program for any
student who exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading. The summer reading program must meet the standards and implementation guidelines established by the Iowa Reading Research Center.

We will also be required to retain in the third grade any student who is not proficient in reading by the end of third grade unless the student meets any of the following criteria:
1. The student completed the intensive summer reading program
2. The student is a Limited English proficient student with less than two years of instruction in an English as a second language (ESL) program.
3. The student has an individualized education program (IEP) and the student’s IEP indicates that participation in the assessments required by 279.68 is not appropriate.
4. The student has demonstrated an acceptable level of performance on an alternative assessment based on scientifically-based research.
5. The student has demonstrated mastery through a portfolio review that meets Department-required criteria.
6. The student was previously retained and has received intensive remediation in reading for at least two years.

To learn more about the new laws and how they impact students, visit the link below.

Our Partnership
We are partnering with all parents in order to improve student’s reading skills. Part of this partnership will include regular communication.

We will provide updates to parents on their child’s progress throughout the school year. We encourage all parents to talk with their child’s teachers about any questions or concerns they may have.

Parent/School Contract: 
The school will follow up with a contract for parents whose child is substantially deficient. That contract will outline the school’s responsibilities and how we will partner with parents to improve students’ reading skills. 

We look forward to partnering with you in order to improve your child’s reading skills. Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions or comments you may have.

How-Winn parents and community members, please take a few minutes to check out this video created by the Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools Foundation. Please consider donating today!  

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 got to meet two employees of the City of Cresco Street Department when they brought a front end loader and a dump truck to the preschool to demonstrate how they use the machines to keep the city streets and parking lots safe for families to drive on. The students enjoyed hearing the back up beepers, seeing the pay loader bucket get raised high in the air, and watching the dump truck spread sand in the preschool parking lot.

Students then went inside and programed Dash the robot to plow "snow" (cotton balls). Dash has a blade attachment. Students used an iPad app to program Dash to move around the carpet and plow the snow.Students are learning and demonstrating the vocabulary: program, programmer, input, and output. Students are demonstrating persistence! It is not as easy as it looks to program the correct input for the output that the students' want-Dash driving through the snow pile really fast .

Transitional Kindergarten
This week the students studied animal X-rays and compared how animals are similar and different. Students are beginning to notice that animals who live in the same habitat shared similarities. Students are completing number writing books this month. Naming numbers is often easier than writing numbers. At the beginning of the year they worked on writing capital letters. Students now write capital and lowercase letters. They have used dry erase boards, iPads, crayons, markers, pencils, and paint. The students are excited with the growth they are seeing in their letter formation. Students are also asking to write words and trying names of peers in the class. 

                         Kindergarten students flashlight reading with 4th grade friends.

             Quilts help us focus & feel like a team! Learning environments matter.

First Grade
Students in 1st grade are learning about nouns and verbs! They did a scoot to fine tune their skills!!

Students have been working in writing with fact and opinion. They have been working on explaining their answers to questions. The students asked each other a question that started "Would they rather..." They enjoyed asking each other their question and listening to their responses and reason for their answer.

                           Showing what they remember in math based on the core 

Learning about < and >

Second Grade
Students have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr. They have been reading and listening to stories about the great things he did! 

These students worked on story mapping during Cadet Time. They listened to a fiction story of their choice on Bookflix and then filled out a story map to help them with comprehension of the story. They will share these with their classmates.

Students new literacy studies for the week are about the book Snow Day by Lester Laminack. So far, they have practiced asking and answering questions about the story, they have described how characters in the story respond to certain events, they have used information from the pictures to help them understand the story, and they have made text to self connections. They are also studying a lot of new vocabulary words and they are learning about plural nouns.

          2nd grade scientists observe and measure to determine characteristics of a solid 

Third Grade
Geometry is the current area of study in math. Third graders can tell you about lines, line segments, rays, parallel lines, and intersecting lines are. They are also enjoying a little time to experiment with tangrams and the challenge of using all of them in the set to replicate different designs.

A hopper???? What is that? It is a little object this class created from tag board and rubber bands. The challenge was to figure out how to get your hopper to hop higher than other hoppers. Where did it get the force to hop??? A rubber band! So much fun in science with our unit on Force and Motion.

There was a lot of excitement in this class as all kids started book clubs! Most groups will practice this week tracking their thinking and then book clubs will be sent home for independent reading. Every group was having awesome discussions and loved getting started with the book their group selected.

In math students here are working on lines, segments, and rays. So they practiced making them with their bodies and marshmallows and candy corn. They also found them throughout the room and hallways and made a pic collage with them.

Fourth Grade 
Lattice, partial product, matrix, or traditional multiplication.....which multiplication method do you like best? Ask a fourth grader!  They've been super busy learning, discussing, and practicing all of these different methods. Students have realized that no matter which way they multiply, the answer is always going to be the same! 

Students are in the middle of their monthly Flashlight Friday with kindergarten students.

       Check out these hard workers during word work! They rocked their spelling tests!

Fifth Grade
5B had a "just for fun" activity one day before recess! Whisper Challenge in 5B was HILARIOUS!! Simple words like "baby" were recognized as "king me" or "ping me"! 

This writing class got to buddy-up with 5th graders at Notre Dame Elementary! They used to meet each other "virtually" before they started their digital pen pal writing! 

              Grade 5 students correspond w Russia through #Moxtra videos and text. 

Sixth Grade
Students focused for a few days on Martin Luther King Jr.  Students analyzed one of his famous speeches.  His speech is titled "What is Your Life's Blueprint?"  It is a speech that he voiced six months before he was assassinated.  He spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia.  It has a great message, where he explains that you are responsible for your own decisions in your life.  You should not let others make you feel inferior, you are responsible for your own decisions, and you should try and strive to do great in your life.  It was a good lesson for all.

Working in jigsaw groups to share information about Martin Luther King Jr

                                       What does a paperless classroom look like? 
                                   Students use Showbie app to hand in their notes.

Building a chariot to attach to a Sphero 

                 One of the Luther College J-term students is conducting 6th grade band!  


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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