Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,

It is with great pleasure that we partner with you and your child for the 2016-17 school year. As we  learn and play together, we will also be building critical skills for a lifetime of curiosity and growth. We will be teaching some important ways of thinking about ourselves and the world this year that has grown out of the incredible work of Carol Dweck.

Carol Dweck is a researcher, currently at Stanford University, who has pioneered a great deal of work around the idea of growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that we can learn anything with support, hard work, and thoughtful strategic instruction. Children with a growth mindset outperform children who do not think of themselves and their learning this way.

The way we support this work in our classroom is by intentionally teaching ways of thinking about ourselves and our learning. This year, we will be teaching your children the concepts of:
OPTIMISM: The belief that no matter the obstacle, we have the power and possibility to overcome it.
RESILIENCE: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and frustrations and learn from them when they happen.
PERSISTENCE: The habit of trying something more than once or sticking with something through the hard parts.
FLEXIBILITY: The knowledge that there are multiple ways to solve any problem and the skills to strategically solve it.
EMPATHY: The ability to understand feelings and other people’s points of view--a fundamental aspect of a healthy child and a healthy community.

As we learn more about these big ideas, we will think about ways to use self-talk, self stories, goal-setting, and reflection to reinforce and support these positive habits of mind. 

As in all things, you are our greatest partners, and so we invite you on this journey with us! Here are some ways you can support and connect with your child over these big ideas:
  • Share your own stories. Talk with your child about times you showed empathy or were flexible.
  • Listen in on your own self talk and refine it. Be mindful of saying things like “I can’t” as in “I can’t put together this IKEA furniture!” instead try, “This feels hard, but I am going to take a break and try it a different way to see if that helps!”
  • Read with your child and talk about the ways characters are acting in regards to these habits of mind.
  • Read more about this! Below you will find a list of links to articles and titles. Most are short and (hopefully) interesting and can give you some of the background about the work we’re doing.

We look forward to talking with you more as the year unfolds. As always, feel free to contact us with questions, comments, and concerns. It is with great pleasure that we begin this journey together.

For more information:

Dot Day

International Dot Day is a day to encourage people of all ages to harness their creativity. The inspiration behind the event comes from the children’s book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It relates the tale of a teacher who challenges a student to take courage in her abilities and, from a dot on a page, the youngster goes on to make her mark.

Real-life teacher Terry Shay brought this book to his class in the late 2000's, and it was this that sparked Dot Day to life. It has grown from this one classroom to now be a worldwide celebration each year. Teachers at Howard-Winn encouraged students' creativity throughout the day, and everyone wore dots to celebrate the day!  Here is a video version of the book in case you haven't read it.

Crestwood Elementary is a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school. PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. Each year the classroom teachers teach, mode.l and practice our school expectations with their students. The students are expected to display Caring, Respectful, Responsible, and Trustworthy behavior. Students showing these traits are showing CADET PRIDE. 

Crestwood Elementary School is committed to maintaining a favorable academic atmosphere. Teachers are expected to create a positive learning climate for students in their classrooms and to maintain proper order. Students are expected to behave in the classroom in such a manner that allows teachers to effectively carry out their lesson plans and students to participate in classroom learning activities. Students are also expected to abide by all rules of behavior established by the school and the classroom teachers. We expect all students to be well-behaved. Your teachers, principal, and parents want you to play fairly, share with others, obey the rules, and do all of your work. Emphasis shall be placed upon the growth of the ability for the student to discipline himself/herself. 

The behavior expected from students at school is a combination of common courtesy and safety considerations. There are only a few special areas which require the application of very specific rules. The following types of conduct are never permissible:

 1. Fighting
 2. Defiance of school staff
 3. The use of profanity
 4. Refusal to prepare assignments or to participate in class
 5. Possession of weapons or other dangerous objects
 6. Possession or use of tobacco
 7. Possession or use of any controlled substance
 8. Gambling
 9. Vandalism

•No gum or candy in school unless it is a birthday or party treat.

It is very important that every student maintain an up-to-date address and telephone number record at the school office.
Notify the school immediately if you have a change of address or telephone number during the school year or if you change places of employment.

Students are expected to dress appropriately for school. Some limits are imposed related to health, safety, cleanliness, indecency, and/or the disruption of the educational process. 

Shoes must be worn in and around school at all times. Hats are not to be worn by students in the classroom unless the teacher has given permission. Students should remember that they will be going outside for recess year round, weather permitting. We hope that parents will send their children adequately dressed for outside play during the cold months with boots that can be removed or changed when entering the building. Additional clothing for this period should include hats with gloves or mittens and snow pants. Teachers will make every effort to ensure that the children wear clothing brought to school outside for recesses. 

Clothing that becomes a classroom or recess distraction is prohibited. Any clothing that 
causes damage or excessive maintenance to school property should not be worn. We DO NOT allow any shirts with alcohol, smoking or INAPPROPRIATE slogans on them. A student coming with such a shirt will be asked to turn it inside out or parents will be contacted. Students wearing articles of clothing or accessories that hinder the educational process will be required to change.

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, substitutes would be helping students to learn subject matter and/or skills  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 Collection
The Crestwood Cadet PTO continues to sponsor a Classroom Redemption Collection. Students are encouraged to ask friends, neighbors and out of town and in town relatives to start collecting on their behalf.  Funds raised from these efforts are used to purchase materials, supplies, and other things for the building and students.  Please be generous in your support for our PTO.

Here's what we've been up to this week . . .


Crestwood Preschool is off to a great start this school year! They have been practicing PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) by learning and practicing the rules for their classroom, recess, and the lunchroom. The preschoolers are already becoming pros at their classroom expectations 

They have started art class with Mrs. Ortner, music class with Mr. Bieber, and PE class with Mr. Schmauss. They will also have library class with Mrs. Riha. Library book checkout is on Mondays. They are excited for their first library book!

The preschoolers will begin to learn about apples and bugs during the next few weeks of
school! If you find bugs at home, feel free to send them to school with your child in a secure container.  

Ideas For Home--Skills to practice with your child…

name writing (capital first letter, the remainder lowercase letters)
drawing a person

Preschool scientists doing some investigating

Students doing some creating with playdoh 

 Preschool story time #WeLoveBooks 

Transitional Kindergarten
TK students are working hard! They have been writing names, counting, naming letters, and working together.  These are just some of the skills they have worked on the past few weeks. This week they celebrated Dot Day and hosted grandparents.

Fall literacy assessments have started. Students in Transition Kindergarten will participate in the FAST assessments for Kindergarten three times a year. 

This week our learning included several areas. We reviewed shape names and practiced drawing shapes in our math books. Social skills lessons included friendship skills and recognizing feelings of others by their facial expressions. Our first science study will be focused on insects. Students shared what they know about insects. Some of the students learned about insects in preschool. We will be focusing on the next tier of vocabulary and connect our learning to the Iowa Core. 

A student working on retell of the 3 Little Pigs.

Students using the microscopes to look at insect slides. 


Hard at work

Reading the room-Kindergarteners can find the letter A in the library

It takes team work to sort buttons!

Celebrating Dot Day by creating dots!

First Grade

Making predictions of what will happen next in our story 

#DotDay celebrations in the library this week. Yay 1st graders! Make your mark! 

Second Grade

Brainstorming ideas to write about! Such concentration!

Hooray for 2nd graders celebrating classmates! Make your mark, Cadets!

Creativity at its best! Celebrating Dot Day with Dot trees!

Third Grade

The outdoors makes a great classroom as we observed plant & animal populations

Working on writing in 3rd grade

Fourth Grade

It's always fun to share a book with a friend

We love using OSMO!

A little ST Math fun!

Fifth Grade

Our 5th grade students will again be participating in the DARE Program.  Look for information coming home soon with your child.  We are very fortunate to have this program back in our school!  Thank you Howard County Deputy Rich Hollenbeck, D.A.R.E. instructor, for partnering with us.

Sixth Grade

Students process art experiment with blending chalk pastels and color theory 

Researching background info for studying characterization using Remember the Titans 


Taking 'Reading Interest Survey' .  Agreed-best way to be better readers is to READ! 



September 16    Norman Borlaug Field Trip (5th Grade)
                           TK & Kindergarten Grandparents Day 
September 19    No School--Teacher Inservice
September 22    6th Grade Environmental Day
September 23    4th Grade Farm Safety Day
                           12:00 Pep Rally
                           1:30 Homecoming Parade
                           2:20 Dismissal

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