Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,
Breakfast is indeed a very important meal. A good breakfast fuels you up and gets you
ready for the day.  In general, kids and teens who eat breakfast have more energy, do better in school, and eat healthier throughout the day. Without breakfast, people can get irritable, restless, and tired. So make time for breakfast — for you and your kids!  

We serve breakfast each day beginning at 7:45.  If you are worried about the expense of eating at school, you may want to consider applying for assistance.  Families whose income qualifies them for free or reduced lunches may complete an application through the Superintendent's Office or through Denise Headington our Family Services Support person.  Free or Reduced lunch forms can be filled out at any time of the year.  Families whose income qualifies them for free or reduced lunch also qualify for free or reduced breakfast.


Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools is again partnering with the Northeast Iowa Food Bank to provide the BackPack Program to students during the 2016-2017 school year.  The program began in September and will continue throughout the school year.

The BackPack Program is a free program that provides kid-friendly, non-perishable food for students most in-need to eat over weekends and breaks when school meals are not available, and there may be little or no food to eat.  If your family’s economic status makes it hard for you to provide food on the weekends, you may apply through the school for this program.

Items distributed in the BackPacks include cereal, peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, juice, fruit cups, pop-top meals, soup, vegetables, and granola bars.  The food is distributed to children each week.

Last school year, 121,000 BackPack food bags were distributed to 121 sites within the NE Iowa Food Bank's 16-county service area. This year the bags will be distributed to over 130 sites, and they should surpass 130,000 bags, over 400,000 pounds of food. 

If you are interested in helping distribute locally, you can contact Fran Pearson at the Methodist Church.  All the bags are packed at the Food Bank in Waterloo, and they always are in need of groups to come in and pack anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 bags. If you are interested in this opportunity to serve, contact Chris Madigan, the Volunteer Coordinator at the Food Bank in Waterloo ( ).

RSVP--Reading Buddy

We are trying to establish a Reading Buddies Program here at Crestwood Elementary.  We are in search of volunteers to:
  • Listen to a child read
  • Read to a child
  • Engage in skill building activities
  • Spend 30 minutes with one or more children in Kindergarten First, Second, or Third grade once or twice a week.
If you think this sounds like a great opportunity, please contact Kathy at NE Iowa RSVP Volunteer Program 563-277-5181

Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Up

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, November 1 and Thursday, November 3.  Times for conferences are from 2:30-8:00 each night.  Conferences will be 15 minutes in length with a 5-minute transition time between conferences.  A note was sent home with students with directions on how to sign up for a conference time. 

Online sign-up begins on Monday, October 17th.  If you don't have Internet access or simply want to schedule your child's conference directly, please call Crestwood Elementary 563-547-2340 and ask for Linda Middlebrook.  It is VERY IMPORTANT for parents to attend conferences.  Kids do better in school when parents are involved in their academic lives. 
Attending parent-teacher conferences is a great way to be involved and help your child succeed.

A parent-teacher conference is a great opportunity to:

  • start or continue ongoing conversations with your child's teacher
  • learn how to help your kids do their best in school
  • let your child know that what goes on in school will be shared at home

Character Counts at Howard-Winneshiek Schools

October 18th-October 21st 
Hello Howard-Winneshiek Parents and Students,
We value good character at Howard-Winneshiek School District! To celebrate this, we will be having themed dress-up days. We encourage you to get excited along with your children and have conversations about what it means to be a person of character. Thanks for all your continued support!

Tuesday 10/18th Wild About Character Counts!  Get your jungle tiger on! Please come dressed in wild prints, animal logos, clothing that gives you jungle fever! No place in the wild to hide that Cadet Pride!  

Wednesday 10/19th Citizenship Day at Howard-Winn!  Come dressed in USA themed clothing.  Stars, stripes, red, white, and blue!

Thursday 10/20th Pursue your Passion!  Come dressed in your future career!  Rise to the occasion and share your career pathway choice during Character Counts Week.

Friday 10/21st Give me a “T” for Trustworthy and an “R” for Responsible! Show your school spirit by wearing your Cadet Blue!  True Blue for Trustworthiness, and being Responsible for showing Cadet Pride!

Character Counts Citizenship Project for 2016:  Please help your students donate non-perishable food items during Character Counts Week to help support Howard-Winneshiek families throughout the winter season. Character Counts and so do you! 

Weather Alerts, School Delays and Closures
As we move into the winter weather 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 HAS CHANGED: If you used to receive notification in the past please sign up with the new system 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.


Bedtime stories have long been known to foster parent-child bonds and prepare children for sleep. But lately researchers are bragging about the many other benefits of this nighttime routine. They say that while you and your little one are sailing with Max to the land of the Wild Things or sampling green eggs with Sam, you're actually boosting your child's brain development.  It is critical to a child's reading development to hear stories read aloud—that reading with your child will improve their vocabulary, fluency, oral language, and many other reading skills. It will enhance a child's language skills even more if you, as a parent, use story time as a stepping stone for conversation.

As a parent, I am sure that there are some nights when you are so exhausted that it is very tempting to say, “We can skip reading tonight.” After spending your day working, cooking, cleaning, shuttling kids, etc., you may find that most nights you haven’t even had a moment to yourself until after the children are in bed.  Don't panic! You are not the only parent feeling this way!  

The Iowa Reading Resource Center has a Family Resources Collection with a great video called “How to Raise Confident Readers with Bedtime Stories.” 

It is a short video that shows how a mom and her two children read together at night in order to improve their literacy skills. “Bedtime Stories” shares how children who are consistently read aloud to perform better in school in reading AND math. It also discusses how reading aloud to children helps boost their imaginations and develop their visualization skills. This video is the perfect visual reminder of why you should be reading to your children every night.

Are you in need of a good story to read to your kids?  These stories stand out for meeting both the language and emotional needs of their target age group, according to the American Library Association in Chicago.  Happy Reading!

Birth to 3
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker (Harcourt)
The Everything Book by Denise Fleming (Henry Holt)
More, More, More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams (William Morrow)

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill (Putnam)

4 to 7
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (HarperCollins)
Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas (Dutton)
Pass the Celery, Ellery! by Jeffrey Fisher Gaga (Stewart Tabori & Chang)
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking)

8 to 12
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say (Walter Lorraine)
More Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron (Knopf)
A Poke in the I by Paul Janeczko (Candlewick)
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 , Age 8 by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow)

          Source: Iowa Reading Resource Center and

Annual Fundraiser
The students brought home last week their Chip Shoppe fundraising envelopes. Money from the fundraiser goes to support field trips and supplies for school. Order forms and money are due back to school by October 20th. Any items sold will be delivered to school on Thursday, November 10th from 3:00 to 5:30, so add that date to your schedule to pick up your items.

Thanks for your support!

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.
The first classroom redemption contest starts NOW!! The classroom that wins gets a party (and come on!! Who doesn't love a PARTY??) remember this is free money that goes directly back into our school...Contest has been EXTENDED to October 21!! So kiddos--ask your moms and dads...aunts and uncles...grandparents and neighbors!! 

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

The preschoolers asked and solved a very important question…how do little crickets make such a loud sound? After a bit of researching and observing, the preschoolers discovered that crickets rub their wings together to make sound. Our classroom pet cricket has been fun to observe and creates a soothing sound during rest time! 

The preschoolers kicked off the month of October by going on a fall scavenger hunt. The hunt led us to several different fall objects (colored leaves, acorns, pine needles, twigs/sticks, and foxtail plants). The preschoolers enjoyed observing and exploring these items in our science discovery center. 

We guessed it was a pineapple, lettuce or a weed. Then we observed and did some research. Farm to Preschool Cauliflower!

Transitional Kindergarten

Fire safety was the theme of the week. Students watched videos, played games, completed activity pages, and participated in discussions focused on fire safety. The highlight of the week was a visit from the Cresco Fire Department. The Transition Kindergarten students were able to learn directly from the people who will help keep them safe. The fire truck and fire hats were the favorite parts of the presentation!

Students also have begun explorations about machines. Students enjoyed interacting with Dash and Dot this week. They are just the first of several robots and machines to come to the classroom over the next few weeks.


Multi-task learning

Kindergarten is a busy place! Lots of learning take place.

Fall Fitness Day

Using Doodle Buddy to work on visualizing the story

Working on writing at our erasable table

First Grade

What a beautiful day for the first grade field trip to the Children's Museum of LaCrosse!! Thank you to our wonderful parent volunteers who went along and joined in the fun!  First off was a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) presentation! Next we toured all three levels of the museum, we ate lunch and played at Myrick Park, and finally we participated in National Fall Fitness Day!

Second Grade

After our Fall Fitness Walk. Our class goal was to make 80 laps around the high school track, with each of us walking 4 laps. When we totaled our laps, together we walked/ran 181 laps! We are one fit class!!!

To increase our Fact Power, we learned a fun rhyme to help us remember the doubles facts. Students also played a fun game that had them practicing this skill.

We have been really thinking about our mindsets (how we think about things) since the beginning of the year. You can either have a FIXED mindset (one that believes no matter what, you can't get better) or a GROWTH mindset (one that says working hard can change how you do or the result of anything!) The saying on one class door says, "It's OK to not know, but it's not OK to not try!" This is part of a growth mindset. 

Third Grade

As part of the Live healthy initiative we participated in our annual fall fitness day. Students were challenged to walk and/or run laps on our elementary walking track. We set aside a half hour to complete this, but many students also chose to log laps at recess too.  Students received a punch on their yellow mileage card for each lap completed. Students earned a foot charm for their walking necklaces after completing four laps which was our class goal.  For each additional lap completed they earned another small foot charm.  We even had one student run 20 laps. We also awarded a large foot charm to the top nine students who all completed over 10 laps. Way to go third-graders!

Learning about the 3D printer with Mr. K!

We enjoyed meeting a 3rd grade class from Maine during a mystery skype.

Fourth Grade

Way to go boys! Hard work paid off as they scored 100% on simple solutions quiz #6!

These top 5 Kahoot scorers were ready for their social studies test over the northeast region of the United States!

Playing OSMO and focusing on states and capitals.

Fifth Grade

It's DARE time in 5th grade! Thanks Officer Hollenbeck!

Practicing our math skills

Sixth Grade

Using writing stamina to write about what drives them nuts.

Sharing brain power to solve tough proportions


Visit by Iowa Department of Education Director Dr. Ryan Wise

Fall Fitness Day
Crestwood Elementary students participated in a Fall Fitness Day to promote being healthy. Each class took 30 minutes out of their day to promote wellness.  They were invited to do laps around the playground.  Students were asked to keep track of the laps that they walked or ran.  We had a great time!  Some students even chose to do laps during recess and count those also.  Throughout the day we watched our lap total grow! We couldn't believe our final count!  We did 3,280 laps around the playground--that's over 820 miles!  Great Job!

Change War
During the week of October 10-14, Crestwood Elementary joined the effort to fight hunger by participating in a change war.  All money raised will be used to support the meal packaging event that will take place at school on October 20th. Students will be assisting with the packaging of food for the hungry on that day.  We had a competition between each classroom to determine who could raise the most change in one week. The winning classroom will get an ice cream party. The students did an AMAZING JOB! Our final total of money raised was $2,274.22!

Fire Prevention Week


October 17        No School--Teacher Inservice
October 20        Meal Packing Event
October 21        Bus Evacuations and Bus Safety Presentations

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