Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016 Preschool & Elementary




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


Dear Parents and Students,
READING is IMPORTANT!
Children are born ready to learn, and every parent needs to understand how daily reading
aloud from birth checks all the boxes for social emotional development and building brain connections for language, imagination and healthy development.  Parents--you are your child's first and most important teacher.  Are you reading with your child? We know reading aloud every day to a child from birth through 3rd grade is essential to a child's early brain development and successfully making the transition by third grade from learning to read to reading to learn.

Every day is a fleeting opportunity for parents and primary caregivers to make a difference in their child's life.  While many parents are strongly committed to reading aloud every day to their child, far too many parents still do not understand the incredible influence and impact only they can have.

Some Suggestions for Encouraging Reading Practice
  • Try relaxing your family's bedtime rules once a week on the weekends. Let your children know that they can stay up as late as they want, as long as they are reading in bed. 
  • Help your child start a home library; paperback books are fine. Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Check used book stores. Give books as gifts. 
  • Want your children to be good readers? Let them see you read. 
  • Try holding D-E-A-R times at your house. "DEAR" stands for "Drop Everything and Read." During DEAR time, everyone in the family sits down for some uninterrupted reading time. 
  • With young children, try reading to them during bath time. 
  • Use the "Rule of Thumb" to see if a book is on your children's reading level: Have them read a page of the book aloud. Have them hold up one finger for each word they don't know. If they hold up four fingers and a thumb before the end of the page, the book is probably too hard for them to read alone. But it might be a great book to read aloud.

LITERACY ASSESSMENT

Crestwood Elementary is in the third year of the statewide reading test called FAST. FAST is the test which stands for Formative Assessment System for Teachers. FAST is given to every student three times a year to identify students who are reading on grade level and those students who need additional help in reading. Throughout the school year, students are assessed on a variety of skills that are essential to reading. The FAST assessment screens on the following skills: 

KINDERGARTEN-
● Reading letter names and identifying letter sounds
● Understanding concepts of print (eg. We read from left to right on a page.)
● Identifying individual sounds they hear in a word (eg. “at” has two sounds:  /a/ and /t/)
● Reading commonly used words by sight (eg. "the”)
● Blending sounds together to read simple words

FIRST GRADE-
● Reading simple sentences 
● Number of words read correctly in one minute—related to decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension
● Identifying individual sounds they hear in a word (eg. “at” has two sounds:  /a/ and /t/)
● Reading commonly used words by sight (eg. "the”)

● Blending sounds together to read simple words

GRADES 2-6-
Students in grades 2-6 are given the aReading test. FAST Adaptive Reading, or aReading, is a computer-administered measure of broad reading skill developed to screen students three times per year. It is individualized for each student based on their skill and pattern of responses. aReading is aligned with National Common Core Standards and is based on recommendations from the National Reading Panel. Concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary are assessed.  aReading provides an overall indication of how well the student is reading and is related to other reading skills like decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Your child's teacher will be sharing the results of the assessment with you at Parent-Teacher Conferences.

MAP TESTING

Students at Crestwood Elementary this fall have taken an assessment called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). These tests determine each child’s instructional level and measures academic growth from year to year in the areas of mathematics, reading, language usage, and science. MAP tests are unique in that they are adaptive tests each child took on a computer. That means that the test became more difficult the more questions the child answered correctly. When the child incorrectly answered a question, the test became easier. Therefore, each child took a test specifically created for his or her learning level. In addition, each child should have had the opportunity to learn the information presented on the test because the tests are aligned with the curriculum.
Each child’s MAP results are reported in RIT scores. This is a different type of score than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. It is also different than many tests that provide results based on a child’s score compared to others in his or her grade. Instead, the RIT score is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, that is independent of grade level. As a result, we can easily measure growth in learning. This type of score increases the value of the tests as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for your child’s learning. MAP testing is a powerful tool for monitoring student growth over time. The charts below, document the average RIT scores for different grades for a typical school district.
Understanding Your Child’s MAP Test Results         
MAP is a test to identify a student’s instructional level—in other words, the concepts they know and those they are ready to learn. Over time, MAP measures academic growth and MAP data is used by teachers to plan effective instruction. The charts that follow will help you to see your child’s progress in terms of skill level. Scores are reported in terms of a RIT score—we like to refer to this as a Ready for Instruction Today score because this helps us to know what types of skills they are ready to be taught in the classroom. Since this test is taken several times during the year, the average RIT scores for each grade level for a typical school during FALL testing are in the Beginning of the Year column, WINTER testing is in the Middle of Year column, and SPRING testing is in the End of Year column. Your child's scores will be shared with you at Parent-Teacher Conferences.
Reading Norms (RIT Values)

Mathematics Norms (RIT Values)
Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year

Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year
K
141.0
151.3
158.1

K
140.0
151.5
159.1
1
160.7
171.5
177.5

1
162.4
173.8
180.8
2
174.7
184.2
188.7

2
176.9
186.4
192.1
3
188.3
195.6
198.6

3
190.4
198.2
203.4
4
198.2
203.6
205.9

4
201.9
208.7
213.5
5
205.7
209.8
211.8

5
211.4
217.2
221.4
6
211.0
214.2
215.8

6
217.6
222.1
225.3
7
214.4
216.9
218.2

7
222.6
226.1
228.6
8
217.2
219.1
220.1

8
226.3
229.1
230.9
9
220.2
221.3
221.9

9
230.3
232.2
232.4
10
220.4
221.0
221.2

10
230.1
231.5
233.4
11
222.6
222.7
222.3

11
233.3
234.4
235.0

Language Usage Norms (RIT Values)

General Science Norms (RIT Values)
Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year

Grade
Beginning of Year
Middle of Year
End of Year
K




K



1




1



2
174.5
184.9
189.7

2



3
189.4
196.8
200.0

3
187.5
192.6
195.4
4
198.8
204.4
206.7

4
194.6
198.7
201.0
5
205.6
209.7
211.5

5
200.2
203.7
205.7
6
210.7
213.9
215.3

6
204.3
207.1
208.6
7
214.0
216.5
217.6

7
207.2
209.5
210.9
8
216.2
218.1
219.0

8
210.3
212.3
213.5
9
218.4
219.7
220.1

9



10
218.9
219.7
220.4

10



11
221.5
222.1
222.1

11





Character Counts at Howard-Winneshiek Schools
This week we celebrated good character at Crestwood.
We had themed dress-up days with lots of excitement and valuable conversations about what it means to be a person of character. Thanks for all your continued support! Check out what great kids we have here: Crestwood Kids Of Character

Kindergarten is WILD about Character Counts week!

VOLUNTEERS
Parents are welcome to volunteer at school. There are many tasks which volunteers can help with. Some parents choose to volunteer to do tasks at home while others come to school to volunteer. If you would like to share your time and talent with us please talk to your child’s teacher about volunteering or call the school office. We welcome your help.
School volunteers must complete a criminal background check. This can be completed through the district office and may take a minimum of 2 weeks to process. Volunteers must complete the background check every three years.

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 for how to sign up for a conference time.  

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


Annual Fundraiser
Cherrydale (formerly Chip Shop) fundraising envelopes have been collected, and orders are being tabulated. Money from the fundraiser goes to support field trips and supplies for school. Orders and 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!

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

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: 
https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/IAEDU3029/subscriber/new 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.

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 . . .

Preschool
Another exciting week in preschool kicked off by having the real firefighters and fire truck visit our school. The firefighters showed us their gear and gave us a tour of their fire truck. Preschooler also created a fire truck for our dramatic play center. The preschoolers worked hard to paint a large cardboard box red. The students used paper scraps, cardboard, and foil to create wheels, hoses, and ladders. Check out the pictures below!

The firefighters gave us some valuable fire safety tips which we have been discussing and practicing (stop-drop-roll, calling 911 in an emergency, crawling low in smoke, touching a door to see if it is hot). One of our favorite activities was playing a stop, drop, and roll game by placing a piece of “felt” fire on our clothes. To put the fire out, the preschool students practiced stopping, dropping, and rolling until the “felt” fire fell off their clothing.


We learn through play...fine motor, letter/name writing, language skills!

Transitional Kindergarten

The students in TK joined the rest of the school in celebrating Character Counts Week. Projects we participated in this week included making pictures for those in the military, packaging meals, and collecting canned food items.

The students worked on letter naming and recognition. They have been learning to identify the capital and lowercase pairs. This week they used magnetic letters to find buddy pairs. 


The students have been earning cadet pride tickets for demonstrating great cadet behavior related to rules. They earned 200 tickets for displaying Cadet Pride and they will have a celebration in their classroom including a pajama party on Tuesday, October 25th. Way to go Cadets!

Fun reading The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Firetruck by Laura Murray TK practiced retelling using 5 Finger Retell. 


Kindergarten

This week during shared reading we read the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. The students worked on making predictions, retelling the story, comparing and contrasting Chrysanthemum to Molly Lou Melon, and making inferences.



Counting to 100 in Kindergarten

We love practicing our math skills with ST Math


First Grade

First grade students use words they know to learn new words.

Exploring the properties of water




Second Grade

2nd graders creating with Zoob Bots. Active engineers!

A friendly game of POW + 9 to help with fact strategies

Our second graders reading their way to the top of Mt. Readmore!


                                         Working hard on addition fact strategies!

  

To help us learn our +10 strategy, groups played "Zap". 



Third Grade
Using @MrNussbaum reading comprehension passages today during Cadet Time!

We enjoyed a visit by two senior high school football players to congratulate us on meeting our Fall Fitness Day goal last week. They also told us about how they stay active and encouraged us to get involved in all the school activities we can.

Working on rounding in 3rd grade

Great skills reinforcement using a game on their iPads

Small group work helps reinforce skills learned in large group teaching



Fourth Grade
Daily 5 Rotations: we read and discuss, write, work on language skills (DOL), spelling, cursive, and other projects.




Students were given a make-believe planet and had to create an animal with adaptations to survive on that planet.




Fifth Grade
Officer Hollenbeck gives us our DARE t-shirts

Our DARE bear, Darren, is getting a makeover. 
Students may bring items to add to his stylish wardrobe.


QR code place-value game today had them thinking and moving during math

Mrs. Leifeld's classroom raised the most money for our change war, 
so they were treated to an ice cream party!




Sixth Grade
In literature, we have been working on plot structure. The students have been reading picture books and sequencing the events of the story. After sequencing the events, we are highlighting the events in plot structure format.  The students identify the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. We are becoming experts in plot structure so we will be able to apply these skills in our novel units.

Fiction Plot Elements


Ratios and proportions


CADETS

Meal Packaging
During the week of October 10-14, Crestwood Elementary joined the effort to fight hunger by participating in a change war.  The students did an AMAZING JOB! Our final total of money raised was $2,321.94!  All money raised was used to support the meal packaging event that took place at school on October 20th. Students assisted with the packaging of food for the hungry on that day.  They had a great time and definitely lent a hand to the hungry! We packaged 55,728 meals!






REMINDERS

October 21        Bus Evacuations and Bus Safety Presentations
October 25        Picture Retake Day 
October 27        Kindergarten Concert 6:30

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