Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,
Help! I don't know anything about what my child is telling me...
We encourage our students to go home and tell their parents about what they are doing in their classrooms. Our goal is for parents to feel informed, and involved. Your children are excited about what they are doing. Students may be going home and talking about things like Skype, Showbie, Google Docs, YouTube, Eduvision, iMovie, Spheros, coding, and robots . . . the list goes on.  Do these conversations leave you scratching your head and wondering what is going on?

Your personal experience with school and education is probably very different from what is happening in our classrooms today. You may also be wondering, "Is my child getting a great education or is this technology stuff just something to entertain them?"

Well . . .Education Has Changed

In the past, teachers may have taught a lesson and the students then completed a worksheet to practice their new learning or a quiz to show that they had mastered the material. The graded worksheets and quizzes then came home and you, as a parent, had a feel for what was happening in the classroom. This is probably the system that you grew up with and are used to. The problem lies in the fact that these are 20th century methods and we are well into the 21st century and we need to prepare our students for life in the future. 

Our mission at Howard-Winn is to prepare and empower our students 
to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally. 

You may have heard or read our mission statement before. We take this mission very seriously. We need to prepare our students for their future, whether it be in Northeast Iowa, the Midwest, or somewhere else. There are core skills we are working to build in our students to help them be successful. Collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving are skills, which we work to build in our students to help them thrive in the world. Teachers work every day to create lessons that reflect our Howard-Winn Design Essentials.

Our students have spent their entire lives surrounded by technology with information at their fingertips. Technology that is integrated into our daily teaching presents us with great opportunities to personalize the educational experience for our students. We have noticed a tremendous positive impact on learning when students are allowed to engage with content, analyze what they are reading, construct their own knowledge, question what they are learning, and communicate their knowledge. Technology integration provides many of these opportunities.

We are working to build 21st century classrooms for our learners:
  • a multimedia environment for learning core content (websites, video chats, digital resources, apps) 
  • the promotion of essential learning and innovation skills (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity) 
  • building knowledge & information through the integration of media and technology skills in the context of the classroom environment 
Our 21st century classrooms are building a strong foundation in the core subjects for our students. So the next time your child comes home excitedly talking about the Skype session that they had or the new app that they used on their iPad, please take the time to talk to them about what they are learning, doing, and creating in class. Their learning will astound you!

What Does Your Child's READING ABILITY Mean for Their Future?

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. If you haven't signed up for conferences please contact Linda Middlebrook at 563-547-2340 at the Elementary/JH office.

We Want You to . . . invite a Veteran to Lunch

Crestwood Elementary Schools would like to honor our Veterans by hosting a special lunch in their honor. Students are being asked to invite a veteran that they know to have lunch with them at school. This event will be held on Friday, November 11th during the student’s regularly scheduled lunchtime. A note will be sent home on Monday with all elementary students containing details. We hope to see many Veterans here for us to thank and honor at lunch that day.

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.

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 . . .

The preschoolers continued learning about fire safety. We became fire safety detectives by
walking around our school building counting the smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. Most classrooms in our school building have 3 smoke detectors, 1 fire extinguisher, and 7 sprinklers. We were also excited to see a fire hydrant right outside our preschool building. Check out these fire safety experts: 

Mrs. Tieskoetter found a pumpkin in her pumpkin patch that was still green. The preschoolers predicted that the pumpkin would turn orange and are using their math skills to graph how many days it will take. Our pumpkin is getting really close to being completely orange. We are hoping it will be all orange by Halloween. We also had a white pumpkin donated to our school. The preschoolers are carefully observing this pumpkin to see if it will turn orange too!

Transitional Kindergarten

Students have been exploring vocabulary terms related to our study of machines. They have talked about input, output, stimulus, and behavior. They explored how to get the Ozobots to follow the marker path and change color. Students tried creating their own paths. Trial and error helped them see what would work best. 

Book shares are an important part of our classroom day. Books are shared in large group, small groups, and with peers. Students learn they can retell familiar stories and read the pictures.


Working on counting and number recognition.

Listening to stories during center time

Kindergarten and Third Grade friends met together to work on a "Stomp out bullying" poster

First Grade

Working with sight words in first grade

Finding the missing letter in the sight word

First grade word work

 We were scientists who investigated properties of WATER! We observed that WATER: moves, is clear, things can sink/float, is wet, is cold (but can be heated up), can be a solid, liquid, gas, dissolves, evaporates, travels, etc.

Second Grade

We've had some excitement in our classroom! Our caterpillars have decided they've eaten enough and are ready to move on. Many have crawled to the top of their container and have suspended themselves from the lid. We have 5 in their chrysalis form with others getting ready. Now we wait!

Students learned a new app, Scribble Press, where they can create their own books. To begin, students wrote about the person they knew the most, themselves. These books will be shared to their Seesaw account when they're done.

We have been working on the reader's theater piece for I Need My Monster. 
We have really been working on reading with expression.

We have been studying the story, "I Need My Monster". 
Students were able to listen to the story on their iPad. 
Here is a link for you to enjoy the story too!

Third Grade
Practicing plays is a great way to practice our fluency.

A visit by our local sheriff to present red ribbons for Red Ribbon week

Working on a sentence sorting activity

Working on our adaptation puppets

Fourth Grade

Constructing an EV3 robot. Creative technology!

This week is Red Ribbon Week! Sheriff, Mike Miner, came into our classroom to talk about the significance of this week and how important these red ribbons are! He gave every student and staff member their very own red ribbon!

Students played Kahoot before our science test

Fifth Grade

Mrs. Bohr revisits @train_ugly philosophy of "struggling " to grow.

Cadet Pride earned us a pajama day.

Students gather data for a math experiment on landmarks

In Science we're exploring how the sun’s path changes with the time of the year. Students will learn that on summer days the sun comes up earlier, rises higher in the midday sky, and sets later than it does in winter.  If you find that your child is curious when the sun rises and sets, Google now provides sunrise and sunset times simply by typing "sunrise" and "sunset" in Google. Many weather apps for smartphones (such as iPhone) also feature this information included with the day's forecast.

Book club discussion of Everest 

Sixth Grade

Using Google Slides to gather information on the Paleolithic Period.

Students are completing a digital plot diagram after watching the Disney Pixar short "For the Birds."

Students are finding narrative elements in a mentor piece of writing.  They are also practicing "reading like a writer," where they analyze how the author writes a piece.

Using rock, paper, scissors competition to practice ratios and prevents

In social studies this week, we have traveled back in time to the Stone Age.  We have been investigating the Paleolithic and Neolithic Periods.  We have been using our skimming and connect and apply nonfiction reading strategies to research different aspects of each period.  We have been gathering background information on each period and organizing our research using graphic organizers in Google slides.  

As we investigated the Paleolithic Periods, we took a virtual field trip to the famous Lascaux Cave in France.  We engaged in lengthy discussions on why the early humans used cave art.  We read articles on different theories that historians developed on the reason behind the cave art.  Our new academic vocabulary word, theory, helped us understand that historians make "educated guesses" about the past due to the fact that during the early periods of human existence there was no written word.  We discussed how historians really use their inferring skills. We showcased our observations on our class Padlet.

The end of the week consisted of comparing and contrasting these two time periods.  We examined our notes and used a Venn diagram to compare these two periods.  Our final activity of the week was a simulation that showcased how farming influenced the way people lived and helped humans move toward our first civilizations.  


Trooper Williams took time out of his busy schedule to come share
with students about bus safety.

We practiced bus evacuations

Lots of creativity for the annual Decorate a Pumpkin Like a Book Character contest.

Our Kindergarten Concert--Great Job Mr. Bieber & Kindergarteners


November 1        One Hour Early Dismissal; P-T Conferences 4:00-8:00
November 3        One Hour Early Dismissal; P-T Conferences 4:00-8:00
November 4         NO SCHOOL

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