Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud to children is one of the most important things that you can do to support their language and literacy skills. No matter what their age, reading aloud to them is the key to creating life-long readers. Children who come to school with a large vocabulary and knowledge of words are much more successful. Why is that? If you think about it, in the early years of school, almost all instruction is oral. In kindergarten and first grade, some kids aren’t reading yet, or they are just starting, so it’s all about the teacher talking to the kids. This isn’t just true in reading but in all subjects; the teacher isn’t telling kids to open their textbooks and read chapter three. The teaching is oral and the kids with the largest vocabularies have an advantage because they understand most of what the teacher is saying. The kids with small vocabularies don’t get what is going on from the start, and they’re likely to fall further and further behind as time goes on. You can prepare your child for a more successful school experience by reading aloud to them as often as possible. Many parents find a great way to wrap up the day is by sharing a read-aloud story with their child. Start a lifelong habit with your child today by sharing a book. Read Aloud America has some great book suggestions: 

Money and Other Valuables
There is no reason for elementary students to bring large sums of money, electronic devices or other valuables to school as theft or loss may occur. If a student is found to have in his/her possession a large sum of money or other valuables, parents will be contacted to come to school to pick up the money or valuables. The school is not responsible for damaged, lost or stolen items.

Recess and the Playground
Recess provides a great opportunity for students to get a little exercise, socialize with friends, and run off a little energy. Our goal is for the students to have fun and stay safe. To stay safe we would like to remind everyone of the rules for behavior at recess:

Students are to remain on the play field, blacktop area or playground area during outdoor recess. When the grass or rock area is muddy, the area will be off-limits. Misuse or destruction of playground equipment will not be allowed. Students will have supervised free time in the classroom on days when bad weather prevents outside recess. School staff will supervise the playground beginning at 7:45 a.m. An adult is on the playground during regularly scheduled breaks. The playground is not supervised after school and students are expected to leave for home immediately following dismissal.


1. All students are to go outside unless your teacher gives you permission to stay inside. Students must have written permission from home if they are to stay inside because of illness.

2. All students are to remain within the boundaries of the playground. No student is to leave the playground area without permission from the teacher on duty. Do not play in the parking areas or the street. If a ball rolls into the street, you must tell the teacher on duty.

3. There is no fighting, wrestling, swearing, or rough play on the playground.

4. There is no throwing of snowballs or rocks on school grounds.

5. Do not climb on the fence, backstop, buildings, or trees.

6. Students are required to play within the areas designated by the recess supervisor.

7. Students are not to play elimination, dodge ball, battleball, bumper cars, or any other similar type games.

8. Students are not allowed to bring knives, cigarette lighters, matches, roller skates, roller blades, heelies, scooters, baseballs, softballs, super-balls, or toy guns to school.

9. There is no tackle football allowed on the playgrounds.

10. Students are not to be on top of or outside of the tube slides.

Releasing Student from School
Any student leaving the school at any time other than dismissal time must be released through the office and needs written permission from a parent/guardian before leaving the school. If a child is to leave school in a way other than which he/she is accustomed to, he/she must have written permission. Going home with another student or staying in town are examples of children leaving school other than in the accustomed manner.

Annual Fundraiser
The students brought home this 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 will end on October 14!! So kiddos!! Ask your moms and dads...aunts and uncles...grandparents and neighbors!! 

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

On Thursday we went for an insect search outside. On Friday we observed our insects as well as insects in glass with magnifying glasses and made observational drawings. We also used the zoomy microscope to observe the insects. The zoomy microscope is a digital microscope that hooks to the laptop and then we can see what it sees on the SMARTboard. The zoomy microscope also takes pictures. Next week we will use our observational drawings and photos to plan and construct 3D insects from recyclable and craft materials.

Angela from the Prairies Edge Nature Center presenting about insects to preschool

In celebration of Johnny Apple-Seed’s birthday, we created a “cooking pot” for our heads and planted grass-seed around the playground. We thought about planting apple seeds, but became a bit worried after discovering that ALL the apple seeds would turn into apple trees We also made Johnny a birthday cake…apple pie! 

Transitional Kindergarten
This week there were several special activities to celebrate. On Thursday students wore blue in support of Stomp Out Bullying. Classroom activities and discussions related that day focused on how we can help our peers and be a kind cadet. On Friday the students highlighted movement for Fall Fitness Day. In TK the students enjoy doing exercises and dancing. We use sites such as Go Noodle. We do exercise time each morning to start our day. Fall Fitness Day gives us a chance to focus on movement indoors and outdoors. 
Painting pictures for Stomp Out Bullying

Morning exercise time.

Students continue to learn what strategies good readers use when they read. The reading strategies we have recently worked on are retelling, visualizing, and inferring. During literacy stations students have worked on beginning sounds, sorting letters according to their features (curves, sticks, curves and sticks), and sorting letters that are in their name and not in their name.

In math we have been working on counting, reading numbers, spatial vocabulary (over, under, below, between, etc.), identifying shapes, and recognizing and creating patterns.

Readers listening to books on iPads

Friends sharing stories

First Grade
We started guided reading and students in the classroom were active and engaged in reading, writing, and spelling activities!! We are learning so much already!!

Personalized learning

We have been working on our sight words. We have played Memory, Tic-Tac-Toe and even made our words out of Play-Doh. We will continue to work on learning our words.

Second Grade
We skyped with a second grade class in Aurora, Colorado. We asked them a lot of questions and they asked us many too. We are participating together in Global Read Aloud using the books from the author, Laura Castillo. Many students from all over the US are reading and discussing these books.

A recent book we thoroughly enjoyed in the classroom was "When I Was Young in the Mountains" by Cynthia Rylant. The setting is the Appalachian Mountains and long ago. We continued to learn more about today's coal mining, the animals, the Appalachian Trail and mountains by reading nonfiction text and watching short videos. This makes a great connection to our Skype class for Global Read Aloud who are located at the foothills of the Appalachians. We have many questions now for them.

Third Grade
This week we started a new fluency routine in the classroom. Fluency is being able to read texts accurately with expression and understanding of what was read. Students will record themselves reading a new passage each Monday on their iPads using the Showbie app. We call this our cold read. They will then practice reading their passage daily, and on Friday rerecord the passage. It is so much fun to see the improvement each week! Also a big thank you to our anonymous donor who purchased 8 pairs of recording headphones (headphones with built in microphones) for our classroom to use. We will put them to great use!

Just a little sneak peek into our Writer's Workshop. These ROCK STAR kiddos are so focused when it comes to writing!  Here some of them chose to write in their notebooks or on loose paper and others chose to continue working in Kidblog on our first blog posts of the year!

In math this week, we learned about finding differences on the number grid, equivalent names for numbers, and began reviewing money! We also started working in our math rotations. Everyday, we will rotate between Teacher Time, Lesson Work, Fact Practice and Math Centers! Here we are showing how AWESOME we are at focusing on our math rotations!!

3rd graders learning about the 3D printer. Creative thinking!

Fourth Grade
Ask your child about their guidance lesson with Mrs. McCabe.  This lesson was on... THE COOKIE!

We made HUGE gains in social studies! Great learning evidenced in these lessons.

Busy bodies in literacy!

Culture grams is a useful resource for 4th grade heritage research

Fifth Grade
This class used cancelled exploratory class for fresh air, exercise, and class togetherness

5th graders have some very good slide shows about Native American tribes that they are just about ready to publish on Showbie.  We are ready to take our Chapter 1 math test.  Many students can show their multiplication 2 ways, including lattice.  

In our book clubs we are working on comprehension by summarizing, making connections, and re-reading.  5B started the Global Read Aloud, The BFG by Roald Dahl.

Sixth Grade
Sixth Grade students are working on thinking and acting like scientists.  During this lab they made observations, noted details, and created hypotheses.  They also applied their scientific brains to some daily life examples. 

STEM Olympics Awards

Writing reflections & citing evidence on characters they most identify with from "Remember the Titans."

Teacher says "I'm not good at drawing horses." Students respond "YET"! We know we have a #GrowthMindset!


October 7          Fall Fitness Day
                          Grade 1 Field Trip to Children's Museum
October 9-15     Fire Prevention Week
October 10        School Board Meeting
October 11        PTO Meeting
October 17        No School--Teacher Inservice

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