Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,

I am Thankful!

When the Halloween pumpkins are gone,

And the leaves have all fallen to the ground,

When the air has turned windy and cold,

Then Thanksgiving will soon be around.

As Thanksgiving time approaches it always reminds me of all the things in my life that I am thankful for. It is my goal to always express thanks whenever a good thing comes into my life. Somehow, there's always something to be thankful about! I have this simple statement that I make often, "Thank you for all that you do for kids!"

Most often I am making this statement to my teachers and staff, but this is something that I also want to express to you, the parents of our students. Thank you for all that you do for your child. You are the most influential people in their lives! You have helped them to learn and grow into the wonderful human beings that you share with us each day. We are very thankful to have both you and your children in our lives. I hope that you'll find many things in your life that fill you with thankfulness. Have a wonderful November full of thankfulness! Enjoy your day!

There is a critical need for stable, nurturing foster homes in our community. The greatest needs are for families that can take larger sibling groups (3 - 5 children) so they can stay together, homes for toddlers/preschoolers – not babies, but not in school yet, and homes for teens. Without safe, loving foster homes in each community, children are forced to change schools and leave friends and familiar surroundings just when they need those things the most. Not everyone can be a foster family, but some can – if you are interested in more information call: Iowa Kidsnet at 800-243-0756 or explore further details on their website at

Cold and Flu Season

The cold and flu season is upon us. If your child experiences any flu-like symptoms, we ask that they stay home from school. They may return to school 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. If your child is vomiting, they need to have been able to keep food down for 12 hours prior to returning to school (so vomiting the night before, no breakfast and returning to school is not acceptable). Teachers are prepared to help students catch up upon their return.                                                          


The Howard-Winneshiek Schools want parents/guardians to feel welcome in our school and to witness the engaging activities taking place in our classrooms. The safety of our students is of utmost importance. All visitors, including parents, are required to report to the office to sign in.  A visitor, at the discretion of the principal, may be required to present a photo ID. If you choose to visit your child during class time, the following procedures apply:

• The teacher must be notified at least 24 hours in advance and approve the timeframe in which a parent intends to visit their student’s classroom.

• Parents must sign in through the office. No person, other than the student’s parent/guardian will be allowed to see the student without the parent/guardian’s written permission or the parent/guardian being present.

• Classroom visits or observations are limited to 45 minutes visits per visit.

• Classroom visits or observations will be permitted as long as their duration and/or frequency does not interfere with the delivery of instruction or disrupt the normal school environment as determined by the principal.

• This policy does not apply to those who, by law, are permitted to visit with children.

• Younger brothers or sisters are NOT allowed to visit school unless accompanied by their parents.  Children who visit alone with one of our students must be similar in age to the student they are visiting.  

• If you plan on eating lunch with your child please notify the office at least 24 hours in advance to allow the cooks to plan food amounts accordingly.  

• Remember the first two and the last two weeks are not the best times to visit classes. 


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.  In school volunteers must complete a criminal background check. This can be completed through the district office.  This may take a minimum of 2 weeks to process. Volunteers must reapply every three years.

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 stations 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 had a great field trip to Fareway. We were excited to get a “behind the scenes” look of the store!   We saw the cash register scanner, the BIG freezer with lots of turkey and ice-cream, the spot where semi-trucks unload food, the cardboard box smashing machine (recycling), the big refrigerator and we learned about produce! 

Journaling while watching a PowerPoint of photos and videos from our Fareway field trip

Transitional Kindergarten

Students combined drawing and technology this week as they were introduced to Osmo applications. They were amazed to see their creations become part of the story.
Students use multiple forms of creative arts. Painting is one of their favorites. This week they painted turkeys.

Students shared their first Maker Space projects with their peers. 


Kindergarten students enjoyed voting for president this week in a mock election. The results were tied at first, but after recounts Donald Trump was the winner Trump - 34, Clinton - 33

Learning to work with a pan balance during math today!

Hope Dohlman shared a power point presentation about her State Cross Country experience. She explained the sport, showed her medals and shoes, and promoted wellness by encouraging students to keep running laps at recess.

Mrs. Midthus's third graders helped Mrs. Timp's class measure and 
compare their shadows throughout the day.

Students worked on sentence structure and matching 
their picture to words during Jolly Phonics

First Grade

Osmos & coding

Guided reading with fun trackers

Daily 5 & guided reading going strong

Literacy time

Second Grade

You could hear a pin drop during this writing time, it was so quiet. 
Students are working on focussing in on an idea and writing about it. 

Hard at work

Working on magic e words during Cadet time.

We have been working on adding details to our writing to make it more interesting. 
We drew detailed houses and wrote detailed sentences about them.

Third Grade
Thinking Blocks is a great app to model & explore word problems.

Working on our basic fact fluency this morning with Xtra Math!

One student authors sharing during Author's Chair.

We got to explore with static electricity and use charging rods to prove 
that we don't have to touch something to make it move.

The students had to use various materials to check what will go down our slide the fastest. We are working on friction force, push, pull, and gravity.

Fourth Grade

 At the end of our Food Chains and Webs unit, we dissected mystery pellets. 
After much excitement, students dug in and decided they were owl pellets.

These three lovely ladies had some choice time after finishing their simple solutions quiz! They love working on the smart board!

Book club groups gave presentations on their first finished book!

Here is a group presenting on the book TONIGHT ON THE TITANIC.

Fifth Grade

5th grade is just finishing up their Spaceship Earth Unit in Science.  This has included a more in-depth study of the sun, moon, stars, and planets. 5th graders will complete a written assessment and will be doing a planet project to culminate the unit.

In math we are nearing the end of unit 2.  Some of the skills covered in this unit are:  
-adding, subtracting, and multiplying whole numbers and decimals
-word problems and why you have to read carefully to understand them

In reading the 5th graders have been ravenous readers in book clubs. The discussions happening in all 5th grade classrooms has been exciting and engaging!

Read to self on Follet Shelf during Daily 5

Working on a book club culminating project.

Sixth Grade

6th grade writers sharing their observations of Mrs. McCarville drafting her narrative.
Their job was to make observations on what a writer does while drafting.

6th grade students asking different types of questions: fat or skinny?

Changing between decimals and percents.

Read, Recap, Request reading comprehension strategy

In social studies this week we have been investigating the Mesopotamia Period. The people of Sumner develop a form of writing called Cuneiform.  This consists of hundreds of wedge-shaped marks cut into damp clay.  We experimented with cuneiform in class this week.  First, we tried to write our names in clay to simulate how the scribes recorded important information.  The 6th-grade consensus was that cuneiform writing in clay is extremely difficult.  We also developed sentences on paper that we will exchange and let our friends decipher. 


Multi-age learning through play.

We loved the panda during our online field trip to the San Diego Zoo.

Reading Recovery Teachers Teaching Behind the Glass at Elkader


Friday, November 11             Veteran's Day Lunch
Monday, November 14          7:00 School Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 15         6:30 Second Grade Concert
Tuesday, November 15         6:30 Parent-Teacher Organization Meeting

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