Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,

The Holidays are a time for . . . GIVING!

The holiday season is a great time to teach your children about giving. Helping them to see
what it is like to help others and make their holiday season brighter. There are many ways that you can teach them this powerful lesson.

Five Ways to Get Going on Giving
  1. Remember the 2 Gs: gratitude and giving. You can't have one without the other. They go hand-in-hand. Giving kids a chance to help others is how they learn to appreciate what they have. (Children who appreciate what they have are not only happier people, they are less likely to whine and moan for every last item they see in the mall!)
  2. Everything you do can help.  Small acts of kindness are forms of giving that send the same message to children as a trip to a soup kitchen. ("Our family cares about others.")
  3. Let kids decide how to give. You may think that helping the homeless or contributing to the fight against cancer are the most important ways to make a difference. Your 5-year-old may want to donate more money to the zoo so that the lions will have a bigger supper. The type of giving matters less than the opportunity to empower kids, to let them "own" the act of giving.
  4. Be concrete. Dropping coins into a collection pail can indeed make a difference, but most young children, rooted in concrete thinking, can't understand where the money goes beyond the pail. Take as many steps into the act of giving as you can. In other words, although it's easier for you to write a check, it's easier for kids to "see" what they're doing when they buy items to donate with you, then deliver them to a food bank, and put them directly on the shelves. 
  5. Give non-material gifts. Making donations is a wonderful way to give, but children can make a valuable contribution just by spending time talking with an elderly neighbor. Make sure they understand the value of "gifts of time" by asking questions like, "Which do you think meant more, the groceries we delivered today or the nice time we had talking with the woman who needed the food?" Follow-up chats are an "emotional bookmark." By marking the moment and talking about it with kids you're helping them to see the value of spending time. And you're giving them a chance to spend it, to give themselves away.

Holiday Concert

The 5th and 6th grade bands are excited to share their music at their Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 8th at 7 p.m. in the Crestwood High School Auditorium.

The 5th grade band can't wait for their big debut! They will be playing short tunes including some holiday melodies you are sure to recognize and a few of their class favorites. They have learned so much in a few short months!

The 6th grade band has been working hard on some festive music to perform.  You won't want to miss their grand finale!

The Discovery Center would like to thank Mr. Steve Anderson for his recent donations of astronomy books, Goldie Blox building kits, and OSMO.  The students got started right away with the OSMO Coding during December's Hour of Code.  The Goldie Blox building sets have brought out the engineers in some of our young students.  Thank you for your generosity, Mr. Anderson!

Lauren, a 2nd grader, enjoyed building with Goldie Blox

Addy using problem solving skills on the OSMO to move Awbie to the strawberries

Great Children's Books to Give This Year

The source of this list is Lindsey Moon and Charity Nebbe who write a blog. They got these recommendations from Kate Rattenborg from Dragonfly Books in Decorah and Barb Stein of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City about the best new books for young readers. I'm sure your child would enjoy something from this list.

Board books:
Close Your Eyes by Kate Banks
The Napping House Board Book by Audrey Wood
Poetry and Songs and Mother Goose
Sail Away by Ashley Bryan
Snuggle up with Mother Goose by Iona Opie
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
I Wish You More by Amy Krous Rosenthal and Tom Litchenheld
Little Tree by Lauren Long

Picture Books
North Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette, illustrated by Claudia McGehee
The Turnip by Jan Brett
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! By Todd Tarpley
Felix Stands Tall by Rosemary Wells.
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter
The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Little Snowplow by Loran Koehler and Jake Parker
A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
Big Bear Little Chair by Lizzie Boyd
Welcome Home Bear: a Book of Animal Habitats by Il Sung Na

Transitional Chapter Books
James to the Rescue by Elise Broach
Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon by Kate DiCamillo
Ruffleclaw by Cornelia Funke
Hilo 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi
Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon: Tales from Decawoo Drive, Volume Two
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham
How to Hug an Elephant #6
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Timmy Failure: Sanitized for Your Protection by Stephen Pastis

Chapter books:
The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1) by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy
The Bamboo Sword by Magi Preus
Look both ways in the Barrio Blanco by Judith Robbins Rose.
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
Wonder at the Edge of the World by Nicole Helget

Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter by Barbara Herkert
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson
Small Wonders: Jean-Henri and His World of Insects by Mathew Smith

I Don’t Like Snakes by Nicola Davies
Finding Winnie: The True Story of The World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
Bedtime Math: The Truth Comes Out by Laura Overdeck

The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour
Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas

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 started the STEM Pint Sized Science topic “Science Sprouts” by participating in the science experiment “Color Changing Milk”. The experiment introduced the preschool students to science vocabulary like: experiment, measure, observe, predict, and liquid. Science safety was also introduced. The students learned they have to wear goggles, use gentle touches, and “waft” instead of smelling directly. The children did a good job “wafting” by waving their hands above the mystery liquid to direct the air towards their nose to smell it.  We discovered that the mystery liquid was powdered milk. Students then used gentle touches to squeeze food coloring into the milk. Then students touched a Q-tip dipped in liquid dish soap to the food coloring in the powdered milk. Ask your child what happened! Pictures on back of newsletter and on Mrs. Merkel’s preschool Facebook page.

Students also completed an art project to extend the book, “It Looked Like Spilt Milk”. In this book, the repetitive phrase is, “It looked like…but it wasn’t….” The illustrations in this book are white with blue backgrounds. Students completed the repetitive phrase with their own idea and then used white paint on blue paper to illustrate their idea. That makes them authors and illustrators! When you read to your child at home talk about how authors write the words and illustrators draw the pictures.

We also made ice cream! We mixed whole milk, sugar, and vanilla in small sandwich bags. Then we put the small bags in big bags filled with ice and ice cream salt. The children passed the bags around the table until the liquid milk became solid ice cream!

Farm to Preschool December-Potatoes
On Monday we read the book “Growing Vegetable Soup”. In the classroom pretend play center students can pretend to grow and take care of a garden, harvest vegetables, wash vegetables, put vegetables in a pot, cook vegetables, and use a ladle to put the “soup” in bowls. On Thursday students used child-safe knives to chop celery, carrot, and potatoes to put in the crockpot with onion and beef broth to make vegetable soup. We charted on the SMARTboard who was a great taster during snack when we ate the soup.
Check out Mrs. Merkel’s preschool class Facebook page for photos.

Transitional Kindergarten

The Transitional Kindergarten students have been working on literacy skills using a variety of books and materials. Daily practice in letter names and sounds is done in large and small groups. Book shares are part of every TK day. The students enjoy hearing stories. They also work on book skills by retelling familiar stories and reading the pictures

Each day students engage in counting skills and number recognition practice. Students recently worked together to roll dice, determine the number, and chart the data.


Kindergarten students have been exploring a new math game "Owari" 

Learning about addition by playing  a dice game!

Kindergarten authors at work using 5 senses in their writing. 

Learning how animals survive winter! Thank you Angela Bries!

First Grade

An alumni coming & sharing his talent, reading a book from memory.

Students use magnetic letters to build sight words.

Making sure our stories have characters and a setting.

Second Grade

Tiling surfaces with informal units. Not an easy task!

We have been working on informative writing. We know that this type of writing has a topic sentence, supporting detail, and a closing sentence. Students worked on writing polar bear facts in their own words. Ms. Klenke came and helped us take this informative writing and put it into the app ShadowPuppetedu.

Students learned about a new measuring tool...the tape measure. They knew, like a ruler, you can measure the length of something. But, a tape measure is bendable and can go around things.

Third Grade
We use Read Theory to help us practice our comprehension during intervention time.

Love using #Quizzes to review the continents and oceans.

Working on our social studies murals to show our knowledge of urban, suburban, and rural areas plus the different types of transportation that may be found in each.

In math we are working on measuring to the nearest half centimeter and nearest quarter of an inch.

Fourth Grade

4th grader learning to build and program Ev3 robot. Enhanced learning!

Ukulele in 4th grade music.

Working hard!

Fifth Grade

5th grade working on the Osmo, practicing money skills.

Taking a writing piece apart to explore content in 5th grade!

5th graders kicking off their new Math unit of Geometry using pattern blocks.

Starting our chemistry unit testing various liquids on corroded copper.

Using pattern blocks to kick off our geometry unit in math.

Sixth Grade

6th grade students ordering fractions with any strategy that works!

Working on visualizations and providing text evidence of its importance.

Working on periodic table and what we know.

Using the Read, Recap, Request strategy to practice the word finder job.


Working hard on reading! 

OSMO Coding, Bloxels, Trac Labs AR app, ALEX app. Coding explorations in the library


Thursday, December 8 at 7:00          5th and 6th Grade Band Concert

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