Friday, December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,

The Holidays are a time for . . . GIVING!

It’s “Snow” Secret We Are a School That Cares!

Our children learn important lessons from us and acquire important habits with our help. We want our children to grow up to become responsible and caring adults. We want them to learn to feel, think, and act with respect for themselves and for other people. We want them to pursue, their own well-being, while also being considerate of the needs and feelings of others. This holiday season the students will be participating in, “Sending Out Winter Warmth from Howard-Winn: Iowa’s Coldest Season Brings Out the Warmest Hearts!”

Help support our students and community through donating new or slightly used coats with a working zipper, snow pants, hats, mittens, and scarves. We will also be collecting brand new socks as well. There will be a donation box located in the Crestwood Elementary and Jr. High lunchroom. A Jr. high student from the service learning committee will be monitoring the boxes from 7:50 to 8:20 a.m. to thank students for their caring donation with a candy cane for their compassion!

As parents and educators we lead by example. The Howard-Winneshiek staff will also be making sure the season is merry and bright for the holidays by participating in jean week. Donations from jean week will be used to buy gifts for some of our Howard-Winneshiek families that could use our support during the season of giving. Our school elves will be delivering these gifts to help families enjoy a very merry Christmas this year!


Parent-Teacher Organization

Our Parent-Teacher Organization will be having their next meeting on Tuesday, December 13th at 6:30 in the Crestwood Elem/JH Discovery Center. Please consider joining us. We would welcome your involvement and ideas!

Holiday Gift Ideas from the Art Room!
Children as young as a year old love to create and art supplies can make a wonderful Christmas gift (or stocking stuffers!) to encourage them to imagine, create, explore, problem solve, and have a great time in the process! Art supplies don’t have to be expensive to be appreciated. Here are some things we use in the art room that are favorites with students. Keep everything in an old sheet (to use as a drop cloth) or a plastic bin and your budding artists are ensured hours of fun! Most of these items can be found at stores like Dollar Stores, Wal-Mart, or any crafting or fabric store. Have fun shopping, I guarantee you, and the kids will love these!
 -Rebecca Ortner / Art Teacher

Ages 0+

Ages 3+
 Pipe cleaners, all kinds!
 Craft foam (in sheets or shapes)
 Colored felt squares
 Pom poms or cotton balls 
 Googly eyes
 A box of craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
 Glue Stick 

Ages 5+ 
 Brown or white paper bags
 Elmer’s Wet Glue (works the best!)
 Tin foil 
 Glitter glue
 Save cereal boxes, cardboard tubes, etc. (the kids love creating
 and building things with them using masking tape.)
 Yarn or string
 Sequins
 Assorted buttons

Ages 8+
 Sketchbook 
 Sharpies (thin, thick, metallic)
 Gel Pens

Holiday Concert

The third grade classes have been hard at work singing Christmas songs in preparation for the holiday concert on December 20th at 6:30 in the high school auditorium.  Song selections include Frosty the Snowman, Silent Night, as well as two songs that will become "Tradition" songs to be repeated each year at the Christmas concert.  Students start each class with vocal warm ups to get our voices ready.  We then work on singing through problem areas and finally work on performing the pieces with good posture, facial expression and tone.  This year third grade students will also be premiering a simple song on the recorder as they get ready to partake in Recorder Karate at the start of the new year.  So far the students have already learned three notes on the recorder as a group but through Recorder Karate they will learn up to ten different notes to play on the instrument.  Recorder Karate is a new Recorder Curriculum that is growing very fast in popularity across the country and allows students to work at their own pace to learn songs and then test out of them to earn a "belt."  Once they have learned all of the songs they will be a Black Belt at Recorder and ready to move on to even higher levels.  

The students are very excited to perform their pieces for their friends and family during the holiday season and show off how hard we have been working on recorder!  We hope to see you there December 20th at 6:30 PM for the 3rd grade Holiday Concert!

It's a Great Time to Read Aloud
Just before the holidays is the perfect time to read aloud with your child. Every day during the holiday break is a great time to build a daily routine for 2017. Parents, you can mark off every day you read aloud together for at least 15 minutes on a calendar and when you get to milestones like 50 minutes or 100 minutes you can celebrate. Reading Aloud is great way to help build your child's brain and lifelong learning capacity.

Author Visit
Author/Illustrator Katherine Hannigan visited HW this week. She is pictured with 6th grade students at Crestwood. She says the best part about speaking with students is laughing together and getting to share her stories, and she hopes to inspire some future writers. “We all have stories inside of us,” she said. “Writing can be a way for us to be really expressive . . . What I hope that everybody gets from today, after talking about writing, is that even if everybody doesn’t become an author, everybody [can learn] ways to make their writing fun and interesting and communicate better that way.”

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 have been busy engaging in activities to learn about food groups and healthy foods. One of our favorite activities was digging in a bucket of dirt for vegetables that grow underneath the ground (potatoes, carrots, and onions). After exploring these vegetables, we worked to make our own vegetable soup. First, the preschoolers washed the vegetables with brushes and water to remove any dirt or germs. Next, the preschoolers used their fine motor and math skills to cut and measure the ingredients needed for our soup. The soup was delicious and hit the spot on a cold day!

The preschoolers also talked about healthy fruits. We discovered that fruits and vegetables are used to make juice. The preschoolers created their own juice by using apples, grapes, berries, and oranges! This healthy drink was a BIG hit in the preschool class!

Transitional Kindergarten

The Transitional Kindergarten students had a turn at visiting Mr. Knobloch’s classroom. They worked in pairs to create moving vehicles.

We went to the Cadet Store for the first time. The students were excited to spend the money they had earned for displaying Cadet pride.

Our Makerspace projects on display in the hall.


Kindergarten students concentrating on MAP tests.

Getting a workout with our Food and Fitness Team. 

Kindergarten "unplugged" coding the Gingerbread Man using arrows in their algorithm.

First Grade

In math we have been working with dot cards. We look for the patterns in the dots to help us add numbers together. We have been working with partners and adding one and two more to the number dots we started with.

We have started working on a new Cadet Pride reward. The students are trying to earn Golden tickets. Golden tickets can only be given if the whole class is showing Cadet Pride and they can not be given by their classroom teacher. So another teacher in the building has to spot them doing Cadet Pride. We set some goals for some rewards. The students already earned several tickets so they earned some game time for their reward. They are excited for the next reward that may be coming soon!

Using our schema to tell about snow.

This teacher is modeling through think aloud what the job of "retell rabbit" is before students practice independently.

Second Grade

Mrs. Vandervort met with these students to introduce them to books in a series. Our library has a whole section for books in a series (books with the same characters). There are so many to choose from. Just another way to get excited about books.

We have been working on finding the main idea of texts and details to support the idea.

Second graders have been working on letter writing. 
They wrote letters to the troll characters in our literacy book. Here is an example.

Third Grade
We learned about the importance of planning first in our writing by using graphic organizers or storyboards. Some of us are trying them out this morning during Writer's Workshop!

What better way to practice measuring to the nearest whole and half centimeter in December than by making Christmas trees!

Using Google Slides to create a presentation about our nonfiction books.

3rd graders exploring the engineering design process and robots.

Fourth Grade

We had an author visit this week! A REAL AUTHOR!! A huge thank you to Katherine Hannigan for coming to our school and sharing her wisdom of writing, and drawing, and TRYING, and failing, and TRYING AGAIN! This is just what these JUNGLE TIGERS can relate to! Also thank you to our AMAZING librarian, Mrs. Shekleton for arranging this! You are awesome ~ always going above and beyond to benefit kids!

Today we focused on the IDEAS trait of the six traits of writing. We used graphic organizers to compile our thoughts in a way that made sense. We then reread our ideas, crossing off the ones that either didn't directly relate to our idea or might have confused our reader. Writing is a process!

It was apparently a word work war in this class.

Fifth Grade

5th grade science is testing substances to identify acids.

We had the pleasure of learning from author, Ms. Katherine Hannigan. 

Coding learning fun.

Sixth Grade

What better way to share our love of reading than to celebrate with hot chocolate day. Last week students enjoyed our first "Hot Chocolate Share the Love of Reading Time." We filled up our mugs and enjoyed sharing our current independent reading books with our friends.

Author Katherine Hannigan visiting with our 6th graders.

Using the voice note in Showbie app to record their writing to check for mistakes.


Building background knowledge before reading about Aye-Ayes. 


Monday, December 12 at 7:00          School Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 13 at 6:30         Crestwood PTO Meeting
Tuesday, December 20 at 6:30         3rd Grade Christmas Concert
Friday, December 23                         No School-Christmas Vacation
Tuesday, January 3                           School Resumes

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