Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 17, 2017 Preschool & Elementary

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

Growing and Learning TOGETHER
As we  learn and play together this year, we are also building critical skills for a lifetime of curiosity and growth. We are teaching some important ways of thinking about ourselves and the world this year that has grown out of the Growth Mindset research. A growth mindset is the belief that we can learn anything with support, hard work, and thoughtful strategic instruction. Children with a growth mindset outperform children who do not think of themselves and their learning this way.

The way we support this work in our classroom is by intentionally teaching ways of thinking about ourselves and our learning. This year, we have been teaching your children the concepts of:
OPTIMISM: The belief that no matter the obstacle, we have the power and possibility to overcome it.
RESILIENCE: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and frustrations and learn from them when they happen.
PERSISTENCE: The habit of trying something more than once or sticking with something through the hard parts.
FLEXIBILITY: The knowledge that there are multiple ways to solve any problem and the skills to strategically solve it.
EMPATHY: The ability to understand feelings and other people’s points of view--a fundamental aspect of a healthy child and a healthy community.

As we learn more about these big ideas, we will think about ways to use self-talk, self stories, goal-setting, and reflection to reinforce and support these positive habits of mind. 

As in all things, you are our greatest partners, and so we invite you on this journey with us! Here are some ways you can support and connect with your child over these big ideas:
Share your own stories. Talk with your child about times you showed empathy or were flexible.
Listen in on your own self talk and refine it. Be mindful of saying things like “I can’t” as in “I can’t put together this IKEA furniture!” instead try, “This feels hard, but I am going to take a break and try it a different way to see if that helps!”
Read with your child and talk about the ways characters are acting in regards to these habits of mind.

We look forward to partnering with you as we work to develop a Growth Mindset environment for your children. As always, feel free to contact us with questions, comments, and concerns. It is with great pleasure that we begin this journey together.


Sara Grimm

 It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt

Crestwood Parent-Teacher Organization
Our Crestwood PTO met on Tuesday, February 7th at 6:30 PM in the Discovery Center at the Elem/JH building.  The group is talking about an upcoming reading event at the elementary.  If you would like to be a part of this event please contact Kelly Olson Jessen at (563) 387-7358 or

We would love to have anyone attend tour PTO meeting who is interested in joining, it is always a good time to get involved with our group.  The PTO is a great way to make connections with the teachers, administrators and other parents.  The next meeting is on Tuesday, March 7th at 6:30 p.m.

Congratulations to the classes that won the latest redemption contests!

You may have seen Cindy Yslas during P-T conferences.  She was answering parent questions about the PTO and cutting out some of the boxtops that students had turned in.

Classroom Redemption Collection

The Crestwood Cadet PTO is sponsoring a Classroom Redemption Collection. Be sure to ask friends, neighbors and out town and in town relatives to start collecting on your behalf.

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 you would be helping students to learn subject matter and/or skills that are 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

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

The preschoolers continued their study about winter this week and combined their Jolly Phonics letter J. The letter J song talks about jello and the preschoolers thought that sounded like a great snack. While making jello, the students built their math skills by measuring ingredients, counting the heating time, and reading/observing a thermometer. This activity also introduced the vocabulary words condensation, dissolve, liquid, and solid. After preparing the jello, they discovered their little refrigerator did not have enough space to hold the jello. The preschoolers brainstormed solutions to this problem and decided that snow was cold like a refrigerator. The preschool class worked to fill a large container with snow and we placed their jello bowl inside. The snow worked just like a refrigerator and their jello tasted delicious for snack! 

Preschool Centers for Valentine's Day! 

Transitional Kindergarten

What can we learn about an animal from their teeth? That was a question we explored this week in science. Students have learned different ways to classify animals by what they eat (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore) and what group they belong to (mammal, reptile, amphibian, etc.). 

February is a great time to celebrate friendships. We made crafts and cards for people we cared about. Our classroom celebration included play-do and art projects. 


Valentine activity stations

100th Day Celebration

First Grade

1st grade listening to 3rd graders from Edina, MN, read a book to us.

Learning about the moon

Using our thumbs to let the teacher know how we feel as we reflect on our learning

Guided Reading Group work

Second Grade

Testing a new interactive smart board

Working on our math skills with ST Math

Fraction BINGO

Third Grade
Assembling our own sled dog teams based on the traits and tasks of each position in the team! 

Thanks to the high schoolers who pretended to be our parents so we could practice for conferences. 

Great job on student led conferences

Working on mastering our multiplication facts this morning with a partner game! 

Fourth Grade

Mrs. Kisley's class as students prepare for student led conferences.

Busy 4th graders learner to add details and imagery to make boring sentences into "4th grade" sentences.

4th grade Skyped with Mr. Seasholes class in WA state.  
Together the classes read Quiet Evenings by Paul Fleischman.

Fifth Grade

Learning to make graphs with the Numbers app-very cool & useful.

Thank you PTO for counting all those box tops 
(and rewarding this class, who was one of the champs).

Feeling the L❤️VE

5th graders pulling their first Lino prints!

5th grade performed A Bad Case of Stripes Reader’s Theater for a Kindergarten class in Vermont.

Sixth Grade

Practicing student-led conferences for tonight

Brainstorming our "quick-writes" on our "Award Ideas"

A picture is worth a thousand words!!

First day of our horror book clubs....better leave the lights on! 

Making Egyptian Senet Board Game-Can't wait to play! 


1st and 2nd graders learn about "Handy Andy [warhol]" and printmaking while painting inside the lines

Clowning around with contractions. Students match the 2 words to their contraction.

Skype w/ @illinimccoy. Read Interrupting Chicken.  They taught us to say World Read Aloud day in sign language.

3rd grade listening to Ss from Hawaii read them a book for #WorldReadAloudDay 


Friday, February 17                  NO SCHOOL

Monday, February 20               NO SCHOOL

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