Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 Preschool & Elementary

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

Early Literacy
As a part of efforts to support improvement of literacy outcomes for Iowa’s Children, the Iowa Department of Education in collaboration with Iowa’s school districts have implemented a system to assess each students’ literacy skills. During your child’s Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 13th or February 16th your child’s teacher will be sharing the results of our most recent literacy assessments. These literacy assessments called the FAST Tests (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) are mandated by the State of Iowa. We will be giving this screening assessment and collecting data three times a year to determine if our instruction is sufficient for the students to master the skills. Students who are struggling in reading may be identified to receive more thorough or intensive instruction to help them learn and stay on track. Once identified, a plan is put into place to help the student. Progress monitoring is then done to measure the benefit of the additional instruction and decide if the plan needs to be modified or changed to increase effectiveness.

How will additional instruction help my child?

     Students who struggle in reading may come into the classroom at a lower reading and comprehension level than their peers (though other subjects may be at grade-level or higher). Intensive instruction can help struggling readers reach a higher reading level than they could with a traditional classroom approach and stay on track with their grade-level.

     Students who struggle in reading may benefit from different reading techniques; helping them identify words more easily, read aloud and to oneself more fluently, and comprehend written stories and instruction more effectively.

Since reading is a primary tool for learning, identifying and helping children who struggle in reading early on can greatly benefit their learning capabilities in the future. Providing them with the right tools to be effective readers and heightening their potential for success.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Sara Grimm

"Take a deep breath. It calms the mind." ~~ Regina Brett


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be involved in your child’s education. We use many assessments to help guide our instruction. We regularly utilize formal assessments like MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in grades K-6 and FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) in grades K-6 and many other informal assessments. The information obtained from these assessments helps us to determine how your child is progressing with key academic skills and to determine if additional support is needed to ensure your child’s academic success. Should you have questions regarding your child’s performance in class (academically or socially), don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. We are just wrapping up our MAP and FAST testing. Your child’s teacher will be sharing the results with you at Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Stay positive when talking with your child about grades

The report card came home—and it was disappointing. You know your child has the ability to do well. His teachers have told you that every year. But he doesn’t work up to his potential. What should you do? The most important thing to remember is to keep your emotions in check. Getting angry or showing your disappointment just won’t help. Instead, look for ways to encourage your child to do the best he can. After you have had time to “digest” your child’s report card:

 Ask him to talk about his grades. What does he think is going on? Does he complete his classwork in school? Is he turning in his homework on time? Does he understand the lessons? Are there things he could do differently? 

 Talk with his teacher. Ask if she has noticed any issues at school. Discuss ways you can work together to boost your child’s performance. Perhaps your child could stay after school for extra help.

 Set up a time each day when your child will do his homework. During that time, the TV should be off and the computer should be used only for studying. Set a timer for 20 minutes and let him take a short break before getting back to work. 

 Offer support. Provide help if necessary, but don’t ever do your child’s homework for him. Let your child take responsibility for completing his work. It’s the only way he will get the practice he needs to succeed in school and in life.

Source: The Parenting Institute

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation Grants Awarded

We were excited to be informed this week that Shari Marr was selected to receive an Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grant funded by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. Each grant is worth approximately $200. Mrs. Marr's project was titled Growing Food/Farm to My House. The grant will provide materials to support a unit of study on Growing Food and Farm to My House. Hands-on learning materials will include books, dramatic play items, and nutrition education items. This grant was made possible through the support of the Iowa Farm Bureau. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and Iowa Farm Bureau believe that by investing in our youth, they are investing in the future of Iowa. They show their commitment, by supporting educational programs that teach youth about agriculture by using agriculture to enhance student learning of science, social studies, language arts and other curriculum. 

EduCare SES Tutoring Program
The after-school tutoring program is well underway. There are about 30 students at
Crestwood Elementary in grades K-6 receiving extra instruction in the Discovery Center during the hour after school. The Supplemental Education Services (SES) Program is offered to meet the needs of our students. The tutoring program is part of the plan developed by teachers on the Crestwood Elementary SINA Team. A big shout out to the teachers who have agreed to tutor, and to Lynn Murray, who is serving as director of the program! 


During the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3, Crestwood Elementary participated in Global School Play Day 2017 (GSPD). GSPD has been promoted by Psychology Today and is celebrated at schools around the world. This activity promoted unstructured play for our students. You can learn more about the benefits of unstructured play by visiting the official GSPD website: Our students were invited to bring in things to play with on this very special day. They brought in: Non-Violent Toys, Cards, Board Games, LegosPuzzles, Play-doh, Matchbox cars, and Dolls/Barbies. The students had a wonderful time playing with these toys with their friends.

We are partnering with BrightBytes, an educational software company, in order to learn more about our students’ school and home technology use for learning. 

For that reason, we are reaching out to ask you to take part in the Clarity questionnaire. Your participation is essential in helping us form a more complete picture of technology use for learning in your students’ lives. Please know that all of your responses will remain anonymous to protect your privacy.

Howard-Winn students, staff and patrons will begin taking the online BrightBytes, Clarity questionnaire. The link for PK-6 parents is
THANK YOU to all for your participation and cooperation. 

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 explored with snow and ice this week. After their visit from the Cresco snowplow drivers, they spread salt on snow/ice and observed the changes. They now understand why those snowplow drivers spread sand and salt on the highway when it snows. During this process, students built their math and literacy skills by measuring the salt, counting the time to observe change, and journaling the results. 

Our Farm to Preschool food in December was potatoes. Mrs. Tieskoetter had a “sprouting” potato in her cupboard and students watched a short movie clip that showed them how to grow a potato into a potato plant. The preschoolers worked hard to prepare the dirt in a jug. The movie clip informed the preschoolers that a plant likes two kinds of food…sun and water. We placed our potato plant in the window and have been great gardeners by watering each day. Our potato plant is growing and we hope to have real potatoes by the end of the school year.

Transitional Kindergarten

One of our recent math lessons was on graphing. Students had the opportunity to do some hands-on graphing with cars and race mats. 

A new item to visit the classroom from the lending library was the Code & Go Robot Mouse. Students could create their own paths. They would pick a starting point on the path and enter the code to see if they could get the mouse to the cheese. It was a popular activity!


Kindergartens learned about lines and rainbow order in art class! 

Fun with Play-doh for Global School Play Day!

Kindergarten used teamwork to put a puzzle together.

Proud engineers start with play!

We love to play!

First Grade
First Grade Working on fact families. Which scoops go on what cone? 

Playing memory to make 10. Working on addition.

During our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Curriculum called ROLLING THINGS we learned lots of cool stuff! We used ramps to explore how the height of the ramps and weight of the control changed a crash! We spent a whole week making predictions and testing them! Our culminating activity had each group creating an Animoto video to demonstrate their understanding of ramps!!

Can we knock over the wolf based with this height and the weight of the car--STEM?

Second Grade

The more a child reads, the better and more confident they will be with their reading skills.  Finding a comfortable spot with a good book is great for boosting reading skills.

Working on Telling Sentences and Showing Sentences. 

Practicing our inference skills. 

Third Grade

Love using #MysteryScience in our classroom!

Our school's 2nd & 3rd graders are invited to take part in this free dental program. 
Parents need to return the yellow sheet to school to take advantage of it.

We have officially kicked off our Gumball Multiplication Challenge in 3rd Grade. 
Good luck third graders on learning those facts!

Fourth Grade

We talk all the time about monitoring our comprehension in 4th grade. One strategy good readers do is called, "Ask and Answer Questions." Students are practicing asking themselves and answering questions about what they were reading. Students did this with a fun game called, "Pop the Question!" They worked in pairs to read and answer questions. One student would read a page and when he/she finished the other student would put the game piece on a bubble and "pop" it to signify it has already been used. The child who read the page would have to read whatever question was in that bubble and answer it as well! This was great to see students think about their own thinking!
... And of course they got to "pop" a few bubbles of their own while reading! 

IMAGERY! Today, students worked on identifying imagery in their reading and using imagery in their writing! They learned that visualization and imagery ARE NOT THE SAME! Visualization is PART of imagery but there is more to imagery than just what you SEE! Students worked on identifying describing words, called adjectives, that relate to each of their five senses. Students did a word sort to classify words into categories of each of the five senses. Students then chose a scene and had to use adjectives to describe that scene for each sense!

Reading about the Southwest region of the United States.

Fifth Grade

5th graders share good citizen stories from their DARE homework.

This was the last DARE class with Officer Hollenbeck. 
Students presented him a little thank you card for all he has taught them. 
DARE Graduation will be Feb. 8, 2017, at 2:00 in our school gym. 
Parents and family members are invited!

Using graphic organizers to write what we learned.

Learning about taxes and the Boston Tea Party.

Sixth Grade

Highlighting parts we liked, were effective, and questions from a mentor piece on informative writing.

Dividing from jiji and #STMath to visualize the process.

Teacher's dream come true: Student teaching teacher about engineering tools Ancient Egyptians used to create a pyramid.


"Treasures from the Sea" - comparing real sea glass to the colors shown in our non-fiction text. 

Playing in the reading room—you bet.
Context Clue Bingo!

1st graders enjoy a game of “I Have…Who Has?”


Monday, February 6                 No School--Teacher Inservice

Wednesday, February 8           2:00 DARE Graduation (Elem/JH Gym)

Monday, February 13               One hour early dismissal for P-T Conferences
                                                 Parent-Teacher Conferences from 4:00-8:00

Thursday, February 16             One hour early dismissal for P-T Conferences
                                                 Parent-Teacher Conferences from 4:00-8:00

Friday, February 17                  NO SCHOOL

Monday, February 20               NO SCHOOL

No comments:

Post a Comment