Pine Bend Elementary

May Family Newsletter

Principal Update

Hello Pine Bend Families!

April has been an exciting month with the start of MCA Testing and enjoying warm weather on the buddy bench making friends! I would like to thank the PTSA and volunteers for another successful school carnival. Be sure to read the information below about all the exciting things happening in the Pine Bend community

PB Family Night Survey

Pine Bend on Instagram @pinebendelementary

Pine Bend on Twitter @mrcooperpb

May Day 5K

Ready, set, go! Sign up now for the Inver Grove Heights B.E.S.T. Foundation May Day 5K on Saturday, May 4, at Inver Hills Community College, 2500 80th Street East. The event will also feature a short route for families! Run, walk, and enjoy a free carnival, prize drawings, and more fun afterward! Proceeds go toward funding scholarships for Simley High School graduates! Race day check-in and registration will be 8:00-9:00 AM. Preregister to guarantee yourself a t-shirt! Click here to register or for more May Day 5K information.

Pine Bend Family Night Survey


We would appreciate your input in a short survey regarding future Pine Bend family nights.

Please click here for the survey. Thank you!


Agradeceremos su participación en una breve encuesta sobre las noches de familia aquí en la Pine Bend por el próximo año.

Por favor, haga clic en el enlace proporcionado. ¡Gracias!

Elementary Media to Expand in ISD 199

Media has been a mainstay offering for students in ISD 199 elementary schools. The student skills developed within Media are constantly changing. Beginning with the next school year, this will be adjusted even further. The adjustment aligns with the district's mission and strategic plan which strive to prepare students for future success in college and career.

Students will have the opportunity to enhance their future ready skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity with lessons linked to science, technology, engineering, art and media. The adjustment will begin at Salem Hills Elementary School and in the Atheneum Gifted Magnet Program and will be reviewed for potential implementation during the following school year at Hilltop and Pine Bend elementary schools.

May Box Tops

The next monthly Box Tops for Education contest time is here!! The deadline for this month is May 31st! Ask friends, family and neighbors if they will clip Box Tops labels for you. The class with the most Box Top labels turned in for that month will get the “Top Clippers” trophy (pictured). Our goal is to raise $1,000 and last year we raised $843.80 - so close, but still amazing!

Pine Bend Garden

The Pine Bend School Garden is now in its second year! We will be adding 6 additional 3-foot diameter beds to the 4 we currently have for a total of 10. These will be installed on Saturday, May 18 at 9:00 am. We will also be creating a pollinator garden by the flagpole in front of the school, date to be determined. After school garden club classes will begin Monday, May 6 at 3:15 pm to 4:00 pm and go to the end of the school year. There is a 10 student limit. Please contact Patricia McCabe, Pine Bend ESL Teacher, if you would like to volunteer or learn more about the gardening program: Visit our Facebook page, Pine Bend School Garden, for photos and updates!

The garden was made possible due to generous donations by the Pine Bend PTSA and Minnesota State Horticultural Society Garden-in-a-Box program.


Dare we say, Spring has finally Sprung! While the weather has been changing outside, we've been working hard in Kindergarten mastering the skills we've been working on all year, as well as continuing to practice new ones! We're reading CVC words and sorting them into word families. We're retelling stories, and talking about the elements of a story. We're writing full sentences with capital letters and periods. Finally, we're learning a number of strategies to help us add and subtract. We can't believe we're almost 1st graders!!

First Grade

First graders had an awesome April. It was very busy with students welcoming insects into the classroom. The students learned a lot about ants and currently have mealworms that they are studying. They really enjoyed getting hands-on experience with living things. Students also prepared a lot for their music program. They loved the Frog and Toad story! Students worked on identifying the main idea and details of a text. They have also been working on time and shapes in math. The students are excited for the carnival and have worked hard to fill their classroom's basket. But most of all, the first graders are working hard on finishing the year strong! We are sure to have a marvelous May!

Second Grade

April was a busy month for us in 2nd grade.

In reading we learned about folktales and fables. We heard some fun stories in this unit!

In writing, students read and wrote their own poems.

Everyone worked extra hard on math this month as we practiced and finished subtraction with borrowing. This is a hard concept, and the students did great! We are finishing up the month learning about graphs.

We spent time learning about seeds and plants in science. We planted brassica and grass and learned how seeds travel and what plants need to survive. This went along well with our Earth Day celebrations, too!

May will be a busy month with tests and finishing up other things. We are looking forward to the warm weather and some fun activities.

Third Grade

In third grade, we celebrated spring this month by focusing on our world outside. We started our science unit on the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. We observed the Moon using a Moon log and learned the eight phases of the moon, including two new vocabulary words waxing (the bright side growing larger) and waning (the bright side getting smaller). We studied our own shadows during the day and noticed how shadows grow and shrink depending on the Sun’s position. We also drew an illustration to show what we understand about shadows. Our annual visit to the planetarium is scheduled for April 30th. It is the first time many of these children have been to this cool display of the night sky.

In math, we finished up our geometry lessons and started our unit on fractions. We are comparing fractions with like and unlike denominators in groups, as a part of a whole, and on a number line. We also thought about what fractions are used for in real life. They are everywhere! We will follow this with a review of time and money as we finish learning our math standards.

In language arts, we discussed author’s purpose, tone, and theme. We reviewed different types of figurative language and sensory details to help make stories come alive. Now we are applying what we have learned as each child writes his or her own fiction story during Writer’s Workshop. They will be published in a book for all to read. We are excited to share these stories with our parents at the end of the year.

Finally, we spent a bit of time this month reviewing all the topics we have covered so far this year in preparation for our first MCA tests. As teachers, we are very proud of what all of these children have accomplished. There is still much to learn, as the crayfish are on their way. Next month is our science unit on the Structures of Life and our visit to the Minnesota Zoo. We hope many of our parents can join us!

Fourth Grade

The fourth graders are having an exciting month. We are going to be visiting The Pine Bend Landfill. We will be learning about where our food and other waste products end up. We will also learn about reducing and recycling our trash. We are also really looking forward to our Jonathan Padleford river cruise on the Mississippi River. We will be learning about the river ecosystem and will be playing fun science games to help us understand river habitats. We have Dakota County and the National Park Service to thank for providing us with these two educational trips.

We are into our testing month and we are all doing our best on our MCA tests. In reading we are learning about the rain forest and the various tribes that live in them. We are learning about Jane Goodall and her contributions to conservation. She is 85 years old and travels 300 days out of the year to educate people so Earth's precious animals do not become extinct. Her motto is: " Together we can. Together we WILL!!!"

We are working with decimals and having fun with charts and graphs in math. In health we have been learning about how drugs and alcohol affect our bodies. Kids from the high school, who are involved with 4H, came into our rooms and taught us many things about drugs and alcohol. We learned how to say no and what to do if we experience peer pressure. They gave us good advice and told us what it is like to be in high school and how to make good choices.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders have been showing grit and perseverance acquiring new knowledge of geometry skills and figurative language. In addition, their efforts continued in taking the first round of MCA testing which was in reading. They still have to take the math and science tests within the next couple of weeks. They will have endured quite a rigorous load. Fifth graders surely will be ready and willing to get away from all the testing as they look forward to field trips to the: History Center & Capitol, Ordway, and the IGH High School for Track and Field day.

Phy Ed

The month of April is a busy month for us all. Please continue to stay active as a family in any way you can especially in this warm weather. In Physical education students are just finishing up their roller blading unit for grades 2-5 and the cooperating games unit for grades K-1. All Pine Bend Students will be showing us their locomotor skills as we are moving into our hurdles and track and field events unit. Watch for our upcoming 5th grade track and field day on May 17th and our Pine Bend Fun Day on May 31st!

Please don’t forget to wear /bring tennis shoes to school each day!

Thank you,

Mrs. Koch and Miss Darrow


Congrats to all First grade classes on a wonderful job performing Frog and Toad, and an extra round of applause to the adults for joining in on the musical fun with our book, Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp! I hope you enjoyed experiencing the fun we have in our music classes. Boom-a-lacka boom-a-lacka, whack, whack, whack!

Other music news:

Kindergarten graduation is coming! We are preparing to share our "show" with all of you, our friends. Please keep an eye out for the dates, as the classroom teachers share. It's almost time to move on to First Grade!

Second grade has great Tinikling skills. Curious about what it is!? Check out this link to learn and join in the fun!

Third grade and Fourth grade are working hard on recorders, and many are submitting videos through our Learning Management System, Schoology. Did you know recorders are an important part of musical education because, for one, it acts as a great bridge to all other band instruments? We all have heard a lot of Hot Crossed Buns, and squeaks, but just remember the process is what matters, and it is leading to greater things!

Fifth grade has been learning about chords by playing the piano to the song Heart and Soul. We've done so through our Learning Management System, Schoology. They have uploaded, downloaded, participated in discussion, and many other things within Schoology, therefore preparing them for middle and high school classes. Great job, Fifth grade!

Take time to hear the birds sing!

Mrs. Klotz and Mrs. Hoffman

May Reading Connection Newsletter

Upcoming Events

May 3 - Spirit Day with popcorn!

May 24 - Early Release at 11:45 am

May 27 - NO SCHOOL