The Squawk

April 2016

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Dates and Events


4-7 Iowa Assessment Make-ups

8 The Day in The Arts

12 Kindergarten Open House for Parents for 16/17 Kindergarteners 6:00-7:00

PTA Meeting 6:00-7:30

13 Celebration - Recognizing Habit 3 :Put First Things First and Habit 4: Think Win-Win

14 4th Grade Field Trip to the Iowa State Capital

18-22 Spelling Challenge

20 Kindergarten Registration


2- 13 K-2 FAST Assessments

2 3-5 Spring Concerts in Weitz Commons

26 Bloomcamp Relays ( Rain Date May 31) 13:30-2:45

27 K-2 Fun Day (Rain Date June 1) 11:30-2:45

30 Memorial Day - No School


2- Last Day of School 12:00 Dismissal

5th Grade Celebration


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School Improvement Planning

Below are our goals for the 2015-2016 school year. We are addressing them with a variety of strategies focused on improving our core instruction. We are working on creating a culture of leadership and student ownership, stronger differentiation in the classroom, integration of technology, inquiry, student engagement and other 21st Century Learning skills. We will soon be working on rewriting our Mission and Vision statements and aligning our School Improvement updates to that Vision and Mission. Input from teachers, students, parents and community members will help us build our new Mission and Vision statements. Stay tuned for information on dates of parent meetings and a survey to gather feedback and input from parents.
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Iowa Assessments

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Our main testing sessions for the Iowa Assessments have been completed. There are a few make-up tests to do this week. The students showed their leadership in taking the tests and in being flexible and patient during the testing week. We couldn't be prouder. A special thanks to Ms Grady for her efficient testing coordination.

FAST K-3 Assessments

Our K-3 students will be taking their Iowa Literacy Assessments (FAST Assessments) May 2-13. We will be working hard between now and then to grow our fluency : letter sounds and sight words (K), sight words and reading fluency ( 1), reading fluency 2nd & 3rd). If you would like information on how you can support this at home please see your child's teacher, Mrs. Grady or Mrs. Schofield.

We have school, classroom and student goals for growth and are confident that working together we can reach them.

March Mad About Reading

Our First Annual March Mad About Reading was a huge success. We already have ideas and plans for next year!
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Book Challenge

We learned about our teacher's favorite books and how "brackets" work through our Book Challenge. Sixteen of our Hawk teachers competed in our 1st Annual Book Challenge. It was a tight race but Ms. Hesse and Rickie & Henry by Jane Goodall were the winners narrowly beating our Ms. Miller and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Looking for some great books to read at home? I would encourage you to read all these wonderful titles with your children.

Other Books in The Challenge

Too Many Toys

So You Want to Be President

And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

Everyone Sings in the Same Voice

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More

Balloon Farm

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Horton Hears a Who

The Amazing Body

Extra Yarn

Mouse Soup

Little Lumpty

Book Character Dress Up Day

April 1st Hanawalt was visited by numerous book characters. It was a joyful wrap up to our Focus on Reading. Students and teachers showed off their creativity in putting together their costumes to represent their favorite book. Thanks to parents for helping us make this happen!

The Paper Bag Princess aka Mrs. Grady was seen reading throughout the school, Waldo was trying to find some happiness for Blue and everyone was on the hunt for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!

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Minutes To Wn It Challenge

We had almost 100% of our students participate in the Minutes To Win It Challenge. The winners of this year's challenge were Mr. Gillaspey and Mrs. Beeman's classes. These two classes will get a Book Bash Party! Just because March is over we don't want to stop the reading excitement. Keep reading at home!

Jr. Great Books

Some of our kindergarten classes are piloting Jr. Great Books in the classroom this year. I'm sure many of you are familiar with it as a before school club. Jr. Great Books involves students in Shared Inquiry through classic literature. The Shared Inquiry method of teaching and learning enables students to explore ideas, meaning and information in what they read. It is centered on an interpretive questions that have more than one answer and can lead to engaging conversations. Students can gain a deeper understanding of the text by working together in discussion of ideas.

There are five key guidelines to engaging a successful Shared Inquiry discussion:

1. Students must read the selection carefully before the discussion

2. The goal of the group is to discuss the ideas in the text and explore them fully.

3. Participants should support interpretations of the text with evidence from the work.

4. Everyone needs to listen carefully to the other participants and respond to them directly.

5. The teacher is theres to ask questions rather than offer his/her own interpretations of the text.

Students and teachers are very positive about the level of engagement and the higher order thinking skills that students are exhibiting during their Jr. Great Book discussions. If you follow @linebaughkdg on Twitter you have seen that she and her class have gotten the attention of the Jr. Great Books Foundation! We are growing our circle of influence. It is the hope that we will expand the Jr Great book pilot to other grades in the future.

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Words Their Way

Our K-3 grade are piloting a phonics/spelling resources called Words Their Way. I'm sure many of you have seen the word sorts coming home. We are working towards a consistent and pervasive language and framework to build foundational reading and writing skills. The feedback from teachers and students has been positive. Words Their Way allows for consistent differentiation and supports our School Improvement Goals of growth for all students. For more information you can check out Words Their Way on the Pearson website.

The Leader In Me

Habit 3 and Habit 4

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DMPS Summer Sports Camps


Thank you parents for your continued support and dedication in making Hanawalt "the model of urban education".