Jefferson Elementary Newsletter

January, 2018

Message from Principal Kluver

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018 – a little early! I hope you all have a fun and relaxing winter break. We are excited to start the New Year off with a great start at Jefferson, and January will be a busy month for our students and staff.

Teachers are working hard to ensure that students are making academic progress in all areas. In order to measure the growth students have already made and to help plan instruction for the second half of the school year, our students will soon take the second round of FAST tests. They are scheduled for January 8th – 19th. The results of these assessments will give teachers valuable information about what their students have already mastered in reading and math and where an instructional focus might be needed as we move through the rest of the school year. Teachers will have results information for you at our upcoming winter conferences.

Parent/Teacher Conferences are right around the corner on January 25th and 30th. Click here to sign up for a conference time for each student you have attending at Jefferson. If you have questions or concerns about conferences, please check with your child’s classroom teachers. Specialists will be available on those evenings as well. Please make sure to check the lost and found while you are in the building. All items remaining in the lost and found after conferences will be donated to a local charity. We look forward to seeing you!

PBIS Place

Our Eagle’s Soar Store has been up and running for a few months. Students earn SOAR tickets by demonstrating self-control, on-task, accountable, and respectful behaviors. They can earn colored tickets from any staff member. Our substitutes are equipped with white tickets which are worth double points. Students have the opportunity to visit our store periodically to trade in tickets for other incentives. We have a variety of items in stock. We have individual and whole class incentives for students to select from. Ask your child about our school store!

FAST Testing

Below is a short summary of the assessments by grade level that students will take during our upcoming winter FAST Testing from January 8 – 19.

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Upcoming Events

January 1st- No School (New Year's Day)

January 8th-January 19th- FAST testing

January 9th- PBIS assembly

January 9th, 11th, 16th, 18th & 23rd- Extended Day

January 12th- FOJ movie night at 6:00 p.m.

January 19th- 2 hour early release for students

January 22nd- No School (Workshop day)

January 25th & 30th- Conferences and Book Fair

1st Grade

This month's literacy instruction for first graders has focused on long vowels: long a, (blame and cane) long i (kite and slime) and long u (mule and cure). The super e at the end of the word makes the vowel say its name (super e can also be called lazy e, sneaky e, or magic e). The mentor texts for the month were Bear Snores On, Peter’s Chair, The Gingerbread Man, and The Gingerbread Girl. These books help develop comprehension skills. The first graders also read non-fiction texts about bears. They used their research to create individual fact books to share with their families. In grammar, first graders are writing complete sentences beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.

In math, first graders are busy studying addition into the teen numbers, place value and number words. First graders are busy practicing their addition strategies, especially in those tricky story problems.

In social studies, first graders learned all about needs vs. wants. Needs are things that keep us healthy and safe while wants are things that we would like to have but we do not need to have. It can be a tricky subject for our young learners, but they did a pretty outstanding job with it.

In science, we studied the characteristics of mammals. These characteristics include (but not limited to): having a backbone, breathing with lungs, having live young, feeding their babies milk, being warm blooded, and having fur or hair. First graders also learned all about hibernation, adaptation, and migration.

2nd Grade

December has been a very busy month for our second grade students! Please take a moment to celebrate with us the many exciting discoveries our students have made.

Polar Express

We shared the wonderful story Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.

Our students enjoyed hearing the story read aloud and also watching the scenes of the story unfold on the screen. Second graders explored the skills of comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences they discovered. Invite your child to recall and share with you the important details of “the first gift of Christmas” given to the little boy by Santa Claus.

Two Digit Addition

This month our second grade students continued to “train their brain” as they strengthened their two digit addition skills. Working with sets of tens and ones, our learners explored the skills of regrouping when needed. Thank you for your continued partnership as together you and your child practice addition facts at home. It has been exciting to see our students becoming more capable and confident in their knowledge and skills!

Telling Time

Our second grade students also began to explore the skills of telling time. Students are working to identify both the hour hand and minute hand on the clock. They are learning to tell time to the hour and half hour. They are also discovering the five minute intervals between the numbers on the clock face. Thank you for encouraging your child to become more independent as you together practice telling time at home.

POSITIVITY ~ a life skill our Jefferson Elementary School Students are learning

Throughout the month, our second grade students have been learning more about and practicing the skills of positivity. Many caring adults have been modeling these skills. It is essential we continue encouraging students to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, act respectfully and responsibly, and speak kindly to themselves and others. Please continue to talk with your child about the importance of positivity. Celebrate their accomplishments, encourage and guide them through their disappointments, and hold them accountable for treating themselves and others with respect. Working together, we can truly make an important difference in the attitudes, behaviors, and lives of our children!

Meet Mrs. Petersen

This is Mrs. Petersen’s second year in 2nd Grade. A 1989 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, she began her teaching career in New Ulm. She is indeed proud to have also served students and families as a Jefferson Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher for twenty-seven years! In addition to teaching at an elementary level, Mrs. Petersen has also enjoyed the privilege of teaching in the Department of Education at Gustavus Adolphus College and presenting continuing education seminars throughout Minnesota. She is married to her husband, Mark, and together they have been blessed with three amazing children, Joshua, (19) Jessica (17), and Jordan (15). Mrs. Petersen most enjoys spending time with her family, attending her childrens’ many events, traveling (especially to Walt Disney World and on the DISNEY DREAM Cruise Ship), reading, listening to music, capturing photos, and creating Shutterfly keepsakes! Please say hello when you see her next.

3rd Grade

There were some exciting events in third grade this month! High school SPOTS students performed skits on listening and being respectful. The Bakken Museum came to Jefferson and presented to 3rd and 4th grade students about electricity. The Narren and the New Ulm Royalty visited 3rd graders. The students learned the Narren’s stories and several of their dances.

In math, students worked with lines of symmetry and congruent shapes. They learned about polygons, angles and the different types of triangles. Students are super excited to be focusing on multiplication and division now!

In reading, students learned more about comparing and contrasting, inferencing, recalling details in a story and determining the message of a text. The students have also been working on reading with expression and improving their reading fluency.

In science the students studied the phases of the moon, the sun and the solar system. They have been learning about ancient civilizations in social studies. These are always favorite topics for students!

Meet the Teacher:

Hello! I’m Julie Bute. This is my thirteenth year teaching third grade at Jefferson Elementary. I also previously taught at Washington Elementary and the New Ulm Senior High School. I am married to Rob Bute. We have two daughters, Emma, a freshman at the University of Minnesota and Ellie, a junior at NUHS. When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching my daughters participate in music and sporting events, going for walks and reading.

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4th Grade

In math this month, 4th grade students worked on calculating the area of triangles in Unit 4. Next in Unit 5 students will learn Multi-Digit Multiplication.

In reading, students are learning about the main idea and supporting details for stories.

Our science unit this month explored magnets and electricity.

In Social Studies, the students are learning about the states and capitals of the NorthEast region. The students have already learned about the states and capitals of the Midwest region.

We closed out the month of December by finishing our Gingerbread Houses together. That was a great event for the kids and their guests to work on a Gingerbread House together!

Hope everyone enjoys their winter break and has a Happy New Year!

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Jefferson Media Center

The library will kick off 2018 with the reading of more books with the “spring” book fair! The theme for this fair is “Paws for Books” and will be held in conjunction with parent/teacher conferences on January 25 and 30, 2018. This is much earlier than we have had our spring book fair, so hope you can stop by to see the new selections and support Jefferson readers!

Fourth graders will be starting a biography research project in combination with their classroom teacher and library/computer time. They will be using 2 sources (a book and a website or two websites/books) to learn about a person they are interested in and then completing a project/report with this information for their classroom teacher.

I Love To Read month is coming up in February and we are so excited about the things we have planned! We will start our preparations in January with every Jefferson student making a drawing of their favorite book cover.

Jefferson students will work on using Google documents after Christmas. Third graders will do projects on their drive, second graders will learn to log-in for the first time, and first graders will have their drive opened for them (to start) and will work on typing a document.

If you haven’t been to the Jefferson Technology webpage, try this link! Jefferson Tech webpage

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Physical Education

To round off our fall sports, students in physical education worked on their volleyball and bowling skills. Concordia Lanes was very kind in gifting every student with a bowling card for 'one free game of bowling'!! Look for that to come home soon if it hasn't already! We then moved to shuffle board and a large tag game called pits and alleys where students needed to run around various obstacles while also trying to not get tagged by a tagger. Our students were very tired and sweaty after all of that vigorous cardiovascular endurance! Recently we just completed our basketball unit where students really improved on their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. We hope they can make it to a varsity Eagle's boys' or girls' basketball game to cheer them on and to pick out the skills they learned! The first graders also just completed the Shoe Tie Challenge. If they were able to show that they can tie their own shoes they received a small foot token that gets placed on their laces or on their velcro straps to let everyone know that they don't need any more help! Please make sure your child has tennis shoes to wear on the days they have gym class.

As we move into the new year, grades 2-4 will have the option to participate in Jump Rope for heart. Permission slips/information will be sent home the first week back from break. Jefferson students have donated great amounts for the American Heart Association in the past and we hope to continue to help get everyone's hearts as healthy as can be!

With the winter months among us, lets make sure we continue to stay active and to get our 60 minutes of exercise everyday! Don't let the cold weather keep you inside. Play in the snow, build a snow fort, go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or downhill skiing, or play some outdoor hockey or boot hockey. Minnesota provides us a wonderful playground during the winter and we need to make sure we take advantage of it! Exercise not only helps keep our bodies healthy in numerous ways but it is also a great stress reliever, mood booster, and anxiety reducer. Get your family together and go play outside!

Literacy Corner

We will continue with our 20 Ways to Raise a Reader this month. The 20 Ways to Raise a Reader sheets will come home with your child the first week in January. Please watch your child’s backpack for the challenge topics. Please feel free to share your pictures as your child completes the challenges using the hashtag #NUEaglesRead on our social media pages! I cannot wait to see how all of our Jefferson students read outside of school. Keep up the good work!

Book recommendations: Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog! by Hilde Lysiak

This early chapter book is a great read for young readers. Hilde is always trying to solve some case! Written by a Hilde and her dad, these books are a must read!

Jefferson Reading Tutors Needed! Do you enjoy working with kids? Do you have a heart to serve and help others? Check out the Reading Corps website for more information.

Please feel free to contact Missy Hunter, the Jefferson Literacy Coach at anytime:

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Nurse's Notes

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Sleep is SO important for children....we all know that. But, how much sleep is enough?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)recommends the following sleep hours:

3-5 years old: 10-13 hours per day (including naps)

6-12 years: 9-12 hours per day

Adequate sleep leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life and mental and physical health. The AAP also suggests ALL screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and computers and other screens NOT be allowed in kid's bedrooms.

Establishing a routine bedtime routine is important to ensuring kids will get adequate sleep at night, and be more productive and ready to learn in school!

Title I

Happy New Year From the Title 1 Department!

We hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday break with family and friends!

The Title 1 department will be assisting with school-wide reading and math benchmark assessments during the week of January 8th through the 15th. Students will also be testing with their classroom teachers in the computer and iPad labs from January 8th –January 18th. The results of this testing will be shared with parents at report card time.

Here is a quick list of great reading sites to visit with your child:

username: newulm password: reads

Problem solving in math is much easier when students have mastered their math facts! Try some extra practice at home with these sites:

Your Title 1 Team,

Jean Jore, Dawn Portner, Lisa Thorson

Special Education

Occupational Therapy (OT) in the schools

Occupational therapy is defined by the Minnesota Department of Education as a related service of special education and may be needed “to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.”

Occupational Therapists are health care professionals that value and assist those who are having difficulty participating in meaningful activities or “occupations” that are needed to conduct their daily routine. For children, their “occupation” is to be a student and learn. For some students, learning can be a challenge and they are evaluated to identify the presence of a disability and whether there is an educational need for specialized education and related services including occupational therapy. The focus of educational occupational therapy is not on “fixing” the child but adapting the task, expectations, and environment, and facilitating successful performance of the child’s activities in their multiple roles within the educational setting.

Often times in school, the OT may provide service to special education students related to fine motor control for writing, cutting, or drawing. An OT may also look at a child’s body position on their chair (which affects fine motor control), or look at environmental distractions that may impact the ability to focus on classroom skills, or look at making modifications so a student with physical disabilities can be more independent within the classroom.

Parents play a big role in their child’s ability to write and draw legibly. Playing with games and toys that use a child’s hands and fingers are helpful in developing the muscles in the hands. Some great play ideas include: playdoh (push and find small toys in it), stringing beads or pasta on shoe laces or yarn, building with legos/ knex/ Lincoln logs, using stickers, cutting pictures from the paper/ magazine/old birthday cards then use paper clip to keep them together to share, or putting rubber bands around small boxes or containers. No special equipment needed – the possibilities are endless when you start looking through the cupboards! For more ideas, check out the website:


Going Green Never tasted so great!

Dark leafy greens are nutrition champions—they’re chock full of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to improve our health and protect us from many illnesses and diseases. In particular, dark leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps stop cuts and scrapes from bleeding too much and helps build strong bones. It is recommended that kids eat 1 to 2 cups of dark leafy greens per week. The dark leafy green food group includes lettuce, kale, chard, bok choy, broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, watercress, collard greens. Be sure to eat a variety to get the most nutrition!

Try these great ways to fill up on your leafy greens:

• Make a colorful salad using lettuce by adding a variety of fruits and vegetables. Add lettuce to your favorite sandwich or wrap!

• Bake kale chips in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil. Add kale to smoothies, soups, salads and sandwiches.

• Chard makes a delicious and unexpected pizza topping. Sautee chard with fresh garlic and olive oil and drizzle with fresh lemon juice and parmesan cheese before serving for a simple, refreshing side dish.

Counseling Connection

“An Inside Look,” at your School Counselor Stats:

**Here's a look at what's been logged so far this year…


**Meetings - 55

**Consultation with staff and parents – not tracking specific number but happens daily on numerous occasions

**Check-in/Check-out Program facilitation – 15 students in program; daily; data record keeping

**504 coordinator – 5 current plans


**Classroom Lessons (ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour) – 58

**Crisis Response - numerous

**Individual Sessions – 820

**Small Group Sessions – 54 group sessions

During the months of December and January kids with be completing an “Escape the Classroom,” lesson to work on team work, growth mindset, grit, and perseverance. So far the counselor has been in a few of the upper level classrooms – grades 3 & 4 and kids are loving the challenge!