West Elementary News

December 2021

Math Tip: Explore Number Patterns

Find the next number in this pattern: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. It’s 128, because the “rule” is to double the number each time. Your child can recognize all kinds of patterns and develop her math thinking with these playful ideas.


Have your youngster cover a baking sheet with a thin layer of sugar. Write a simple number pattern (3, 5, 7, 9) in the sugar for her to continue. She’d write 11, 13, 15, and 17, because your rule is add 2. Next, let her smooth out the sugar to erase the numbers and begin a different pattern for you to extend.


Think of a pattern rule with at least two steps (multiply by 3, add 1). Write numbers in the pattern on separate sticky notes (3, 10, 31, 94), number the backs to indicate the order (1, 2, 3, 4), and hide the notes around the room. Your child should search for them, arrange them in order, and figure out the rule they follow. Now it’s her turn to hide numbers in a two-step pattern for you.


Show your youngster that patterns let her make predictions. Start a pattern with toy vehicles (car, car, truck, train, car, car, truck, train) or beads (red, blue, green, red, red, blue, green, red). Ask her what the 21st toy (car) or bead (red) in the pattern will be—and why. She can continue the pattern, using more objects (or drawing pictures) to check her predictions.

Math + Science Connection, Intermediate Edition December 2020

News from Mr. Bjustrom

Parents, As we enter the holiday season and break away from school please be mindful about what your children are watching on their electronic devices. Social media has a lot of good things to offer but as we saw last week, there is a darkside. These devices have become a part of our daily lives so it's our job to make sure our kids are only exposed to age appropriate material and programs. Our teacher's have a vast amount of educational programs they use so please reach out if you are searching for ideas. It takes a community to raise children and Emmetsburg Community Schools is here to help! Have a Happy Holiday and Stay Safe!

STEM- Holiday Science Experiments

The best Holiday science experiments are experiments that offer two benefits:

  1. The Holiday STEM activity should match an interest of your child.

  2. The Holiday science experiment should offer open-ended science exploration and follow the scientific method.

How to Do a Holiday Science Experiment

If you’re just starting with Holiday science or science at home, you may not be familiar with the scientific method.

So what is the scientific method?

Basically, the scientific method has 4 parts and follows this formula:

  • Question

  • Expected answer (or hypothesis)

  • Test the answer (or experiment)

  • Record the data and experiment results

Older children can also have a fifth part of the experiment, which is re-testing.

Click the links for holiday experiments:

How to Make Frost in a Can

Candy Cane Slime Recipe

Fizzing Ornaments

Salt Crystal Candy Canes

Info from: STEAMSational: STEAM Activities for Kids

Reading Tip- Let's Tell Stories

Add excitement to story time by making up your very own stories. Not sure where to start? These activities will turn anyone into a storyteller—and build your child’s speaking skills and creativity.

Read and tell

What would happen if Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web met the Three Little Pigs? Read two familiar books with your youngster, and together, make up a story that combines elements of each. Maybe the little pigs will live on Wilbur’s farm, safe from the Big Bad Wolf. Your child will stretch her reading comprehension as she thinks of ways to connect the two plots.

Share family tales

Children love to hear stories about when they were “little”—and these tales of her past are nice examples of nonfiction. Ask your youngster to pick a memory (say, her first trip to the beach), and begin a story: “Stella saw the ocean for the first time when she was five years old.” Now take turns adding details. (“She built a big sandcastle.”)

Make story dice

Let your child make three giant “dice” out of empty cardboard boxes. Help her write nouns (cereal, house) on one die, verbs (fly, dance) on another, and adjectives (tasty, striped) on the third. Take turns “rolling” the dice and telling a short story using all three words you roll. (“Once upon a time, I got to fly over my house in a striped hot-air balloon.”)♥

Reading Connection Beginning Edition December 2020 - English

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The students of the week for the month of December were chosen because they showed relationship skills, especially communicating respectfully with others and cooperating with those around them. Donuts for "Breakfast with Bjustrom" this month were provided by Jamison Equipment Inc.

The students at West participated in holiday cookie decorating as our PBIS celebration. Students were encouraged to use cooperative communication and build a stronger relationship with classmates. The cookie decorating was a fun opportunity to build relationships and encourage the kids to reflect on their holiday experiences. This celebration was able to happen thanks to a donation from AgriGold - Brian & Greta Rouse.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

During the month of December our SEL (Social emotional learning) focus has been on relationship skills. This is "The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed." CASEL We focused this round on communicating clearly and cooperating with others.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 5 2nd Semester Begins (Students back from winter break)

Jan. 7 PIE Meeting at noon (1st Friday of every month)

Jan. 19 2 Hr Early Dismissal for Teacher Professional Development