West Elementary News

April 2022

Explore congruent parts

“That kite has four congruent triangles.” Finding and making shapes that are congruent, or exactly the same size and shape, will help your youngster learn geometry and build a foundation for fractions. Try these ideas.

Congruent or not?

Let your child look around the house for different pairs of congruent shapes. How can he show that they’re congruent? He could lay one square coaster on top of another square coaster or one round throw pillow on a second one. Or encourage him to search for things that are divided into congruent shapes, like a window with six congruent rectangular panes.

How many parts?

Let your child create geometric shapes (square, triangle, rectangle, hexagon) out of play dough. Which ones can he cut into two congruent shapes? He might cut two congruent squares from a rectangle or two congruent rectangles from a square. Does he have a triangle that can be divided into two congruent triangles?

Math+Science Connection April 2020 Edition

News From Mr. Bjustrom

Parents, The weather has been a frustrating roller coaster. Please make sure your children are prepared for the ever changing daily weather. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PIE ladies who have done an amazing job of scheduling field trips and other school programs we have offered. The turn out for breakfast buddies was incredible and by far the best we have had so thank you ladies for all you do. Lastly, we have preschool round up next week so if you know of any families who are planning on enrolling students next year please have them reach out to the school so we can include them! Let's finish the year strong!

Reading Tip- Ask Questions Throughout the Reading Process

Readers who are actively involved in reading ask themselves questions before, during, and after reading a selection. This not only increases their comprehension of what is being read, but it fully engages them in the reading process. As readers, when we are fully engaged in the reading process, we are more likely to remember important details and information. Asking questions is a great way for readers to monitor their comprehension of a text. In class, your child has learned that successful readers generate their own questions and that not all questions generated will be answered. Learning to ask questions throughout the reading process is an important reading strategy because it teaches a reader to think aloud. It helps readers review important points in the text, evaluate the quality of the text, make connections, and refine predictions.

How can you help your child with this strategy at home?

1. Model this questioning process by reading to your child and stopping during the reading to question what is going on in the text. Use questions such as: What does this mean? Is this important? How do I think this story will end? What does this word mean? Do I need to read this again? Then have your child practice asking questions independently.

2. Pre-select several stopping points in a text to stop and ask questions. Have your child verbalize questions he/she has at each stopping point.

3. Encourage your child to write down their questions as they read. Be sure the focus is not about finding correct answers but that it is on curiosity, wonder, and asking thought provoking questions.

Allison Behne 2009 The CAFE Book

PBIS/ SEL (Social Emotional Learning)


Our PBIS focus in March and April was communication. We wanted our students to learn how to be communicators in a way that was respectful and had clarity. We focused on using our words to solve a problem or ask for help. We emphasized using manners when talking with both peers and adults. Students learned that there is something called nonverbal communication and it plays a big role in how we interact with others. Encourage your children to continue using these skills throughout the day to carry over the lessons taught at school.

Thank you to Hughes Brennan & Wirtz for sponsoring our PBIS student of the week donuts. We appreciate your support.


On April 20 and 21 Staff and students of Emmetsburg Schools attended an engaging presentation by Joe Beckman. Joe spoke on the importance of human connection and how each of us can be a difference maker. In his story based way, Joe challenged the students to think about how small actions can lead to incredible impact. West students were engaged in the entire presentation learning that human connection matters and there is greatness in each of us. This is a link that Joe shared with us before his presentation about himself and his message.


So ask your students "How have you been a difference maker today?"


April STEM Activity - Color Changing Flowers

This is a simple color changing experiment with carnations to help your child learn about how

water moves through plants and how the plant’s petals can change color.


  • White flowers (experiment with different varieties)

  • Vases or mason jars

  • Food coloring


STEP 1: Trim the stems of the white flowers (carnations work really well but these are what our local store had at the time) at an angle under water.

STEP 2: Squirt several drops of each color food into different glasses and fill halfway with water.

STEP 3: Place the stems into the vase.

STEP 4: Watch your carnations turn colors.


Ask questions! Try different approaches! Test and explore!

  • What if you cut the stems shorter instead?

  • What if you change the type of flower?

  • How long do you think it will take for the flowers to start to change color?

  • Does one color come through faster than the others?

*Info from: littlebinsforlittlehands.com

Upcoming Events

April 29 4th Grade Field Trip

May 4 2 Hr Early Dismissal

May 6 Elementary Track and Field Day

May 11 2nd Grade Field Trip to Nature Center

May 12 3rd Grade Field Trip

May 17 2nd Grade Field Trip

May 118 2 Hr Early Dismissal

May 25 LAST Day of School