Lowell Lions' Roar!

November 2016

From the Desk of Mrs. Larva

Welcome to November. This season is a wonderful time to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. I am certainly thankful for the opportunity to work with the amazing children, parents, teachers, and staff at Lowell Elementary.

I would like to extend gratitude for the many volunteers that have given Lowell assistance since the start of the school year: from running our book fair and providing childcare during conferences, to dressing up as book characters and sharing a love of literature, and all of the other events in between. Our PTA is our foundation in which we operate business at Lowell. Please thank our PTA members when you see them!

Our PTA will be conducting a food drive this month. Our generous families will be given more information about what items are needed for our gift baskets during the holiday season. Additionally, our School Social Worker has organized a collection of socks for children in need. "Socktober" is coming to an end. If you have any new socks to donate, please turn them in to the bin located at the front of the school.

As we look ahead to the month of November, there are many exciting activities happening at Lowell Elementary. Some of these activities include:

  • Picture retake day on November 17
  • Food drive during the week of November 14
  • PTA meeting on November 28

Finally, I would like to invite all families to participate in the Lowell survey that was sent out through an "all call" in October. We will use the information on how well we are doing to set some goals and make some changes for the betterment of our students and families. The survey is open until November 18. Please follow this link to access the survey: https://goo.gl/forms/d5ByKR1JmpFg6vuh2

Yours in partnership,

Jennifer Larva, Principal

Viktors Quest to Stop Bullying

Viktor will be coming to Lowell on Wednesday, November 9th. This would be a great day to show your support of the Minnesota Vikings by wearing Purple!

"Viktor's Quest to S.T.O.P Bullying" is an interactive, educational bullying prevention assembly that features Viktor, the official mascot of the Minnesota Vikings.

The program targets three key areas:

  1. S.T.O.P. (Stand up to the bullying, Take appropriate action, Open up to an adult, Protect yourself and others)
  2. Four types of bullying (verbal, physical, social, cyber)
  3. Roles people play in bullying

The program is designed for grades K-5 and focuses on informing and empowering students to STOP bullying in their school.

ISD 709 Annual Report to the Community

Thursday, Nov. 10th, 6-7:30pm

301 North 40th Avenue East

Duluth, MN

All families are invited to join our District in celebration of the 2015-16 school year. Displays for each school will be set up at East High School for viewing.

Shiny Paper

Attention Lowell families!

We have begun collecting shiny paper as an ongoing PTA fund-raiser. The money raised will go towards improving technology at Lowell.

Collection will occur at two locations within the school that families will have access to: in the front entry, and at the parent pick-up in the back.

Brown paper bags or plastic bags are acceptable for your shiny paper’s transportation to school only, but cannot be collected as shiny paper.

What can be collected:

  • Magazines

  • Catalogs

  • Shiny/glossy newspaper inserts (examples: Target, Kohl’s ads, etc.)

  • White copy paper (new or used)

What is unacceptable:

  • Newspapers

  • Garbage

  • Brown paper bags or plastic bags

  • Wet material

  • Envelopes with plastic windows

  • Colored paper

  • Plastic

  • Phone books

Collect from family, friends, neighbors and help your student’s school improve technology!

Help Kids Learn About Voting-Volunteers Needed!

Help Kids Learn About Voting - Volunteers Needed!

Kids Voting Duluth is a nonpartisan effort to facilitate kids’ participation in mock elections at precinct locations from 3:00PM - 8:00PM on Election Day Tuesday November 8. It’s led by the City of Duluth, the Duluth Public Schools and other community partners.

Volunteers will help children register, hand them a ballot, and assist them in casting their vote. Volunteers are needed at all polling sites; you can work at one near your home or join a friend and choose another location.

To ensure Kids Voting takes place we need volunteers! Learn more about Kids Voting Duluth and sign up to volunteer by visiting their website at "bit.ly/KVDuluth" (please note the site is case sensitive).

Think, Read, Research, Create

Think, Read, Research, Create

What’s Going on in the Media Center?

The library and computer lab have been busy places the first 6 weeks at Lowell

Elementary School. It is a pleasure to see how much your children have grown over the

summer and to see how eager they are to check out books again.

In the library we reviewed and learned rules and procedures including the use of

Class Dojo. Lessons and read alouds have focused on growth mindset concepts. Titles

include What Do You Say, Dear?, Interrupting Chicken, What Happened to Marion’s Book,

Giraffes Can’t Dance, Stanley’s Crazy Hair, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, The Dot and Ish. Of course, we also got book checkout rolling. Would you believe we have already circulated over 2,583 books?

FAST testing was going on in the computer lab at the beginning of the school year,

but now that is completed until January. We had our first rotation in the computer lab

last week. Older students were learning how to use online databases and brushing up on keyboarding. Younger students were reading and listening to online stories.

Kindergarteners were learning how to log on to the network with some help.

We will be moving on to learning how to use the online library catalog and how to

locate books in the library, exploring genres, recommending good books to each other and many other adventures in reading and technology.

Speaking of our high circulation of books, we can always use volunteers in the

library to help with check in, check out and shelving.

Looking forward to a great year in the library and computer lab with your kids!

Little ones are learning how to log on to our network system and navigate to our homepage. When they get there, they are practicing reading, writing and math skills using new technology as well as creating art in online freeware. Our older students have been learning research skills by exploring a topic of their own choice in order to create a presentation in Google Slides or Microsoft Powerpoint. They have had practice logging onto and accessing Google Apps on the new Chromebooks as well. Recent projects include learning the Greek myths about the constellations of Orion and Casseopeia, then creating their own constellations and myths to explain them. Graphics were created in one application, saved and inserted into a Google Doc. Some time is spent learning keyboarding as well.

In the library, younger students have listened to the traditional Grimm version of Little Red Riding Hood and compared it to the Chinese version Lon Po Po. Second graders have practices using the table of contents and index of a non-fiction book. Older students have been practicing finding information in The World Almanac for Kids. We used the internet to find books recommended for students their age, then accessing Lowell’s library catalog to see if we have them on the shelf.

-- Ms. Eason

We Love Phy Ed!



Mrs. Bergerson, PE Specialist



*Cooperative Games *Lake Superior Island Hop *Kin Ball *Pulse *Mile Run *Nature Walks *Football *Soccer *Orienteering *Fun Warm-ups with a lot of rhythms! *Drum Walk/Run *Ball Skills *Alphabet Relays *Scooters *Disc Golf *Halloween Games *Monster Mash *Adam’s Family Stretch *Skeleton Relays *Health/Nutrition Games *Parachute *Floor Hockey *Basketball *Snowshoeing *Outdoor Winter Activities *Curling

Physical Education Rules for the Gym:






Action-Based Learning

Brain research supports the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance. The Lowell Physical Education program provides motor learning activities to strengthen cognitive development. In addition to our Physical Education program, Action Based Learning activities are available in the Barnes Gym for all students!

Morning Wake-Up!

Students arriving early to school have the opportunity to have supervised play on the playground before breakfast. Activate the brain for the classroom!

In Physical Education class we focus on “Being Good Team Members” and the understanding that activities and games work when we are Safe, Kind, Respectful, and Honest Always!

Fitness Knowledge

Students in grades 3-5 will be tested on the five components of fitness including cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength, abdominal strength, and flexibility using the sit and reach test and the trunk lift. Students will learn and practice many activities to improve their fitness levels for now and in their future.

Lowell Holiday Concert

Friday, Dec. 16th, 8:30am

2000 Rice Lake Road

Duluth, MN

We will have two identical performances on December 16: the first performance at 8:30 am and the second performance at 12:30 pm.

Parking will be limited. Please use the church parking lot and the lot behind the school in addition to the main lot.

What Students Are Accomplishing in Music

It’s been a busy fall in music. All students now know their “music spots” on the seating chart and have their assigned chairs; they understand our Music Goals, have reviewed our Ready and Listening Chart, and are now playing the Star Game earning their way to a prize by being ready and listening, as well as preparing students for the holiday concerts through singing and knowing how to get ready for the stage. All of this helps to make our music class to be very efficient in learning as much as we can in a 30 minute period every four days.

From our Listening Corner, students have been studying what a composer is and what a songwriter is, as we study the Overture from the opera, “The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Students in grades 3-5 are learning how to direct/conduct this Overture while they learn musical symbols including: piano (soft), forte (loud), crescendo (gradually get louder), fortissimo (very loud), and accents. This will be our first assessment. Students in grades K-2 are moving to the music of the Overture using phrasing, piano, forte, and accents. All grades will be reading about Mozart’s life.

All students have been studying the Time Signatures in 2/4 time (polka), ¾ time (waltz), 4/4 time (schottische) and in 6/8 time. They practice as I play the accordion and will be learning to move in polka style, waltz style, and schottische style. Also, learning about the accordion has been interesting – piano accordions, button boxes, which hand plays the melody, which hand plays the harmony, and how the bellows works. They may be able to tell you which two instrument families the accordion belongs to. Also, all students are having an introduction to the Finnish Kantele which is a harp of either 5 or 10 strings. Later this school year they will hear the 36 string Finnish Kantele.

Students have also been studying musical styles and have learned about the blending and fusion of music from a variety of cultures. Styles that we have covered so far are: classical, opera, polka, waltz, schottische, folk, jazz, ethnic, 12-bar blues, ballads, and zydeco. We’re also focusing on 4 different piano pieces which include: “Heroes”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “Ashokan Farewell”, and the “12 Bar Blues” which will help us to discover different musical styles and blended musical styles.

In our method books for grades 2-5, music students have started to learn 4 different songs to sing as they also learn how to follow the lyrics with their finger paying attention to the symbols and music vocabulary such as the musical staff, repeat signs, double barlines, and the lyrics of the verses and refrains (or the different sections of the songs). Students have also been reviewing excellent vocal technique so that they can get their voices in shape for the holiday concerts (Lowell: Dec. 16 th and Congdon: Dec. 20 th at 8:30 and 12:30). Excellent vocal technique includes: tall posture, long open jaw, singing with energy, beltline breathing, having a slight smile, practicing at home, vocal warm-ups with sirens and solfege syllables with call and response. Students will be assessed up to 4 times per year on the vocal progress that they make. Students in grades K & 1 are concentrating on reviewing songs and learning new songs to sing with Mr. Guitar.

They are also learning the parts of the guitar. So far their favorites are: “You Are My Sunshine”, “Twinkle, Little Star”, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “The Spanish Counting Song”, and “When the Saints Go Marching In”. In grades 3-5, students will be singing songs with the guitar that they can later transfer to the baritone ukuleles in the second semester.

All students will soon be learning to sing and move to music through circle game songs. Kindergarten will start “The Farmer in the Dell”; 1 st Graders: “All Around the Kitchen”; 2nd Graders: “The Olympic Fanfare”; 3 rd Graders: “Oh Susanna”; Grade 4: “Old Brass Wagon”; Grade 5: Old Joe Clark. All students will also be learning a Native American Friendship Dance. There is much to be learning about keeping the beat, musical phrasing, cooperation, and singing through this activity.

Students are getting ready to play drums and percussion instruments by learning and reviewing the basics: time signatures, singing songs they can accompany, learning musical styles that they can play and accompany, knowing their notes, rests, and rhythm patterns. Grades K-2 students will be starting with drums, claves, cabasas, and sound blocks. Grade 3-5 students will be playing tubano and djembe drums, shekeres, and agogo bells.

With various calendar events coming up, all students will be learning music and songs for the harvest season, Fall, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and the Holiday Concerts. We usually read a few books as well that coincide with the music we are learning and for the October Harvest of Literature and other events in November.

It’s a great start and students are learning a lot. I’ve had several students ask me when Gr. 2-5 Music Sharing is starting so I wanted to let you know it will be starting in January and continue through June, 2017 (in the 2nd semester). I’ll be sending out more information closer to the time.

I look forward to seeing you at the Holiday Concert on December 16th ; at 8:30 and 12:30. Vicki Ott will again be our piano accompanist (Thanks Vicki). Also in March, 2017, I’ll be finding a date for our annual March Music Open House which is for parents and guests to visit music classes.

Happy Fall and Thank You,

Mrs. Hanka, Music Specialist

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A Message from PTA

Maybe you saw that the Lowell PTA has ordered T-shirts which were on sale during the Parent Teacher Conferences and the Book Fair! An order form was also handed out at the t-shirt booth with other options available. The order form included several other options such as long sleeved t-shirts, sweatshirts and sweat pants. If you are interested in any of these items, please fill out the attached order form and return it by November 8th. The Lowell PTA plans to keep the PTA office stocked with sweats and t-shirts as the year progresses. Another bulk order will be sent in during the spring season. Don't miss out on great holiday gifts!
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