Jefferson Elementary Newsletter

February, 2018

Message from Principal Kluver

Hello Parents and Families,

I’d like to use my newsletter article this month to talk about an issue that every school deals with and many parents worry about; bullying. Overwhelmingly, schools are safe and nurturing places for students, and school staff are committed to making sure schools remain safe learning environments for all students. However, bullying is a serious issue that every school in the country faces. Nationwide, research shows that anywhere from 15% to upwards of 50% of all school-aged children will be involved in bullying as a victim, a perpetrator, or as a witness.

At Jefferson Elementary, we know we are not immune to this problem and that it isn’t confined to our school grounds. Bullying at school affects and is affected by what happens at home between siblings, what happens in the neighborhood, and what happens when kids go online. We want to work together to take appropriate action when an incident occurs, whether a child bullies, is a victim of bullying, or is a witness to bullying.

In our process of striving to always improve our school and better support students, several changes have been made this year that we believe will continue to make a positive difference in the environment of our school and help to reduce bullying behaviors; implementing the Responsive Classroom approach in every classroom, strengthening our school-wide PBIS program, enacting new options for bullying behavior to be reported, and directly teaching students about bullying and what they can do about it.

All classes began the year by implementing the Responsive Classroom approach. Two practices at the core of Responsive Classroom are Morning Meeting, as well as Rules and Logical Consequences. Morning Meeting is designed to help create a feeling of positive community in the classroom and through sharing, listening, inclusion, and participation to teach the social skills of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. The creation of rules and logical consequences in our classrooms is meant to create a predictable and safe learning environment for all students, to teach children to value and care for themselves and others, and to help develop effective problem-solving skills. Discipline in our school and classrooms is both proactive and reactive. Proactively, teachers work with students to create, teach, and practice classroom rules. Reactively, we use logical consequences to help children regain self-control, make amends, and get back on track when they make a poor behavior choice. Please visit the Responsive Classroom website at for more information.

Jefferson has been a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) school for a number of years. PBIS is a program that believes in setting common and clear expectations for all students, directly teaching what those are, and recognizing and rewarding students when they make positive behavior choices. This year we have implemented monthly school-wide assemblies, each focusing on positive character traits and reinforced by teachers with classroom lessons, as well as visit the school store with SOAR tickets that they have earned by following building and classroom rules and expectations. More information about PBIS programs in MN can be found at

We are currently in the process of creating two new ways of reporting bullying behavior - a paper/pencil form that can be completed by students here at school, and an online form that can be submitted electronically by either students or parents and family members. Students will find the paper/pencil form outside the school counselor’s office. They can be submitted in person to any adult here at school or in the drop-box should the reporting student want to remain anonymous. The online form will be able to be accessed via the Jefferson Elementary home page at Once submitted, it will send the information to either our school counselor or an administrator for follow-up.

Throughout the year, Classroom teachers have been using lessons from a newly purchased curriculum, the Second Step program, to teach students about bullying; what it is and isn’t, what to do if they see it or are a victim, and how to talk about it. To learn more about Second Step, please visit their website at

There are many websites and online resources for parents and families about how to talk about bullying with kids and how to help them deal with bullying. One of the best is based right here in Minnesota. I encourage you to visit this website, for more information on bullying prevention. This resource helps parents, families, and educators take an active role in addressing bullying at school and online. It includes articles, video clips, quizzes, online workshops, community forums and quick-fact lists.

Upcoming Events

February 1- I love to read kick-off

February 6- PBIS Assembly

February 9- Books for Africa due in the library

February 16- Author, Brandon Terrell visits Jefferson

February 19- No school (workshop day)

February 23- Book cover designs due (turn in at the library)

February 23- Family Fun Night at Jefferson 5:00-8:00 p.m.

1st Grade

January has been a growing month for first graders. It marks the half-way point in the school year and we are seeing those readers and mathematicians start to blossom! We continued to cover long vowel words including Long Oo / Magic Ee (hope and slate), Long Ee Vowel Teams (team and feel) and Long Aa Vowel Teams (way and rain). We also reviewed the phonics skills we have been working on throughout the year. Our mentor texts for this month were The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, Ice Bear by Nicola Davies and Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester. First grade has been studying verbs and reviewing nouns in grammar. We continue to work on creating complete sentences using capital letters to begin with and punctuation at the end of the sentence. Ask your first grader about when to use a period and when to use a question mark.

First grade math has brought double digit addition and adding into the decade numbers (60+4, 28+5). We are learning the difference between the tens place and the ones place as well as how to add across a ten. At this point, the first graders are still using their fingers and other manipulatives to add, so don't be surprised when you ask them a math problem and they start counting on their fingers. Ask your first grader to draw ten sticks and circles for 56, 84 and 27.

Martin Luther King, Jr. has been the topic of social studies this month, touching on learning about fairness and equality. We learned about some things that we can do to help others that involve talking about our problems and compromising to find a solution. We know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace and nonviolence and we can learn from that in our everyday lives.

Science topics covered this month revolve around polar animals and the Arctic habitat. We have been learning about what makes the polar bear special including adaptations that help it to survive in the cold Arctic habitat.

We are excited for February and all of the LOVE it will bring! Look for a note from your child's teacher about Valentine's activities specific to your child's classroom.

2nd Grade

Super Bowl Reading

Jefferson second graders have been enjoying Super Bowl Reading this month! Each class was divided into two football teams. The football teams earn points by reading at home and returning the footballs to their classroom teachers. To celebrate this special event the second graders will be enjoying a Super Bowl Reading party the afternoon of Friday, January 26th. What a fun and motivating activity to help students continue to read!


Many activities have been happening to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday. The students enjoyed a variety of books about the life of Martin Luther King. They learned the difference between just and unjust acts. Students reflected on the life of Martin Luther King and came up with great ideas on how to make the world a more peaceful place.


Vikings excitement was in the air! Lots of purple and smiles were spread on Friday, January 19th to cheer on the Vikings in anticipation of the playoff game. Jefferson School displayed their purple pride by creating a SKOL Vikings cheer with the entire school! Many happy faces shine throughout the video.

3rd Grade

This month students spent some time completing some benchmark assessments in the subjects of Reading and Math. They took FastBridge assessments to check their growth in their reading fluency (words read correctly in a minute & accuracy reading out loud), reading comprehension, and on their math skills. Forms displaying student scores came home with report cards.

Reading: Identifying a central message, character traits, and comparing and contrasting are just a few of the skills that were focused on this month in reading.

Math: Third graders learned about multiplication and division methods. They should keep working towards mastering their facts. A good way to do this are through flash cards. Some free websites for students to go to and practice their facts are:,, and

Social Studies: In Social Studies this month, the students have been learning about ancient civilizations in Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. Students also learned about natural resources and are starting to learn about Native Americans.

Science: Concepts of light and sound are what students have been focusing on in Science this month.

Meet Mrs.Ranweiler: This is my third year of teaching 3rd grade, but my first year teaching in New Ulm. Prior to teaching in New Ulm, I taught at the Madelia and Sibley East schools. My husband, Cory, and I live right outside of Searles with our three children: Morgan who is a 6th grader, Parker who is in 2nd grade, and Avery our 2 year old. One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family. Some of my other favorites include:

Favorite Candy: Snickers Favorite Subjects: Reading and Science

Favorite Food: Pizza Favorite Book Genre: Historical fiction

4th Grade


We have been working on two digit multiplication and starting to practice long division. Keep practicing those math facts at home!


In reading this month we have been working on identifying the main idea and details within any given text. We also have been working on clarifying words within a text that we do not know the meaning of. We have practiced using various context clues to do this.


We have been doing a great deal of writing this month! We finished writing our Hero papers. For this project the students each picked someone that is in their life and is a hero to them and they wrote about why. We also have been writing biographies. Each student picked someone famous to write about. They have been researching, writing, and editing their paper.


We have been finishing up our unit on electricity and magnets. This unit had a lot of fun labs and students were able to make connections to their everyday life. Next we will be learning about erosion and weathering.

Social Studies

They have been learning the capitals, states, and other information about the Northeast states. Next they will be learning about the Southeast states.

Team Spotlight

Mrs. Santaella: This is my first year teaching 4th grade and in District 88. I previously taught 1st and 2nd grade for four years. I am married to Robert and we have two boys, Albie is 2.5 and Hudson is 11 months. We also have two beagles Winslow and Dunkin. We enjoy watching sports, spending time with our family, and we love to go to the lake every weekend in the summer.

Mrs. Rodning: I live in Winthrop with my husband, McKoy and our 4 month old daughter, Beckett. We have a yellow hunting lab named Cash. We enjoy watching and playing sports and the outdoors. We take a family fishing trip to Canada every year and catch a lot of walleyes.

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Jefferson Media Center

Thank you for your support of reading, books and Jefferson students if you attended the “Paws for Books” book fair!

Now on to I Love To Read month with an OLYMPIC theme! Watch for Olympic reading rings to be coming home with your student so they can count the minutes they read during the month. A parade of countries will take place at our kick-off event on February 1st and will conclude with a celebration of Olympic reading and Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Read Across America day March. 2.

An AUTHOR IS COMING! February 16th, Brandon Terrell, an Eagle Lake, MN native, will be spending the day at Jefferson with all grade levels. Thanks to Friends of Jefferson for sponsoring his visit! Mr. Terrell will spend 30 minutes with a grade level and share how he writes, what he has written, and it should be a great tie-in with our I Love to Read Olympic theme, as he has written a couple books on that topic.

Jefferson students in grades 2-4 have been working on Google documents and reviewing typing skills. First graders are learning more of the keyboard and practicing learning where the letters are located. During February all students will be searching for a favorite book cover and drawing it for I Love to Read month.

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


Jefferson artists are excited to have finally unlocked all of the centers in the art room! They are ready to create their first W.O.W. (Wonderful, Original, Work of art) piece! While experimenting is fun and an important part of growing as an artist, so is learning to stick with a project, even when it becomes more challenging than expected. Students learned about what makes an artwork a W.O.W. piece as well as where artists get their ideas. They sketched, planned for and began their first W.O.W. piece which will drive their work for the next few classes. It is so exciting to see their excitement as they pursue their various interests!
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Students have been very busy in the STEM lab the past few months. Here are a few highlights.

Fourth graders had a great time exploring the Makey Makey invention kits purchased with a wonderful grant from Parker Hannifin. These kits allow students to explore conductive materials as they build their own keyboards and game controllers with Playdough, metal objects, and even bananas!

Third graders learned why snow is white when water is clear with a great Mystery Science activity. Transparent waxed paper pieces were glued into the shape of a snowflake to illustrate how the white light of the sun reflects off the edges of snow crystals making snowflakes appear white.

Second graders learned about the town of Rjukan, Norway which receives no sunlight even on clear days. The problem occurs because the village is deep in the valley between two very tall mountains. The students designed and engineered solar reflectors that would create a sunny spot in the middle of the village.

The students in first grade learned about different types of snowflakes and how they are formed. They then used a ruler to build their own symmetrical snowflake with a hexagon in the middle.

Everyone at Jefferson has learned how to program the Dash robots. We even have the new launchers that shoot balls at different angles, xylophones that play music programmed into the robots, and Dash’s friend Dot who can be programmed to reply to Dash’s questions.

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 February. 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! It will be fun to see the pictures roll in. Keep up the good work!

Book recommendations: Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West: This early chapter book is a great read for young readers. Drake is a small boy when he is chosen to be a dragon master. After being taken to the king's castle, he has to learn how to train his dragon. This first book in the series is a great way to get kids interested in fantasy books.

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 me at anytime:

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Nurse's Notes

Hydration for Children

Even though we're in the dead of winter, it's still important to make sure our children are staying well hydrated. And water should always be the first drink that kids are given when they're thirsty. Water helps keep our body temperature constant, transports nutrients and oxygen to all cells, carries waste products away, helps maintain blood volume and lubricates joints and body tissues.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kids ages 4-8 need about 5 cups of water per day, while ages 9-13 need 7-8. These amounts include water they get from all sources: drinking water, other beverages, fruits, vegetables and other foods.

Kids should not be drinking energy drinks and rarely need sports drinks. Sugary drinks should be given occasionally only. Water is all they need!

Title I

Greetings from the Title 1 Department!

Monthly reading tip for parents:

  • Listen and Learn with Audio Books!

Audio books are a wonderful way to expose your child to complex language, expressive reading, and fantastic stories. Listening to audio books also gives kids the valuable and enjoyable experience of using their own imagination to visualize the people and places they’re hearing about. Audio books are a great way to experience stories anytime, anywhere.

  • What to look for:

Familiar stories. For your child, listening to an audio book is a very different experience from hearing you read a book aloud. Look for audio books of stories your child has heard you read or tell before. Being familiar with the story will help your child enjoy hearing it from a different reader and become a willing listener.

  • Easy-to-use format:

Consider what format will work best for you and your child. Audio books are available as CDs, preloaded MP3, and digital. You can often find them at your local public library. There are also many online digital services such as Audible and Tales2Go.

  • Quality titles:

When choosing audio book titles, seek suggestions from your librarian and recommendations from experts, such as Notable Children's Recordings from the American Library Association. But also get kid opinions on selections to help get them invested before listening begins.

  • Good production:

Whenever possible, listen to a sample of the audio book before you dive in. If the narrator’s voice grates on your nerves or you find added music and sound effects to be a distraction, you’ll save listeners in your family some time and pain.

  • What to do:

Listen to audio books together. Audio books are a wonderful shared reading experience and a shared story gives everyone in the family something to talk about. Plus, you can help boost your child’s thinking skills by asking questions about what you’ve listened to or take turns with your child retelling favorite parts of the story.

  • Feel free to stop listening:

If an audio book isn’t engaging, try another! Keep your young listeners in mind. While kids can listen on a higher level than they can read, some stories may be too complex for young listeners to follow and enjoy. There is an abundance of audio picture books and poetry to enjoy and no need to rush straight into Harry Potter.

  • Don’t let audio books take the place of you reading aloud to your child or telling them stories.

The time you spend together will help your child make a lasting discovery of what reading for pleasure is all about.

Resource: www. Reading Rockets; January 2017 article, By: Reading Rockets, Rachael Walker

Your Title 1 Team, Jean Jore, Dawn Portner, Lisa Thorson

Special Education

I Love to Read???

For many students that have reading difficulties, I Love to Read Month can be a month of “I Don’t Like to Read.” One of the greatest challenges can be helping low readers to discover an appreciation of books and be excited to read. Use the following tips to help your child change their mindset, and help them fall in love with reading!

  1. Let them read (or read to them) whatever children’s book they want, regardless of characters, subject, or level. - Is the book they chose not one you’d prefer? Are the characters not your favorite? Is it above their reading level? Having your child interested in a book means they are interested in reading!

  1. Get recommendations from teachers and other parents. - Is there nothing your child wants to read? Talk to your child’s teacher and get suggested reading levels or book titles. Still can’t find something? Talk to other parents for further suggestions! With all the books out there, chances are they will have a few other titles to discover!

  1. Discover books and participate in experiences at a library. - Teach your child that reading is not just about sitting down and opening a book! Many local libraries provide experiences for children to go beyond the book and connect texts to their world!

  1. Once you find a book they like, look for similar books. - Are there more books in that series? Are there other books by the same author? Do an internet search to find books that are like that book. Once you’ve got your child interested in reading, keep that interest going!

  1. Read books of your choice in front of your child. - Allow your child to see that reading is a lifelong hobby to be enjoyed at any age. Modeling your interest in reading will encourage your child to do the same! If you currently don’t know what to read, go back to the top and utilize these tips to find something that interests you!


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Counseling Connection

Happy February! Can you believe it’s already the start of the 6th month of the school year- Holy Moly! I’ve noticed a trend lately in conversations with students and families, and being that February hosts Random Acts of Kindness week (RAK) February 11th-17th, I feel it’s a perfect opportunity to have a conversation with your student.

There seems to be some confusion in terms relating to how we interact with one another, specifically when in a disagreement or fight – conflict, rude, mean, and bullying are sometimes used interchangeably without understanding of the true meaning of each word.

Let’s start with conflict – this happens occasionally, unplanned, all parties are upset, but want to work things out. All parties accept responsibility and work together to mediate the cause of the conflict. Rude – also occasional, spontaneous or unintentional, obviously these comments can hurt feelings. Rude comments are often impulsive, and thoughtless (not thinking before speaking/not utilizing a filter), but can be fixed by improving a student’s social skills. At school, staff often have conversations with students about how their comments/actions impact others and teach students the importance of thinking before speaking, showing empathy, and working to understand how their words and actions impact others. It’s not always easy for a student to understand that their actions may be impacting another in a negative way or that their playful teasing (often trying to be funny) is unwanted. Mean – happens once or twice, intentionally hurting, based in anger/impulsively cruel, being mean is often regretted, and if repeated should be reported to adults so that they may help resolve the issue. Bullying – repeated act, planned and purposeful, trying to gain control over the victim, the bully blames the victim, and the victim tries to get the bully to stop, but is unsuccessful. Often, even through repeated attempts, mediation will not be successful to resolve this issue. When an issue remains unresolved, this is a problem, that’s why communication between home and school is key.

It’s extremely important for families and school to work together as a team. Maintaining open communication is necessary. If your student does share concerns over how they are being treated by another person, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

I strongly believe that a person’s positive attitude and being intentional with spreading acts of kindness changes our world. As adults, it’s extremely important we foster the environment for youth to see the importance as well. Additionally, get the practice with spreading kindness towards others. Please review the resources I’ve provided along with some fun activities to do with your student to spread kindness to others.

Jenna Helget

Licensed School Counselor


Phone: (507) 233-3503

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