West Elementary News

October 2021

Math Tip- Compare the dots

Here's a two-player version of dominoes that lets your youngster count, add, and compare- three important skills for developing number sense.

Set up: Help your child make a set of index- card dominoes. He should draw a line down the middle of each card and draw dots on both sides of the line. (Or use a store-bought set of dominoes.). Put the dominoes in a bag.

Play: Each player takes a domino from the bag and places it face up on the table. Quickly add the dots on each half of the domino and call out the sum. (If your youngster's domino has 6 dots on one side and 5 on the other, he would say 6+5=11.). The player with the greater sum keeps both dominoes.

Score: When the bag is empty, have your child count the dominoes to see who has the most. Or he might stack them to see whose pile is higher. The person with the most dominoes (or the highest) pile wins.)

Math + Science Connection November Edition (Resources for Educators)


-Each player could compare the dominos by counting all to see who has more (or count just 1 side)

-Each player could multiply the two sides to see who has the bigger product

News from Mr. Bjustrom

Fall has officially arrived whether we are ready or not. Parents please make sure your kids are prepared for the weather everyday. The handbook reads “Students will wear coats if the temperature is 49 degrees or below, and a light jacket or sweatshirt 50 - 60 degrees, 61 degrees and above no coats are necessary.” We also seem to collect a large amount of sweatshirts, coats and boots. Please put your children’s name on their items so we can return them if lost. Lastly, parent teacher conferences are approaching so please get signed up for those!

Reading Tips- What sounds do you hear?

Sounds and syllables are like the nuts and bolts of words. Call your youngster's attention to word parts with these activities that will help him grow into a strong reader.

Swap the sound: With your youngster, think of a word family, or a group of words with the same "last name" (for example, all). Now take turns saying a word with that ending (fall, wall). If you say a nonsense word (zall), ask your child to make up a silly definition. "Zall: A black- and- white striped ball that zebras play with!"

Blend the consonants. Have your youngster put these letter tiles or magnetic letters into a bag: B,C,F,G,H, I, P, R, S, T, and W. He can pull out two letters (perhaps S and P), then help him try to blend them and say a word that includes the blended sound (spider). If the sounds can't be blended, like B and T, he should put them back and pull out new letters.

Subtract a syllable. Say a familiar word that has more than one syllable, such as pumpkin or television. Now encourage your youngster to take away one more more of the syllables: "If you take pump out of pumpkin, whaat do you have left?" (Answer: kin.). What happens if he "subtracts" vision from television? (He'll have tele.)

Reading Connection October Edition (Resources for Educators)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Why is self-management important: it is the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. This regulation is achieved by effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. In short, self-management is the ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals without significant deviation.

To possess self-management, one must develop the following skills and abilities:

  • Impulse control

  • Stress management

  • Self-discipline

  • Goal setting

  • Self-motivation

  • Organizational skills

PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System)

Each week West students are recognized by teachers and staff in the building for outstanding E-Hawk Pride and become the PBIS students of the week. The students recognized have donuts at "Breakfast with Bjustrom". The donuts provided are sponsored by numerous businesses around town. Thanks to the following business for supporting PBIS:

Bauers Plumbing and Heating

Hansen Quality Concrete & Construction LLC

Jamison Equipment Inc

Rooney's Auto

Burns Chiropractic and the Archery Shop

B&I Electric

Hughes Brennan & Wirtz

Iowa Trust and Savings Bank

Go Gutters


October's PBIS monthly celebration was a scarecrow contest. Each classroom was in charge of coming up with a scarecrow design and we built them this past Friday. Since our October competency was self-management ,working as a team to build a scarecrow plays right into this as students work together, use teamwork language, organizational skills and goal setting. As parents you are welcome to vote on your favorite scarecrow during parent teacher conferences in the lunchroom. The winning classroom will earn a pizza party the first week in November. A huge thank you to a donor in our community for donating bales of straw to make this possible.

Big picture


STEM in the Emmetsburg Community School District

STEM stands for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, and MATH. Just as important: STEM is about learning how to solve problems, be creative and innovative, think logically, and understand the world a bit better. These are valuable skills and habits of mind for kids to acquire, no matter what they do in life. Helping them to acquire these skills can pay big dividends. The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has supported STEM education for the past 10 years. The Emmetsburg Community School District is working to incorporate hands-on learning to create real-world learning opportunities so that students are future-ready.

Simple Ways to Support Students in STEM

Family members don’t need to be an engineer, doctor, or scientist to support children’s exploration of STEM learning. Help support STEM education by simply:

  • Setting clear and high expectations of student performance

  • Creating supportive learning environments at home

  • Asking questions that help to guide the exploration of courses students need to pursue STEM career pathway

Check out these additional opportunities to explore STEM learning at home:

Information from https://www.pta.org/home/programs/stem and https://www.iowastem.gov/parents

PIE (Partners In Education)

PIE is our parent group that works with West Elementary to help the school community. We will be having a meeting and encourage anyone who is interested to join us on Nov. 4 at noon. Our fundraiser money usually goes into the PIE group and helps fund classroom field trips. This year we will use our fundraiser money to work towards new playground equipment at West. PIE also helps with other events throughout our year such as Read Across America and Breakfast Buddies. We are looking for volunteers to be officers in PIE as well as help with different initiatives throughout the year. If you are interested but not able to attend this meeting please contact Mrs. Fiene: afiene@e-hawks.org.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 2- Picture Retakes

Nov. 2- Election Day

Nov. 3- 2 Hr Early Out

Nov. 4- 12-1pm PIE MEETING

Nov. 8- Fundraiser Packets Due to West Elementary

Nov. 10- Preschool Advisory Meeting at 5pm at West Elementary

Nov. 10- Preschool Readiness to Nature Center

Nov. 17- 2 Hr Early Out

Nov. 23- 1 Hr Early Out

Nov. 24, 25, 26- No School