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Classroom News

            Social skills are something that the teachers and staff at CES are always trying to improve on. Being able to tolerate being told “no”, sharing, waiting for turns, saying please and thank you are a just a few. One way that we are trying to address social skills improvement is through  Panther Clubs. Students participate in various games and activities with both same-age peers and students from other grade levels. Panther Clubs is a great way to interact with others, make new friends, and work on those key social skills. The students enjoy Panther Clubs and look forward to them. Another way social skills are being addressed is through social stories, modeling, and lessons. These target specific student needs to help them succeed both in and out of school.


How do I stay connected to what is going on in my child’s classroom?  How do I sign up for my child’s parent-teacher conference?  How can I send a quick message to my child’s teacher?  The answer to all of these questions is…classtag!

Classtag is easy to use for the teacher and parent.  It helps me stay organized and allows me to see how many parents are using the site and reading my announcements.  Classtag is one more option for parents to stay informed about the many activities here at CES.  Some of my favorite features are: the simplicity, the accountability, and announcements!

Simplicity: Just add email or cell number of parents and classtag is set up after parents enter their contact information on the site.  I can utilize the contact information immediately and it all goes directly to classtag.

Accountability: I can see how many parents are checking in with the site and even receive private messages.  I can also print off letters or reminders for parents who need more information.

Announcements:  I can create any announcement and send it out to parents.  Announcements can be specialized for a time and date to be sent. 

I am so happy that our school is using classtag!  I think it is a valuable resource for parents and teachers!

By Sonia Erkenbrack







Early Intervention

The CDC, 2019, defines “early intervention” as the services and supports available for children birth through 5 years of age with developmental delays or disabilities. These services may include early childhood special education services, speech/language therapy, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy services.

Early intervention can improve a child’s outcomes as well as provide families with much needed support.

If your child is under 3 years of age and you are concerned that he/she may be exhibiting delays in his or her development, you may call OCCK at 243-1977 and ask to speak to someone about the Infant/toddler program.

If your child is over 3 years of age, call LCNCK at 243-3294 to schedule an appointment at the next available Child Find Screening in your area.

PumpkinThe pre-k class has been very busy learning about fire safety and how pumpkins grow. The fire fighters and fire pup came to our classroom and taught us all about fire safety and the equipment they use.  We got to climb in the fire truck and ambulance to see inside. We also heard the sirens and horn. Traci Vignery taught us about pumpkins and gourds.  We got to visit the pumpkin patch, play pumpkin games and bring home a pumpkin. 

A big thank you to both for being important community partners in education!

Reedy's StudentsThe Life Cycle of a Plant

During the first nine weeks of 3rd grade, students have been studying the life cycle of plants and what makes them grow.  They created their own seed sprouters where they could watch the germination process take place, as well as observed classroom sprouters. The students identified the different parts of the seed, watching how they change each day. They were pretty excited when the beans grew big enough to push the lid off their containers. From there we discussed what makes plants grow, the parts of the plant and their functions, and how they spread seeds.  Students collected several types of seeds from the playground, and then decided if they traveled by wind, water, or animals. By looking at the way plants grow, students have a better understanding of the environment around them.  



What is iStation?

By: Krystal Breese


This school year, USD 333 is implementing a new program called iStation. This is a computer-based program that provides key data and information to teachers on individual student performance. This data is then used to develop the exact activities needed for intervention or enrichment for a child. Below is more information on how the program works and how it is used.

How it works: When students first log into iStation they have to complete a formative assessment in both reading and math called an ISIP. This is a placement test to help build the right lessons/programs for each student to meet their individual needs. Also, students are placed in Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 based on the results of this test. Teachers are given key information on what skills the student needs to work on. 

Throughout the week, students log into iStation and complete a variety of activities to work on their reading and math skills needing reinforcement, as identified on the ISIP assessment. The kids think they are just playing computer games, but instead they are completing key lessons. Progress on the lessons and mastery of skills are reported to the teacher that way the teacher can continue to monitor the needs of each child.

Each month, the students complete another ISIP in Reading and Math to monitor their progress. After the Progress Monitoring, teachers can see how the students are progressing, and individualized lessons and activities are adjusted as needed. Information on if students are needing more intense support is also provided. Research-based lessons and resources are available for the teacher to print and use for reinforcement and small-group instruction.

So far, the addition of iStation has been very positive! Students are excited to get onto the program and “play” their next games. Teachers are pleased with the additional research-information we are receiving to help each student continue to progress!


Kindergarten STEM Activities

During the first nine weeks of kindergarten, students have been engaged in STEM activities. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These activities encourage children to be problem solvers, thinkers and builders, also improving skills such as logical thinking, hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition and creativity.

A few of these activities include: Magnatiles, building straws, Legos, comb blocks, blocks and “Magic Flakes” building wheels. In my classroom, building straws are  a favorite! Kindergarten students have really enjoyed these new materials.

Students buildingStudent with projectStudents at a table