Thursday, February 28, 2013

Operation Ice Rink

Operation Ice Rink
Submitted by Ms. Edlund and the CmPS Team

            Over the past year, the Lester Prairie Community Problem Solving (CmPS) team has been working on a project to improve our community.  The CmPS team consists of 12 members.  They are Renee Albrecht, Leighton Buhr, Chase Engelke, Drew Jackson, Elizabeth Krienke, Arlene Nowak, Maggie Piehl, Emily Schultz, Tallon Schwantes, Callie Sebora, Wyatt Teubert, and Max Vergin.  We started brainstorming ideas last fall on what problems there are in the community that we could fix.  We decided that there are not enough winter activities for the people of Lester Prairie to participate in.  We thought of solutions to the problem, and decided on an ice rink.

            We contacted the city council and park board to see if we could possibly build an ice rink in town.  After some discussion, we were given permission to build.  We also wanted to build a warming house and fence around the ice rink.  We contacted RAM Buildings and they agreed to provide wood for the warming house if we would be willing to paint a fence, or help with a different project, this spring for them.  Our group gladly accepted the offer.  We also contacted Mr. Scoblic, the technical education teacher in Lester Prairie School, to see if he could build us a warming house through one of his shop classes.  He agreed.

            Our plans were in place, so we needed to raise money for our project.  We asked Betty Williams, head cook in the lunchroom, if she would make cookies that we could sell every Monday and Friday mornings during December, January, and part of February to the high school students.  She agreed, and we sold cookies and hot chocolate.  We raise a good amount of money through this.  Our group will be finishing this project in the spring and it will hopefully be up and running with the warming house by next winter.  The ice rink is ready for use right now, but will fully finished next winter with the warming house.

            We will be going to the CmPS State Competition with our project at the beginning of April, and are hoping to move onto the International Competition held in Indiana at the beginning of this summer.  There, we will be competing against teams all across the world.

            Our thanks go out to RAM Buildings, Mr. Scoblic and his shop class, Lester Prairie City Council, Lester Prairie Park Board, Betty Williams, Ms. Edlund, Mrs. Lukens, the Lester Prairie Police Department, and the Lester Prairie Fire Department for making our project possible.

History Center of St. Paul

Students in 6th grade had the opportunity today to view an ITV presentation by the History Center of St. Paul.  This is a live person with the students discussing pioneers and early Minnesota history.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday 5th Grade Reading Buddies

As a positive promotion of reading and a great way to wind down the week's festivities and learning, Ms. Houg's and Ms. Walker's 5th grade class goes down to read with the first graders in Mrs. Brandel's  Ms. Murphy's, and Mrs. Hoppe's rooms.  This is a weekly activity where you will see great 5th grade leadership, very attentive, excited first graders and a wonderful learning environment.  Here are some pictures of the events.

Common Play in the Kindergarten Room

Parents, children and staff were able to be a part of the kindergarten room common play time.  In Mrs. Smith's and Mrs. Kramer's rooms students and families worked on math, reading, and other skills that take place within the kindergarten environment.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Free lunch with LP Lions

Students were treated to another free lunch today, this time at city hall, sponsored by the Youth Task Force and LP Lions.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LPHT performs one act play-"Cut"

A group of actors rehearses a play within a play within a play. As the plot complications multiply, the actors begin to forget who is playing whom and who is the real director -- as opposed to the actor who is playing the director, or vice versa. Then they can't seem to remember who they really are, as opposed to the people they are playing in any of the various scripts. Then things start to get confusing..

This is a description of the play "Cut" which was performed by students attending Lester Prairie and Holy Trinity.  The one-act was directed by Mrs. Jocelyn Buckentin and received great reviews from students and community members alike.

Science Museum of Minnesota LP School Visit

Through a grant received from the Science Museum of Minnesota, sponsored by Flint Hills Resources, students in grades K-5 at Lester Prairie Schools were able to participate in a Science Museum outreach program.  A scientist came to Lester Prairie Schools on February 8 to share with students in grades 3-5 information and experiments on electricity.  Students in grades K-2 were able to view and learn about dinosaurs during their lyceum.  This program is part of a larger program that will allow for the 4th and 5th grades to participate in an overnight stay at the Science Museum on April 4th and 5th.  Only 15 schools have the opportunity to do this through the grant and it is an honor and great learning experience for the students at Lester Prairie Elementary School.  As part of the overnight stay, students will receive a visit to the Capitol, an omni-theater presentation, and various science related shows along with of course staying overnight with the chance to sleep next to a dinosaur, skeleton, or mummy.  

D.A.R.E. Graduation-5th Grade

Describe the problem, challenge or opportunity, Assess the choices, Respond and make a choice with the information given, Evaluate and review if you made a good decision.  These are the the four steps in the DARE decision making model, and students in Mrs. Houg's 5th grade classroom were able to participate recently in the DARE graduation.  The DARE program was taught by school liaison officer and Lester Prairie Police Chief Robert Carlson over the course of several weeks.  To graduate from the program students needed to write an essay outlining aspect of DARE, including what they learned and how they can effectively use the DARE decision making model.  Special guests in attendance were School Resource Officer Patrick Geiken, McLeod County Sheriff  Scott Rehmann, Lester Prairie Police Chief Robert Carlson, Lester Priarie School Superintendent Mike McNulty, and Staff Sergeant John Zellmer from the Marine Corps.  

Science Fair Article and Pictures

After many weeks of preparation, experiments, and hard work students in grades 2 thru 6 participated in the annual Science Fair at Lester Prairie Schools.  This years 1st and 2nd place winners are:
            2nd Gr.:  Ashley Kley & Shelby Litzau – Family Consumer Science 1st Place
                          Mitchell Theis -  Environmental Science 1st Place

            3rd Gr. :  Zachary Zebell -  Environmental Science 1st Place
                           Tyler Otto – Microbiology 1st Place
                           Marissa Their – Microbiology 2nd Place
                           Delany Sebora – Family Consumer Science 1st Place
                           Kara Lee – Physical Science 1st Place
                           Riley Haas, Jenna Heimerl & Paige Heimerl – Physical Science 2nd Place

            4th Gr.:    Anna Litzau & McKenna Kutz – Earth Science 1st Place
                           Daphne Schiedel – Engineering/Computers/Math 1st Place
                           Emily Radtke & Landon Groff – Chemistry 1st Place
                           Cody Roush – Health Science 1st Place
                           Alexis Kubista – Animal Science 1st Place
                           Jason Zimprich, Jaden Alsleben, & Zach Jackson – Environmental
                                                                                                              Science 1st Place

            5th Gr.:  Myranda Hentges – Family Consumer Science 1st Place
                         Taylor Bayerl – Family Consumer Science 2nd Place
                          Liam Meyer – Family Consumer Science 3rd Place

            6th Gr.:  Parker Bayerl – Family Consumer Science 1st Place
                          Michael Ziermann – Family Consumer Science 2nd Place
                          Kyle Norman – Family Consumer Science 3rd Place
                          Grace Jeurissen – Physical Science 1st Palce
                          Tyler Scheevel – Physical Science 2nd Place
                          Jerika Ziermann – Physical Science 3rd Place
                          Lauren Trittabaugh – Plant Science 1st Place
                          Jose Espinoza – Plant Science 2nd Place
                          Erik Hentges – Engineering/Computers/Math 1st Place
                          Hayley Rein – Engineering/Computers/Math 2nd Place
                          Shianne Christensen – Engineering/Computers/Math 3rd Place
                          Kayla DeYonge – Animal Science 1st Place
                          Ruby Lezama – Chemistry 1st Place
                          Mackennzie Dennis – Chemistry 2nd Place
                          Marcus Feltmann – Energy & Transportation 1st Place
                          Rodrigo Medina – Energy & Transportation 2nd Place
                          Dylan Ruzicka – Energy & Transportation 3rd Place

All 3rd thru 6th grade students earning a 1st or 2nd place award have been invited to participate in the Regional Science Fair at Minnesota State University – Mankato on Saturday April 27, 2013.

A special Thank You to our community members who volunteered as Judges for this years Science Fair: Dave Klitzke, Nathan Schmalz, Gordon Houk, Jackie Schmalz,
Eric Angvall, Kathy Krone, Craig Jackson, Corbey Hentges, Joe Miller, Kim Radtke,
Marc Sebora, Jackie Ziermann, Jenni Sebora  , Jeremy Schmidt, Matt Tonn,          
DeVota Stoltenow, Matt Klitzke, Merrilea Kyllo, Barry Kyllo, and Tasha Schiedel.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Science Museum of Minnesota

Honor roll-honor roll

Students who were on the A or B honor roll in grades 6-12 were treated with cinnamon rolls and juice today in recognition for their accomplishment.  Members of the Lester Prairie Youth Task Force were on hand to hand out the rolls and congratulate students.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What does it take to be successful?

The ability for someone to be successful stems from many things.  Recently, I have had students mention to me they don't really care to participate in school and what does school do for me?  It is because of these comments that I have decided to list some of the competencies I believe make someone successful.  Some of these are things you learn outside of school, others are learned through personal interactions, some are difficult to understand, but they are all very important when we look at success and qualities of leadership.
This post will focus on being self aware or having self-awareness.  Self-Awareness refers to knowing one's internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions.  When we look at self-awareness, it is important to understand three parts:  Emotional Awareness, Accurate Self Assessment, and Self-Confidence.
Within Emotional Awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions and their effects.  It is important to understand how we are emotionally and how they not only affect ourselves, but also those who we have contact with.  Think about the last time you were in a great mood, everything was great, the people around you were in great moods.  Were you aware of what changed this mood to a bad mood?  Did you have the awareness to maintain a positive mood throughout bouts of difficulty?  This part of self-awareness places the responsibility on each of us individually to understand why things happen around us.  Think of a time when you were angry, upset, or things weren't going your way, could providing a different outlook have changed how things were following this unfortunate moment?  We must understand what we do and how we act affects how others around us feel and act, sometimes we need to look at ourselves and develop an understanding to see other points of view, or a more positive outlook on our own lives.
I leave you with this:  We are the only ones who dictate what type of mood we are in, if we develop a positive mood others around us will also develop this positive mood.  We need to recognize our emotions and their effects.  It is okay to have bad days, but we must understand how we approach those days and how they can affect us in many many ways.


Some pictures of our weekly PBIS ticket drawing winners.  WAY TO GO! Nice job for students and staff for your participation.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Principal Weekly Update, February 4, 2013

Each Wednesday morning groups of staff get together to discuss possible ways to provide interventions to students within the elementary school.  On this committee is Mr. James (Elementary Special Education), Ms. Maas (Elementary Title I), myself, and different groups of classroom teachers depending on the week (ie. one week is K-2, one 3-4, one is 4-5).  I would like to share a little bit about RtI and also include a guide to the parents as to what we are trying to accomplish from this.

What is Response to Intervention?
Response to Intervention (RtI) is the practice of providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student needs, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying data to important educational decisions.
RtI is encouraged in federal and state law as an effective way to support high achievement for all students.
Within Lester Prairie Elementary School, students are given various benchmark tests, this is through Title I testing, NWEA, MCA results, STAR tests, and others.  What we look for are students who are in Tier 2 or 3.  To explain the tiers, Tier 1, is when we expect that at least 80% of our students will be successful in the general education classroom without any further intervention.  Tier 2 is about 15% of the student population and these are students who need more support in addition to the core curriculum, while Tier 3 is about 5% of students who need intensive and individualized interventions for growth.
Students who are in the Tier 3 category would be referred to our child study team which includes all special education staff, along with our school psychologist.  This team makes a specifically designed plan for interventions for this student.
Throughout each step parents are informed about their child's progress.  Our goal is to help all students achieve their full academic potential by intervening early and often.

What are the core principals of RtI?
We can effectively teach all children
Early and frequent intervention is most effective
Problem solving is used efficiently in a muli-tiered model
Research based instruction is targeted to student needs
Data is used to make decisions
Student progress is monitored to guide instruction

As we look further to aligning our assessment procedures to state and national standards and benchmarks, it is important as a school to recognize the importance of assessments.

Assessments are used to:
Determine the overall effectiveness of the district's curriculum and instruction.
Identify children who are not reaching achievement benchmarks.
Monitor the progress of children who receive additional intervention.

As always, please contact Mr. Schmidt if you would like more information on this process and Response to Intervention.

Friday, February 1, 2013

LP Science Fair

The LP School Science Fair was a huge success.  There was a great turnout by students, staff, parents, and community members.  During the fair students were sharing how they thought of their project, how they created it, what they did for the experiment,  previous research, outcomes and conclusions.  It was evident the students worked very hard on their projects and were excited and proud of their work.  Top students will be asked to participate in the Regional Science Fair Competition, where I am sure they will do well.
Here are some more pictures of the science fair.