Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Autism Awareness

By: Rebecca Hintz

Wow!  It is almost April.  April is Autism Awareness month.  Autism is a brain disorder that has varying degrees of affect on an individual's social skills, communication and behavior.  There is a lot of research happening in the field, although, we find its roots in very early brain development.  Each individual on the autism spectrum is unique.  There is a lot to celebrate with uniqueness.  At Lester Prairie Schools we have spent the school year learning different strategies to address social, communication and behavior difficulties.  We have also embraced our uniqueness and gained friendships with each other while doing so.  Help the community and school spread autism awareness by wearing blue on April 2nd for Light it Up Blue for Autism Awareness month.

At school this past month we have focused on our conversational skills.  When people talk about autism and communication this can range from their ability to communicate using words to understanding subtle nuances in conversation.  The groups have learned how to recognize when their conversational partner is showing signs of boredom.  (We are talking too long about our topic if this happens.) They have enjoyed using technology such as the iPad and projector to help watch themselves and role play expected conversational skills.  This is difficult learning that is re-training the brain.  We are making progress!

Through continued lessons and acceptance of their true self we will continue to raise autism awareness.  Not just in April, but, all year long.  Remember, wear your blue April 2nd to show your support.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

7th - 12th Grade Bulldog Barks Winners

Seventh Grade—Front Row—Paige Heimerl, Landon Groff, McKenna Kutz   
Back Row—Alexis Kubista, Oswaldo Lopez, Paige Bayerl

Eighth Grade—Ashley Forcier, Taylor Bayerl, Laura Ruelas, Alysha Curtis

 Ninth Grade—Benjamin Hagman– Hecksel, Daymien Sponsel

Tenth Grade—Chris Hecksel, Trisha Nyberg, Zach Rademacher

Eleventh/ Twelve Grade—Front Row—Hope Feltmann, Jamie DeBruyckere, Logan Aagard,  
Back Row—Harley Hentges, Travis Bayerl

K to 5th Grade Bulldogs Barks Winners

Kindergarten—Front Row—Eli Mullin, Abby Mathwig, Roman Tervo, Arlet Garza   
Back Row—Aurora Blasen, Katrina Martinez, Cooper Mattson, Keaton Matthews, Zachary Dye

First Grade—Maya Eckstein, Savannah Dammann, Josie Dressen, Ella Bebo, Kendall Zabel

Second Grade—Front Row—Claire Thompson, Cory Schauer, Charissa Johnson, Camilla Montano  Back Row—Eli Zebell, Harrison Engen, Ashlyn Rosenau, Sybil Tervo, Payton Frantsten

Third Grade—Lydia Lemke and Maddie Schlechter

Fourth Grade  - Jessa Heimerl, Averey Heimerl, and Brodee Sawicki

Fifth grade—Gavin Eckstein, Sean Kennedy, Trevor Forcier, Shelby Litzau, Tanner Scheevel

6th - 12th Grade PBIS Winners

Sixth Grade—From Row—Tyler Otto, Blake Ernst, Christian Bahena-Vega  Back Row—Marissa Theis, Trevor Tonn, Kara Lee, Delaney Sebora

Seventh Grade—Front Row—Dylan Knoll, Taylor Ebert, Laura Amaya  Back Row—Logan Roush, Riley Carlson, Dylan Krieg, Paige Bayerl

Eigth Grade—Ashley Forcier, Taylor Bayerl, Carter Serna, Emily Rademacher, Laura Ruelas, Cole Tonn, Chris Hemmerling

Ninth Grade—Front Row—Cameron Bolf, Benjamin Hagman-Hecksel, Daymien Sponsel  
Back Row—Logan Groff, Lauren Trittabaugh, Kyle Norman

Tenth Grade—Front Row—Arlene Nowak, Callie Sebora, Trisha Nyberg   Back Row—Hunter Baker, Chris Hecksel, Hunter Lemke, Zachary Rademacher

Eleventh / Twelve Grade—Front Row—Tori Trettin, Hope Feltmann, Bethany Bettcher, Karlea Kyllo, Taylor Kriz, Jose Amaya  Back Row—Gerri Williamson, Taylor Trettin, Kaylee Scheevel, Joanna Perales, Travis Bayerl, Karissa Leach, Harley Hentges

PBIS Winners Annouced

Kindergarten  - Front Row -Katrina Martinez, Yareli Vega-Juarez, Wendy Medina, Eliza Dressler, Arianna Sponsel, Avery Bentz, and Nathan Otto       Back Row—Cooper Mattson, Roman Tervo, Abigail Mathwig, Keaton Matthews, Ethan Ryan Simrell, Daniela Lopez, Mariana Ixtlilco

First Grade– Front Row—Brielle Christen, Hunter Pierson, Alivia Otto, Eli LaMott, Clayton Hoof, Annika Hollister, Devin Martinez, Back Row—Mitchell Peterson, Savannah Dammann, Piper Janowski, Josie Dressen, Ella Bebo, Kendall Zabel, Adyson Heimerl

Second Grade– Front Row—Autumn Bayerl, Harrison Engen, Kira Heimerl, Ashlyn Rosenau, Erik Vega, Clarie Thompson, Michael Albers—Back Row—Axel Bahena-Vega, Eli Zebell, Olivia Radtke, Alayna Logan, Anah Lee, Willfredo Amaya, Gavin Lorentz

Third Grade—Front Row –Austin Walstrom, Grace Bayerl, Morgan Feltmann, Chase Hollister, Alex Norman, Jackson Cacka, Edwin Medina, Back Row—Jurney Dammann, Marilin Ixtlilco, Sage Sponsel, Logan Meyer, Dylan Schlechter, Trenton Hecksel, German Gallardo

Fourth Grade—Front Row—Megan Tonn, Tony Medina, Avery Heimerl, Abbi Hehr, Emma Eckstein, Gibson Kerkvlier  Back Row—Robert Medina, Owen ZeBell, Alek Hodny, Trey Segner, Levi Rokosz, Angel Diaz

Fifth Grade—Karli Kegler, Sarai Montano, Lydia Gueningsman, Sam Jerusissen, Brooke Heimerl, Kayla Tritabaugh

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

First Grade Writers

Do you know what famous American invented the first bifocals, flippers for swimming, and discovered that lightning was electricity?  First graders do, and they are fascinated about people in our country’s history!  After reading the biography selection in our reading anthology entitled, “Meet Ben Franklin”, students began the task of writing a report.  This project combined both writing and social studies standards as students used the writing process and also compared and contrasted life now with life long ago. 

Students learned that writing sometimes has many steps and is a lot of work!  First they used a graphic organizer, or web, to write down notes from their reading to use in their report.  They also added an interesting detail from another text about Ben Franklin.  Next, each student used the words on their web to write complete sentences for a rough draft.  After doing some editing with their teacher, first graders were ready to “publish” their report by writing it in their best handwriting and adding an illustration.  It WAS a lot of work, but first graders discovered that the end result was worth it!  They were very proud as shared their efforts with the class.

Submitted by Jen Brandel, Lester Prairie First Grade Teacher

March 15, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Mobile Interactive Display SmartBoard at LP School

Submitted by Kim DeBruyckere

Due to a shortage of classroom space, two of the three Spanish classes at Lester Prairie School are held in the science lab. Finding space to project lessons or a surface to write on was an issue. With the generous support of the Lester Prairie Parents for Education, Lester Prairie School was able to purchase a mobile SMART Board interactive display.

In simplest terms, the SMART Board interactive display technology turns the teacher’s computer into a 65” interactive touchscreen display. Teachers or students are able to touch a finger to the display to interact with websites or multimedia content and use their finger or supplied pens to write directly on the screen with digital ink.

The mobile unit is used daily by two Spanish classes and two computer classes. It is easily moved and available for classes and meetings held in rooms and spaces in the building not currently having access to this interactive technology.

Lester Prairie students and staff would like to thank the Lester Prairie Parents for Education, Lester Prairie Foundation for Education, Booster Club, Lions Club and all of our proud school supporters for their generous donations that have helped us to purchase SMART Boards, chrome books, iPads, and supported other technology and learning activities over the past several years. Your support is greatly appreciated and continues to enhance the learning opportunities for our students.

 Spanish students Steven Anderson and Hope Feltmann, Spanish Teacher Janelle Afrasiab working at the Interactive Display Smart Board.

Spanish students Michael Ziermann and Tyler Scheevel match Spanish terms at the Smart Board as class members use chrome books to do the same

Monday, March 14, 2016

EL/Title I Night

      Lester Prairie School’s Title I and English Learners (EL) programs hosted a family fun night on Thursday, March 10, 2016.  Krystina Peterson, Title I Instructor, and Tanya Minnick, EL Instructor, organized a Game Night, inviting their K-5 Title I students and K-12 EL students along with their families and friends to a fun evening at school.  The event began with board games, potluck meal, and sundaes in the cafeteria. The evening concluded with all students, parents, and staff playing bingo together as a whole group.  Some of the prizes included certificates, which were graciously donated by McDonald’s, Hardee’s, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Taco John’s, and Dairy Queen.  

      It was a great opportunity to get to know the staff, students, and families while participating in a fun activity! With over 80 students, staff, and family members gathered in the cafeteria of the school, this event was a success! Students had the most fun “playing Bingo,” “winning prizes” and “eating pizza.” In the words of a 3rd grader in attendance, “I had so much fun, I slept good last night.”

Krystina Peterson and Tanya Minnick

Thursday, March 10, 2016

LPHT Bulldogs Baseball Preview

With boys basketball and wrestling now in the rearview mirror, some of the high school boys have turned their athletic focus to the diamond.  The high school baseball team is set to begin practice on March 21st, and the junior high students will begin on March 29th.

This year’s team will have a very different look.  Most notably will be coaching changes, headlined by Blaine Walstrom who will begin his first year at the helm of Bulldog Baseball.  Walstrom will be assisted by returning assistant coach Matt Wroge, and Steve Beckman.  The junior high team will be headed up by Mike Lee and assisted by Carter Berkelman.

The varsity team will also have a new look with the guys out on the field.  While major varsity experience is not there, the team will be led by a group of seven seniors.  Returning seniors include: Logan Aagaard, Will Dietrich, Andrew Gebhardt, Tyler Norman, Daniel Whitaker, with new additions of Jacob Heimerl and Roman Heimerl.

One worthy note, is that due to numbers there will be crossover between varsity and junior varsity players, forcing JV games to take place (in most cases) after the varsity game instead of at the same time.

If the weather holds up, the first pitch is set to be thrown on Monday, April 4, when the Bulldogs head to Norwood Young America.  The first home game will be played in Lester Prairie on Monday, April 11 at 4pm against ACGC.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings have a tremendous influence on new teen drivers.  Here is an opportunity for you to learn more about how you influence your teen driver, to learn more about the MN Graduate Driver’s License, and to get some feedback from experts regarding teen drivers.

Under a new law in Minnesota, parents and/or guardians are required to attend a Parent Component Driver’s Education class.  If you have a teenager who will be attempting the driving test for their license after January 1, 2015 you will need to attend this class.  This is a once per child type class.  You have to attend this class for each of your pre-driving teens as they approach their driving road test.  Certificates of attendance will be issued and you must submit this certificate to the examination center when arriving for the driving road test.  Parents who decide not to attend this class are required to log 50 hours of practice driving with their teen instead of the regular 40 hours (15 hours must still be at night).

Lester Prairie High School will be hosting a Parent Component Driver’s Education class on Thursday April 7, 2016 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room 126 at LPHS.  Presenters will include a Driver’s Education teacher, a Law Enforcement Officer, an Insurance agent, and others who have a stake in your child as a teen driver.

Please contact Mr. Mike Bjork at the Lester Prairie High School to register or if you have any questions.  Please register by Monday April 4, 2016 so we make sure we have enough materials.  Mr. Bjork can be reached at (320) 395-2521 or at

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kindergarteners Spend Time with Artist Susan Armington

              The kindergarten students at Lester Prairie Elementary had the opportunity to spend time with artist Susan Armington recently.  Ms. Armington came to the school as an Artist in Residence sponsored by the Prairie Arts Council.  She spent time with the kindergarten students showing them how to draw different animals and insects by looking at the shapes.  She led the students through a guided drawing experience where they practiced making several different creatures.   They then created a card using their favorite creatures.  The kindergartners enjoyed spending time learning more about drawing animals.

-Kelly Kramer

Zachary Dye, Wendy Medina, Grace Meyer, and Eliza Dressler working with Ms. Armington

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Grade 3 welcomes Ms. Carissa Quiring as a student teacher in Mrs. Anderberg’s classroom.  Ms. Quiring is a student at Crown College majoring in elementary education with a minor in pre-primary education.  As part of her education, she is required to observe and teach in variety school settings.  She is undergoing 6 phases of teaching in third grade and then will complete her time at LP schools in Mrs. Smith’s kindergarten classroom.  Ms. Quiring comes to us from Lincoln, Nebraska.  She was inspired to become a teacher by her elementary principal. He modeled connecting with students and building a bond of respect to support their learning.  She believes that students should take an active role in their learning and be given the voice to express their opinions.  The teacher should structure content in a way that allows them this opportunity.  When asked about the experience, Ms. Quiring responded with “I couldn’t have been placed at a better school. The staff has been warm and full of sharable knowledge. The students have been fantastic to work with, no matter the grade.”

Lester Prairie Second Graders Take a Virtual Field Trip

Second graders at Lester Prairie Elementary School were treated to a “field trip” without ever leaving their school. The History Live presentation was offered through the Minnesota History Center.  The interactive program allowed them to see and speak to a History Center staff member who used Google Earth to take them to Minnesota sites such as Fort Snelling, the Jeffers Petroglyphs, Eagle Mountain, and the Chippewa National Forest.  Students learned about the three Minnesota biomes, the state symbols, and a timeline of Minnesota industries.  They learned that agriculture is a big part of Minnesota life and that the state soil happens to be Lester soil, the soil we find right here in Lester Prairie.

Funding for the Virtual Tour provided by the Lester Prairie Booster Club.


March Madness

March Greetings,
As we welcome March and all that it entails, the high school science classes will be doing a fun little activity in addition to their studies. They will be completing a March Madness Scientist Bracket. The students will have to complete a bracket to see who the most favored scientist is, the winner receives 3 pts extra credit on their next exam.
In other news, we have had a Charles Darwin spotting at the school. The biology classes have been studying the history of Darwin and his evolutionary theory. As a final project for this chapter, the students have created an interview with Darwin. One student is the “reporter” and the other is “Darwin.” The students have been very creative with this activity, some students have changed Darwin into a famous rapper, some have rhymed the entire interview, some have even interrogated Darwin to try to squeeze critical information out of him. The students will be presenting their videos on March 2nd and March 3rd.
Lastly, the science department recently went to a conference in the Duluth. We attended a variety of breakout sessions, where we were educated on such things as techniques used in veteran teachers’ classrooms, review of the new science standards, and technology integration. One of the tricks that we learned in the technology integration course, I have begun using in the classroom. This technique includes writing an assignment using google forms, then sending it to the students. The students complete the assignment, and then submit the form. When they submit the form an email is sent to them immediately with their score on the assignment. Sometimes I have students continue working on the assignment until they receive 100 percent. By doing this, I know they are truly learning the techniques and information. When students discover the answer is wrong, this encourages them to advocate for themselves and come and discuss with me what it is that they got wrong. The immediate feedback is so important for them, then they can recognize and I can work with them on clearing up any misunderstandings right on the spot. I am excited to see how this changes the atmosphere in my classroom.

Happy Spring,

Paige Aldrich