Monday, October 31, 2016

Keystone Upcoming Dates

Keystone Friday Notes-- 10/28/16

Monday-Day 5 Music/Guidance
Tuesday- Day 6 Technology
Wednesday- Day 1 PE/Guidance
Thursday- Day 2 Art/Guidance
Friday-Day 3 Music/PE

Keystone Trick-or-Treating and Costume Contest! Halloween Day, Turner Hall - 5pm FREE hot dogs and drink for the kids - 5:30 pm costume judging - town-wide trick-or-treating immediately following! Please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Benton County Food Bank.
Benton County State Bank and Blairstown Community Foundation is sponsoring a Halloween Party on Monday, Oct. 31st 5:30 p.m. at the Blairstown Community Center.  There will be games, prizes, and costume contest; doors open at 5 p.m.!!!

Friday, November 4th from 7:30-8:15 a.m. students and their guest enjoy breakfast compliments of BCPTO.  
Conference scheduling is now open!  Parent/Teacher conferences are Wednesday, November 16th and Monday, November 21st from 2-7:30 p.m. You may schedule your conference online at . Information, including your student’s password was sent home last week.  If you have difficulties with the online system or do not have internet access please call the office 319-442-3221.
Come join us under the sea for Benton Theatre’s production of Disney’s  The Little Mermaid.  Show dates are November 3-5th at 7 p.m. and November 6th at 2 p.m.  Tickets are on sale in the main office at the high school.
BC Cheer will be holding a Junior Bobcat Cheerleader clinic on Saturday, November 19th 1:30-4:30p.m. at the Van Horne High School.  Cost is $20 w/shirt or $10 w/o shirt.  Registration forms are due Nov. 8th.  Walk-ins welcome. For questions or additional info. contact  Bridget McWhorter at 319-651-9070 or email

Cat Pac Wrestling begins soon!  Registration materials went home last week.  Beginners: Monday nights beginning Nov. 7th from 6-7:15 p.m.  Intermediate/Advanced:  Tuesday/Thursday nights beginning Nov . 8th from 6-7:30 p.m.  in the HS wrestling room.  For questions or additional information contact Coach Murphy at 563-920-5103 or   Online registration is also available at  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Helping Kids See the Good Side of Getting Things Wrong - Learning from Mistakes

Adults understand that making mistakes is part of life. What’s important is how we learn from them.

Yet, many children are growing up in a society that pressures them to be perfect – to get the highest SAT scores, to land prized scholarships, to get into the best universities. Some parents correct or complete children’s homework to get them a better grade. So how does all this focus on testing and perfection affect kids’ learning? And how can we help them learn from mistakes?

I recently came across an article in Scientific American, Getting it Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learnthat supports a number of learning and developmental theories. Historically, many educators have created conditions for learning that do not encourage errors. And parents have followed suit. For example, if we drill children over and over again with the same math problem, they will eventually remember the answer. And if they are lucky, they will remember the answer on a standardized test.

This approach to learning assumes that if students are allowed to make mistakes, they will not learn the correct information. However, recent research shows this to be an incorrect assumption. In fact, studies have found that learning is enhanced when children make mistakes!

Whether it involves homework, developing friendships, or playing soccer, learning is enriched through error. Learning from mistakes is part of how kids are challenged to learn to do things differently. It motivates them to try new approaches.

Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford, studies the importance of challenging children, even if they get things wrong. Her research shows that praising children for their intelligence can actually make them less likely to persist in the face of challenge. She and her colleagues followed hundreds of 5th grade children in New York City schools. One group was praised for their intelligence while the other group was praised for their effort.

When the 5th graders were challenged with an extremely difficult test designed for 8th graders, a surprising result occurred. The students who had been praised for their effort worked very hard, even though they made a lot of mistakes. The kids praised for being smart became discouraged and saw their mistakes as a sign of failure. Intelligence testing for the kids praised for their effort increased by 30% while the kids praised for their intelligence dropped by 20%. I’ve written before about the value of specific rather than general praise in relation to developing character strengths. It’s the same concept — and an important one.

Expressing Unconditional Love

I will never forget a ParentNet Meeting I facilitated when my daughter was in 8thgrade. One father in the group, a business executive with Microsoft, asked the other parents, “How do I let my daughter know that I still love her even if she makes mistakes?” There was a brief silence. Then someone said, “Have you ever told her?” Another silence. Then tears came to this father’s eyes. “No,” he said, “I haven’t. But I will now.”

That moment of simple realization was profound for all of us. Do our kids really feel that our love is dependent upon being a perfect student? I’m sure we all went home and reinforced this message of love to our kids – just in case it wasn’t already loud and clear!

Children make many kinds of mistakes – some are simple and some are more complex. For example, some mistakes, like forgetting a homework assignment or not studying for an important test, have expected consequences. Others, like lying, cheating, or actions that negatively affect friendships, have more complicated causes and are more complex to remedy. But all mistakes contain seeds of learning.

Learning from Mistakes: Ten Parenting Guidelines that Foster Positive Youth Development
-Acknowledge that you don’t expect them to be perfect.
-Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
-Don’t rescue children from their mistakes. Instead, focus on the solution.
-Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
-Encourage them to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
-Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
-Praise them for their ability to admit their mistakes.
-Praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
-Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
-Help them look at the good side of getting things wrong!


Monday, October 24, 2016

P-T Conference On-Line Sign Up

Keystone Parents,

Please go to the link at to sign up for P-T conferences this fall.  You should have received a full sheet note that had a sticker on it with this link as well as your individual parent password for signing up for conferences.

We are very excited about this P-T conference sign up to make it more convenient for you as parents to sign up for conferences.

If you have any questions or need to have your password resent please email me at or call the office at 319-442-3221.


Mr. Junge

Friday, October 21, 2016

10/21 Friday Notes / Upcoming Dates

Keystone Friday Notes-- 10/21/16

Friday, October 28th - 1:00 Dismiss- PD

Monday-Day 6                 Technology
Tuesday- Day 1                PE/Guidance
Wednesday- Day 2         Art/Guidance
Thursday- Day 3             Music/PE
Friday-Day 4                    Art/Guidance  

Benton Elementary students will celebrate being DRUG FREE the week of 10/24-10/28.  Students are encouraged to dress and express their choice to be drug free.  Monday: Neon Day,  Tuesday:  Wear Red,  Wednesday: Tye Dye Day,  Thursday: USA Day, and Friday:  PJ Day.

Keystone students will be celebrating Halloween on Friday, Oct. 28th.  Students should NOT wear their costumes to school, but will be given a chance to change into them later.  All students will walk to the Keystone Care Center to parade their costumes for residents.  Please, no toy weapons or costume attachments that could possible get broken or lost.
PreK-3rd grade students at Keystone Elementary will be collecting NEW socks of all sizes to donate to the Olivet Neighborhood Mission throughout the month of October.  You can send socks to school with students or you may mail them to Keystone Elementary 280 4th St. Keystone, IA 52249.

Come join us under the sea for Benton Theatre’s production of Disney’s  The Little Mermaid.  Show dates are November 3-5th at 7 p.m. and November 6th at 2 p.m.  Tickets are on sale in the main office at the high school.

It’s that time of year!  Please, make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the cooler weather.  Students will be going outside for recess as long as the temperature/wind chill is 10 degrees or above.  If you need assistance in providing winter attire for your child, please contact the school office.

It’s that time again!  We are collecting Box Tops for Education until October, 26th.  Please send your trimmed Box Tops to school and help us earn $ for Keystone Elementary!!


Your Keystone PreK-3rd grade and one guest are invited to enjoy breakfast served by BCPTO and staff on Friday, November 4th from 7:30-8:15 a.m. Please return your RSVP by Monday, Oct. 24th.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Keystone Elem. & Benton CSD Blogs, Twitter, & Facebook

Teachers Connecting at Keystone
Mrs. Benton -
#KFkinders and @Mrs_KFisher (twitter)
**Also utilizes classroom SeeSaw app
Mrs Bridgewater -
**Also utilizes classroom SeeSaw app
**Also utilizes classroom SeeSaw app
Mrs. Redlinger -
Mrs. Bonewitz and Mrs. Kimm -  
Other BC Educator Blogs
Mrs. Benesh & Mr Junge  -
Mrs. Townsley -  @townsleyaj (twitter)

Keystone Elementary - Instagram @KeystoneElementary #KeyRocks   Benton CSD Twitter - @BentonCSD #BentonCSD

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Keystone Elementary Facebook Page

We have started our own Facebook Page for Keystone Elementary.  We are excited to use this to post information, announcements, pictures, and videos to try and meet parents where they are at for receiving information.

Mr. Junge

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Update for School Alerts for school delays and cancellations

The carrier that had done our school alerts in the past has changed.  We received feedback from some of our parents that they did not receive their regular text / email alerts with a couple of late starts earlier this fall.

Please follow the link at the bottom of this blog to re-register yourself for those alerts / updates on school delays and cancellations.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Socktober @ Keystone Elementary

Socktober at Keystone Elementary
Students at Keystone Elementary will be participating in a month-long service project, called Socktober, starting October 3rd.  We will be collecting NEW socks of all sizes to donate to Olivet Neighborhood Mission in Cedar Rapids to help people in need.  Look for more information soon, including students’ work to promote their cause.  Your help is needed to help us reach our goal! Please encourage donors to include a short note stating where the socks are coming from as well as a few words of encouragement. All socks should be sent to Keystone Elementary.

Let’s Make the World More Awesome!