All posts by Judy Janssen

100th Day!

Feb. 1 was the 100th day of school this year!  Students celebrated the day with a variety of special learning activities.

Kindergarten students brought in collections of 100 items and then shared about what they brought. Speaking in front of their class builds confidence and language development. Other kindergarten activities included making special hats, seeing what they would look like at age 100 and then writing about it, doing 10 sets of 10 different exercises, and counting out 10 pieces of 10 different snacks.

First grade students also made special hats, strung 100 pieces of cereal into necklaces, and stacked 100 cups.

Second grade activities included making a trail mix snack of 10 sets of 10 different ingredients. Thanks to everyone who donated, there was extra for future snack times!

Third graders were digitally transformed into 100-year olds and then wrote about what they wanted to have accomplished in their lives by the time they were 100.

The 100th day of school is always fun at Prairie Heights!


From Thanksgiving Break to Winter Break, all Heights students have been learning in computer lab about computer coding! This is part of the Hour of Code. Millions of people of all ages participate in this yearly event which introduces coding skills.

Here is the Symbaloo (online bookmarks) we used:

Code 2017 Symbaloo

Kindergarten and first grade students can click on their teacher’s tile and then sign in with their secret picture from the login card sent home. Students in 2nd to 4th grade can click on the Code Studio tile ( to sign in with their school email address and password. Then they can continue the course we started in lab.

All students can explore more activities by clicking on the Hour of Code tile (

or the Made With Code tile (

Or the holiday-related tiles!

There are also apps that explore coding. Here are some that we have on our iPads. All listed are free. Listed from easiest to more challenging. They are also available for Android devices.

  • Daisy the Dinosaur
  • Cargo-bot
  • Scratch Jr.
  • The Foos (ages 6 – 8)
  • Kodable (ages 6 – 8_
  • Hopscotch (ages 9 – 11)
  • Tynker (ages 9 – 11)

Coding helps develop creativity and innovation,  as well as critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. And it’s fun! Parents – give it a try, too!


On Nov. 29 Prairie Heights students and staff travelled to downtown Cedar Rapids for a special performance of “Annie” at Theatre Cedar Rapids (TCR).  This fantastic experience was made possible by support from our PTO and the TCR corporate sponsors for this production. THANK you!

We enjoyed seeing the story of plucky and positive Annie told through acting, singing and dancing. The special surprise at the final curtain-closing was awesome!

Heights goes to Annie at TCR!
Students wait eagerly for the musical to start!
All of our seats were great!

This is the 4th year we were able to provide our students with a live theater experience. Thank you again to everyone who made it possible!

Thanksgiving Activities

Prairie Heights students and staff participated in a variety of Thanksgiving activities in the days leading up to the holiday break.

Turkey math!

Book buddy classes got together to create Thanksgiving crafts.

Classes shared snacks while watching a Thanksgiving movie, created turkey snacks or ate “Thanksgiving dinner” together.

Students made lists of things they are thankful for.

Second and third graders Disguised a Turkey and wrote about it in computer lab.

Teachers expressed appreciation for their students.

Heights had attitude of gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving!

Literacy Night – Wild About Reading!

Prairie Heights 3rd Literacy Night was held on Oct. 24. Families were able to purchase a pizza supper. Proceeds went to the library for more RAFT and I Can Read books. These are high-use short books! Then parents were able to choose from a variety of sessions  including each grade level presenting reading and writing strategies at school and at home, info on resources that can be used at home, and how to be involved in our PTO. Meanwhile, students made crafts and did other literacy activities. At the end of the evening, families met in the gym. A Photo Booth and animal cracker treat were available and each child attending picked out a free book to take home! Big thanks to all who attended and staff members who volunteered their time to make the evening a success!

America Reads Day 2017

On Oct. 20, we welcomed parents, grandparents, community members and upper-grade students for America Reads Day. This yearly event showcases the importance and fun of reading. Students are thrilled to have someone they know come to read a book to their friends. “Celebrity” readers are also a big hit. THANK YOU to everyone who shared this day with us.

Fall Parade and Parties

The Fall Parade and Parties will be on Oct. 31 starting at 2:45. Students may wear school appropriate costumes for the parade and party but costumes are not required.  Students should not wear their costumes or face/hair paint to school. They will be given an opportunity to change into their costumes before the parade.

More details will be shared by your student’s teacher!

If parents don’t want their children to participate in any of these activities, they should send a note and student(s) will be provided an alternative activity.

Heights Celebrates Homecoming

Having a central campus where all of our buildings are relatively close together allows us to participate in district-wide activities like the Homecoming parade!

Heights students showed their Prairie Pride all week with special dress up days. Book Buddies got together to color animal masks to take to the parade, reflecting this year’s building theme “Wild About Learning”.  Our parade entry was Heights is Wild About the Hawks! Everyone could get a temporary face tattoo on Homecoming Day thanks to our PTO.

Because we are fairly close to the beginning of the parade route, students, staff and family guests walked together across the street to take our places. It was exciting to see Police Pal Shannon as one of the parade marshals! We loved the marching band, fire trucks and fancy cars. We cheered extra loud when our walkers, truck and wagon went by!

It was a warm day so our air conditioned rooms felt good after the walk back across the street.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Homecoming 2017 memorable!

Walking over to the parade!
We made masks with our Book Buddies and sat together at the parade!
Wild about the Hawks1

Police Pal Shannon
The band was great!

Walk back up the hill after the parade.

Educators Matter

What makes your teacher, your student’s teacher, or a College Community teacher special?

At CCSD, we believe educators matter and play an important role in our community. All of us have been impacted by a teacher and we’d love to hear your perspective. Please use the link below to tell us how you feel!

Educators Matter


Ms. Spaight talks about books with her students.

Staff eagerly wait for the first bus to arrive on the first day of school!

First Day 2017-2018

We’re off to a great start to the 2017-18 school year! Teachers were eager to meet students. Students were ready to learn!

Our building theme this year is “Wild About Learning”. Look for jungle related items around the building when you visit us!

Staff wait for the first bus!

Here come the students!


Ready to start!


First graders with their classmates in the gym. Meeting Ms. Becker!


Second graders getting reacquainted in the gym.


Staff and families in the front entry. Wild About Learning!