District News

Life in the WDMCS 12/15/2015

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

District
Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds kicked off Iowa’s Computer Science Education Week with a press conference held at Jordan Creek Elementary on Dec. 7. The conference was just one element of the district’s Hour of Code participation this year. Many WDMCS schools held Hour of Code events, and the district hosted an Hour of Code event at the Learning Resource Center on Dec. 10. Students and their families completed the one-hour coding tutorials provided on code.org. Information about furthering students’ learning and study of computer science was available from district curriculum directors.

Additional photos available on the district website and the district Flickr.

Crestview School of Inquiry
Fifth-grade learners at Crestview School of Inquiry competed to build the tallest free-standing tower using only spaghetti noodles, string, and tape. They also used a rubber band contraption to stack cups in a pyramid. These team-building activities help the learners to develop collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills, key components of the New Tech Network model. Learners reflected on the strategies used, teamwork, and the idea of failure after each activity.

Hillside Elementary
The Hillside Elementary School Girls Club prepared breakfast casseroles for the Salvation Army’s Feeding Program. They worked with volunteers to make 12 casseroles.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek Elementary dedicated Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 7-13, to the Hour of Code this year. Students of all grade levels took part in the Hour of Code by completing hour-long tutorials from code.org that teach the fundamentals of computer coding.

WDMCS Does Hour of Code

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Students with Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.

Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds kicked off Iowa’s Computer Science Education Week with a press conference held at Jordan Creek Elementary on Dec. 7.

Branstad officially proclaimed Dec. 7–13 Computer Science Education Week in Iowa at the conference. He was invited by Jordan Creek teacher Aaron Witt, whose students spoke at the conference and were able to meet Branstad and Reynolds.

The conference was just one element of the district’s Hour of Code participation this year. Many WDMCS schools held Hour of Code events, and the district hosted an Hour of Code event at the Learning Resource Center on Dec. 10. Students and their families completed the one-hour coding tutorials provided on code.org. Information about furthering students’ learning and study of computer science was available from district curriculum directors.

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Students and families code together at the district Hour of Code event.

The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, “a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science….” Participants complete the provided tutorials during Computer Science Education Week. The tutorials are family-friendly and entertaining, featuring characters from Disney’s “Frozen,” “Star Wars,” and more.

Previous coding knowledge or experience is not needed, as the tutorials help students explore and learn coding fundamentals. The tutorials are available in 40 languages for participants across the globe. Bill Gates, Malala Yousafzai, President Barack Obama, and many other individuals and companies are Hour of Code supporters and participants.

Participation in the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week is part of continuous district efforts to increase students’ technology skills. The ability to succeed increasingly hinges on the understanding of technology.

Find out more at code.org, and by following #HourofCode on social media.

Life in the WDMCS 12/07/2015

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

Clive Learning Academy
Third-grade learners at Clive Learning Academy have created a Clive Museum to preserve and maintain the school’s history. They have applied for jobs, worked on writing letters for donations, and created a questionnaire to send to former Clive staff members and students. They are still working on a school timeline, designing a website, and adding photographs with descriptions to the museum.

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The Clive Learning Academy school history museum.

Family Fun with “The Hour of Code”

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Join the WDMCS for “The Hour of Code,” a free, fun, family-friendly learning activity for students of all ages starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

We live in a world surrounded by technology. We know that whatever field your children choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works.

Spend an hour with your children exploring and learning the fundamentals of computer coding with easy and entertaining self-guided tutorials featuring Disney’s “Frozen,” “Ice Age,” and more. No previous computer coding knowledge or experience is needed to enjoy this activity. Tutorials are available in 40 languages. Bring your own device or check out one provided by the district for this event. Free Wi-Fi available.

Along with the self-guided tutorials, information will be available about how your child can further his or her learning and study of computer science. Once students see what they create right before their eyes, they’re empowered to keep going.

Join us for #HourOfCode!

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