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Life in the WDMCS 9/10/12

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

Clive Elementary

Clive Elementary hosted a potluck dinner for students and families that are a part of the English as a Second Language program. ESL teachers hosted the event which was attended by families that spoke more than eight different languages other than English. Ethnic foods complimented traditional American fare. In addition to being able to network with other families from the school, several community organizations were available to share information about some of the many resources that are available to them.

 Hillside Elementary

Hillside Elementary has had a great welcome from the staff at Lutheran Church of Hope. The staff and students are very appreciative of what the people at Hope have given them. Without their support, Hillside staff would have a difficult time making the students feel like they are in a school environment. The parents, staff and students have been very supportive of the temporary home at Hope. Hillisde thanks everyone who has made this temporary move safe and comfortable.

Fourth graders have been working on reading Charlotte’s Web, defining land forms and water forms in the United States, beginning the Being a Writer curriculum and listening to other authors’ craft. The students have done a great job of getting acquainted with one another and their schedule into fourth grade. The fourth grade team has shown their appreciation by creating a symbol of student’s arms and hands that have been traced out. The students labeled their goals for fourth grade on them. All of these goals have been hanging up over a treasure box with a message inside saying “Hope.”

Jordan Creek Elementary

Luis Suarez is fantastic at motivating his students in physical education class at Jordan Creek Elementary. He even has an award to prove it. Suarez received the Best Jump and Hoops in the Des Moines Metro 2011-12 award from the American Heart Association for the school’s participation in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart. Beth Peck, youth marketing director for the AHA, credits Suarez for saving 65 lives last year. Suarez, who is quick to credit the generosity and hard work of the Jordan Creek parents and students, coordinated Jump Rope for Heart with first through fourth graders, while the fifth and sixth graders participated in Hoops for Heart. Over three weeks, students spent 15 minutes during each class period concentrating on the event. He estimates his students completed 120 minutes of jumping. Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops for Heart are national fundraising programs sponsored by the AHA. These programs promote physical activity, heart healthy living, and community service to children.

Sixth grade at Jordan Creek is off to a great start. In math, they have been working with line plots and stem-and-leaf plots along with a bunch of other ways to show data. In science class, they are learning about meteorology and all of the instruments that are used to show the different things you need to know. In language arts, they are learning about think, pair, share and responding to certain questions. Last, in social studies, they are learning new things about maps and globes and practicing how to use an atlas.

Students in Mackenzie Keenan’s first grade class and Jeri Daniels’ fifth grade class welcomed a mystery reader last week. The mystery reader was Patrick Neal, former Valley and Iowa State football player. Neal read to the classes and talked with them about his experiences at Valley and his training and football schedule at Iowa State University. As a Cyclone, Neal started at defensive end. He spoke of his positive experiences and the life lessons learned through football. He is now working with the Valley football team where he says he is hoping to give back to the program that helped him.

Phenix Elementary

Students at Phenix Elementary have started the year off in physical education with a fun new fitness card game. Students select a fitness card that works the cardiovascular system, core strength, arm strength or leg strength. Also, the students select their level of fitness – beginner, intermediate or advanced – and perform the exercise specified. When completed the student returns to select a new card. This fun new game allows the students to work out at the level they feel is comfortable and can socialize with friends while they do it. A great way to work out and have fun learning new exercises!

Western Hills Elementary

Pete the Cat has been rockin’ his school shoes in kindergarten. He has taken the class on an adventure around Western Hills to show them where his school shoes have been. He has helped students learn about the building and colors.

First graders in Laura Axman’s class have had fun getting to know each other through some of their Everyday Math games. The first unit of math has focused on learning routines, counting up on the number line, comparing numbers and practicing with mathematical tools for drawing and counting. They have also learned how to work with slates and have practiced writing numbers from one to six. Homework has provided an opportunity to look for examples of numbers at home along with locating examples of thermometers around the house. Students then shared their findings with each other during math instruction.

Stilwell Junior High

Eighth grade students at Stilwell Junior High analyzed how characters in Cynthia Rylant’s short story “Shells” changed from the beginning of the story to the end. Students identified the symbolism used in the story and connected it to the theme: difficult circumstances can help people grow and come out of their shells.

Auditions for 1001 Arabian Nights were held September 4-6. More than 200 students auditioned or applied for crew positions. The play will be performed November 9-10 at 7 p.m. and November 11 at 1 p.m. in the Stilwell auditorium. Tickets will be available in October.

In Pam Herzberg’s seventh grade technology education classes the students have been studying rollercoaster physics. They learned about different types of energy and how Newton’s Three Laws of Motion affect a rollercoaster while in motion. After the students had an understanding of rollercoaster physics vocabulary they were divided into four groups with each group having a 25-foot rollercoaster track. They then built their own rollercoaster utilizing loops and hills.

Valley High School

Valley will hold its annual Activity Fair Friday (Sept. 14). The Red Carpet Affair will be held in the student commons from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. will showcase all of the clubs and activities available at VHS. Students are invited to come and speak with the club representatives and find a club or activity to join! Clubs that have signed up to participate in the Activity Fair are Best Buddies, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Closed Captioned, Club Alpha, Creative Innovations, Creative Writing Club, Dumbledore’s Army, Faschino Fashion Club, Friends of Foreigners, German Club, Hyperstream, Invisible Children, Japanese Club, Lumberjack Club, Rock Climbing, SADD/TFPI, Valley Abstinence Movement, World Cultures Club, Young Democrats, Young Libertarians and Young Republicans.

Valley High School has launched a new program called HyperStream – an opportunity for students to learn a lot about the field of technology. This program pairs technology companies with Iowa schools for hands-on projects, presentations on careers and mentoring through the creation of a student club. [slideshow]Technology professionals will mentor the students on creating/developing technology-related projects that will benefit either the school or the community. The students will be involved in the selection of the projects undertaken by the club. Since the goal is a real-world experience, kids with a wide variety of interests are encouraged to join – graphics, computers, software, Web, multi-media, project management, mobile, analysis, marketing, etc. The company serving as ambassador to the club will be General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT). GDIT’s technical skills and project leadership will provide an exceptional experience for our HyperStream students. Business teacher Sarah Bird and art teacher Tory DeVries will serve as the teacher champions for the club. More information on HyperStream will be available at the September 14 VHS Activity Fair. The first meeting will be during resource on September 17.