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Archive for School: Jordan Creek Elementary

Students Enjoy Winter Fun in PE Class

Jordan Creek students enjoyed the outdoors while sledding during physical education class. Teacher Luis Suarez gives a push to Emma Fetters, Sophia Samples and Chayse Robison.

Jordan Creek students enjoyed the outdoors while sledding during physical education class. Teacher Luis Suarez gives a push to Emma Fetters, Sophia Samples and Chayse Robison.

Students in Luis Suarez’s physical education classes had the opportunity to enjoy the Iowa winter with some awesome sledding the week of Feb. 2.  The hill behind the school has few obstructions and students are instructed where they can and cannot go. Suarez uses the activity for some great character lessons about sharing, taking turns and getting great exercise in the snow. Students have done a great job overall in observing safety rules to keep it a fun experience. When students learn to watch out for others, they become more aware of their fellow students and less focused on themselves.

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Bridges, Boston Tea Party in Fifth Grade

Jordan Creek fifth-grade students built toothpick bridges in their models and designs unit. Science teacher Jeff Ver Helst instructed the students on the proper way to stand their bridge and connect the two sides.

Jordan Creek fifth-grade students built toothpick bridges in their models and designs unit. Science teacher Jeff Ver Helst instructed the students on the proper way to stand their bridge and connect the two sides.

Fifth-grade news: Students built toothpick bridges in their models and designs unit. Their unit started with information about how to create solid, lasting structures, such as bridges. Students then applied for jobs that included architect, accountant, and project manager. They were given a budget to purchase toothpicks and glue and created their designs. The culminating activity was the “breaking of the bridges.” Science teachers Jeff Ver Helst and Adam Ponsor applied a hook to a five-pound bucket and added sand to see how much weight a bridge would hold. Students and teachers were astounded that many bridges held from 20 to 60 pounds. In social studies, students portrayed colonists and experienced the events that led to the Revolutionary War and the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Students read texts, watched videos, and learned about the Boston Tea Party. They had to decide if they would be a Loyalist or colonist. Their next journey will be exploring our new government. Compare/contrast and cause/effect are two of the skills students are applying in their reading classes. Students learn about the strategies, practice them, and discuss how the strategies help them become better readers. All fifth-graders continue to make independent reading a priority and keep track of their minutes read each week. Fractions, analyzing data, creating stem and leaf plots, and finding data landmarks are a few of the topics keeping fifth-graders busy in math. Students will take a mid-year test to analyze how well they have retained skills learned so far. Students are using iPads and laptops to reinforce their math skills and challenge their learning. They are also reinforcing skills by using the Khan Academy online. “Let me tell you about one of the craziest days in my life” was the beginning of one of the personal narratives students created during a unit in their writing curriculum that had them documenting their life stories. Fifth-grade students are also participating in band and orchestra, archery club, chess club, math club, and other activities.

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Second-Graders Study Oceans

Jordan Creek second-graders created displays as part of their study of the ocean. Pictured left to right are Britton Morrow, Nile McKinney, Conall Gardner, Avery Thomas, and Reed Chapman.

Jordan Creek second-graders created displays as part of their study of the ocean. Pictured left to right are Britton Morrow, Nile McKinney, Conall Gardner, Avery Thomas, and Reed Chapman.

The second-grade students at Jordan Creek have enjoyed studying about the ocean this month.  The students learned the zones of the ocean, tides, coral reefs, food chains, and the effects of pollution. The students also researched one ocean animal and created a report and ocean visual that shares where the ocean animal lives, what it eats, how it defends itself, and other interesting facts. The students will have a walk-through museum with Jordan Creek students and staff.

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First-Graders Learn Gymnastics Skills

Jordan Creek first-grade students work on their gymnastics skills during physical education class.

Jordan Creek first-grade students work on their gymnastics skills during physical education class.

First-graders are flying high in physical education class this month. Teacher Nick Pearson worked with all first-grade students on gymnastics skills. The kids had a great time tumbling.

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Learning Abounds in Sixth-Grade Classes

Sixth-grade news, by Cate Dolphin: In social studies, taught by Judy Geiken, we are starting our government unit. We learned about government in fifth grade, as well. We are now learning about the different types of government, such as non-democratic and democratic. Non-democratic governments include dictatorships and monarchies, and democratic governments include republics and direct democracies. In language arts, taught by Jory Smith, we are working on our biographies, something we also did in fifth grade. Students are researching scientists, authors, sports stars, YouTubers, and more. Sixth-graders are using the presentation setting on Google Drive to present to their language arts period classmates. In science, taught by Emily Hanson, we are starting the optics unit. The unit includes learning about eyes, light, and color. We will dissect a cow’s eye and make mirror mazes. We have also experimented with color filters. In math, taught by Aaron Witt, we are in the middle of unit 4. Sixth-graders have also been working to complete the sixth-grade mission on Khan Academy. We use Khan Academy almost daily in math.

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Student Art on Display at LRC

Jordan Creek art teacher Julie Martinez is very proud of the students’ artwork. The following children will have their artwork on display through Feb. 23 at the Learning Resource Center. Art history projects: Ava Feeney, 6D; Grace Heitman, 6A; Nathan Buzzell, 6C; Aditi Tripathy, 6A; Kaelyn Lawrence, 6B; Makayla Houston, 6C; Julianne VanArnum, 6C; Andy Kuster, 6A; Dylan McBroom, 6A. Pumpkins: Brody Johnson, 2C. Grant Wood-inspired paintings: Mackenzie Erickson, 3C; Paige Christenson, 3D; Jacob Forney, 3D; Gavin Knudsen, 3B; Grady Walston, 3B; Lucas Kueter, 3D. Mixed-color clown paintings: Lyric DeWeerd, 1A; Kaylee Plummer, 1C; Tealey Schwingendorf, 1C; Trent Grevengoed, 1C; Johnny Reynolds, 1C; Nick Eklov, 1D; David Hawbaker III, 1D; Lizzy Kummet, 1D; Benjamin Qi, 1D; Adrian Phelps, 1D; Anakarina Rogers, 1B; Leia Woo, 1B; Andy Rickert, 1B; Elijah Thatcher, 1B; Dustin Herzberg, 1A; Landen Chen, 1B. Ofrenda displays: Joshua Nichols, Ayden Hall, Jackie Robinson, and Josh Mueldener; and Regan Kuennen, Ellie Burke, Anna Jacob and Asmi Patel; all 6D. Masks: Sophia Hansen, 6C; Will Fisher, 6A; Jacie Stewart, 6C; Abby Feldmann, 6A.

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Help Stop the Spread of the Flu

Washing Hands

Reports of the flu are on the rise statewide as West Des Moines Community School District students return to class this week. Parents and caregivers are being reminded of the warning signs of influenza in children and precautions that will help keep the virus from spreading at school and also at home.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that the number of cases in Iowa has increased since students left for winter break. The flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May.

Our school nurses are staying updated about this season’s illness and are monitoring reports. They are available to help your child if he or she becomes ill at school. Nurses will notify you if your child needs to be released from school.

Teachers and staff members also help prevent the spread of illness by teaching and reminding students about good hand-washing and cough-hygiene practices. You can help us by reinforcing these practices at home. These include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

In addition, our custodial staff disinfects phones, doorknobs and light switches daily.

Knowing the signs of the flu – or influenza – is important. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

If your child does become ill, the Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that you should consult your child’s doctor and children should stay home from school. Children should be fever-free for 24 hours WITHOUT the help of fever-reducing medicines before returning to school.

Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. However, some cases may become severe. Emergency warning signs that children need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Working together, we can help keep students healthy and ready to learn. Below is additional information and resources about the flu that may be helpful.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school nurse or building principals.

Parent Resources:

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu (CDC)
Influenza – Frequently Asked Questions (IDPH)
The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick (CDC)
Flu Guide for Parents (CDC)

 

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Orchesta performs winter concert

The Jordan Creek fifth- and sixth-grade orchestra students, under the direction of Matthew Meyer, performed their winter concert in the new Performing Arts Center at Valley High School earlier this month. The concert showcased nearly 300 students from across the district. The sixth-grade performance was highlighted by “Sweet Petite Winter Suite” by Brian Balmages. The suite pays tribute to favorite winter treats such as candy canes, peppermint bark and gingerbread men. The fifth-grade performance was highlighted by a terrific rendition of “Dragon Slayer” written by Rob Grice. All of the students worked really hard this past fall to prepare for this concert. The concert was a huge success in front of a capacity audience at the Performing Arts Center.  Kudos to the Jordan Creek orchestra students.

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Students ring bell for Salvation Army

Fourth-graders at Jordan Creek rang bells to collect donations for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign during the week of Dec. 1. Staff and students demonstrated the pillar of citizenship and raised $1,010.57.

Jordan Creek fourth-graders Gabe Feldmann, Camryn Bahe, Maddie Mendenhall and Landon Stull rang bells to help collect donations for the Salvation Army.

Jordan Creek fourth-graders Gabe Feldmann, Camryn Bahe, Maddie Mendenhall and Landon Stull rang bells to help collect donations for the Salvation Army.

 

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Kids Care Club Named Club of the Month

The Jordan Creek Kids Care Club was named Club of the Month by its national sponsoring organization, generationOn Kids Care Clubs for its activities during Anti-Bullying Month.

In October, the club participated in National Bullying Prevention Month in a variety of ways. On World Day of Bullying Prevention, they wore blue shirts in solidarity with bullying victims. In addition, club advisor Melinda Dunnwald led a discussion about respect during which club members were asked to reflect upon the meaning and importance of respectful behavior. A high school community service club was invited to participate in the discussion as well, sharing their experiences with bullying and teaching the younger students how to be caring classmates.

The club then watched a video together about making a positive impact on a school through respectful words and actions. The students decided to “leave a positive footprint” on their school by painting footprints on the sidewalk that leads to the front door of the school and writing positive messages on them. They also traced their own feet on construction paper, wrote uplifting comments on them, and continued the path of positivity by hanging the footprints throughout the school building.

Through their anti-bullying initiatives, the Jordan Creek Elementary KCC created partnerships with a nearby high school, and their local Home Depot donated $50 worth of project supplies. This Club’s efforts involved over 100 students and 20 adult volunteers.

 

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