Skip to content

School News

Math Club Members Compete in Regional Contest

Crossroads Park sixth-grade students from the Math Challenge Club were chosen to participate in the Mathcounts contest offered by the local chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society.

Crossroads Park sixth-grade students from the Math Challenge Club were chosen to participate in the Mathcounts contest offered by the local chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society.

Sixth-grade students have had the opportunity to participate in an afterschool Math Challenge Club this winter. The club’s objective is to provide an educational enrichment opportunity for students who are highly interested in mathematics and enjoy solving problems. The culminating activity is a chance to participate in the Iowa Engineering Society’s Mathcounts contest as a representative of Crossroads Elementary School. The Central Iowa chapter of the engineering society will hold its Mathcounts contest Tuesday, Feb. 10 at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Ankeny DMACC Campus. Students who perform well at the chapter level have an opportunity to advance to the Mathcounts state contest, where they will have a chance to earn a full-expense paid trip to the Mathcounts national competition in Boston. The students competed to earn one of the 12 spots on the Crossroads’ team for the Central Iowa chapter’s Mathcounts competition. Team participants are Alex Chambers, Quinn Emison-Clair, Isabella Dobrinov, and Sarah Blank; individual participants, Ashwin Dervesh, Shreya Gaddi, Kaylee Davis, Joel Graham, Malany Theisen, and Nate Bell; and alternates, Logan Bell and Logan Keller. Two Valley High School volunteers, Michael Stevens and Alina Husain, collaborated with teachers Tamara Tjeerdsma and Felicia Twit to provide this enriched opportunity for the sixth-graders.

School:

Clive Plans Jump Rope for Heart

Clive students will jump at the chance to help fight heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. The school will hold its Jump Rope for Heart event during the last few weeks of February. Students will jump rope in PE class to raise funds for the American Heart Association, which supports cardiovascular disease research and public and professional education programs. All physical education classes will learn how to jump rope as well as learn a few new tricks. Jump Rope for Heart is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. If you have any questions about Jump Rope for Heart, please contact Heather Parker at 633-5842.

School:

Heart Connection Rep for Westridge

heartconnectionvolun

School:

Invention Museum Showcases Student Work

Modern-day technology is making it possible for students and teachers passing by Chris Gilbertson’s AP French class at Valley High School to learn about innovations of the past. A mini science museum featuring influential inventions has taken over the wall outside Gilbertson’s classroom. To experience it fully, museum-goers may need to know a little French.

Six different posters make up the AP French class’ Musée des Inventions. The posters feature images or illustrations that depict the inventions and QR codes that lead to audio guides. Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can quickly scan one of the codes and listen to a student telling them about the invention on the poster in French.

Valley French teacher Chris Gilbertson came up with the idea of having her students create an invention museum when the AP class was studying science and technology. The six students were reading about inventions that had influenced and changed the world. She decided to have students research different inventions and create posters displaying their histories.

“The requirements were to think of something that changed the way we live our daily lives,” Gilbertson said. “I was expecting things like computers, and the phone was like that, but I never even would have thought of the washing machine or air conditioning.”

The Musée des Inventions also features three forms of transportation: the automobile, the bicycle, and the airplane. The audio guides share the invention histories, similar to those you would find in a museum.

“Like a real museum audio guide, I wanted people outside of the classroom to be able to access the recordings,” Gilbertson said.

She liked the idea of sharing the audio, but was not sure how to make the recordings available to everyone who would see the museum. She approached Valley instructional coach Sarah Bird for ideas. Bird saw how necessary interactive content was to showcasing student work in foreign language classes, and they decided QR codes were the answer.

“I showed Chris how to streamline the audio recording process and QR code creation,” Bird said. “I just walked her through a Web 2.0 tool that I was familiar with that I thought could benefit her students and achieve the learning outcomes she was seeking.”

Not everyone who sees the museum will understand the audio guides. “Everything is in French…,” Gilbertson explained, “but I do like the idea of getting the students to use their French in authentic communication in the ‘real world,’ even if the ‘real world’ is just the hallway outside the classroom.”

Gilbertson is also involving other French students in the project. Students in French II, III, and IV will access the guides before taking quizzes the AP students helped Gilbertson write. The process helped demonstrate knowledge and comprehension from all students.

“I love seeing student work on display, and more importantly, so do the students,” Bird said. “Any time students can create products that have an audience outside of the classroom, they are motivated to improve the quality of their work.”

 

School:

26 Student-Athletes Participate in National Signing Day

Congratulations to the 26 student-athletes from Valley High School who participated in National Signing Day and will continue their education and athletic careers after high school! A complete list of the athletes, sport and college/university they are attending is below.

Athlete Sport College or University
Andrew Denkinger Baseball St. Louis University
Brady LeSher Baseball Grinnell College
Jacob Rojohn Baseball Central College
Eric Watters Baseball University of Nebraska Omaha
Emily Smith Basketball University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Grace VanderWeide Basketball Missouri State University
Cole Mullins Cross Country Wartburg College/Iowa
Daniel Soto Cross Country Iowa/Missouri/Minnesota/Boise State
Dominique Dafney Football ISU/UNI/Iowa Western Comm. College
Zachary Downs Football Grandview University
Andrew Gray Football Grandview University
Austin Hronich Football Simpson College
Brady Smith Football Iowa Western Community College
Cory Mullins Golf Upper Iowa University
A.J. Thompson Soccer Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy
Alexis Ebensberger Soccer Graceland University
Jillian Belieu Softball Luther College/Evangel University
Anna Gernant Softball Calvin College
Mackenzie Jones Softball DMACC
Megan Rushing Softball DMACC
Emma Sink Softball Luther College
Moriah Moore Swimming Missouri State
Seth Brady Swimming Carroll University/Carthage College
Nick Fox Swimming U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Bailey Zoss Volleyball Indian Hills Community College
Courtney Twit Volleyball Grandview University/Western Illinois University

School:

Student Completes Choice Award Books

Crestview fifth-grader Nithya Myneni recently completed reading all 17 of this year’s Iowa Children’s Choice Award books.

Crestview fifth-grader Nithya Myneni recently completed reading all 17 of this year’s Iowa Children’s Choice Award books.

Crestview fifth-grader Nithya Myneni recently completed reading all 17 of this year’s Iowa Children’s Choice Award books. Nithya’s favorite is “The Fast and the Furriest” by Andy Behrens, a comical story about a boy and his dog. An avid reader, Nithya is now enjoying “The Chronicles of Narnia” tales by C.S. Lewis.

School:

January 2015

School:

Abeling Honored in Wildlife Photo Contest

Valley student Wil Abeling’s “Eyes on Orion” received an honorable mention in the National Wildlife Federation’s annual wildlife/nature photo contest.

Valley student Wil Abeling’s “Eyes on Orion” received an honorable mention in the National Wildlife Federation’s annual wildlife/nature photo contest.

Valley student Wil Abeling had a photo selected an as honorable mention in the National Wildlife Federation’s annual wildlife/nature photo contest. Abeling’s photo, “Eyes on Orion,” was taken at Badger Creek State Recreation Area in West Des Moines last spring as an assignment for Tory DeVries’ digital photography class. The photo was selected from a pool of more than 29,000 entries. Abeling is the only photographer from Iowa to be recognized in this year’s photo contest.

School:

Mustafa Earns Chinese Association Youth Award

Valley student Hira Mustafa is one of the honorees selected for the Chinese Association of Iowa’s youth of the year award. The honor recognizes young people who serve others and make a difference in the community. Mustafa will be honored at the association’s annual awards ceremony Feb. 21 in Des Moines.

School:

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.

School: