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Life in the WDMCS 10/21/13

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 Elementary
The 3rd Annual ESL Family Potluck was held recently at Clive Elementary. Visitors enjoyed that represented the different cultures of our students as well as the opportunity to learn about resources and supports that are available in the community.  All children attending were able to choose books to take home.  The event was attended by ESL families, Clive staff members, WDMCS administrators, Heartland AEA representatives and various community resource representatives.

Kindergarten through second grade ESL students from Clive Elementary attended the production The Little Red Hen at the Des Moines Community Playhouse.  Afterward they enjoyed a picnic at Colby Park and were able to taste different breads from around the world and chart their favorite.  For the past five years fieldtrips for ESL students have been made possible through funding provided by Connecting Kids with Culture.  These trips help to build backgrounds and to provide opportunities that many of the children would not otherwise be able to experience.

Crestview Elementary
Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to learn English if you were not a native speaker?  If you’ve ever looked up as you come in the front entrance of Crestview Elementary, you may have noticed several clocks showing the times of countries around the world.  These are countries from which Crestview families originate.  They include the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador, Argentina, Ghana, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kenya, Russia, Sudan, Uganda, India, Pakistan, Myranmar, Vietnam and Korea.  We have numerous students from these areas at Crestview successfully learning the English language even though it can be so confusing at times! Here are a few examples:

  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

Crossroads Park Elementary
Crossroads Park fifth graders recently visited Jester Park on a field trip  to show students many of the things they had been learning about in their Woodlands science unit. The students, some parents and teachers were met by two park rangers. One of them led the students on a nature hike where they were able to observe the layers of the forest, gather leaves for a leaf collection project, identify animal homes in the woodlands, and in general, see more of nature. The other ranger led the students on a pond study. They were given nets, buckets and instructions and then sent off under the careful eyes of the adults to collect frogs, bugs, snails and whatever else they could find. They then brought their “catch” back to the ranger to identify what they had collected. Parents and teachers then took the children to an area to play The Thicket Game where they learned how easy it was to disappear in a field of thickets. They then were able to see how prey in the woodlands could escape the eyes of the predators. No lost children were reported in the thickets. The fifth graders represented Crossroads Park Elementary and their parents extremely well.

Painted Lady Butterflies have been seen in abundance on the Crossroads Park playground because first grade students recently released the butterflies that they had carefully raised this fall. Tiny caterpillars arrived from California at the beginning of their Insect unit earlier this fall. As scientists, students readied the caterpillars’ individual homes with nutrient in a vile. First graders then carefully observed them as they grew and changed. After 7-10 days, the chrysalides were formed. Then students transferred them to a large classroom butterfly pavilion. Butterflies hatched 7-10 days later. It was fascinating to watch as they emerged from their chrysalides. First graders provided these butterflies with a feast of “nectar” from flowers and orange slices. First graders enjoyed the butterflies fluttering in their classroom home for a few days before they were released behind Crossroads Park. With the cool weather, these butterflies could be laying eggs for the cycle to begin again.

Hillside Elementary
Students in Physical Education classes at Hillside Elementary have finished fitness assessments and goal setting. Fitness assessments included mile run, sit ups, sit and reach, pull ups, bent arm hang and pacer.  Students will continue to work and develop higher levels of fitness and improve those areas.  Students are now working on the skills of throwing and catching during the month of October.  They are demonstrating their knowledge and abilities regarding target, opposition, dominant, and non-dominate hand and foot.  Be sure to take time and ask your child what they are doing in physical education and have some play time together!

Jordan Creek fourth graders harvesting soybeans –Sean McBroom, Kaleb Sander, Nathan Steimel, Hanna Castillo, Emma Fetters, Aleyah Paxton.

Jordan Creek fourth graders harvesting soybeans –Sean McBroom, Kaleb Sander, Nathan Steimel, Hanna Castillo, Emma Fetters, Aleyah Paxton.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek fourth graders have been harvesting their corn and soybean crops.  Last spring, the fourth graders, with the help of Cindy Hall from the Farm Bureau, planted six rows of soybeans and six rows of field corn.  This project coordinates with our study of the Midwest Region and Iowa.   All the students and their teachers picked and shelled the field corn and soybeans.  They also learned what products are made from corn and soybeans and how Iowa agriculture impacts the nation.

Madison Chng, Nathan Steimel, Katie Bonus, Michael Swaim get ready to harvest a corn crop at Jordan Creek.

Madison Chng, Nathan Steimel, Katie Bonus, Michael Swaim get ready to harvest a corn crop at Jordan Creek.

Phenix Elementary
First graders at Phenix took advantage of the beautiful fall weather by going on an Insect Safari in Legion Park.  Naturalists from Polk County were the safari guides.  They helped the first graders identify the insects they found and explained about the different insect characteristics.  They also brought along some insect specimens examine.  The first graders played insect games, ate lunch, and enjoyed the new equipment at Legion Park as well.

Western Hills Elementary
Western Hills second graders are learning a lot about the world around them, beginning with the world itself. They are reviewing all of the continents and oceans and learning more details about them. They are also exploring the different landforms that are found on earth and practicing with counting money, and telling time.  In reading, they are working at being able to analyze the characters in a story through their actions, words, thoughts and feelings, while visualizing to better under the characters in stories. Second graders are looking forward to continuing to learn about the world around them!

Indian Hills Junior High
Indian Hills chorus students Anthony Alvarado, Lizzie Napier, Olivia Ramaekers and Erik Skoog were selected for participation in the 28th Annual Opus Honor Choir Festival. More than 3,300 students were nominated by their directors for 720 positions in the four Opus Honor Choirs. Selections were made by means of a recorded audition. The 2013 Opus Honor Choirs will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in the Iowa State Center in Ames. The Opus Honor Choir Festival is under the auspices of the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc.

Stilwell Junior High
Stilwell chorus students Grace Axman, David Bone, Lizzie Brackett, Matthew Christensen, Dominic Cravero, and Ethan Glenn were selected for participation in the 28th Annual Opus Honor Choir Festival. More than 3,300 students were nominated by their directors for 720 positions in the four Opus Honor Choirs. Selections were made by means of a recorded audition. The 2013 Opus Honor Choirs will perform at 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium in the Iowa State Center in Ames. The Opus Honor Choir Festival is under the auspices of the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Inc.

Valley High School
The Valley Winter Warmth Drive begins Oct. 28! Please donate gently-used or new winter clothing and give the gift of a warm winter to a child or adult in need. Items needed include coats, hats, mittens and scarfs. You can drop off items in the boxes located at all entrances to Valley as well as the front office. Donations will benefit 13 schools in the Des Moines metro area as well as Freedom for Youth, Hawthorn Hill and Ruth Harbor. Donations will be accepted through Nov. 7.

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