Life in the WDMCS 12/2/13

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 Clive Elementary School has established a group called Clive Family Outreach. The group works together to provide our students in need of assistance with a holiday gift bag in December. Volunteers are needed to help support our children by taking a gift wish from the Giving Tree. Your special gift will be giving to a specific child to open over the holidays. The  Giving Tree is located in the lobby as you walk in the front doors of our school. You may drop off your gift at the school office on or before December 13. Thank you for making the holidays a special occasion for our Clive children.

As more and more standards and objectives begin to incorporate the use of technology, the art room at Clive Elementary has also begun to integrate technology in the facilitation and creation of projects aligning with the curriculum. Sixth grade students are rendering three-dimensional self-portraits in the iPad app Foldify.  These will be printed two-dimensionally, then folded and cut to become three-dimensional sculptures.  This project is paired with a self-portrait assemblage made of Model Magic, yarn, fabric and other assorted materials.  Sixth grade will also create stop-motion animations as they think through process, planning, movement, sequence, and audience. Fifth grade students have been creating self-portraits in the style of Roy Lichtenstein – primary colors and comic book-esque effects – in the ProCreate app.  This is facilitating their understanding of building artwork in layers, which applies to all art creation, not just that created digitally. The lower grades will explore photography basics and editing, and have been using exploratory art apps for understanding color theory, art concepts, elements and principles, and games interacting with art history.  The integration of iPads and other technology helps to supplement the art curriculum and challenge the young artists to think more critically and create in ways that weren’t possible only ten years ago.

Crestview Elementary Students in second grade at Crestview Elementary went on an imaginary trip through the landforms with Señora Tammy Dann.  They walked through the hallways looking for the landforms and animals they had been studying during their unit in Spanish class.  They described the landforms, sang songs, read books, retold a story learned the previous year and talked about the animals they saw.  They took many “pictures” with their paper cameras.  The next day they labeled their “pictures” and reviewed what they had seen on their trip through the landforms.

Crossroads Park Elementary The special education students at Crossroads Park has been busy tracing hands along with some mainstream classrooms.  A tree was then made in the hallway and their hands were used as the leaves for the tree.  They wanted to show how much they enjoy being read to by Melodee Grefe and picking library books every week.  The theme of the art work was “Fall Into Reading.” Students also decorated the tree with torn red, yellow and green construction paper apples.

Fifth grade social studies students at Crossroads Park have been learning through interactive simulations. In October, students pretended to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a 16th century explorer following the route of Christopher Columbus. They dealt with chance which allowed students to face challenges encountered by European explorers. Situations they faced included bugs in biscuits, rancid meat, getting off course and a ship running aground. Through simulations students use the vocabulary of the unit and develop a working understanding of the time period. The explorers simulation is the first of five simulations students will participate in throughout the year.  Currently, students are involved with Colonization in which they learning challenges faced when establishing a colony in the 1600s.Next, the American Revolution simulation will take place in which they take on the role of Patriots and Loyalists and look at primary source documents outlining the events of April 16, 1775, when the first shot of the revolution was fired. They will deal with the frustration that the colonists felt over taxation without representation and reenact the ratification of the Declaration of Independence. Later in the year, they  will simulate traveling west in a covered wagon and finally take sides in the Civil War, hoping to stay healthy and safe as they march to battle to bring the Union back together. The value of simulation is high engagement and it forces the students to think critically about situations faced by people in history. They have to make some of the same decisions that people from the past had to make. This type of learning is very motivational to the students and gives them a great base of background knowledge in understanding America’s past.

Jordan Creek Elementary Jordan Creek Tiger Cubs preschoolers toured the Hy-Vee on Mills Civic Parkway recently.  Both morning and afternoon classes participated.  Highlights of the tour included touching a lobster, seeing the bakery use frosting to write and the floral shop.  This tied into the preschoolers’ study of foods and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Grayson Ehrle, a third grader at Jordan Creek Elementary, and Olivia Roush, a sixth grader at Jordan Creek, were recently chosen as Kids of Character at the all school Character Counts assembly that focused on the character pillar of citizenship.  Kelly McQueen of State Savings Bank presented Grayson and Olivia with a Kid of Character award and a savings certificate to State Savings Bank.

Westridge Elementary Fourth grade students at Westridge Elementary are constructing a Body in a Box.  The students are learning about the human body and have selected an organ or body system that sparks their interest.  Students are learning how to take notes, use the internet for research, write an informational piece and will be constructing their body and putting it in a box.  Jacob McGreen is learning about the brain.  He commented, “I can’t wait to start researching!  This is the coolest thing I have EVER done.” When constructing their Body in a Box, they may use common household items, play-dough, modeling clay, model magic or anything else that they can find.  After completing their project, they will put it in a box for display.  Projects will be displayed around Westridge and students will showcase their hard work. Michael Neumann from 4A added, “It’s a lot of fun because you learn about something you never knew about.”  He is also learning about the brain.  Madison Miller from 4C is learning about the liver for her project.  She feels, “It was very interesting and fun to learn about body parts.  I didn’t know anything about the liver, but it was very fun to find out about the liver.”

Valley High School You can advertise your business while helping to provide scholarships to Valley and Walnut Creek students by being a sponsor for a home Valley basketball game or wrestling meet.  When Valley scores a three-pointer or gets a pin, your name or business will be announced in exchange for a $25 tax deductible donation to the WDMCS Student Scholarship Fund (maximum donation is $200 per game/meet).  Please complete the online form at or contact Andrea Masteller at as soon as possible if you would like your name/business to appear in the winter sports program; otherwise, the deadline to be a  sponsor is December 4.