Life in the WDMCS 12/10/12

Life in the WDMCS is a new 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.

Valley Southwoods
The Valley Southwoods Student Government is sponsoring a food, toiletry and paper goods drive benefitting the Eddie Davis Community Center. The drive will be from Dec. 10-21. The Eddie Davis Community Center it offers free hot lunches and dinners to those in need as well as a food pantry. As the holiday season approaches, the shelves are nearly empty. Last year Southwoods helped fill them up with 2,700 items and the goal is to top that total this year. Items will be delivered to the center Dec. 21. If you would like to donate items, please bring them to the office at Valley Southwoods. Thank you for your support

Clive Elementary
The Clive Elementary 73rd Street Singers choir concert will be held in the gym December 20 at 7 p.m.   This will be the choir’s first concert this year, with members ranging from fourth, fifth and sixth grade. They will be performing both fast, upbeat songs, as well as slower, ballad songs.

During the month of November, Clive Elementary students had the opportunity to play African drums and learn several different rhythmic patterns. The African drums are rotated throughout the WDMCS schools in the music classroom.   The students were excited, and enjoyed playing the African drums.

Crestview Elementary

Astronaut Dr. Don Pettit, who has logged over 370 hours in space, is third cousin to Crestview student Ben Mann.  Ben’s interest in space, on account of the family connection, prompted him to write a report on Dr. Pettit and bring related materials to school to share with his classmates.  Of particular interest to Ben and his classmates is that Dr. Pettit lived in Russia for a time to learn the language before going into space with the Russians soon thereafter.

Crestview fifth grader Isabella Nadel finished reading all 21 Iowa Children’s Choice Award books.  Her favorite was Diane Zahler’s “The Thirteenth Princess.”  Isabella loves reading and is often found with a new book in her hands.  She enjoys making connections and discussing authors.  Isabella is an active member of the Roaring Readers Book Club at Crestview.  Congratulations Isabella!

The Crestview First Lego League team won the High Quality Team Performance award at a regional competition. Team members are Cael Elmore, Mark Breiner, Jerry Breiner, Sukhman Virdi, Grant Rieker, Gwyn Chilcoat, Lindsay Wirta, Chloe Thorn and Hans Bunn.

Crossroads Park Elementary
Crossroads Park Elementary sixth graders participated in and coordinated an I Care project collecting coloring books, crayons, markers, colored pencils and books for children ages five to 12. Sixth grade students involved the whole school and collected the donated items during lunch and presented candy canes to say thank you for the donation. The items will be delivered to Blank Children’s Hospital December 15 to help children in need of a pick me up during their stay in the hospital.

Fairmeadows Elementary
Staff and students at Fairmeadows are focusing on being people of goodcharacter.  The staff at Fairmeadowschose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day.  These students showed the staff they are responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair,caring and goodcitizens. Students received a special certificate, pencil and have their picture taken for display. Students included for the month of December are Madalyn Ellis, Edie Acker, Faye Stephens, Diego Tapia, Keira Moore, Savannah Lee, Dylan Peterson, Kevin Quito, Sadey Lietz, Carsten Barker, Alexandra Byland, Garrett Plum, Maia Lozovich, Gabe Wilson, Tyler Anderson, Allie Honz, Martin Hachmann, Gabby Thompson, Tommy Chapman, Sage McBride, Cale Jacobson, Emily Johnson, Xander Harlow, Diana Aguirre, Ava Coleman, Taylor Engleman, Kennedy Harris, Olivia Smith, Levi Janssen, Liana Reed, Ben Diaz, Dylan Majeres, Annabelle Strauss, Grace Murphy, Eliza Terranova-Tweety, Mackenzie Oleson, Kaleb Clarke, Owen Schulte, Ingrid Comparan, Katie Patterson, Noan Cloby, Linh Pham and Sam Cress. Congratulations!

Hillside Elementary
Sixth graders from Hillside Elementary were excited to visit Valley High School and participate in the annual district-wide sixth grade volleyball tournament. Hillside students were busy moving back from Hope and did not have as much time to practice, but did an excellent job working together while showing school spirit. The sixth grade staff was proud of the students as they wore their black and orange colors with pride while showing good character towards others.  Not only is the volleyball tournament designed to show and work on the students athletic ability, but to work on encouraging others, to have fun and to learn the skills of sportsmanship. Being a good team player is important in all aspects of life. When asked what the students enjoyed most about the day Kendra Thompson commented that she enjoyed cheering on her teammates. Classmate Cole Strelecki said the best part was being able to play against the other schools in West Des Moines.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Hannah Grall, a third grader at Jordan Creek Elementary, was chosen as a Kid of Character at Jordan Creek’s all school Character Counts assembly that focused on the character pillar of respect.  Kelly McQueen of State Savings Bank presented Hannah with a Kid of Character award and a savings certificate to State Savings Bank.

Each second grade class at Jordan Creek has three new iPads that were purchased through building funds.  The students are using the iPads for differentiation activities in math class.  In reading, students are word building and working on fluency as they listen to stories read aloud.  Classes have used Apps to play games to learn the names and locations of our continents and oceans through our Exploring Earth in social studies.

Jordan Creek fourth graders are learning how to multiply one- and two-digit numbers in Everday Math using several different methods, including the partial products method, the traditional method and the lattice multiplication method. They are also looking at estimation and reading and writing big numbers. Students play games like Multiplication Wrestling, Multiplication Top-It and Beat the Calculator to help with the lessons. Students have also been working on personal narratives in language arts and are learning about the Southeast Region of the United States in science and social studies.

Phenix Elementary
Phenix kindergarteners and first graders invited family members to spend the afternoon with them in their classroom for VIP Day.  Kindergartners linked their activities to the math curriculum, making a patterned macaroni necklace and playing Tug Of War, a math counting game.  First graders sang a few Thanksgiving Day songs the students had been practicing and learning in music, then created a feather and bead necklace with their VIP to take home.

Westridge Elementary
A freshly baked gingerbread man escaped from the Westridge kindergartners!  While baking in the oven the Gingerbread Man was left unattended.  Upon returning to the oven to retrieve the Gingerbread Man, the students discovered his escape.  He is approximately 12 inches tall and has red hot buttons.  If you see him please contact the kindergarten students at Westridge Elementary.

Stilwell Junior High
Students on Stilwell’s R-Team traveled for five places of worship in central Iowa to complement their world religions unit in social studies class.  They visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Beth El Jacob Synagogue, the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa, the Islamic Center of Des Moines and Wat Lao Buddhist Temple.  At each destination they learned about how people worship and practice their faith and had an opportunity to ask questions.

Every month Stilwell students who demonstrate the three cornerstones of Stilwell in their behavior are nominated by staff members to be featured in the Celebrating Stilwell Students program.  Students receive a coupon for a free lunch or a la carte menu item in addition to having their photo and accomplishments posted in the display case at school.  The cornerstones are do your best, do the right thing and treat others with respect.  Students now being honored are Cheyenne Akers, Sarah Henry, Thomas Gould, Evan Eastin, Sydney Schweitzer, Jacob Mendoza, Whitney Wiese, Jon Koele, Ben Koele, Gabbi Dubansky, Anders Nelson, Ashwin Sinha, Brandi Marlett, Craig Davis, Kathryn Rozanek, Gracie Pollack and Jack Clarke.