Life in the WDMCS 4/22/13

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.

Stilwell Junior High
As part of their study of climate and climate change, students in the advanced science classes at Stilwell Junior High conducted an investigation of the factors that contribute to the greenhouse effect.  In a lab developed by Eric Korpanty, students were able to observe the differences in heating and cooling on different surfaces (soil, water, sand) in a closed container under simulated cloudy or clear skies.  The students were then able to compare their data draw conclusions as to which factors had a greater influence on the greenhouse effect. Advanced science teachers are  Eric Korpanty, Ruth Henderson and Shelly Urban.

Clive Elementary
The kindergarten students at Clive Elementary are busy with a science unit called Seed to Plant. Since spring has started, the students are learning about what happens in the spring, what animals and bugs/insects they see, what sports take place, what types of clothing to wear, what the weather is like, and especially what grows in the spring. Kindergartners are learning about how a flower grows by doing a hands-on experiment called The Life Cycle of a Flower. Last week, each kindergartner planted two sunflower seeds in a cup to patiently watch it grow from root, to stem, to leaves, to a flower.  They are learning about the responsibilities of helping a flower grow by watering it, keeping it by the window for sunlight, and writing about what is happening in their journals. The students will take their sunflower home right before Mother’s Day to continue the care.

Crestview Elementary
Crestview fourth grade music classes shared songs, instrumental selections and dances with their friends, and families April 11.  The program, called Celebrate Music, featured music from Africa, Europe, Russia, Canada and the USA.  Students showed the progression of their skills on recorder, and featured a classroom teacher, Sara Costello and their music student teacher, Caroline Byrd singing with them on “Amazing Grace.”  Students echoed rhythms on boomwhackers and improvised 8-beat patterns on mallet instruments.  Students sang in Russian, played string instruments,  and danced in costume to the Russian folk song “Little Birch Tree.”  The program ended with Walt Disney’s “It’s a Small World” as the students waved flags from counties around the world, 23 of which are represented in the student body of Crestview Elementary.

Crestview Elementary had 11 fifth graders participate in the South Central Iowa Choral Director’s Honor Choir held at Perry High School.  The choir was directed by Valley Southwoods choir director Heather Nail. The concert featured five songs sung by the fifth grade choir of 120 students from central Iowa schools and one song sung with the fifth and sixth grade combined choirs, nearly 300 students. Students rehearsed the music at school prior to the festival day with their music teacher, Ruth Dorr, and then spent the entire afternoon and early evening rehearsing for the concert which was given to a standing room only crowd of parents and family.

Crestview fourth grader Roopa Chawla recently finished reading all 21 Iowa Children’s Choice books. She is the 15th Crestview student to accept and complete the challenge of reading and reporting on all these books this year.  Roopa chose “Like the Willow Tree” by Newbery Award winning author Lois Lowry as her favorite one of all.  Congratulations, Roopa!

Crossroads Park Elementary
WDMCS fifth and sixth grade Extended Learning students attended A World of Choices, a career mini-conference April 5. The event, which was coordinated by the Extended Learning teachers and staff, was held at the Learning Resource Center for the entire morning. Each student chose which four 25-minute break-out sessions they wished to attend. Speakers included an accountant, an actor, two chefs, a chemist, a mechanical engineer, a scientist-medical science liaison, criminalists, a journalist, an author, a graphic designer, a nurse, an oncologist, an international relations consultant, a surgeon, an architect, and a business owner. Parent volunteers assisted in transporting students to the event and helped to make everything run smoothly. This has been an annual event for the past 21 years.

Hillside Elementary
Student Council at Hillside Elementary has had another busy year.  With the start at Hope Lutheran Church, the school decided “Appreciation” was a fitting theme for the year.  So student council ran with it. While at Hope in the fall, they collected over 1,000 food items to contribute to their biweekly food store for the community. They also continued two projects that students appreciated. “Attendance Bucks” were awarded daily to any class that had perfect attendance.  With 25 days, classes could trade out for a $25 check to use in their classrooms.  Another winter project was “Cozy Up with a Good Book,” where students put tickets in their neighborhood buckets when they finished books and on Valentine’s Day three students received Student Council made body pillows decked out in orange and black paw prints. This spring, the classrooms are playing school-wide “Appreciation Bingo.”  Every day a new word is put up in our lobby from PowerPoint slides the Student Council Reps made that feature things they appreciate.  Classrooms that win the top three prizes will be awarding money to three causes they determine worthy.  All of these projects are funded by our very active, student run, School Book & Supply Store that is opened every Friday during the lunch hour. The Hillside Student Council motto guides our very active organization. “We are here to serve our school, our community, and our world.”

Fourth graders at Hillside Elementary are traveling to the four different classrooms to be schooled in history, geography, culture and home and school life of Russia. The beauty of this unit is the wealth of opportunities students experience. Students learn in depth about the history of Russia by creating a timeline, a crown featuring information about five czars and finally a Kidspiration web showing off their knowledge. They also create a PowerPoint featuring the geographical regions of Russia and experiment with the language, dance the troika and perform in their own talent show. In addition, students read extensively about Russia and emerge themselves in a museum experience as they delve into the art, music and architecture.  With Marc Chagall’s lead, students will wrap up their study with their own original creation of “I  and  my Village,” their own surrealistically displayed photographic collage of their fourth grade year.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Second graders at Jordan Creek are studying plants in science. Students are developing a curiosity and interest in plants as living things.   This month they observe and describe the changes through drawing and writing that occur as brassica plants and grass grow and develop.  They are also acquiring the vocabulary of plants such as stem, root, leaf, bud, flower and seed.  They are enjoying this fun science unit very much!