Scarlett Aeschliman and Moriah Denhart reading a book together

Life in the WDMCS 9/17/13

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 First through third grade families were treated to a Family literacy Night a Clive Elementary. A free dinner was provided by WDMCS Nutritional Services.  A representative from Benchmark presented on Questioning and Making Connection strategies.  Family take-home kits will be made available throughout the year for families to read together and work on vocabulary activities at home.   This evening and materials were funded from an Early Literacy Grant from United Way of Central Iowa.   The grant’s two focuses are increase the percentage of students in grades 1-3 who are proficient in reading and therefore increase the likelihood for graduation from high school; and to expand the parent involvement and partnership that focus on reading achievement.   Families and staff enjoyed an evening of food and learning!

“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” is read to the students to help launch positive interactions throughout the school day by children and adults. Those who understand bucket filling and make a daily habit of genuinely and specifically filling other’s buckets, truly make a positive difference.

“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” is read to the students to help launch positive interactions throughout the school day by children and adults. Those who understand bucket filling and make a daily habit of genuinely and specifically filling other’s buckets, truly make a positive difference.

Crestview Elementary
Have you filled a bucket today? This is a question asked at the beginning of the year of Crestview students. It is also a book by Carol McCloud. “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” is read to the students to help launch positive interactions throughout the school day by children and adults. Those who understand bucket filling and make a daily habit of genuinely and specifically filling other’s buckets, truly make a positive difference. It’s difficult to really know the impact we have on the lives of others, but helping others feel good about who they are is a wonderful thing. Bucket filling is contagious! Catch it!

Morgan Moore tells the story “Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes” to her family during Kindergarten Open House at Fairmeadows.

Morgan Moore tells the story “Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes” to her family during Kindergarten Open House at Fairmeadows.

Fairmeadows Elementary
Kindergarten Open House was held on at Fairmeadows Elementary.  The kindergarten students were very excited to show their family around the classroom.  The students shared what they have been learning and introduced their families to some of their new friends. It was a fun evening for all who attended.

Amelia Bylund shares her cut-up sentence with her mom during the Kindergarten Open House at Fairmeadows.

Amelia Bylund shares her cut-up sentence with her mom during the Kindergarten Open House at Fairmeadows.

Hillside Elementary
Kindergarten teachers recently presented Curriculum Night to parents, which began with a walk-through of a typical day in kindergarten.  The teachers shared information about reading, writing, math and artful learning in their presentations.  To reinforce learning at home, a booklet was prepared for the families that would help their children succeed in their learning.  The Classroom Management Plan shared the components for providing a productive learning environment.   To help the children become readers and writers, the “ABC’s of Reading to and with Your Child” were included in the book.  A sample of a kindergarten report card provided information about the expectations for students during each trimester.   Parents and relatives also had the opportunity to communicate with their children’s teachers during this special event for kindergarten.

With the strong interest shown by the community towards Hillside Elementary, it seemed natural for the students, teachers and support staff to begin developing relationships with each other. The teachers have begun modeling and facilitating class meetings for the students providing opportunities for them to participate in learning the process of sharing and developing ideas.  As the students learn about belonging to the class and sharing a voice, they will feel a sense of connection which is personal, has meaning and is relevant to their world.  It will be rewarding for the Hillside staff and parents to observe the initial steps of building relationships as the students mature in their learning communities.

The docent for students in Mrs. Anderson’s class challenged them to mimic a dancing pose in the sculpture by Keith Haring, Untitled but nicknamed by the students as “Primary Colored Dancing People.”

The docent for students in Mrs. Anderson’s class challenged them to mimic a dancing pose in the sculpture by Keith Haring, Untitled but nicknamed by the students as “Primary Colored Dancing People.”

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek fourth graders visited the downtown Pappajohn Sculpture Park and the Des Moines Art Center. Students were guided by their docent, a person trained by the Art Center to tell the students about the artists and stories behind the artwork that they are seeing. The field trip is a yearly trip by all WDMCS fourth graders and is sponsored by a joint effort between the WDMCS and the Des Moines Art Center and it’s benefactors.  It offers students the opportunity to visit the Art Center and sculpture park in a guided setting and learn more about the artwork and the stories behind the art, hopefully sparking students to bring their families and friends and continue to explore some of the free resources that the arts have to offer in Des Moines and the surrounding areas.  Admissions to the Art Center and the sculpture park are FREE!

Western Hills Elementary
Kindergartners at Western Hills have just started the full day schedule this week.  Thank you to the Western Hills kindergarten parents for taking time to meet your child’s teacher and associate during home visits.   It has been an amazing experience and all the teachers have loved getting to know each child and family on a personal level.  Now that we are full days, we are enjoying our extra time together learning and growing.

Scarlett Aeschliman and Moriah Denhart are encouraging and coaching each other as they are involved with Read to Someone.

Scarlett Aeschliman and Moriah Denhart are encouraging and coaching each other as they are involved with Read to Someone.

First graders in Laura Axman’s room at Western Hills Elementary are working hard on establishing routines for our daily literacy time. They are learning the importance of Read to Self as they engage in quiet independent reading time. They are also learning the importance of Read to Someone as they share books with a partner. Teachers and students alike encourage and coach reading partners on the way to becoming better readers. The class has also have reviewed what good readers do and are having wonderful discussions during whole class reading.

Valley High School
The Valley High School Club and Activity Fair gave representatives from the wide range of clubs and activities at Valley a chance to provide students information and recruiting new members. Students are encouraged to join in the fun and join a club! VHS club and activity representatives will be showcasing themselves at the Homecoming Carnival Thursday Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at Valley Stadium. The public is invited to see what the clubs and activities at Valley have to offer!