Jordan Creek second graders Drew Swanson and Mason Stevermer study how a plant grows during a recent unit.

Life in the WDMCS 4/14/14

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

Preschoolers are always curious about how to use blocks and other materials to build towers, houses and other types of buildings. They ask many questions about how to make doors, windows, etc. Because of high student interest in the blocks center, Tiger Cubs preschoolers at Clive Elementary have begun a unit of study on building and construction. During this study students have taken walks outside to explore the different buildings in the school neighbor. They have compared and contrasted buildings by height, color, materials, etc. This has also sparked students interest in machinery and tools needed to build. We have read many books about our favorite building machinery: excavators and dump trucks. The students have learned to use many tools such as tape measures and levels while playing with them in the classroom. This study has taught students how to investigate, solve problems, measure and so much more.

The Northside Band performed for Clive Elementary students and staff recently.  The Northside Band is made up of 97 6th grade students from Clive, Crestview, Crossroads Park and Westridge. The students rehearse before school twice per week. As a beginning band, the Northside Band focuses on fundamentals of musicianship such as tone, articulation, fine motor skills and reading skills.  Working toward the mastery of these fundamentals allows the students to play many types of music including, but not limited to, marches, ballads, jazz and popular music. This performance allowed students to showcase their solo pieces as well as prepare for solo competitions.

Crestview Elementary

Crestview Elementary had 18 fifth graders participate in a grade-level Math Bowl with Cael Elmore being crowned class champ.  Students were given problem solving questions and had to solve them accurately on a white board.  If students missed two questions, they were eliminated.  The process continued until a fifth grade Math Bowl champion was crowned.  Students had a lot of fun and loved the competition.  The top six students will represent Crestview at the district Math Bowl in May – Cael Elmore, Caleb Corbin, Alex Drotzmann, Eliza Sheffield, Sara Feiz, and Drew Peterson.

More than 60 families attended this year’s Food, Fun, Family Night at Crestview Elementary. After a tasty meal of walking taco’s, families enjoyed challenging and fun math games in the preschool, kindergarten and first grade rooms along with fraction games in the gym. Capping off the evening, families followed a recipe involving fractions to compile a snack.  Each child also received a free book.  The evening was sponsored by the WDMCS Title 1 program.

Jordan Creek Elementary

The second grade students at Jordan Creek are learning about plants.  They are learning about the life cycle, plant parts and the importance of plants.  The students enjoy collecting data, measuring the growth of their plants, and will eventually harvest new seeds at the end of this unit.

Western Hills Elementary

The Western Hills PTA/Fine Arts Committee has been awarded the inaugural Creativity Champion AWE (Art Within Everything) Award by the Metro Arts Alliance Board of Directors. The award was presented during the A Taste of Spring celebration at the John Deere Financial Worldwide Headquarters.

Valley High School

The jazz combo made up of Nick Behrends, Zane Gedler, Stephanie Hansen, Taylor Igram, Lauren Johnson and Joe Peterson took top honors at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival combo division.

Valley’s varsity jazz choir, Vocalese, took home first place honors for the second year in a row at the Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships, also known as Best of Iowa.  Valley’s prep jazz choir, Vocal Point, placed fifth.   Iowa All-State Jazz Choir auditions were held the same day and the following Valley students were selected to perform in this prestigious 20-person vocal jazz choir:  Jared Freiburg, Abby Hudson, Lauren Pfeil and Caroline Stump.  Nicole Miller and Linda Tong were chosen as first alternates. Stephanie Hansen was chosen for the All-State Jazz Choir for the third consecutive year and was chosen as the competition’s Best Female Vocalist.   Vocalese also placed first at the Emmetsburg Jazz Competition, and Vocal Point placed fourth.   Vocalese is directed by Haley Gibbons and Vocal Point is directed by Ryan Deignan.   Pianist Julian Castillo, bassist Lauren Johnson and drummer Zane Gedler accompany both choirs and Brandon Devine and Melanie Taylor are the sound technicians.

The VHS Orchestra earned a Gold rating and the Adjudicator’s award at the Heritage Festival in Chicago. The orchestra has received an invitation to participate in a future Festival of Gold competition.  In addition, Bailey Cook was named Queen of Love and Beauty at Medieval Times.  Congratulations to the Orchestra and to Bailey!

Team BETA, Valley’s FTC robotics team, will have the opportunity to defend its World Championship title after advancing in the FTC North Super Regional. Only the top 7 percent of teams in the nation were invited to advance from a state championship to compete in a Super Regional Championship. FTC teams in the North Region advanced from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia. BETA was recognized with the Judges Commendation. The World Championships will be held April 24-26 in St. Louis, Mo., hosting the top 128 teams from around the globe.