Jasmyn Tran, Anna VanWyngarden and Natalie Thomas are reading all 17 of the Iowa Children’s Choice award books this year.

Life in the WDMCS 11/24/14

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

Clive fourth graders attended their annual art field trip to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Des Moines Art Center with art teacher Alecia Eggers.  It was a beautiful day to learn about color and movement in art!  Students were extremely excited to learn about our local art, and have the amazing opportunity to see some of Andy Warhol’s artwork, in person, at the latest exhibit: Silver and Suede: Halston & Warhol.

Sixth Grade students at Clive Elementary have been meeting with Officer Woods of the Windsor Heights Police Department for Code 411. Each week Officer Woods talks to the students about a variety of topics including drugs, alcohol, stealing, harassment, and law enforcement. During each class, sixth graders were expected to take notes about what they learned.  The final week culminated with the students creating PowerPoint presentations about their learning. Clive students enjoyed every week when Officer Woods was in the school. They really liked the detailed question and answer opportunity she gave them each week.

Clive Elementary would like you to consider helping a child in your neighborhood, by granting a holiday wish. Clive Family Outreach is a program designed to help our children in need. Currently there are 120 students in our program.  We have a Giving Tree in the entry way of our school with student wishes attached. If you would like to help, simply take a leaf from our bulletin board and return it attached to the item you are donating. We will be collecting holiday items in the school office located at 1600 73rd Street in Windsor Heights. Please drop off your donation by Dec. 12.If you would like further information on how you can help please contact Clive Elementary 633-5800. Thank you for making the holidays a special occasion for our students.

Crestview Elementary

Crestview fifth grader Grace Derouin, recently completed reading all 17 of this year’s Iowa Children’s Choice Award Nominees.  An avid reader, Grace has a life-long love of dogs, so it’s no surprise she’d choose “Saving Zasha” by Randi Barrow (a WW2 story about a German Shepard) as her personal favorite.  Grace plans to read the sequel, “Finding Zasha,” as soon as she can.

Three more fifth graders have finished reading all 17 of the Iowa Children’s Choice award nominees.  Jasmyn Tran, Anna VanWyngarden and Natalie Thomas each chose different titles as their favorites.  Jasmyn liked “Ninth Ward” by Jewell Parker Rhodes, while Anna picked “Hold Fast” by Bue Balliett and Natalie selected “Eight Keys” by Suzanne LaFluer.  In March, all students who’ve read at least two ICCA’s may vote with students from across the state for their favorite.  Natalie, Anna and Jasmyn will be able to recommend titles to their friends since they’ve read them all now.

Crestview fifth grader Marina Mihura recently finished reading (and reporting on) all the Iowa Children’s Choice books.  She chose “Athlete vs. Mathlete” by W.C. Mack as her personal favorite.  Congratulations to you Marina, we’re proud of you!

November is a busy month in PE for students at Crestview Elementary.  The sixth grade is preparing for the district wide sixth grade volleyball tournament at Valley High School.  Crestview’s boys and girls will compete against all the other schools in the district.  The kids are very excited and hope to bring the sportsmanship trophies back to Crestview!

Also, the running club has had a fantastic start.  In just over two months, second through sixth grade students have run more than 1,200 miles and five students – third grader Avery Davenport, second grader Piper Broderick, fourth grader Elle Peterson, third grader Gaby Lombardi and third grader Ireland Broderic – have joined the 50 mile club.  Good work Crestview!

Crossroads Park Elementary

Crossroads Park sixth graders performed at the Des Moines Art Center for the annual Day of the Dead Celebration.  Omar Moreno, Blake Tighe, Margret Rachuy, Ellie Penink, and Annalyce Click told about cultural traditions of the holiday (all in Spanish!) and shared the calacas they created.  They rehearsed with Spanish teacher, Allyson Day, for about 6 weeks prior to the performance.  The students served as excellent representatives of our school.  Crossroads fifth graders created beautiful skull masks under the guidance of art teacher, Christie Engelbert, which were on display in the performance area.  They were most popular with the Art Center patrons.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Fourth grade students from Fairmeadows Elementary performed at the Des Moines Art Center for a Day of the Dead celebration.  They sang a song and talked about their paper skeletons all in Spanish.  The students that participated included Haley Munoz, Sage Boyt, Allison Honz, Katelyn Rose, Isabel Serio, Emerson Drake, Allyson Hoffa, Addyson Kastli, Gunner Schmidt, Jake White

Fifth graders at Fairmeadows Elementary honored our veterans on Veteran’s Day by putting on their annual Veteran’s Day assembly.  The scouts of pack 280 did the flag ceremony and led the pledge for the school.   The program started with essay readings about why we honor our veterans.  Students in fifth grade wrote essays and three were chosen to be read at the program.  The essay readers were Isaac Bartusek, Kelsey Erickson and Jackson Tharp.  The fifth grade then sang a patriotic song directed by music teacher, Mrs. Augspurger. Guest speaker, Dan Gannon from the Iowa Commission of Veteran Affairs, told the school how much he appreciated all of the cards the Fairmeadows students made for Veteran’s Day.  Over 500 cards were delivered around Iowa to various veteran hospitals and homes.  The program ended with a slide show, which included pictures that had been submitted by Fairmeadows students of their veteran family members.

 Hillside Elementary

The Hillside Girls Club meets every Monday after school and is open to all sixth grade girls at Hillside Elementary. In addition to attending meetings, members volunteer for Girl Club projects at school and in the community.  The Club’s goals are to increase the girls’ self confidence and self esteem, encourage them to work toward goals, and accept diversity.

Hillside’s Student Council’s focus this year is helping others and making a difference in the community they are a part of.  Each month the group concentrations on one organization that they would like Hillside to help.  Students at all grade levels rallied to support the causes. In October students collected $2,247.68 during a Penny Harvest for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Currently Hillside is supporting Food Bank of Iowa’s Combat Hunger Campaign.  More than one-thousand items have been collected in the past two weeks.  Students get to vote for their favorite Iowa college football team by placing the items they bring in the team’s collection box.  Each item is a vote of support for their team. “Student Council really wants to help the students understand that giving back is an important part of who Hillside is,” said Kayla Woodke, student council sponsor. “We want them to feel good about helping others and know that when we work together as a school we can help our community.”

Jordan Creek Elementary

The Jordan Creek Kids Care Club was named Club of the Month by its national sponsoring organization, generationOn Kids Care Clubs for its activities during Anti-Bullying Month. In October, the club participated in National Bullying Prevention Month in a variety of ways. On World Day of Bullying Prevention, they wore blue shirts in solidarity with bullying victims. In addition, club advisor Melinda Dunnwald led a discussion about respect during which club members were asked to reflect upon the meaning and importance of respectful behavior. A high school community service club was invited to participate in the discussion as well, sharing their experiences with bullying and teaching the younger students how to be caring classmates. The club then watched a video together about making a positive impact on a school through respectful words and actions. The students decided to “leave a positive footprint” on their school by painting footprints on the sidewalk that leads to the front door of the school and writing positive messages on them. They also traced their own feet on construction paper, wrote uplifting comments on them, and continued the path of positivity by hanging the footprints throughout the school building. Through their anti-bullying initiatives, the Jordan Creek Elementary KCC created partnerships with a nearby high school, and their local Home Depot donated $50 worth of project supplies. This Club’s efforts involved over 100 students and 20 adult volunteers.

Jordan Creek second grade students recently completed a unit called We the Kids.  The purpose of this unit was to understand what the U.S. Constitution is and why it is important, to understand the concept of rights and responsibilities, to understand the role of the U.S. President, and to be able to describe rights and responsibilities of a citizen.  Recently, the class took a field trip to the Iowa Capitol.  They took a guided tour of the inside of the capitol, and some students were able to spend some time with Governor Branstad.  Students learned that our state has a constitution, and we learned about our state government while there.

Circle of Friends is up and running again this year at Jordan Creek. This year we have close to 100 students and have had activities at the pumpkin patch and Science Center, along with our monthly lunch bunches. The kids have enjoyed their time together building friendships!

Westridge Elementary

Westridge second graders kicked off their Native American unit with a presentation from Mike Havlic, Naturalist, from the Boone Y Camp.The students learned what materials Native Americans use, the importance of the directions the Tee Pee faced, how nature and people work together as one, and how to actually build the Tee Pee from materials the Native Americans would find on the land. Each student was responsible for a part of the construction of the Tee Pee. Mike helped the 2nd graders learn the importance of respecting different cultures, and how we can learn from each other even though we are all the same, people of the land.

Fourth graders at Westridge Elementary had the opportunity to listen to an owl speaker from Polk County Conservation.  Students learned about different types of owls and their calls.  They also learned about the seven adaptations that owls possess and how these adaptations allow them to survive. Aden Artzer from 4A commented, “I learned barn owls are rare and snowy owls aren’t.” Ryta-Marie Foshier from 4B expressed “Owls are really unique because they have different patterns in their fur.” Fourth graders are currently learning about the skeletal system of the human body, as well as bones and muscles.  Students enjoyed comparing human bones and owl bones.

Valley Southwoods

Through the mists of time, Napoleon Bonaparte has arrived at Valley Southwoods to proclaim “Vive la France!” After a disastrous stop in Waterloo, Napoleon has made his way to West Des Moines. Students in Wade Petersen’s French I class have thus been challenged to conquer Napoleon’s beloved country of France. During a two-week unit on France, students took part in a fun team competition that allowed them to review and reinforce all the information they were learning about France. Students learned about the geography, government, culture, and economy of France and its important role in the global society. As a creative way of motivation, students competed as teams to capture as many regions of France as possible; they did this by competing group tasks and challenges against other teams based on the information they were learning. There were also hidden treasures, battle flags, and secret alliances that formed during this heated battle. At the end of the competition, the secret values of the regions were revealed, and the team with the most points won!