Westridge fourth-graders were granted money from the PTA to purchase playground balls as part of an ELP project.

Life in the WDMCS 02/10/15

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

Students will jump at the chance to help fight heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. The school will hold its Jump Rope for Heart event during the last few weeks of February. Students will jump rope in PE class to raise funds for the American Heart Association, which supports cardiovascular disease research and public and professional education programs. All physical education classes will learn how to jump rope as well as learn a few new tricks. Jump Rope for Heart is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. If you have any questions about Jump Rope for Heart, please contact Heather Parker at 633-5842.

Crossroads Park Elementary

Sixth-grade students have had the opportunity to participate in an afterschool Math Challenge Club this winter. The club’s objective is to provide an educational enrichment opportunity for students who are highly interested in mathematics and enjoy solving problems. The culminating activity is a chance to participate in the Iowa Engineering Society’s Mathcounts contest as a representative of Crossroads Elementary School. The Central Iowa chapter of the engineering society will hold its Mathcounts contest Tuesday, Feb. 10 at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Ankeny DMACC Campus. Students who perform well at the chapter level have an opportunity to advance to the Mathcounts state contest, where they will have a chance to earn a full-expense paid trip to the Mathcounts national competition in Boston. The students competed to earn one of the 12 spots on the Crossroads’ team for the Central Iowa chapter’s Mathcounts competition. Team participants are Alex Chambers, Quinn Emison-Clair, Isabella Dobrinov, and Sarah Blank; individual participants, Ashwin Dervesh, Shreya Gaddi, Kaylee Davis, Joel Graham, Malany Theisen, and Nate Bell; and alternates, Logan Bell and Logan Keller. Two Valley High School volunteers, Michael Stevens and Alina Husain, collaborated with teachers Tamara Tjeerdsma and Felicia Twit to provide this enriched opportunity for the sixth-graders.

Westridge Elementary 

Fourth-graders at Westridge Elementary have just completed a wonderful trip to Russia. They packed their suitcases, applied for passports, and boarded the plane for their two-week journey through this cold country. The students learned about Russian tourism, culture, geography, literature, animals, and history, and have done lots of great research. The highlights include learning about the Russian czars and making czar crowns, reading Baba Yaga fairy tales, touring the beautiful cities of Russia, and painting Russian Faberge eggs. According to Julia Krob from 4A, “Learning about the culture of Russia was very interesting. What I thought was really American was actually Russian.” Matt Schmalz from 4B feels that “Russia is very cool because it has lots of onion domes in architecture.” Ethan Rosendahl from 4C also enjoyed Russian culture. He liked learning about St. Basils Cathedral because “we talked about Ivan the Terrible and the architects who built it.”

Westridge fourth-grader Tyler Emanuel noticed a shortage of playground balls in the pod bins this fall. Wondering if there was a way to get more balls for students to play with at recess, Tyler decided to make this quest the focus of an Extended Learning Program (ELP) project. His fellow classmates were excited by his presentation and joined him in making a funding request to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at a Jan. 16 meeting. The group did an excellent job and the students’ request for the purchase of 54 playground balls and four pumps was approved by the PTA. After the meeting, ELP teacher Nancy Foley guided the group through the ball selection process and the students developed a plan to help ensure that the new equipment is properly maintained. The students will distribute the new playground balls to the kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms in early February.