Students work on constructing a circuit

Life in the WDMCS 03/02/15

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.


Jordan Creek Elementary’s third-graders and Clive Elementary’s third through fifth grade English language learners both took field trips to the Civic Center to see “Sofrito! A Latin Funk Experience” on Thursday, Feb. 19. “Sofrito!” combines storytelling, classic mambo, and new funk to tell stories and share music from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Bronx. The students got to experience Latin culture and imagery from “master storyteller” David Gonzalez and the Latin Legends Band. They enjoyed hearing the stories, dancing to the music, and practicing their Spanish.

Clive Elementary

Third grader students in Ms. Shell’s room are working in small groups to explore magnets and electricity during science. Students will learn what words like “repel” and “attract” mean as they use magnets to test mystery objects. The class will also complete experiments to test magnet strength, make a motor run using a circuit board, and create electromagnets. The students are enjoying being scientists and working in teams.

Clive Elementary sixth-graders successfully completed their Junior Achievement BizTown unit. Students learned about the economy through hands-on activities that required their participation in a simulated community for five weeks. They learned about financial literacy, community and economy, word readiness, job applications and interviews, and business management. The unit’s culminating activity was a day-long trip to Junior Achievement’s simulated city, BizTown. Students acted as business leaders and employees offering public and private goods and services. This valuable experience was made even more special this year, as the Valley High School boys basketball team assisted the students during the event.

Clive students celebrated their improved reading stamina at the end of the month. Clive students have been reading at home and at school each day, working to increase the amount of time they read. Reading teachers have talked to students and parents about the future academic benefits students can gain from reading every day. Students record their daily reading minutes on a special calendar and celebrate their success at the end of each month with refreshments and Swap It!, a popular reading card game.

Crestview Elementary

Second grade students at Crestview Elementary have been learning about the seven continents and five oceans. They have learned about landforms found on each continent and completed research projects on animals of their choice, which they presented to their classmates.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Jordan Creek Elementary’s Circle of Friends program had a strong turnout at the January Val Lanes bowling event. They also held a Lunch Bunch at school and had a gathering at the Urbandale Pool in February. Their March events will include visits to Pump It Up for third and fourth grade students and Sky Zone for fifth and sixth grade students.

First-graders at Jordan Creek have been singing snow songs, Valentine songs, and presidential songs. They also learned to move to music about exercising, penguins, and Groundhog Day. Students were also introduced to solfege through the Music Street stories. They will listen to “Peter and the Wolf” in March, and learn about and sing African songs.

The second grade music students have been ice skating in the music room while singing the ice skating song, using paper plate skates as indoor skates. They enjoyed singing a Valentine song to their classroom teachers, played non-pitched percussion instruments, and reviewed different types of music notes. They will next learn about the rondo form.

The third grade musicians experienced a lesson about program music, part of the West Des Moines Community Schools music curriculum. They listened to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and learned the different characters’ themes, such as the bassoon melody for the brooms. They got to act out the parts after becoming more familiar with the piece.

Westridge Elementary

Kindergarten students at Westridge Elementary enjoyed playing outside in the snow each day. They kept busy making snow angels and snowmen and building forts and castles. They have worked together and synergized well to enjoy the winter but are ready for the snow to melt and bring spring.

Valley High School

The International Journal of Case Reports and Images (IJCRI) accepted Valley student Ojas Pradhan’s manuscript, “Treatment of renal fibromuscular dysplasia in an adolescent male: A case report” for publication. IJCRI “is an international, peer reviewed, monthly, open access, online journal, publishing high-quality, peer reviewed articles in all areas of basic medical sciences and clinical specialties.” The journal’s goal is publishing new information and providing a platform for sharing unique cases to increase scientific understanding.