Sixth-graders have been learning economic concepts throughout the JA BizTown unit. Students have been running practice businesses to prepare for their field trip. The sixth-graders learned concepts such as supply and demand, goods and services and other various elements of business when they managed a simulated city. JA BizTown, part of the social studies curriculum, is part of the Junior Achievement program.
Student Council has had a busy year. The group’s motto is “We are here to serve you, our community and our world.” The theme this year was unity, with two arts-based activities at Hillside. In the fall, there was a birthday party for Hillside to celebrate 10 years as a school. Next, Student Council raised money for the Red Cross and the people of the Philippines. They held a can drive for the food pantry and a book drive for Festival of Trees. During the winter, students enjoyed decorating doors with various technology and movie themes. To also help everyone through the winter, they had a Go for the Gold Olympics reading activity. The Attendance Bucks contest continued this year to celebrate days when classrooms have everyone in class. When the class has 25 days, they get $25 to spend as they like. This spring, Student Council is planing the whole school Bingo around the unity theme. Prizes include ways for classrooms to clean up the playground and the school’s neighborhood. With buddy classrooms, students are celebrating Earth Day around the theme “The Lorax.”
Second-grade students have started their final Artful Learning unit on adaptation. Over the next few weeks, students will determine how the environment influences the way of life. Students will be able to develop a deeper meaning of this concept by learning about how plants and animals adapt to survive in their habitat, how Native Americans adapted their lives to survive in different climates, as well as how architects adapt their structures to meet the functional needs of a building. Students will also learn about different adaptations of the classical story, “Cinderella.” To help students attain an understanding of the concept of adaptation, students took a purposeful walk, an arts-based skill. Students were asked to adapt their movements to changing situations such as wading through sinking mug, walking through a thick forest, trudging over snakes and strolling on a hot sidewalk. After, students reflected on how their bodies adapted to what their minds were “pretending.” The students made connections with how adaptation affects their own lives.
Fourth-grade students participated in a Russia Day celebration as part of their study of Russia. Activities centered around Russian history, economics, culture, the arts, geography, animals and literature. As part of their study of literature students performed a series of plays based on the Russian fairy tale character Baba Yaga.
The district will hold its 31st annual math quiz bowl. The competition gathers third- through sixth-graders from the elementary schools and challenges them through a math test based on their grade level. Only the top performing students from each grade are selected. Phenix is proud to announce that Aisha Abdirahman, Jorie Mikels and Paige Bernard will represent our school. The students are excited to show what they have learned so far and to compete with children from other schools. Each student participating will earn a ribbon and certificate of achievement.
Should 9-year-olds be able to vote? Should third-graders have cell phones? Should third-graders read “Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog?” Third-graders might just convince you that the answer is yes. Currently, third-graders are studying persuasive essays, learning that writers give reasons and details to support their opinions. They have also learned that writers organize their writing in paragraphs and they use signal words. Students will publish their essays using Microsoft Office Word. Pieces will be collected in a class book.
Students in the English Language Learners program received bikes and helmets from the West Des Moines Rotary Club. The initiative was organized in a large part by Abdiel Quiroga, the new school liaison. Paula Bilo-Dickman, Mary Guzman and Natalie French helped find students, send home permission slips and communicated with the Rotary Club. The Valley West Drive Target donated a gift card to purchase bike locks, and Principal Shane Christensen donated money from the Indian Hills fundraising account to purchase the remaining locks. Janna Day from Blank Children’s Hospital taught the students bike safety, including the importance of wearing a helmet, the proper way to fit a helmet and bike hand signals.
Freshmen TJ Foley, Arjun Ganga and Brian Gu, along with social studies teacher Luanne Baker, were selected to attend he World Food Prize Foundation annual Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University. To participate, a student must research, write and submit a paper investigating a specific issue and population challenged by food insecurity of some kind. More than 230 students from across the state gathered for the 100-year celebration of the birth of Dr. Norman Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize Foundation. Students were required to share their insights during roundtable discussion groups led by experts from both the business and academic arenas. After lunch with these experts and both the governor and lieutenant governor of Iowa, students spent time in immersion sessions of their choice where they worked through issues with teachers from Iowa State University.
The mock trial team finished in the top five in the state for the second consecutive year at the mock trial state tournament. Team members are Thomas Leafstedt, Brooke Beatty, Madison Tuttle, Alexandra Brennan, Rae Gernant, Catherine Leafstedt, Kyra Cooper and Mason McCoy.
Six Valley students were selected to exhibit their photography at the CIML state art show in Marshalltown. The students’ work was entered in the digital photography-unaltered and digital photography-altered categories. Koral Glenn, Hira Mustafa and Carter White each received honorable mention honors. The students were sponsored by Tory DeVries, who teaches both photography and multimedia at Valley.
Frank Scaglione, meteorologist with KCCI-TV, visited April 23. He gave a presentation about weather and meteorology to the third-grade classes. Scaglione grew up in Waukee and attended Eason. He visited with several of his former teachers and the principal, Peg Erke.
Second-graders are busy learning all about the animal kingdom. They have learned about the classifications and characteristics of animals and had the opportunity to research an animal they are interested in. This unit also gives students the opportunity to learn about animal life cycles. Second-graders are observing and interacting with mealworms, milkweed bugs and painted lady caterpillars. To top off this unit, students will be Skyping with an intern from the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fla., to learn about manatee care, training and research.
Walnut Hills students recently participated in the Blue Mile Run.
Waukee Middle School seventh-grade ambassadors held their first annual “Not in Our School” summit April 11 that focused on being kind to one another both in person and online. Devin Neitzel, Grace Millsap, Kaitlyn Tope and Locken Marron were inspired to host their own anti-bullying event after attending the governor’s summit in November. After asking for help from other seventh-grade ambassadors and teachers Kelly Reinhold and Stephanie Jansa, seventh-graders spent about four months planning the summit. Orange T-shirts were printed and sold prior to the summit that said “No h8 @WMS” or “No Hate at Waukee Middle School” with the hashtag #notinourschool on the back to be worn the day of the summit. Joshua Coburn was the keynote speaker. Coburn is a motivational speaker currently on the “Manners & Motivation Tour.” Coburn addressed issues such as teen depression and anxiety, drug abuse, suicide, self-esteem and bullying in an interactive manner. Students also listened to breakout sessions featuring guest speakers Raylee Melton, LeAnn Paulsen and DJ Vega from our community about the importance of a positive digital footprint.
Seventh-grade family and consumer science students recently completed the textiles and clothing unit. After learning about the operation of a sewing machine, stitching, seam allowances, patterns and technical reading, students are helping the ConKerr Cancer organization by creating pillowcases for children battling life-changing illnesses.
Waukee members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America attended and competed in the state leadership conference March 24-25. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a national career and technical student organization that provides personal growth, leadership development and career preparation opportunities for students in family and consumer sciences education. The 2013-14 yearlong theme was “Treasure the Past, Transform the Future.” Leadership was demonstrated through participation in STAR events, national programs and peer education. Waukee’s chapter earned gold in three events at state. Those will advance to national leadership conference in San Antonio, Texas July 6-10. At state: Lexi Ridout finished her state officer term as first vice president; Susie Lupkes was elected to serve as the first vice president of financial fitness; Waukee FCCLA earned the gold honor chapter award; Kate Closson and Analese Hauber, gold, chapter service project display; Sydney Papadopolous-Franklin, gold, live planning event; Zoey Sternquist, runner-up, live planning event; Susie Lupkes and Malia Griffin, gold, illustrated talk; Beth Sebben and Melisa Mehodovic, silver, food innovations; Lindsay Greifzu, Jessica Havel, and Mackenzie Montross, silver, culinary arts; Breanna Loya, Brooke Essy, and Morgan Wierschke, silver, culinary arts.
Sophomore Jason Wells and junior Ridg Downs were selected for all-state jazz. Wells was selected as lead trumpet in the 2014 Iowa All-State Jazz Ensemble that will perform at the Iowa Bandmasters Convention May 15. Downs was selected into the 2014 Iowa All-State Jazz Choir which will perform on July 21 at the Iowa Choral Association’s convention in Mason City. Hundreds of students from across the state audition for spots in All-State Jazz Ensemble and Choir, but only a handful are selected. This is the first year both Wells and Downs have tried out for positions in all-state jazz. Both are involved in multiple musical activities at Waukee High School. Wells is a member of jazz band, marching band, concert band, concert choir, show choir and jazz choir. Downs is a member of spring musical, show choir, jazz choir, a cappella, concert choir and bass clef choir.
Waukee art students participated in the juried CIML art show in Marshalltown April 9. Results were: Shannon Deatrick, overall best in show, charcoal drawing; Bridget Johnston, blue merit, digital drawing; Cassidy Campbell, blue merit in the computer generated video/animation; Megan Kilgore, honorable mention, textiles; Katelyn Knapp, honorable mention, ink; Brianna Goodrich, honorable mention, colored pencil drawing; Shannon Deatrick, honorable mention, mixed media; Emma Georgeff, honorable mention, acrylic painting.
The prom court candidates were Schylir Rowen, Alan Vongnhay, Mackenzie Anderson, Jacob Bergman, Jenna Carey, Andrew Rozeboom, Erin Bramble, McKenzie Tennison, Logan Driscoll, Brielle Buck, Derek Groathouse. Not Pictured: Andrew Cutlera. Jacob Bergman and Jenna Carey were crowned prom king and queen at the coronation assembly April 24 in the Fieldhouse.
The kindergartners are working on reading strategies: making predictions, making connections, inferring, determining importance, asking questions, creating images, synthesizing and using fix-up strategies. While writing, they are focusing on capital letters, space between words and punctuation marks at the end of the sentence. The kindergartners have been exploring measurement as well as telling time to the hour and identifying and counting coins. The focus in social studies has been learning about community helpers. In science they have been learning about animals, weather, flowers, etc. associated with spring. This will lead into the various life cycles of plants, butterflies and frogs. We are gearing up for our academic fair, Moms and Me, Dads and Tads, and much more in May.
Today: Kindergartners for the 2014-15 school year will participate in Kindergarten Experience Day. The junior varsity golfers will compete against Panorama and Coon Rapids-Bayard at Lake Panorama National Resort in Panora.
The senior class trip is today through May 4. Forty-two members of the senior class and four chaperones will travel to Chicago for a weekend of shopping, visiting the Shedd Aquarium and the Willis Tower, attending a Cubs baseball game, enjoying a cruise on Lake Michigan and enjoying the rides at Six Flags.
May 5: The varsity girls’ golf team will compete at the the West Central Activities Conference Meet in Panora at the Lake Panorama National Resort. Senior Recognition Night will be at Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines.
May 6: The high school girls’ and boys’ track teams will compete at the West Central Activities Conference Meet in Van Meter. The junior varsity and varsity soccer teams will host Nodaway Valley at the Cownie Sports Park in Des Moines.
The boys’ varsity golf team will compete at the the West Central Activities Conference in Menlo at the 5 by 80 Golf and Country Club May 7.
May 8: The junior varsity golf team will travel to Oskaloosa to compete at the Edmunson Golf Course. The high school girls’ and boys’ track teams will compete at Panorama High School in Panora. The junior varsity soccer team will travel to Adel to compete against Adel-DeSoto-Minburn.
May 9: The girls’ and boys’ varsity golf teams will travel to Winterset to compete in the West Central Activities Conference at Lakeview Country Club. The junior varsity and varsity soccer teams will host Albia on Senior Night at the Cownie Sports Park in Des Moines.
On May 10, the concert choir and band will compete in the Iowa High School Music Association large group festival at Indianola High School.
The 2013-14 Class 5-A state championship girls’ basketball team was recently recognized at the State Capitol.
The after-prom theme was “Spring Fling.” Post prom was May 3 at the school.
Many students were honored at the recent scholastic achievement ceremony at Dowling.
Dowling’s academic all-state members are Jackson Knoepfler, Sarah Frame, Sally Diehl, Jack Sackett, Kayla Corey and Emma Pagano.
Students recently celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ with an Easter program April 17. Camille Mure was the mistress of ceremonies and introduced the praise team to begin the event. Naasim Mwaura read from I Corninthians 15:17 and Jamera Brandon led in prayer. Abby Hurley, Moriah King, Alayna Davidson and Nellie and Maddie Dudley sang “I Believe.” A praise dance was performed by Laya Rudison, Ashleigh Riley, Pauline Railey, Mya Evans and Elizabeth Villalobos. The play “A Word on the Resurrection” was performed by fifth- through seventh-graders. Teacher Brandon Spriggs developed and led the program.
The school is accepting enrollment for the fall for kindergarten through eighth grade. Call 468-5674 for more information.
Check the school calendar at icablazers.org for information on the many activities coming up before the end of the school year.
All sixth- through eighth-grade volleyball players are invited to a May 19 and 20 clinic from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. This clinic is designed for players at various ability levels to improve offensive and defensive skills. The coaches will be focusing on the fundamentals, including passing, setting and hitting. Contact coach Ashley Roney at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Student Council members attended a ceremony at the state Capitol May 1 for National Day of Prayer. Student body president Ashley Delpesce participated in the program. The study body took time at the beginning of each class period to pray for different subjects: our nation, our leadership, our military, our community, our families, etc.
After discussing what makes a successful work of art and learning what it takes to be an art judge/critic, elementary art classes judged their peers’ work. The top three pieces of art in each grade are: Kinder prep, Cora Shepard, Miles Lamb, Grason Funk; kindergarten, Ryan Ewald, Caleb Ten Pas, Abigail Darla; first grade, Isaiah Carlson, Elliot Caven, Joshua Hagenburg; second grade, Jonah Hummel, Abigail Ten Pas, Kaelyn Shepard; third grade, Lydia Hamann, Brett Schroeder, Ian Hagenburg; fourth grade, Cianna Daley, Micah Brandenburg, Emory Hamann; fifth grade, Sarah McGrath, Ana Jankovic, Scotty Wynne; sixth grade, Kelsey Kline, Kyle Goranson, Elyse Hall.
The music classes are in the midst of our annual spring concerts. The 1- and 2-year-old classes are singing familiar folk songs and sharing rhymes. The 3- through 6-year-old classes are presenting songs featuring “Going to the Zoo” by Tom Paxton and other zoo animal tunes. These songs and movement activities focus on vocal play, steady beat and expressive singing. A musical presentation from our 5- through 7-year-old class May 14 is called, “Our Beautiful World.” This program will feature singing, dancing, storytelling and drumming with the students’ drums created in art class.
Our annual Peace Festival in April gave the students the opportunity to showcase some of the music they learned from around the world and in many languages. “Hello to All the Children of the World” demonstrated how to say hello in many languages and “It’s a Small World” presented in sign language were our theme songs. The children shared songs from Morocco, France, Brazil and Hawaii.
The elementary students participated in an Easter egg hunt. The middle school students helped by hiding the eggs. Then, after hearing the “ready, set, go” command, the younger students took off running, collecting, and gathering.
Kindergarten Round Up is May 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. If you or someone you know is looking for a high-quality kindergarten education, stop by.
Kindergarten, first- and second-grade students participated in a workshop with an artist in residence. Dell Radcliff has traveled extensively in Japan and taught the students the art of Gyotaku, or Japanese fish printing. Students used paint brushes to coat freshly caught fish with tempura paint. Then, they press the image onto paper, creating a take-home of traditional art, known as Gyotaku or Japanese Fish Printing. Through the process, students discovered the bond between the environment and culture and gained an appreciation for water quality and environmental health.
Seventh-grade Discovery students participated in the America Answers Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl, a national competition April 9. They scored 10th out of all participating schools. Students answer questions covering areas including math, government, geography, sports, spelling, science, literature, English, history, general information and just plain trivia. Teams have to know a wide variety of information and work as a team to solve problems. This team won the state contest, outscoring all other Iowa teams in the fall. Members were Gabby Borromeo, Kevin Conner, Ben Freking, Brenna Jameson, Bailey Leyser, Katie McCleary, Joshua Nguyen, Alex Schwarte, Ben Sheridan, Rebecca Wagner, Abbey Bejarno, Matt English, Luke Spinner, George Strawhecker, and Lawrence Rabang. Also included on the team were Sacred Heart sixth-graders John Culver, Maddie Baldwin and Stephen Cahalan. Eighth-grade Discovery students participated in the event April 10. The team scored in the top third of all teams participating. They had the highest score of any Iowa team. Members of this team included Cade Ingalls, Joleen Gamez, Anna Harman, Steven McCormick, Rachel Oberfoell, Kate Brosnahan, Marcus Miller, Sam McMurray, Beth Thilges and Lizzy Fiepke. Sixth-grade students participating with this team were Isabella Cook and Max Wilson.
The fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in the Battle of the Books April 8. Students read a list of 30 books over five months, then took a qualifying test. The top scores from the diocese are selected to go on and compete against the other qualifying teams. St. Augustin students scored the highest in the qualifying round and finished fourth overall in the competition. Fourth-grade teams: Bookworms: Chase Kozlowski, Ellen McDonough, Ainsley Erzen and Gracie Ahmann. They got the highest scores in the diocese. Winners: Ben Bocken, Natalie Thomas, Olivia Colloton, Mary Kate Melcher and Colin Speikers. Rad Readers: Sophie Porter, John Cernicky, Marty Spellman, Grace Sweers and Eva Lynner. Fifth-grade team: Power of Five: Paddy Sullivan, Meg Susil, Libbie Smith, Ellie Clark and Jacob Enloe.
The seventh- and eighth-graders prayed the divine mercy novena in preparation for divine mercy Sunday. On April 27, popes John Paul II and John XXIII were canonized as saints. The eighth-graders celebrated John Paul II’s canonization through learning theology of the body, which he gave to us during his papacy.
The seventh and eighth-graders performed the musical “Annie, Jr.” April 24.
On April 17, 10 eighth-grade girls participated in the Road Less Traveled Conference at Iowa State University. This conference exposes girls in middle school to career options in the math and science fields. There were speakers, experiments and presentations. The girls who participated were Delaney Pistillo, Anna McInville, Maddie Jennisch, Lauren Jenkins, Liz Banker, Mackenzie Hoey, Kailey Pamperin, Andrea Goodman, Annie Simplot and Jane Smeins.
The fifth-grade classes will be reading about and discussing the life of Thomas Jefferson. We will be creating a graphic organizer web to visualize his many accomplishments. The sixth-grade social studies class is continuing their focus on Chinese culture and preparing for their unit test on China. Seventh-graders are researching the Outback, the Breat Barrier Reef, or the animals of Australia. They will choose a focus in one of those groups and present the information to their classmates to learn about. In eighth-grade United States history, students will be reciting the Gettysburg Address and will be discussing the impact that the Civil War had on the country.
The middle school students finished their Lenten unit by creating “blessing stones” with the assistance of guest artist Wendy Finnigan. Each student was provided with a stone, which the students inscribed with a Bible passage on one side and a symbol of the passage on the other side. They gave the stone to someone who needed the blessing represented by the stone. The eighth-grade students acted out the Stations of the Cross in class, and all the middle school students reviewed the Triduum and the meaning behind many of the rituals that take place during Holy Week. Those included the washing of the feet and the adoration of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, and the Easter vigil on Holy Saturday evening.
Second-grade students have been examining how the Jewish Passover, the Last Supper of Jesus, our Mass, and Holy Communion are connected. Students participated in a seder meal during Holy Week. Students and parents will also participate in first communion learning centers. Second-graders have been applying cause-and-effect connections from literacy to their study of the objects in the night sky for science. They will begin exploring the properties of matter next. In math, students have been focusing on fraction concepts. They have also used measurement to collect data, then graphed their findings. In social studies, students discussed wants and needs, then examined their personal wants and needs from a faith-based perspective. Students are excited about their spring concert.
The second-graders in independent learner class have been learning about units of measurement and converting the linear units inches, feet, and yards. Recently, they took advantage of the sunshine and measured blooming daffodils, wood chips, and even swings on the playground.
Third-graders are building their fact power in multiplication in preparation for an upcoming flash card-challenge with the fourth-grade classes. The first team to 100 correct answers first wins the challenge. For Earth Day they made pictures for shut-ins out of old, broken crayons. They learned that something old and broken can still be useful. They also cleaned their classroom and picked up trash around the school.
Middle school will plant sugar snap peas, red peppers, cherry tomatoes and carrots in celebration of Earth Day. Our hope is to germinate these crops indoors and transplant them into our new raised beds.Tags: concert, movie, music, tour, tv