February, 2020


Hello Everyone! 


For the past month, we have been Busy Beavers in the ART room working on our weaving unit.  This has been a fantastic adventure, and I believe the students have really enjoyed learning how to work with colors, textures, and patterns! 


Students in K/1 have been doing a “sewing / weaving  project,” ⅔ and ⅘ have been working on mini rectangular cardboard looms.


Grades 6-12 have had the option of working on a rectangular loom or a circular one.  The results are IN!!! Look for all of the works to be displayed in our mini gallery in the lobby and down the hallways.


Grades 2-12 will be on display through Spring Break, and some works will even travel to Art Shows this summer to include…

The prestigious Des Moines Arts Festival in June, Clive Arts Festival in July, and the HSAP Program has the glass display case at the WDMCSD Learning Resource Center from the end of May through August.  Look for our beautiful weavings there, too if you happen to be in that building during the summer months.


Coming up...Our last two main units will echo our Ocean theme. We will be using Sand and Sun as part of our mediums.

DRAMA PROPS CLUB is well underway, and we are having a great time getting to know one another, and making some very fun props for the upcoming Spring Drama Plays.  See you around the Corner!!

Thanks to all of the families for their generous donations of YARN...and seashells.  Very Appreciated.   



Middle School Book Club is in the middle of reading Refugee by Alan Gratz.  It tells the story of three refugee families during different time periods.  Our next book will be The Giver by Lois Lowry. 


High School Book Club is in the middle of reading the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  We will finish the year reading the classic play Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose.


Things are tripping along very nicely in drama class!! Each and every play (25 if my count is correct!) is now officially cast, and we are working on blocking (movement), characterization, and some classes are even working on the beginning of memorizing lines!  We often/always try to squeeze in a game or two--favorites are Child Swapper, Frogger, Jumping Beans, King of France, and News Reporter.


Be sure to check for upcoming emails regarding the following: asking for parent helpers, lines due to be memorized, costume notes, and special needs sent in the form of a sign-up genius.  Dates for upcoming dress rehearsals and performances (in late April and early May) can always be found on our website.


THANKS for all your support--we love putting on the plays and know that the kids do, too!


Kindergarten Writing

We have been having fun learning how to read and write color words and write simple sentences with Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. These fun read aloud books are also perfect for those beginning readers to read along with you. Next time you are in the library be sure to check out some Pete the Cat books. They have been enjoying those as much as the Jan Brett books from January. During the next few weeks we will be talking about rhyming words and word families. This will be in connection with Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on March 2nd. The Kindergarten students are making great growth and have been very excited to learn!


First Grade Writing

Ask your first grader about what the new Morning Message says when they come into class each week. We have had fun answering the questions and getting to know one another better.  We have also been busy learning about the 5 parts of a friendly letter and have been practicing writing letters to others. We have also been trying out some new strategies on sounding out unknown words and how to add details to our writing. Look for little blue rubrics to come home as we have been assessing our own writing with simple Yes/No answers. These First Graders always try their best, and they have become incredible writers with lots of ideas!

2nd and 3rd Grade Writing

The students really enjoyed learning about personification as part of the Voice Trait. They did an outstanding job of taking inanimate objects and giving life like characteristics to them. Be sure to check their Writer’s Notebooks for all of their creative ideas. Next, we completed a mini lesson on the 5 parts of a friendly letter. The students enjoyed writing a special note to their classmates. We will spend the next few weeks working on writing persuasive or opinion papers. We have several fun writing projects planned where the students will get to practice this type of writing!


4th and 5th Grade Writing

We have been working on the Voice Trait in class, and the students have done an amazing job writing and sharing their Fairy Tales (written from a different point of view or perspective). You would have loved seeing them share their writing with props!  It was almost like Drama Night in our classroom. Next we will begin learning how to write persuasive papers. Students generally enjoy this as they get to state their opinion and then back it up with evidence and reasons. 


6th-12th Grade Writing

Middle School writers are finishing up their persuasive essays.  We have been focusing on the 6th Trait of Organization for this essay.  High School Writers have also been focused on persuasive essays by writing ACT Practice Essays.  Both groups have had to take a position on a subject, argue for their claim and against the counterclaim.  Our next unit will be presenting Demonstration Speeches. We will learn how to write an outline, create visual aids, and develop our public speaking skills.  HSAP will also host an optional Speech Contest through Modern Woodmen in April. More information will come soon.


Home School Physical Education continues to focus on movement and fun.  Students enjoy activity-based classes where students have the opportunity to experience a variety of  PE activities based on student input/choice.


Student leaders select the activities and lead the beginning warmup stretches and runs.  As the weather trends to warmer times, there is the hope of choosing outdoor activities in which students can participate.



The students have done an amazing job with our animal studies/dissection unit. We have learned and seen so many parts of the crayfish, cow eye, sheep brain, sheep heart and fetal pig.


The kindergarten and 1st grade students also had fun learning about owls and what they eat while dissecting an owl pellet. 

Kindergarten-Third grade will continue to learn about and take care of our crayfish up until spring break. We will give our crayfish lunch choices, habitat choices, and temperature choices. We will also see what happens when the crayfish have a “playdate” in the same tank.

The next topic we will be learning about in science is Astronomy. We will spend time studying the planets, stars and the moon. Students will compare the planets in our solar system, learn about the life cycle of a star and track the phases of the moon. We will finish off the semester by taking a “trip” through the solar system in the Star Lab! 


Students in K/1 classes are just beginning a new unit on the family!  Ask them about the family stones in my secret bag!


Students in 2nd - 5th grades are working on clothing items and a story called SEBASTIAN VA A LAS MONTANAS.  Ask them what that story is about and what happens to Sebastian on his trip! Also ask them how to describe a clothing item with its color. Hopefully, they will tell you how the color word (adjectives in general) comes AFTER the clothing item! 


Spanish S students will be writing the second story this week. I am excited to see how much they have improved since writing the first story a couple months ago!


Spanish B students continue their study of foods with dinner on the menu for the next couple of weeks!  :)


Remind Spanish S and Spanish B students to study for their weekly mini quizzes. They receive a hard copy of the review sheet at the end of each class, but that review sheet can also be found on my website, by clicking on Spanish A or Spanish B from the homepage!

© 2023 West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Home School Assistance Program | Home