Posted January 12th, 2017
First Grade students at Pleasant View got a special treat as they kicked off a new English Language Arts unit. Students were invited to the newest restaurant in the Quad Cities: The Main Dish. Inside the Pleasant View Cafeteria, The Main Dish serves up the best fare – and lessons, too. Each first grade teacher ordered a meal from waitress, Mrs. Anderson. But, there was something wrong – Mrs. Radosevich only ordered vegetables, Mrs. Foley only ordered drinks, and Mrs. Welling only ordered main dishes. The teachers turned to the students for help on how to order a complete meal – you need a main dish, a side, and a drink. Teachers are hoping this idea will help the little ones learn about the main idea of a story and figure out the “sides” or supporting details in a story that help define that main idea. What a fun way to kick off a series of important lessons!
Posted December 19th, 2016
Too cold to go to Niabi Zoo? No worries! The 2nd Graders at Hopewell have just the place to learn about animals from all over the world. On Friday, December 7, 2016, the 2nd Grade’s Zoo opened for business. Students from across the school visited to learn about animals. The 2nd Graders researched and presented information to their visitors. Visitors learned something new and the zookeepers reinforced their knowledge and practiced their presentation skills!
Check out the genuine engagement from students in our pictures below!
Posted November 22nd, 2016
What’s the best way to tell a story? At Cody Elementary, the 4th graders found a new and fun way to share a story. It allows the kids to use pictures and slides along with their voice telling the story in the background. In this case, students are telling spooky stories. To help the students start thinking about how a scary story is made, a representative of Bettendorf Library came out to Cody to read them a few. Not only did they learn about the fluency of a story, but they saw and heard how a story should be read.
Each student started their story with the same prompt, “I used to be afraid of the old house at the end of the block…” and then let their imaginations run wild. Not only were the stories different, but the presentations were different as well. Adobe Spark is helping teach presentation skills they will use throughout their education and career. Being able to combine their writing, reading, and presentation skills all at once will help the students grow immensely.
Posted October 31st, 2016
The goal of Pleasant Valley Community School District is to prepare students to succeed in a diverse, global society and become life-long learners. PV instructors also want to make sure they continuously improve for the future of our students. In the 2016-17 school year, Wellness instructors across the District took that goal to heart. All summer, teachers met to determine how they should fairly and accurately assess all students. They worked together with experts in the field to write new curriculum and, in turn, new assessments. They based the curriculum on the new Iowa Core Standards and Physical Education National Standards. The changes are teaching students not only life-long wellness skills, but emphasize cooperation, teamwork, and problem solving.
At PVHS, students are now graded in several ways. Each student receives a fitness assessment. They’re also tested on skills and knowledge of the particular unit. Students are also graded on a 0 to 4 scale in three categories: Cooperation and Teamwork, Problem Solving, and Participation. Click here to see the full rubric. Students who receive the highest score, a 4, must show teachers they’re helping others, have a solid work ethic, and are responsible.
PV’s Wellness Department is going beyond the games and teaching students communication, teamwork, and a positive attitude will make them successful, not just the scoreboard.
For more on the new curriculum, visit the Wellness Department’s website.
We also invite you to watch the video below, which explains why Wellness classes are so important to our students’ overall academic success.
Posted September 30th, 2016
Libraries are full of books, some to entertain, some to teach lessons and some to challenge the status quo. PV Junior High students spent time during Banned Book week (September 26-September 30) learning about why someone would ask to take any type of book off the shelves.
Teacher Librarian Anita Roche led the discussion, starting by asking students to journal about this question: Is there ever a time a book should be banned? After the journal writing, students talked about their thoughts: perhaps a book should be banned if the content is age appropriate, like the Twilight Series in an elementary school or books shouldn’t be banned because who really decides what’s good and what’s bad. Mrs. Roche said a lot of books are challenged (asked to be banned), but very few are banned.
Students looked at the top six reasons books have been banned (religious thought, sexual explicitly, homosexuality, offensive language, violence and age appropriateness) and discussed whether or not they thought these ideas were important to keep books from readers. Students took those ideas and looked at several books that have been banned in certain places and tried to figure out why they might have been banned.
The students have told their teachers the presentation made them think twice about what they read, and why some people ask for books to be banned.
Posted September 15th, 2016
The science room at Pleasant View Elementary looked a little more like the cafeteria during the first few weeks of school. Milk cartons hung from the ceiling and lined the tables. Students used them to experiment: poke a hole in the carton, fill it with water and see how many times the carton turns in a minute. The lesson teaches students to come up with ideas and then try them out, see what works and what doesn’t. Students worked in teams, trying their ideas, knowing some would fail and others would not. After trying out their ideas, like poking lots of holes all over or all on one side, students wrote up the results in their science notebooks. The experiment sets the stage for what’s to come this year – think, try, try again and improve!
Posted August 9th, 2016
Pleasant Valley is growing, and to keep up we’re in the midst of several construction projects. Pleasant View and Bridgeview projects are just finishing up. Pleasant View added a new Extended Learning Program room, as well as offices, to free up more space for collaboration. Bridgeview added several new classrooms and renovated the library. These projects will be ready for this school year.
This summer, construction started at the Junior High and Cody Elementary. Crews are adding on eight new classrooms, a new industrial tech room and a multi-purpose wellness room. The Junior High project will also expand the kitchen and establish a new orchestra room. At Cody, we’re adding six classrooms and renovating the library. Construction crews just finished a new parking lot at Cody to add parking and help keep traffic from creeping out onto Territorial Road during peak hours.
For pictures of each project, click on the school below!
Posted January 29th, 2016
It is the mission of the Pleasant Valley Community School District to have the finest academic and extra-curricular activities in the state. Not in some things but in all things. Not for some kids but for every kid. Faculty and staff work together every day to figure out what each student needs to succeed in our global society. For some, it’s extra help with long vowel sounds; for others, it’s memorizing the quadratic equation. No matter if it’s an at-risk student who needs extra help or a high-performing student who needs to explore a lesson deeper, Pleasant Valley faculty and staff identify the need and nurture it.
Riverdale Heights Elementary is getting statewide attention for its commitment to the PV mission. The Iowa State Board of Education honored the school for the second year in a row for the staff’s work to raise achievement among groups of students who traditionally face challenges in the classroom. Riverdale Heights is one of just four schools in the state to receive the Breaking Barriers Award. The school is being recognized specifically for its work with Latino students. At Riverdale Heights, Latino students are, on average, 93 percent proficient in reading and math. That compares to the state average of 66 percent. On January 21, 2016, Principal Jennifer Gertson and members of the faculty joined Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and the State Board of Education to receive the honor.
Principal Gertson says this honor is indicative of what teachers are doing in and out of the classroom across the district: using assessment data to identify what each student needs most and working together to come up with a plan to help each student. She says they’re not “targeting” Latino students, but all students, to make sure every one is achieving at his or her highest level.
The Breaking Barriers Award winners have the highest proficiency rates state wide in math and reading among specific subgroups of students, such as students whose first language is not English and students from low-income backgrounds. State assessment results from the last three years were examined to confirm a positive trend for each school.
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