Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
Challenge-Based Learning Challenges Students at Riverdale Heights

Posted March 1st, 2017


For more than a month, 3rd Grade students at Riverdale Heights have been researching some big problems.  Mrs. Ahnquist’s ELP class split into two groups — one is looking to create a bully-free playground at school and the other is hoping to make a recycling system for the school.

Mrs. Ahnquist, along with Instructional Coach Mrs. Bornhoeft, wanted to try something new with this group.  It’s called “Challenge-Based Learning.”  The students identified a problem and researched ways to solve it.  Students worked together using databases, creating surveys, observing and conducting interviews to research each topic.  Based on the research, they’ve created a real-world solution.  The groups will present to the school in the coming weeks.  And when they do, we’ll update this story!

Setting the Right Tone

Posted January 31st, 2017


In Mrs. Larson’s 5th Grade class at Bridgeview, they’re setting the right tone for their next English Language Arts Unit.  You guessed it!  The unit is all about tone.

Mrs. Halverson, the Instructional Coach at Bridgeview, came in to help kick off the unit.  She spoke to the students about the difference in tone of voice and how it can change an author’s meaning.  The class watched a popular commercial.  In the ad, two actors are in two different scenes.  They say the same words, but the tone in which they say them completely changes the meaning of what is happening.  Watch the commercial here.

Students discussed the commercial, talking about the emotion, inflection and facial features that helped them determine what was happening in each scene in the commercial.  They’ll take this discussion and apply it to the next unit in ELA.  What a fun way to kick off an important subject!

Learning about the Main Idea at Pleasant View

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!

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