Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CCMS Student Emma Hein wins 2nd Place in VFW Statewide Essay Competition

Canyon Creek 7th grader Emma Hein took 2nd place in the state of Washington for the Patriots's Pen Essay. The contest is sponsored by the Veteran's of Foreign Wars and several Washougal students were winners at the regional level.  Representatives from the VFW visited Tiffany McCormick's Language Arts class January 25 to present Emma with a plaque and a $400 check  for her award winning essay.

Award winners at the regional level are: (sixth grade): Kaytlyn Sandu, 3rd place, Canyon Creek; Ryan Kepner, honorable mention, Canyon Creek; Audry Hinchliff, honorable mention, Canyon Creek; (seventh grade): Kennedy Ferguson, 1st place, Canyon Creek; Emma Hein, 2nd place, Canyon Creek; Garret Foster, 3rd place, Canyon Creek; Felicity Goetz, honorable mention, Canyon Creek; Anastasia Janiszewski, honorable mention, Canyon Creek; (eighth grade): Justin Snodgrass, first place, Jemtegaard.

The following elementary students also received awards: (third grade): Wyat Hammer, 3rd place, Gause; William Gunn, honorable mention, Gause; (grade 4): Reid Rotundo, 1st place, Gause; Gabby Warta, 2nd place, Gause; Maddox Edwards, honorable mention, Cape Horn-Skye; Tyler Conrad, honorable mention, Cape Horn-Skye; (grade 5): Caden Lowman, 3rd place, Gause; Rebecca Hodges, honorable mention, Gause; Emily Hearns, honorable mention, Gause.

WHS students received awards in the Voice of Democracy competition: Lance Lejewski, 2nd place; Justice Rosales, honorable mention; and Crystal Saltmarsh, honorable mention.

Pictured: Emma is pictured below with Ray Loney from the Washougal VFW, and Dale Dutter from the state VFW.  

Conversation Of a Lifetime

            “Oh, say can you see…”   The first words of our nation’s anthem evoke a sense of pride and glory in American hearts.  This line is just one of the many symbols of our beautiful nation, America.  How would I express that pride to the founding fathers, the creators of our 236-year-old country?  I would thank them for taking action and creating this country—the greatest country on earth.
            If I was ever given the chance, I would tell the Fathers how much I love The Constitution.  The Founding Fathers built a constitution that gives us many rights and freedoms.  There are lots of countries out there without anything close to as many rights as us.  We are allowed to own guns, to vote, and to have our own beliefs, religions and ideas; and we can share these ideas.  With The Constitution, we also have and organized central government that governs us.  In today’s world, these things make a difference.
            I would also express to the Founding Fathers some of my feelings about democracy.  Our democracy lets us have a voice in our government, among other things.  It’s great to be able to vote for who we want to lead us, not just who’s next in line for the throne.  The Founding Fathers created a democracy where we can influence our government and elected officials. I would tell the Founding Fathers how nice it is to live free of a dictator like all the countries I hear about on the news.
            America doesn’t belong to any other country or any ruler.  Our country is a free country, and I would thank the Fathers for that.  I know many people take this freedom for granted, but we shouldn’t.  I’m proud of my country- a free, independent country.  And I admire the courageous, outstanding men who built it. 
            If I were ever given the amazing opportunity to sit down and converse with any of these men, I would tell them of my admiration for their accomplishments.  I would let them know how much I love The Constitution, our democracy, and our freedom.  If it weren’t for these brave, incredible men, America wouldn’t be here.
            “…For the land of the free, and the home of the brave!”- Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Banner.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hathaway Students Celebrate Read-A-Thon

Students in Alexis McKee’s 2nd and 3rd grade class at Hathaway Elementary celebrated their love of reading on January 28 with a Read-A-Thon.

“It was a whole day of reading,” explained McKee.  “Through out the day the students read together, on our own and even had special "celebrity" guest readers came in and read a book to the class.” These "celebrities" included the principal, school secretary, school social worker and other special people the kids know at Hathaway.  In addition, Erin Hayes’ 4th and 5th graders came in and paired up with the younger students and read their favorite picture books to them. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

No Name Calling Week Held at Gause Elementary

Students and staff at Gause Elementary School didn’t have a bad hair day, they had a crazy one!  It was all a part of celebrating “No Name Calling Week,” to invite students to show their individuality and embrace what makes them special.

Teachers used the special week to focus on positive behaviors and draw attention to forming good relationships, practicing refraining from name calling and to prevent bullying of any kind.

“When students are focused on a certain positive behavior or expectations, they are more likely to continue on that path,” explained Julie Bristol, Gause Social Worker.  “We want everyday at Gause to be a No Name Calling Day!”

Hathaway Students Embrace Technology as they Learn and Teach

No two snowflakes are exactly the same.  Neither is the way Hathaway Elementary 4th and 5th graders in Erin Hayes’ class used iPad technology to teach younger students how to make paper snowflakes.

“Teaching students how to effectively communicate directions is one of the Washington State Learning Requirements,” explained Hayes.  “First, our kids decided they wanted to teach Alexis McKee’s 2nd and 3rd grade class next door how to make three-dimensional snowflakes.  Then they decided to use the classroom iPads as an instructional tool.”

Each student created their own unique presentation. Some illustrated their step descriptions with videos and others with photos.  When it was all done they took the materials to make the snowflakes and their iPad and worked one-on-one with younger students to teach them the process.

“Making the snowflakes was tricky at first, but Jocelyn was a really good listener,” said fifth grader Kayla Grimani.  “I think it was better for her to see my directions with the iPad because there were pictures, videos and transitions with all the steps.”

Second grader Aundre Pitts enjoyed the learning experience. “The iPads were really cool because the steps were right there and there was a touch screen. When I’m in fifth grade, I hope I get an iPad!”

The iPads in the classroom are a part of a Washougal School District pilot program to test their enhancement to learning and the feasibility of a longer term initiative to provide iPads to a larger group of students.  Currently one fifth grade class in each elementary school is using them for research, to reinforce learning, engage in peer editing, and create presentations.  The iPad also takes the place of the traditional paper textbook.

“It is pretty amazing what our kids can do when you set technology right in front of them,” commented Hayes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Students create fairy houses at Hathaway

Hathaway students who read the book "the Night Fairy" reached outside of the classroom and created fairy houses from items found in their own backyard.  These student created works are on display in the Hathaway Library.