Commentary: Testing, transitions, green eggs at Camp Verde schools

We were pleased to have so many students take the ACT test. Super excited to learn how well they did. (Photo courtesy Camp Verde Unified School District)

We were pleased to have so many students take the ACT test. Super excited to learn how well they did. (Photo courtesy Camp Verde Unified School District)

We were pleased to have so many students take the ACT test. Super excited to learn how well they did.

Mr. Andrew’s geometry class used spaghetti and strings to learn how to convert between degrees and radians.

Camp Verde Middle School would like to congratulate its Students of the Month for March: sixth grader Drew Thorson, seventh grader Sabrina Menjivar, eighth grader Bret Tarvar; Athlete Johnathan Meyer. 

Two-for-one

CVMS would also like to congratulate its co-employees of the month, Diane Hough and Teri Owen. Diane has been a secretary with the district for 39 years, and Teri Owen a secretary for 29 years.

Sixth Grade Language Arts students took their third quarter benchmark test this week.

We also worked on an Argumentative Essay on Friday the 13th. Do they think it is a day of bad luck? Or just another regular day?

To help practice for the AZMERIT, they are writing a rough draft and using citations from the articles they read. We finished off our week with a field day, and making comic strips.

This week in eighth grade Math, the students did an activity where they gathered data and graphed their results of the number of times they could bounce a tennis ball over a period of two minutes. They are continuing to discover linear functions and how they are formed. 

Teen leadership

Mrs. Monroe’s Teen Leadership class is finishing up their unit on morals and values. They each chose their top five values and decided why they are so important to them. They then made poster boards representing what they value most, which they will present to the class on Thursday.

On March 8, seventh grade went to visit teen maze. This event is put on by Yavapai County Community Health Services and is very well-coordinated to give all students a preview of teen issues, such as healthy relationships, drug awareness, healthy fitness and making positive choices.

Camp Verde Middle School sent students to participate in the state Math competition at Tucson, and three placed in the top 10 for their grade level.

Carlos DeLaCruz took seventh place for eighth graders; Drew Thorson placed ninth and Aevvryn McAlister took 10th for the sixth graders. 

Chandler Plante, Sabrina Menjivar and Cash Clark also participated. Awesome job, Math team.

Capturing Kids Hearts

On Wednesday, March 8, Camp Verde Middle School was visited by staff from Desert Mountain, a school located in Phoenix.  They came up to observe Capturing Kids’ Hearts in action. 

Here is what they had to say: “On behalf of our team, I would like to convey our heartfelt thanks for the time you gave us today. We all felt so welcomed and enjoyed the positive energy of your campus. You have such a beautiful facility, a dynamic and caring staff, and your students were a joy to meet and talk to.”

I hope you are open to further discussions as we move forward in bringing CKH to Desert Mountain. Last week, Abbie Monroe and Robin Tankesley, traveled to Concho Elementary to share our successes with their staff.

A lesson in dental hygiene

The preschool hosted a visitor recently — Mrs. Armstrong, dental hygienist — who spent some time teaching the students about good dental health and habits. Mrs. Armstrong began her lesson by reading The Tooth Book to the students.

She went on to demonstrate the proper way to brush teeth. Then students took turns practicing by brushing the teeth of a small stuffed dinosaur.

Elementary School music programs

We have a lot of musical news to share this week. Of course, none of the following would happen without the amazing teaching and direction of our elementary music teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Murlless.

Murlless has spent the last six year creating a program that is truly remarkable. We have general education music classes for all students, choir for those who are interested in learning and performing more, and musical productions that span all ages and genres of music.

Analyzing music with art

Students took to their crayons to describe music in a lesson that was a great cross-curricular exploration project. Students listened to two very different pieces of music, then drew how the music made them feel.

The songs were the Toreadore Song from the opera Carmen by Bizet and the Prayer of St. Gregory by Hovaness. It’s apparent from the faces that one song was sad and the other was happy music.

This lesson provided some of our youngest students a chance to explore higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in a very creative manner by analyzing and synthesizing emotions evoked by music.

Elementary choir performs at Spring Musical

Our elementary choir students took the stage last week to perform for a packed house. This spring concert was a combined effort between high school, middle school, and elementary school musicians.

The elementary choir focused on songs of the seventies, giving them a great opportunity to raid their grandparent’s closets for costumes.

The students sang songs that were popular in the ‘70s, including Y.M.C.A., You’ve Got a Friend, Old Time Rock and Rock, and Celebration.

First grade encourages families to MOVE

Our first grade students held their annual musical production this week with the message to MOVE. Songs included references to golf, tennis, hockey, and baseball.

Students took the audience on an imaginary ride on a rollercoaster, and audience members were invited to join in with a march/dance that took them around the room while pausing to imitate funny poses led by Mrs. Murlless.

The program was incredibly performed and choreographed, and first grade teachers presented Mrs. Murlless with a bouquet of flowers to thank her for the diligence in directing their students.

Words of encouragement

Mrs. Wattenbarger’s has turned her student bulletin board into an affirmation station. She and her students have created a large array of affirmations and used stickie notes to create a Need One, Take One stop along the fifth grade hallway.

Students and teachers are also doing regular affirmations in their rooms, but this is a great way to boost the spirits of anyone passing by.

Students have been encouraged to take a stickie note for themselves if they see a message that speaks to them.

Messages include encouragement to pursue dreams, attend college, and be kind, to name but a few.

Green Eggs and Ham

In Elementary School, our pre-school students had a fantastic time for Dr. Seuss Week last week. Their best day was Green Eggs and Ham. They made green eggs and green pancakes in class. They painted with green paint and played with green playdough.

Most of the students wore green to school that day. On Thursday, Mr. Lawton came to read to the class.

The fun did not stop there with our elementary school students. In Mrs. Justus’ room, students from the high school TOP Program came to read to the class.

They then followed up with a Dr. Seuss art project. The students made a Cat with a Hat art project and loved the activity. Mrs. Justus’ students love when the TOP students come once a month to read and/or play games during lunch.

AG Day

Mrs. Justus’ students also went to the high school for the AG day. The students enjoyed the hands on participation activities and of course seeing the animals is always the highlight of the mini field trip to the high school.

In Middle School, the special education staff and students have been displaced while their classroom is being worked on. Everyone has adapted pretty well to their new surroundings, but are looking forward to returning to their room.

IEP transitions

In high school, the team continues to work on IEP Transition meetings at the Middle School. Lisa Powers expressed she feels they are doing a better job of selecting the best classes for our students with academic challenges.

Next year, our students receiving special education services and are in the general education setting will have an Academic Skills Class to better address their goals and areas of weakness while providing supervision with homework and completing their assignments.

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