This Week in Our Schools


February 15, 2019

This Week in Our Schools allows parents and the community to take a peek inside our classrooms each week. Scroll down to see our students in action as they learn and grow as a Muskie! (*select an image to enlarge it)

Featured this week:

  • District-Wide Students: Parents as Teachers; Mrs. Story's Jefferson/CMS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students.
  • Franklin Elementary: January Attendance Celebration; Mrs. Henderson's 2nd Grade Class; Teachers Pay It Forward.
  • Grant Elementary: Mrs. Brewer's Begindergarten Class; Mrs. Dusenberry's 1st Grade Class; Mrs. Schliesman and Mrs. McKee's 3rd Grade Classes.
  • Jefferson Elementary: Mrs. Varble's 1st Grade Music Class; Mrs. Jones' 2nd Grade Class; Mrs. Randleman's 3rd Grade Class; Mrs. Todd's 3rd Grade Class.
  • Madison Elementary: Book Tasting; Fab Lab (MakerSpace).
  • McKinley Elementary: Miss Penzkofer's 1st Grade Class.
  • Mulberry Elementary: Mrs. Gabriel's Students.
  • Central Middle School: Mrs. Mrosko & Ms. Kirby's Classes; 6th-grade Avengers Superheroes; Mrs. Beatty's 6th Grade ELA Classes; Carver Pump Tour; 8th Grade Robotics II Class.
  • West Middle School: National Geographic Geography Bee Champion!
  • Muscatine High School: Jazz Ensemble; MHS Work Experience Trainee of the Week; Model U.N.; Mr. Hennes, Mr. Hoover, and Mrs. Clark's Physics Classes.


Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers had a lot of fun celebrating Valentine's Day with their littles!
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Ms. Story's ASL Students at Jefferson/Central

Ms. Story's ASL class at Jefferson/Central is studying various facets of Deaf Culture. This week we are discussing Deaf Dance. After viewing famous Deaf dancers, then feeling the beat themselves we closed out the unit by going to the CMS auditorium for a dance clinic. Ladies from the Muskies Dance Team came to kick off their shoes, feel the beat, and teach some dance steps. All the students had a great time learning from each other! The dance team helped make dance something that is "felt and just in us", and the Deaf ASL students were able to dance freely. The bass was boosted, the songs were felt by all and we were inspired to dance alongside students who seldom get such opportunities.


January Attendance Celebration

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Mrs. Henderson's 2nd Grade Class

Mrs. Henderson's 2nd grade class celebrated Friendship day with a Disney theme. They enjoyed many activities and had lots of fun while being creative!

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Paying It Forward

Our Franklin staff “paid it forward” by helping our Wesley volunteers who support our kiddos every day! Thank you to all of our great community supporters!

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Mrs. Brewer's Begindergarten Class.

Mrs. Brewer’s begindergarten class played Minute-to-Win-It games on Valentine’s Day!

Mrs. Dusenberry's 1st Grade Class

Mrs. Dusenberry's first-grade “astronauts” learned all the phases of the moon through OREO cookies! Yum!

Mrs. McKee and Mrs. Schliesman’s 3rd Graders

Mrs. McKee and Mrs. Schliesman’s 3rd graders had a special visit from Officers Patel and Rink with their K-9, Nero, from the Muscatine Police Department. The third graders read a story in class about Officers and their K-9 dogs and gained more information from their visit. Thank you for taking time out of your day to talk to us, Officers Patel and Rink. We sure learned a lot.


Mrs. Varble's 1st Grade Music Class.

Ms. Varble's 1st-grade music class used paper plates as ice skates to go along with the icy weather!

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Ms. Jones' 2nd Grade Class.

The students had to "plan" their Valentine Party in groups. Their budget was $20. There were specifications they had to meet (5 desserts from the food store, 5 from the craft store to make valentines, cups, plates, napkins, and decorations from the party store).

The students also did math and ELA activities using candy hearts.

Mrs. Randleman's 3rd Grade Class

Mrs. Randleman's 3rd graders were given the task to build a standing heart only using cups and cardboard. They had to work in teams to accomplish this goal. They were told they had to use all the cups and cardboard and it had to be standing!
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Mrs. Todd's 3rd Grade Class.

Mrs. Todd's 3rd grade students enjoyed fun learning opportunities during inside recess.


Book "Tasting" at Madison

Students at Madison School participated in a Book Tasting with brand new library books! Students 'tasted' books from many different genres such as fantasy, realistic fiction, biography, and graphic non-fiction. They were very excited to share the books they sampled with their classmates.

Fab Lab (MakerSpace)

Students at Madison School are enjoying working in the Fab Lab (Makerspace). They collaborated to code this scoreboard (see video) using the littleBits code app. It is a tradition to say "Hello World" when you code for the first time. Students are also very excited about our new Lego Wall!


Miss Penzkofer's 1st Grade Class.

Miss Penzkofer's McKinley 1st grade students show off their creative Valentine boxes.

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Mrs. Gabriel's Class

Mrs. Gabriel’s class at Mulberry made homemade lollipops to go with their story “Liam Makes Lollipops”.


Mrs. Mrosko & Ms. Kirby's Classes

Students in Mrs. Mrosko & Ms. Kirby's classes have been hard at work making tie blankets in order to give back to the community. They plan on donating them to area hospitals, nursing homes and animal shelters for those in need.

6th Grade Avengers Superheroes of the Month of February

Congrats to these outstanding 6th graders!
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Mrs. Beatty's 6th Grade ELA Classes

6th Grade ELA students in Mrs. Beatty's classes prepared for and participated in a Socratic Smackdown to learn the debate process and how to agree/disagree appropriately.

Carver Pump Tour

A group of students from Central Middle School were invited to tour Carver Pump on Thursday. Students were selected based on their interest and achievement in mathematics, robotics, and machining. These students were given information about class selection for high school and the importance that excellent attendance has on their future, as well as the many options available for internships and employment through Carver Pump. Thank you Carver Pump for investing in our students!

8th Grade Robotics

8th grade Robotics II students created drag racers. They all did a great job! Our fastest car was able to traverse the 40-foot race in under 4 seconds!


National Geographic Geography Bee

Congratulations to 6th grader Necoli A.! He is the National Geographic Geography Bee champion for West Middle School. He is pictured with his geography teacher, Mrs. Stutzel and principal O'Donnell. Congrats Necoli! (P.S. Necoli beat out 7th and 8th graders in the competition!)

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MHS Jazz Ensemble

The MHS Jazz Ensemble transported all to The Big Easy during their award-winning performance at the 6th Annual Southeast Polk JazzFest in Pleasant Hill, IA on Saturday, February 9th. Under the direction of Mr. Lee Plummer, Muscatine placed first in 4A competition followed by Urbandale in second place and Newton in third. Muscatine also took home outstanding awards for trumpet, trombone, and saxophone sections.

University of Northern Iowa School of Music faculty member Mike Conrad mentored the ensemble in a post-performance session that drilled down into the particulars to reveal new possibilities for achieving even higher levels of musicianship. Exciting things are on the horizon for the MHS Jazz Ensemble this season!

The group will compete at the Liberty Jazz Festival in North Liberty on Friday, February 15th. They will also perform at the 15th Annual All-City Swing Dance at The Merrill Hotel in downtown Muscatine from 6:00-10:00pm on Saturday, March 9th. For more information about the MHS Jazz Ensemble, please contact Mr. Lee Plummer at Lee.Plummer@mcsdonlineorg. For more information about the All-City Swing Dance on March 9th, please contact MHS Director of Bands, Mr. Jeff Heid at .

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Work Experience Program Trainees of the Week

This week's Work Experience Program trainees are seniors Adam Rininger and Jessica Ennenga pictured here outside Stepping Stones Learning Center (On a much warmer day!) with owner/director Shawna Martin. Adam and Jessica are our most recent student trainees to benefit from the experience of assisting the Stepping Stones staff in the care and education of the young ones. Adam and Jessica along with many of our former students have benefitted from their time training with the staff at Stepping Stones over the years. Thank you, Shawna and staff, for providing a place for our MHS Work Experience Program students to learn what it takes to provide a warm and welcoming environment for the young ones to learn.

Shawna, an MHS graduate, has been the owner/director of Stepping Stones Learning Center, located at 2205 2nd Ave in Muscatine, since 1997. Shawna and her staff provide quality childcare, preschool, and before & after school care to families residing in Muscatine and the surrounding areas.

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Model UN Club

18 students from the Model UN club attended a four-day academic conference hosted by the University of Chicago. The conference included over 3,000 students from across the United States and the world. Our students represented the delegation of Argentina on 10 different committees, where they had the opportunity to discuss and write resolutions on current global issues.

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Mr. Hennes, Mr. Hoover, and Mrs. Clark's Physics Classes

Mr. Hennes, Mr. Hoover, and Mrs. Clark's Physics classes played physics pong yesterday, exploring the elements of 2D motion. They also learned about the difference between accuracy and precision.

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