Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Outdoor Education at Rodger's Park

We had a fantastic day at Rodger's Park on Tuesday.  A huge thank you to the Benton County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Nate Platt, our MS Art Instructor, had our students participate in the Iowa DNR Take It Outside Art Contest. Forty-five schools submitted posters and were entered into a drawing for one of four fishing field experience grants. Benton CSD Middle School was selected to receive this grant.   

Providing grants to help schools to “take it outside” with their students is one way the IA DNR continues to meet its mission : Leading Iowans in caring for our natural resources. Children who play outside grow up to be stewards of the environment. The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities.” (Children, Youth and Environments, 2006).

We would like to personally thank our MS Staff who helped supervise this event:  Theresa Thompson, Marty Thomae, Mark Kenny, Krista Olen, Emily O'Connell, Shelly Sindt, Kelsey Kearns, Kelly Jamesson, Dave Jepsen, Cheryl Lieb.  We also had two volunteers who were a tremendous support:  Bridget McWhorter and Jay Lieb.  Karen, Aaron, Matt and Megan from the Benton County Conservation were also instrumental in helping with the day. Stull's by the Lake also donated a huge container of worms for our students to use during their fishing experiences.

Below are some pictures of what the students experienced.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


HUGE thank you to all of you who have turned in HyVee receipts.  We collected over $38,728 in receipts this year.

And more good news, it's not too late if you still have some hanging on your frig, in your purse, vehicle or grocery sacks.  You can turn them in for next year's total:)  

Turn in HyVee Receipts to the MS/HS office -- last day to turn in receipts for the 2014-15 school year will be on 4/30/2015.

Cash 4 Students
The Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee stores are excited to announce a local fund raising program for area schools, Cash 4 Students.

The program is simple -- just save your Hy-Vee grocery receipts and turn them into
the Middle School Office anytime that is convenient for you by April 30, 2015.  For
every $200 in receipts collected our school will be awarded $1.00.  Every receipt helps
to increase our total.

If you have any questions about this program -- please email: 
or call:  319-228-8701 ext. 351

MS Science

It has been an exciting and educational year in 8th grade science!  Mr. Kenny and I have co-taught three different units this year.  Our classes have learned about the Human Brain and Senses, Populations and Ecosystems, and will be finishing up Chemical Interactions to end the year.  Our curriculum consists of the Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits where students learn science by doing science!

In the Human Brain and Senses unit students explored the use of knowledge and structures and functions of the human sensory and nervous system.  Students investigated how the brain and senses acquire, interpret, and respond to information.  Students were able to explore vision by dissecting a real cow eyeball!  We had a lot of fun exploring learning, memory, and the human’s senses. 

In the Populations and Ecosystems unit, students explored ecosystems, which is our largest organizational unit of life on Earth.  Students learned that every organism has a role to play in its ecosystem and has structures and behavior that allow it to survive.  Students were able to create their own terrestrial and aquatic environments in class to observe how populations interact.  Students also learned that food is the source of energy for all organisms and explored reproduction, limiting factors, heredity, natural selection, and evolution in this unit.

Our last unit is Chemical Interactions.  In this unit students will inquire into the structure and behavior of matter.  Students will conduct experiments to observe the macroscopic transformations of matter such as phase change, dissolution, and reactions.  Students will apply the kinetic particle theory to explore these transformations at the microscopic level.  Students will learn about atoms, how atoms combine to form substances, and that substances make up molecules and compounds. Students explored gas expansion by heating and cooling gases in plastic bottles and investigating what they did to balloons and soapy solutions. Students will also explore the components of a chemical reaction. 
~Matt Svare

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MS Dance

MS Student Council organized a great Black & White themed dance and we also donated 155 canned goods to the Benton County Food Bank in Belle Plaine.

Thanks to middle school parent Traci Nolan for the pictures and a huge thank you to staff and parents who supervised:)  We are not sure whether the students or parents had a better time...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BoxTop Collection -- February 2014

Thanks for helping us:)

Your School's Submission

Dear Melisa Venneman,

Thank you for your dedication to the Box Tops for Education program at BENTON COMMUNITY MIDDLE SCHOOL.
On 03/04/2014, we processed your submission, postmarked 02/26/2014 with the requested amount of $305.00, for the actual amount of $303.60.
There are many reasons that the actual processed amount may be different from your requested amount. If you have questions about a discrepancy, please call us at 1-888-799-2444Mondaythrough Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Central Time.

The Box Tops for Education Team

8th Grade English God and Goddesses

Our 8th graders have been working on creating 21st Century God and Goddesses in their 8th Grade English classroom.  They have created a god or goddesses and then share their representation to their class via a verbal and visual presentation and now they want to share their work with others outside of their classrooms.


Hunter Eiler
Joseph Hatton

Cyan Crockett

Jaclyn King

Patrick GorkowLuke Wiebel

Bailey Barnard
Tanner Schroeder

Bryton Buhr

Makayla VanGorp

Kain Dietze
Peyton Mullen
Shayla Kelly
Alyssa Ellis
Jaden Hawkins

Elizabeth Masten

Ellie Masten

Hannah Miller

Sam Lavin

Alissa Dengler

Brandon Venneman

Brody Scheer

Brooke White

Hailey Mills

JJ Antole

Kaley Vanderheiden

Spencer Milling
Shelby Mann
Jonathan Lemke

Jonathan Wiley

Kaylee Patterson

Laura Maschino

Mackenzie Deahl

Mackenzy Howe

Spencer Touro

Hailey Block

Leah Hull

Shelby Hulsebus

Timothy Hall
Aryanna Truesdall
Kobe Schmuecker
Sophia Gilbert

Hannah Williams

Indica Seifert

Jaron Hand

John Crawford

Lauren Duncalf

Levi Durkee

Olivia Krousie

Riley Nolan

Stuart Tiedemann

Wesley Towne
Chance Schoenfelder
Alyssa Garin

Morgan Hansen
Skye Garcia
Katie Hutson
Koal Marshall