Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back to School 2012

Welcome back Hillside Students!

Our principal Mrs. Mary Fitzgerald welcomed back all of our Hillside friends on Thursday morning, September 6, 2012, in the All-Purpose Room.  (All students were present except our kindergartners, who began on Friday the 7th.)  We began our day with the introduction of all teachers and Pledge of Allegiance.

Our Constitutional Convention will take place on Friday, September 28, at 9:15 a.m. in the library.  2 student "delegates" from each classroom in grades 1-4 will bring their classroom rules to the library.  All the delegates will take a look at the rules posted around the library and will decide on which rules are the most important for the whole school, and will create a school "Constitution" that lists the 3-5 chosen rules.  The school-wide "ratification" of the Constitution will take place on Monday morning, October 1.  This follows the Responsive Classroom recommendation to empower students to take ownership and responsibility for the school environment.  (See related article here.)

Best wishes for a great school year, Hillside!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Welcome back! 2012-2013 School Year

              Welcome back!  We are looking forward to another exciting year in the Hillside Library!   Mrs. Eley will be here for the entire month of September, but will be out on family leave from October through January.  We are so lucky to have Mrs. Colleen Zanger filling in as our interim librarian again from October through January!  Mrs. Eley will return from leave in February. 

Please note that the book fair this year will NOT be in December as usual.  The book fair will take place from March 18-22, 2013.

Here is some important library information.

Library FAQs
How many books can my student borrow? When are they due?
Students visit the library with their class once a week.  PreK-1 students borrow 2 books each week. Grades 2-4 borrow 3 books each week (or two books and one magazine).  All books are due on the next scheduled library day.

Can my child renew a book?
Yes, as long as no other student or teacher has requested the book.  He/she should place a sticky note with the letter “R” on the cover when returning the book. 

What if a book is lost, damaged or overdue?
Accidents do happen…but if a student loses or damages a library book, it must be paid for or replaced by the student.  There are no overdue fines.  Though students are instructed in proper book care, some wear and tear is inevitable. Please do not attempt to repair books at home – just send me a note!

What happens in library class besides book checkout?
I like to use the word “libratory” to describe our space – a mixture of “laboratory” and “library,” a place for discovery, inquiry, and extension of curriculum projects.  Libraries are not just places for storytimes, although read-alouds are often used to integrate with curricular topics and foster higher-level thinking skills!  Our 21st century students are “information literate” – able to determine where the best sources for information are in our info-saturated world, be it online databases, encyclopedias, or books.   

Can I volunteer in the library?
All “regular” library volunteer spots are filled for the current school year, but please email me at if you are interested in volunteering during our school book fair or for a “regular” spot in future years, and I will keep your name on a list. Thank you!

Check out this page for all library information – including a page designed just for Hillside students and their homework needs!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the librarian at (856) 235-1341 x. 7011 or (Colleen Zanger’s email will be

Susan Eley, Hillside Library Media Specialist

Monday, June 18, 2012

4th Grade Farewell 2012

Continuing a tradition I started several years ago, I asked 4th grade students to use the school FlipCams and record a "farewell" message to Hillside School and their teachers. This video was shown at their end-of-year 4th grade assembly, where teachers and some parents gather. They were asked to say a short goodbye, using such sentence starters as "I will always remember when..." or "Thank you, _____ for...." or "In 4th grade I learned..." They could also just speak from their own heart.

The finished video is available on the Mt. Laurel Family Portal (password protected)!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Third Grade Famous American Project - Hillside Hall of Fame

Congratulations to our third grade winners of our "Hillside Hall of Fame" project!  Each third grader researched a Famous American of their choice, and created a cover letter and resume as if that person was applying for a job - a spot in the "Hillside Hall of Fame!"

Classes voted on the top 3 Americans they believed should be in the "Hillside Hall of Fame," and the winning projects are presented on the voicethread website.

Project can be viewed below or you can view it larger here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Author Lisa Funari Willever Returns to Hillside!

On Tuesday, May 22, Award-winning author Lisa Funari Willever returned to Hillside to explain more about the author's process to our students.  She talked about her newest book in her "Nicky Fifth" chapter book series about a boy who moves from Philly to NJ and discovers all the cool places our state has to visit.  Students were excited by her presentation, and were offered the chance to purchase her books!   Also, more copies of Nicky Fifth books have been added to the library!

Her new book, "Nicky Fifth's NJ" includes a chapter at the famous 
Carlo's Bakery of TV show Cake Boss

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Dr. Seuss Day a Success!

Our annual celebration of Read Across America (Dr. Seuss's Birthday) was another success!  Our third grade readers performed readers theatre to a "packed" audience in the library. Guest parent readers were enjoyed by classes throughout the day.  To wrap up our celebration, members of our faculty and staff performed a readers' theater skit titled "SouperChicken" adapted by Mrs. Eley from the picture book by Mary Jane Auch.  A special "Thank you" goes to Mrs. Christiance's first grade class for performing a country dance to the song "Ice Cream Freeze" (taught by school secretary Mrs. Hayden) at our assembly!

Here are some pictures from the day! Enjoy!

Mrs. Schmidt's Class performed "The Tortoise and the Hare"

Mrs. Sonnie's Class performed "The Frog Prince Continued"
and "Rump and Ugla"

Mrs. Mansolino's Class performed "Bubba the Cowboy Prince"

Mrs. Gotti's Class performed "Henry's Freedom Box"

Ms. Newhart's Class performed "The Boy Who Cried Lunch Monitor"

Mrs. Rosenberg starred as Henrietta Chicken in "Souperchicken"
presented by faculty members

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thank you for making our book fair a success!

            Thank you to all of the students and families who supported our December book fair!  It was a great success, and Family Night was especially well-attended.  I apologize for the crowding that night, and will extend the hours next year to allow for easier shopping! 

            The library receives about 40% of the book fair profits, and the funds will be used to purchase new library books for our students and to fund our yearly author visit (Lisa Funari Willever will return for a “follow up” author visit assembly in May 2012.)