Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Six Flags Read to Succeed Program starts this week!

All students are invited to participate in the Six Flags Read to Succeed program again this year!

Just for recording six hours of reading between Jan. 4 - Feb. 25, every student who turns in their reading log to Mrs. Eley will get a FREE Six Flags ticket!

The letter and recording sheet can be downloaded here if your child lost his/her copy.

Monday, December 21, 2015

3rd Grade Readers Theater plays a success!

Congratulations to our third grade students for successful Readers' Theater performances in the library today! During the past 6 weeks in library, third graders have been practicing their fluency and expression and preparing readers' theater plays to share with their classmates and parents.  There were over 40 parents in attendance today, in addition to teachers and Mrs. Fitzgerald.
I am always so proud of the students for how many of them "blossom" and how they move from barely being able to read with expression to reading loudly, clearly, and with expressive voices!
Today's program:
Mrs. Schmidt's Class - Hooway for Wodney Wat
Mrs. Winkel's Class - Bubba the Cowboy Prince
Mrs. Golick's Class - Tortoise and the Hare
Mr. Sterling's Class - Redheaded Robbie's Christmas Story
Closing Song - "There's Someone in the Chimney" with Music Teacher Ms. Stitt
Videos for all classes except for Mrs. Winkel's class will be uploaded soon to the Mt. Laurel Schools YouTube channel.  Mrs. Winkel's class will receive a direct email link. 

Mrs. Schmidt's class takes a bow
Mrs. Winkel's Class Narrators

Fairy Godcow - Mrs. Winkel's class

Mrs. Golick's class

Hare, Tortoise, and Announcer Freddie Fox

Mrs. Golick's Class

Mr. Sterling's Class Narrators

Mr. Sterling's Class takes a bow

Singing "There's Someone in the Chimney"

L to R: Mrs. Golick, Mrs. Eley, Mr. Sterling, Mrs. Winkel, Mrs. Schmidt

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

4th grade cereal commercials 2015

Fourth grade students have been involved in a library unit on media literacy. We discussed many advertising and persuasive techniques, including target audiences, food styling and Photoshop. Students paired up created a new cereal box for a specific target audience.

After Mrs. Eley helped them use Google Presentations to create the cereal box, they filmed a short commercial!

 The video of their commercials is available on the Mt. Laurel Schools YouTube Channel at

 Keep an eye on this webpage throughout the year for more student projects and videos! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kindergarten Digital ABC Books

During library, Kindergarten students have been reading alphabet books such as Alphabet Under Construction, The Z Was Zapped, and If Rocks Could Sing: a Discovered Alphabet.  With Mrs. Eley, they have been talking about ABC order and how fiction books are on the library shelves in ABC order by the author's last name.

As their culminating project, they were asked to complete a digital photo “scavenger hunt” last week in library.   This corresponds with NJ Core Curriculum Technology Standard 8.1.

Students were given a card with an object that represents each letter of the alphabet. (For example, “Bb Blue” or “Tt teacher.”) They had to find that object in the library and take 2 digital photos of it using our 4 school Canon PowerShot cameras.

The point was not to have perfect pictures, but to have each student have an opportunity to take at least 2 shots with the camera.

This week each student chose which photo looked the best of the 2 that were taken (we discussed fuzzy/clear and brightness).  Each student typed one sentence of text and we assembled our digital ABC books! We hope you enjoy them!

Digital ABC books by each K class (in a Flipsnack digital book format) can be found below!

Mrs. Carr's AM class

Mrs. Pierce's AM class

Mrs. Pierce's PM class

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kindergarten Students are Thankful!

       During library class, kindergarten students read a book called “The Most Thankful Thing” by Lisa McCourt.  We then recorded our voices saying what we are most thankful for.  Our “Thankful Things” recording is below!   

        If you have an email address, you can register with and leave us a typed or recorded comment.  We would love to hear what you have to say.  Simply click the “Sign in/Register” button at the bottom of the screen and follow the directions.

        Enjoy! Feel free to contact me with any questions.  ~ Mrs. Susan Eley

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Author Matt Reher visits Hillside School!

First and second grade students were delighted to welcome local author Matt Reher to the Hillside Library yesterday morning!  Matt is a friend of a Hillside family and the author of Blue Whale Babies, Giraffes Like to Eat, and several other books published by American Reading at Home.  

The students and teachers sat on the floor on the library and were enthralled by the facts he presented, including that giraffe females eat lower leaves on the tree, and male giraffes eat the higher leaves.

Thank you, Matt, for coming to our school and speaking to our students!

Last photo shows Mr. Matt Reher and his first grader friend Chase! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Welcome back!

Below is the copy of a letter every Hillside family will receive this week when your child checks out his/her first books at the library. It will also include a paper with important passwords for our online resources. ~ Mrs. Eley


Dear Hillside Families,
Welcome back to a new school year!  I am so excited to meet the new students at our school and plan for our new “One School One Book” program!
Book Checkout Info
Your child has already received a new library bag and checked out their first library books.  A few things to remember:
  • Books are due on library day.  Books can be renewed on library day, too.
    Children visit the library once a week with their class.  
    Monday – 3 Schmidt, 2 Mellin, 1 Graeff
    Tuesday – 4 Morrone, 3 Winkel, 2 Waddell, 1 Zimmerli
    Wednesday – 4 Jones, 3 Golick, 2 Mazurek
    Thursday – 4 Sonnie, 3 Sterling, 2 Abate, 1 Christiance
    Friday – all K and PreK
  • Keep food and drink away from library books (especially juice in backpacks)
  • Damaged books should be returned to the librarian with a note for repair, not mended at home.
  • If a book is lost or damaged beyond repair, payment for the book will be required.
  • Children are encouraged to choose their books independently.  They may not be what you’d choose for your child, but the idea is to let them use their new library skills to find their own way.  However, please email me at any time if your child is consistently picking “too hard” books and I am not seeing it.  We want to see your child grow as a reader and I will encourage him/her to select appropriate choices.  

Library Bags - PLEASE don’t throw them out!
Your child’s library bag prolongs the lives of our books by protecting them from spills and grime in backpacks.  They are very sturdy bags and will last all year, but I only have one per student.  If your child should lose or damage their bag, you can replace it with a 2-gallon Ziploc bag or any plastic shopping bag.  
(NEXT PAGE >>>>>>)
Save the password sheet on the back of this letter!
You and your child now have access to many wonderful online resources for research and fun reading, thanks to your school library!  My personal favorites are Britannica Online Kids and Bookflix paid for by the Mt. Laurel Library, and PebbleGo paid for by Hillside Library!
pebblego.jpg early reader research

Book Fair March 14 - 18, 2016
This year’s Scholastic “Feelin’ Groovy” Book Fair is March 14-18, 2016.  Family Night is Tuesday night, March 15, with PTO Bingo Night.  Proceeds from the fair directly support the library program (book purchases and programs like author visits).  Please email me if you are interested in volunteering during the fair or at Family Night.  I cannot run the fair without parent help!

One School One Book Program - NEW this year!
With the support of the PTO, I am very excited that our school will participate in the “One School One Book” program this year.  In January/February, students will be given clues all around the school that will hint at our chosen book title.  A kickoff assembly will announce the book title, and students will be sent home with a copy of this year’s book and a family letter explaining the program.
Students have a month to read through the book with family or using an online audio book created by Hillside teachers, and there will be a chance to win prizes and answer trivia at school.

Our culminating FAMILY EVENT will be during the school day on Wednesday, March 2, 2016!    
For those of you who are familiar with Lenape’s program, this is quite different. For more information about the program, visit   or see Countryside’s website from last year:


Friday, May 8, 2015

Kindergarten students love Chester by Melanie Watt

If you haven't read Chester by Melanie Watt, I highly suggest you check it out of our library or any other!

It is about a big cat named Chester who wants all books by author Melanie Watt to be about HIM and HIM only (he is a very self-centered cat).  He uses his red marker to draw all over and otherwise interrupt the story that Melanie Watt has planned.

When I read the story aloud, I differentiate between the author's voice (black print) and Chester's voice (red marker print) by changing my voice.  In fact, Mrs. Karen Smith, one of our Hillside staff, loves my read-aloud of Chester so much she requests a special invitation to attend each year!

Mrs. Smith, you are always welcome!

Reading Chester aloud to kindergarten is magical.  The laughter is contagious, and we always read both Chester and Chester's Back.  To conclude, this week I showed them Chester's Masterpiece and we created Chester masks so they can tell stories using their "Chester voice."

Here is a picture of some of our K students with their Chester masks:

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all Hillside moms!

Each year our Kindergarten students record a special message to their mother and I put the videos together into a short film shown to our moms at the Kindergarten Mother's Day tea event (held today).

If you missed it, visit the Mt. Laurel Schools "Family Portal," log in, and click on What We See TV > Videos > Hillside to view the videos!

Hillside School dances to "Uptown Funk" for the Ellen TV show!

Today, students and staff members recorded a dance they have been practicing with Ms. Ingham in PE class to go along with our "Get Active" theme.  Every student wore their blue "Hillside" T-shirt and went to the blacktop by the playground for a special event.

We learned the "Uptown Funk" dance and are submitting our recording of the dance to the Ellen TV show in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's surprise dance!  Ellen producers, check us out! We know how to groove!

Courier Post reporters were also in attendance!

Here are pictures of teachers practicing during the faculty meeting:

What an amazing teacher appreciation week!

I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for all the parents who contributed to make Teacher Appreciation Week at Hillside so special!!

These are the "treats" we received (some pictures below):

  • Monday: Thank you notes on our door in the form of apples or worms written by students, a little tote bag on our door with green apple gummy candy, and BREAKFAST in the teacher's lounge! Yum!
  • Tuesday: a wrapped apple and individual caramel dip
  • Wednesday: Hershey's hugs in a beautiful baggie
  • Thursday: AN AMAZING LUNCHEON in the teacher's lounge, and a gift of hand sanitizer
  • Friday: a delicious homemade cupcake wrapped and baked by Mrs. Chinn


In addition, Mrs. Zimmerli's students surprised her during library class with a special poem on a poster created by Mrs. Aviles (a room parent).  As one of the first graders read the poem aloud, she sat on the library chair and each student had a piece of candy to bring up and give to her for a basket.