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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2nd grade genre study and 2nd grade poetry picnic

Each year in 2nd grade, we do a genre study during library class where we read and discuss different kinds of genres of books.  Each student has a hand in creating a large class poster that defines each genre that we will study.

For example, this is the story area all set up for a lesson about "realistic fiction" (with books on display for the students to checkout) and my read-aloud of Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl? by Louis Sachar.  I book talk good books in the genre for 2nd grade, we hear the book read aloud, and then we add a slip of paper to our poster that lists the title, characteristics, and we vote if we liked the book or not (2 thumbs up = great, 1 thumb up = ok, no thumbs up = terrible).

I wanted to try a new poetry lesson for our 2nd graders.   After reading this website, I borrowed the idea for a "poetry picnic" and modified it, and tried it with second graders this week.  They had a blast experiencing different kinds of poetry.