Hawthorne Happenings - April

From the desk of Mr. Mahal

Dates to remember...

April 8 - PTO Meeting 5:30 in Media Center

April 11 - KAAL Mobile Weather lab visits Hawthorne - 10:00 a.m.

April 15 - MCA Reading begins for grades 3-5

April 18 - Cherrydale Fundraiser product pick up (time to be determined)

April 22 - MCA Math begins for grades 3-5

April 25 - Incoming Kindergartner Sampler - 5:30-6:30 p.m.

April 26 - Kindergarten and 1st grade Spring Concert - 1:30 p.m.

May 6-10 - MCA Science begins for grade 5

Duct Tape the Principal!!

February was "I love to read month" and the students were challenged to read 50,000 minutes throughout the month. As the month went along, it was evident that the students would reach their goal and in the end, they absolutely SMASHED their goal by reading over 122,000 minutes for the month!!! Classrooms then were able to vote what would happen to Mr. Mahal - be slimed, made into a human sundae, or duct taped to the wall. It was an overwhelming vote for duct taping! The Monday after spring break, Mr. Mahal was duct taped to the wall as a reward for the students completing all of that reading! Fun was certainly had by all for this achievement!

MCA Testing Tips for students & parents

ISD 241 students in grades 3 through 8, 10, and 11 will be taking the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) this Spring. The MCAs are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the federal requirements. The reading and mathematics tests are used to determine whether schools and districts have met federal requirements and are part of a school's Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR). Reading and mathematics tests are given in grades 3-8, 10 and 11. Science tests are given in grades 5, 8, and once in high school, depending on when students complete their life sciences curriculum.

Below are some tips to help parents and students prepare for the assessments:


  • Encourage regular and active attendance in school.
  • Provide your student(s) with a quite study area. Have them turn off distracting electronic devices: Good studying cannot be accomplished with the television, radio, computer or other audio or video devices on (typically).
  • Ensure your student(s) eat: Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. On the day of their MCA testing, students who eat a protein-based breakfast will have increased attention spans.
  • Ensure your student(s) is/are hydrated: Research tells us that the brain requires hydration to function well. A general rule of thumb is students should drink one cup of water per hour.
  • Ensure your student(s) get a good night's sleep: Adolescents need a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night... nine hours of sleep is even better.
  • Help reduce your student's stress: Tips include positive self-talk (“I know I can do this”), avoid being rushed and take deep breaths (the brain needs oxygen to think clearly).
  • Ensure your student(s) exercise: Encourage them to spend a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes a day in active physical exercise of some sort.
  • Believe in your student's success: Parents can best support their student(s) by talking and listening about the student's school day actively, and always providing encouragement and support.
  • Encourage your student(s) to participate in practice sessions at school and at home.
  • Encourage your student(s) to answer all test questions.


  • Promote consistent reading: All students are encouraged to read a minimum of 20 minutes each night
  • Have your student(s) try crossword puzzles and news quizzes in the newspaper, magazines and online
  • Encourage your student(s) to read the newspaper everyday and a magazine at least once a week, then discuss what they have read.


  • Encourage your student(s) to use mathematics every day. They can practice by creating a grocery budget, explaining charts and graphs from newspaper and magazine articles, dividing food portions, using rulers to measure objects, measuring a recipe or adding prices on a shopping trip.
  • Play games that involve numbers or computation.
  • Encourage your student(s) to connect what they have learned in math to their hobbies, other classes and everyday life.

Help our students succeed - join us in the classroom!

We are looking for Reading Corps and Math Corps tutors for the 2019-20 school year. You can work with students every day, during the school day and help them become successful in reading and math!

Reading Corps and Math Corps provide comprehensive training in strategies proven to help students build academic skills. Tutors are paid a living allowance and are eligible for up to $4,266 to pay tuition or repay student loans. Tutors 55 or older may gift the award to their child or grandchild. Tutors may be eligible for free health insurance and child care assistance.

Learn how you can get involved by visiting readingandmath.net. You can also help by telling a friend or family member (grandparents make great tutors, too!) about openings at our school and statewide! Positions start in August for the 2019-20 school year. Send questions to recruitment@servetogrow.org or call 866-859-2825.

The more you know!

Vocabulary Boosters

A large vocabulary can turn your child into a better reader and writer. Try these everyday ways to help him/her learn new words.

  1. Keep your ears open - When you and your youngster go places, point out words that people use. Maybe a waiter describes an entree or the dentist talks about molars. Encourage your child to figure out what the words mean by the way they're used.
  2. Go beyond nouns - Help your youngster add adjectives and verbs to her vocabulary. Sports and games offer opportunities to use action words. Let your child hear you comment on the softball that soars or the runner who sprints. When she sends thank-you notes or greeting cards, suggest descriptive works (a polka-dotted shirt, a fantastic birthday).