Hillcrest Staff ARTery

We are the heART of Hillcrest!

The week of January 18th - 22nd

Bus Duty:

AM - Jody, Anna & Amy W.

PM - Cici, Lee & Cory

Treats: Anna E. & Emily

Word of the Week: Joyfulness


Monday, January 18th - NO SCHOOL - MLK DAY
  • A reminder - - - Hawk Talk deadline is January 20th

Tuesday, January 19TH (Day 1)

  • 8:20 - Staff Meeting
  • 1:00 - 1:50 - 4th grade Fire Dept. Program

Wednesday, January 20th ( Day 2)

  • 8:20 - 9:00 - SWIM team meeting/Caroline's room

Thursday, January 21st (Day 3)

  • 8:00 - 1:00 - Calvin @ principal's meeting

Friday, January 22nd (Day 1)

  • 1:00 - 1:50 - Fire Dept. Program (4th grade)
  • 4:40 - Susie's send off party - Sports Page (9014 South Lyndale Avenue)

Upcoming Events

January 25th - PD and Grading Day - NO SCHOOL

January 29th - Rally in the Lunchroom - 3:15

January 29th - Report cards go home

February 2nd - Kinder Registration

February 9th - PTSA Meeting - 6:30/Media Center

Staff Meeting Schedule (Topics)

1/19 - Close Reading w/Rachel Gens (3 of 4)

2/2 - Achievement Gap at HC

2/16 - TBD

3/1 - TBD

January 25th Schedule



HC will be following the same schedule as all other elementary schools on this day in order to allow for intra-district PLC meetings. This means that we will be starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. If you have a conflict with this early start, please let Calvin know.

8:00 - 10:00 Standards Work Presentation (at school site)

  • Presentation on Unit of Study

10:00 - 11:00 Deeper Dive into RAT with building Super CT and MD (at school site)

11:00 - 12:00 Lunch (on your own)

12:00 - 2:00 Grading / Report Cards (on your own)

2:00 - 2:30 Travel Time

2:30 - 3:30 PLC Time (choice of the teachers)

Martin Luther King Jr. (Holiday on Monday, January 18th)

Help students in grades K-5 put in perspective the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, and his significance to American culture and history. Learn more here. (This was taken from the NEA website and work shared is by Phil Nast, 1/8/16)

Lesson Plans

Dr. King's Dream
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., listen to an excerpt from his “I Have a Dream” speech, and create picture books about freedom for Americans today.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Me: Identifying with a Hero
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life of Dr. King, record information on a KWL chart, and keep a journal of thoughts and ideas.

How Big Are Martin’s Big Words? Thinking Big about the Future
Students in grades 3-5 listen to a reading of Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and then analyze excerpts from King’s speeches for "big" words, words not necessarily as large in length as they are in importance: Freedom, Peace, Love.

Let Freedom Ring: The Life & Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students in grades 3-5 view photographs of the March on Washington, read Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and investigate how Dr. King used language from "My Country 'Tis of Thee" in his own speech.


Martin Luther King Jr. Interactive Timeline
After listening to a reading of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler, students in grades 3-6 use sequencing skills to create a timeline of MLK’s life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quiz
A printable ten question quiz.

King Crossword
This printable crossword for elementary students includes an interactive version and an answer key.

Background Resources

I Have a Dream: Celebrating the Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
A source of activities, lessons, and websites.

Martin Luther King Jr.
NY Times archive of articles on MLK.

Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This K-8 teacher source provides whiteboard resources, book lists, and activities.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: Lesson Plans and Teacher Guides
This curriculum package for K-8 teachers includes a teacher guide, lesson plans and units, exhibits, a problem-solution project, and references. The package is available in 5 PDF sections totaling 303 pages.


Coaches Corner

For some of our students, following what might seem like a list of simple instructions isn’t as easy as it seems. Building the working memory necessary to remember and execute a list of directions is a skill that can be taught and practiced. That’s great news, isn’t it? What that means is that we can provide students with opportunities to improve their working memory!

  • Student can practice following 2-3 step directions as an energizer throughout the day. Not only will this give them a brain break, it will also develop their working memory. You don’t even have to come up with a list of directions because there is one right here! These can easily be used in a game like Simon says.

  • Students repeat a clapping/patting/tapping pattern. You can add complexity as you go by including pauses or rhythms. To really up the ante, while students are repeating the pattern, you’re giving the new pattern.

  • To develop working memory and review content, try word or number chains. Students work in small groups. The teacher provides the topic word. The first student says a word that relates to the topic. The second student repeats that word and adds their own. For example, if the topic is states, the first student might say California, second student California, Wyoming, third student California, Wyoming, Rhode Island, etc. For a number chain, the prompt might be factors of 36 or odd numbers. Encourage students to make 3-4 word chains at the beginning, expanding on this as they improve.

Tech Team Information

September Topics

Where will printing happen?

  • Bring students to the lab

  • Check out Macbook Air cart

  • Individuals log in to classroom

  • Publishing & sharing work as alternates - Ask: Do they really need to print it?

Using The BPS HUB

  • Students need training on logging in and reading the Hub planner, writing notes.

  • It’s important to remember that the Hub’s audience is both students & parents.

October Topics

When are we sending CBs home?

  • Face-to-face distribution of devices for grades 3-5.

  • This will happen via a separate Curriculum Night/Chromebook Open House in September 2016. Specific date to be determined.

Action item: All grade levels should add headphones to Fall 2016 school supply list.

Chromebook Cases

  • Kids will be provided a charger, chromebook, case and a luggage tag

  • Luggage tags will have Student Name, Homeroom, Color coded label for Grade level, perhaps a personalized photo snippet for HC tags

Where won’t Chromebooks go in our building?

Chromebooks will not go to:

  • lunch

  • bathroom

  • locker rooms

  • bus

Action Items:

  • Communicate policy with our bus drivers and patrols.

November Topics

How will we prepare students to have devices?

  • 2nd graders will have a chromebook experience this spring.

  • Digital Passport curriculum for digital citizenship, also this spring.

  • Chromebook and iPad bootcamp will be developed and taught.

How will we prepare teachers to have devices?

  • Beginning in January, staff will have regular professional development focused on technology and digitization. January 25th, to be precise!

December Topics

Families without internet.

  • Students will be taught to use offline mode and a Chrome Extension called Pocket. It is then their job to pack up their digital backpack at the end of the day, same as a physical backpack. These students may need specific time to do so.

  • Hot spot pucks will be available as a short-term solution and on a very limited basis. The pucks will be available to everyone at Hillcrest with a check out period of two weeks. Pucks are very expensive and not feasible as a blanket solution, so communicating with families who might fall in this category is very important, in order to connect them with the district-suggested resources.

Hillcrest third grade class from 2014-15 published in COMPAS anthology

Lee's third grade class from last year will have their work published in Punch at the Wild Tornado, an anthology featuring the best student writing from the COMPAS Arts Education program. The students and their families are invited to a publication celebration at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Paul’s Landmark Center.

Lee's class, under the guidance of COMPAS’s Charlie Maguire, created an original song about the sun, moon and stars titled “Way Up In The Sky.” The exercise put to work lessons from the class’s “discovery” Artful Learning unit.

COMPAS artist residencies were funded through a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) grant, which helped provide Artful Learning experiences at each grade level (K-5). Hillcrest is an MSAB grant recipient again this year.

Visit www.compas.org to learn more about the program.

Building Winter and Break Reminders

Winter is here . . .

  • Please make sure students take their coats and boots home regularly, so that the hall can be kept clean.
  • All boots should be put up off the floor at the end of the day (on top of hooks or in lockers).
  • Please make sure that students stomp and wipe their feet before entering the hallways.

Personal Leave Requests Now Approved by Principal

Starting December 1st all principals will be approving personal leave requests. Be sure to submit your leave requests through MyLeave in MyView (TIES). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. [Note - you do not need to ask Calvin in person. Unless you feel that you need to do so.]

Our weekly staff newsletter!

This newsletter will come to you every Friday afternoon for the upcoming week. If you have any information, small business items, or events to share, please email the title, narrative, and specifics to Jane or Calvin.