Students worked in partnerships to research and ecosystem and create a food web for it. To present their learning, students created posters showing some of the producers, consumers, and decomposers in their ecosystem. Check out students hard at work. I had very little to do except admire their efforts!
To practice classifying polygons by their properties, students played a fun game I created called "Polygon Capture." Students gambled to see if they could match the most polygons to a random set of properties.
For this project, students thought up an invention that they believed would solve problem. They then created a prototype of the invention and designed promotional materials that explained the uses and benefits of the invention as well as user feedback and pricing. Check out some student work below.
Pine Hill Students Show off Talent
By Robert Rosen
Hometown Weekly Staff
On Friday, April 1, the first annual Pine Hill Talent Show was held for students in grades three, four and five. It was the first talent show at Pine Hill since 1993, and the event was such a success that it is expected to be held every year from now on.
“Students in grades 3-5 are sharing their amazing talents, ranging from singing, piano and violin to karate, gymnastics and dance,” said Pine Hill fifth grade teacher Meri Kimball, adding that approximately 52 students either performed, emceed or were in the stage crew.
As Kimball mentioned, there were many talents showcased, including a piano solo by Caetlyn Embree, who performed a piece by Beethoven; a band performance by Tatum Goldberger, Ava Toney, Aza Whittlesey and Angie Feng; board breaking by Leila Sapponaro; gymnastics by Julia Martin, Sarah Parrish and Alice Quinn; a clarinet duet by Riley Delaney and Emily Worcester; a hip-hop dance performance by Kelli Kamphaus; and karate by Gabe Goldstein, Luca Mariano and Felix Giesen. These were just some of the talents shown off at the show on Friday night.
Pine Hill special education teacher Chris Randa worked with the emcees in the weeks leading up to the talent show and was really excited beforehand after helping the students write and practice skits.
“They are so funny and talented,” said Randa, who was a student at Pine Hill who performed at the last talent show back in 1993. “I’m really proud of the work they’ve done.”
The driving force behind this year’s talent show was Pine Hill music teacher Kelly Hodge, who heard students’ pleas for opportunities to show off their own talent and see their classmates’ talents and decided to launch the talent show.
Hodge runs the weekly All School Meetings on Fridays where she leads singing, skits and news and the meetings used to include a segment where students were able to show off a talent, but unfortunately it took too much time and they had to stop doing it.
Kimball immediately offered her assistance with set design, stage crew and lights, and Randa came on board quickly as well. In addition, school librarian Laurie Ryan volunteered to run the sound for the event.
But it wasn’t just the students who got to show off their talent. The show ended with teachers performing “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift while the entire audience of parents and students joined in by dancing.
In addition to all the fun everyone had, the event helped out a good cause as $460 was raised for Autism Speaks in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, which was the following day.
The first annual Pine Hill Talent Show was a success, and Pine Hill students are already excitedly waiting for next year’s talent show so they can show everyone what else they can do.
Robert Rosen is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @roberterosen.
For part of their Global Citizenship project, students created artwork designed to shock and alarm viewers about a particular world issue. Check out students' powerful images.
We call them "RAFTS," which stands for Role, Audience, Format, Topic. Students got to take on the role of someone from Colonial America and write a document that could have been a primary source. Students researched a variety of topics, from the Salem Witch Trials to medicine to clothing. Check out a few samples of student writing below.
Sentencing Letter by Whitney
Ebenezer Johnstone April 13th, 1634
Dear Mr. Amos Blanchard,
It has come to our attention that you have been identified and convicted for the killing Ms. .Amity Worsen. As you know, at your trial last month, you were found guilty and were told to wait until you were sentenced to a particular punishment. As of today, April 13th, you have been sentenced to a death by hanging on May 2nd, 1634. You shall be able to see or write to your family one last time, if they are willing to speak to you..
When your fateful day finally comes, my fellow Constables and I shall come to your jail cell and escort you to the Gallows, where you're hanging will be carried out. It shall be a public affair, so you shall be hanged with your fellow colonists watching. May this be punishment enough for your many sins. You shall have about 3 ½ weeks before we come. Take this time to reflect on how you have ended your life so short.
You may come to one last church service, if you wish. The Puritans will be worshipping every Sunday for 4-5 hours. This will be a good end to your life. But beware, the Puritans do not take murder lightly. Go unnoticed and you will be fine. Once you’re hanging has occurred, your property, slaves and servants, will be excused from duty. Your Servants will be let go, while your slaves will be sold again.
Onto your family. If your family does decide to see you a final time, they will have a fortnight to get to our beloved colony. If they fail to get here in time, all they will see is you being shipped back to England in a coffin. They are being notified of your punishment by my colleague right now. I hope that you will remember that because of this monstrosity, the devil will already be making room for you in Hell .
I trust that you will be ready for us to take you to the Gallows on the 2nd of May. I can only pray that God will have mercy on your soul .
Journal Entry about Roanoke by Trisha
I arrived back to the the land with several men. The year was 1590. My men and I had sailed back to england to get more supplies. The food supply was running low, therefor I needed to go back. I looked around. The leaves crackled as I placed my foot upon them. Nothing. Just the shacks and cottages we had built. And a strange fence.. It had not been there when I left for England. I stared at it for quite a while. A strange mysterious word carved onto a fence post. I don’t know what it means, Who did it? And when did this happen?
I suddenly realized. The people. Had the whole colony had just vanished?
My men and I searched for quite a while. Nobody. Not a trace. Just the dried, wrinkled tobacco. It seemed nobody had been there for ages. Not even a trace of food.
We realized it was time to stop searching. It was hopeless. No evidence.
I returned to the fence post. The strange word. I felt the fence post. The hard wood surface scraped the palm of my hand. The word. The strange word. What it spelled….
Letter to Family by Caitlin
How are you Edward? Have you heard any reports of when the ship shall leave from england to the new world?Jonas is growing up to become a fine gentleman he has brought back dinner many times. Temperance is a very fine lady and is very good at making bonnets and making skirts. On the other hand Cornelia is very sick.
The doctors have not reported a way to cure her. She has sickly yellow skin and has a very high fever. She also has blisters all over her body she is also getting headaches throughout the day. The doctors have tried everything like giving her broth made out of boiled toads. They also tried cutting herrings down the back and putting them on Cornelia’s feet.
On the other hand clearly doctors over here do not know what they are doing. They once cut a man in the arm that was incredibly sick and said they were letting the bad blood out. They also tried to do that to are lovely Cornelia I don’t know what would happen if anyone ever tried to cut are Cornelia.
The people over here think that the savages are poisoning our food and that is why everyone here is getting these diseases and doctors haven't found a cure to solve the horrible diseases everyone is getting. Mr. Rosanda is very sick he came down with a fever a week ago. Doctors think it is from the indians. I went over to visit him last night, it was strange he kept asking for water. I am afraid that we all will get what Mr. Rosanda has.Every day someone new gets sick it is terrible. If we are lucky Temperance and Jonas will not get sick like Cornelia.
Remember Ms. Herting she sadly died a few months ago. She had a high fever that went up to 101 degrees. Ms. Herting also got headaches every hour. Ms. Herting had rashes all over her with white patches on her rashes.
Overall, mostly everything is the same like the clothing they nice and poofy. The weather over here is not very good. And we are very scarce on food. I don't know if everyone gonna make it through the long winter.
Wish us luck, we miss you. We hope we see you soon.
Solomon Smith 5/23/1692
Watch Out For Witchcraft!
If you suspect a witch, report to The Court of Oyer and Terminer. They shall be tested by touch test, or dunking,or lord's prayer, and much more.
If you are a witch you shall go to gallows hill and be hanged by sjr. Ebenezer Johnstone. You will be able to speak to your family once more than you shall be hanged. Please find witches as soon as possible, the town can’t live with more attacks.
Posted by Solomon Smith
Letter to Family by DeAngi
I have made a grave mistake. I have killed Ms. Amady Worsen. As you know, I am sentenced to death, but the constable will let me see you again. At least if thy want to see me. I can go to thee church, and die a happy, religious death.But I have a least 3 weeks to be hanged . As thy know, the hanging will be on thee gallows hill and hopefully thee death is on may 2nd 1634. I know the devil will make room in the forbidden lands of hell for killing her. Only thy soul will go into thy heavens. Thy worst part for you is all of our slaves and servants will be released and you will be poor once again. But, thy can always buy new ones, and hope for the best. But yet if you want to spend your last riches on me being sent back to england. It’s always an option. Smoke the last pipe of uppowoc because all of it is in thy ground and shall not be grown until 3 months later. Thy shall be thee end of thee letter. Thy constable will warn thy about thee. I will be in thy jail cell waiting for thee.
I loved you all,
Letter to Family by Liana
How are you? I am very busy with Emeline and Hugo. Emeline is very talented at knitting, and Hugo is learning to hunt. Hugo is a big handful you know! I wish he were a bit more like his sister. How are Henrietta and Aurinda doing? They are such good kids.
You remember Ms. Rosetta. Her skin is a yellowish color, and she’s been vomiting a lot. She is suffering, and I really hope she gets better. Now that I come to think of it, a lot of people are ill these days. Some people are even dying from illness. Like remember Mr.Skeeter? He was a good man. He invited us over a lot. He was very fond about Hugo. You know, I am starting to think that the cures we use for the diseases aren’t working. The doctor recently took away all Ms.Comfreys bad blood, but she’s still very ill. She’s even been taking broth with boiled toads, but that isn’t doing her any good. Actually I think it is making it worse.
And have you heard all the rumors? They say that Mr.Barty has severe rashes, horrible headaches, delirium, and convulsions. I am not planning to go over to his house anytime soon. They say he has been acting very odd lately.
You know, I am starting to think that coming to this land was a bad idea.
Everyone is getting ill, people are dying, and I do not envy the food. Also, here in this new land, my skirts are getting very filthy. It makes me very irritated. Oh and thank you for my birthday present! I was very fond of the bonnet. But really, matters are getting much worse than before. In my opinion, the doctors aren’t finding good cures for these dreadful diseases They were cutting those fish, I think they were called herrings, down the back, and tying it to Ms. Comfrey’s feet. It really did not help, a single bit! It just made her feet smell bad! So I hope I shall be able to see you soon. And take care of yourself. Let’s hope you don’t get any of those diseases. So please just stay away from illness if you can.
Check out some of our fantastic “Vocabulary Word Scales.” Students made scales of vocabulary words to describe a trait --from size, temperature, and light, to taste, affection, and intelligence. Words that meant the opposite were on each end of the scale, and we filled in the scale with as many words in between that we could find. Students enjoyed using dictionaries and thesauruses to find new words, which they will hopefully use in their writing and discussion. It was especially enjoyable to check out everyone else’s clever vocabulary word options. Great work students!
5K performed their African Drumming routine at All School Meeting. Students thunderously beat their drums in syncopated rhythm. They added some spice –or better yet, ‘sleepiness’– to their performance to get some chuckles from the crowd. We hope you enjoy!
Students explored human rights in this project. They created a mini book about what they feel should be the top 10 human rights. They researched a person or organization that defends human rights and created a presentation to inform the class. Lastly, students designed artwork to express their vision of what it means to be human.
Check out student work below!
Mini Book by Liana
Students wrote some fantastic stories about an experience in their lives. Topics ranged from an escaped horse, an injured foot, a lockdown, a ballet recital, a harrowing rollercoaster, a first chapter book, and much more.
To develop students' narrative technique, they focused on the following skills:
You can read some students' stories in the Comments section. Enjoy!