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December 2013:
This year the staff added fun and music to our study of similes, metaphors, idioms, alliteration, and exaggeration!  Weekly the students are given song lyrics and are asked to scrutinize the lyrics for examples of figurative language.  Students enjoyed Katy Perry’s song “Roar” and discussed the idiom, “I’ve got the eye of a tiger.”  As a reward for their hard work, the whole school listened and enjoyed the song on Friday afternoon before dismissal.  Some of the teachers used the lyrics for fluency practice and compared song lyrics to other poems that they had read in class.
 
November 2013:
Hillside Elementary welcomed author and illustrator Peter Catalanoto to our school on November 8th.  He spoke to each grade level about how he became an author and an illustrator.  He discussed that he got his inspiration for his books from his family, his pets, and his surroundings.  The students were interested to know that he wrote about things that were meaningful to him.  Mr. Catalanotto also drew pictures for the students and showed them step by step how to add motion and movement to a drawing by using his eraser to blur the lines.  The students were able to ask him questions about the famous authors he has worked with like Cynthia Rylant and Mary Pope Osbourne.  The staff discussed teaching writing and modeling of the writing process. 
 
October 2013:
The Hillside community participated in PRIDE Day, a special day that focused on being Kids for Character.  The day was centered on the story The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, by Sean Covey, and students learned about the first habit, Be Proactive.  The children were divided amongst every grade level for the entire day, and participated in various team building activities. Over the course of the year, the students will learn about all of  the habits and will continue to practice being Kids for Character.
 
September 2013:

To celebrate International School Library Month 2013, fourth grade students produced hundreds of beautiful bookmarks to send to students oversea.  Hillside students are exchanging with students from Croatia, Portugal, and Spain.  This is Hillside’s third year participating in the project. In 2012, we exchanged with students in Hong Kong and 2011's partner school was in Hungary.