Sunday, December 1, 2013

Have you been kind to someone today?

Quote of the Week: "When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace."
- The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)



The Week in Review

On Thursday, November 21st we held our social studies curriculum night and our annual Hilsman Middle School Geography Bee. Throughout the first semester, students have worked hard on completing a Social Studies Fair project. This project is similar to a Science Fair project in which the students select a topic, formulate a question, collect research and data, and then draw a conclusion. The Social Studies Fair project fits in perfectly with our International Baccalaureate program as it fits the Design Cycle model that all students must go through at least twice a year.
Our social studies students were able to pick their own topic that fit one of the fields of the social sciences (civics/government, economics, psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, geography) so this project was really geared to the student and their interests. We had topics this year ranging from "Can You Pass the United States Citizenship Test" to "The Economic Impact of Coca-Cola on the State of Georgia" to a comparison of the Olympic Swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and the History of Softball. The topics are endless and our students did an OUTSTANDING job. We had just over 60 tri-fold boards presented on curriculum night. This is just our first stage of the project. From now until the winter holidays, students will have time to finesse their projects and complete their research paper component. The actual Social Studies Fair will take place in January and we expect many of our students will move on to the next stage of the competition which will take place at The University of North Georgia - Gainesville Campus this winter. All of our students deserve a hearty congratulations for all of their hard work!
The second part of our curriculum night involved our final rounds of the National Geography Bee. This is a national competition put on by the National Geographic Society. Each grade level selected students to represent their grade at our school wide bee. Our final round started out with 20 students which we had to narrow down to 10 students. Each grade level did a fantastic job representing both themselves and their grade levels. Once we narrowed down the students to 10 we then continued to ask questions until we had only 2 students remaining. This year our final two were John Oates (8th grade) and Zach Holland (8th grade). Both gentleman are outstanding social studies scholars and our final competition went through many questions. In the end, returning champion, Zach Holland narrowly defeated John Oates. Zach will now take a test to qualify him for the state competition held in April at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. We wish Zach good luck and know that he will represent Hilsman well!
All in all, our curriculum night was another outstanding event for our school community that showed off our Social Studies scholars!!!







6th grade Green Team and Science & Energy Team members toured the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Center, Landfill, and Compost Facility on Friday, November 22.
The students learned how the waste they are recycling at school is recycled and reused. Students toured the compost facility to learn how organic matter is recycled and reused to enrich the soil. The students visited the landfill to see where the waste that cannot be recycled is taken and how it is stored. Finally, students saw a brand-new methane gas collection station at the landfill site that is used to power 1,500 homes in the Athens-Clarke County area.





December- Acts of Kindness Month

Last year we began a tradition at Hilsman of making December a month of kindness. Throughout this month, we encourage the Hilsman community to commit intentional acts of kindness toward others. Sites like Random Acts of Kindness and Kindspring have lists of ideas to help you get started. You might even want to take the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge from Kindness.org.  At Hilsman, each classroom will have a Grinch, and the goal will be to fill the Grinch with hearts that have our acts of kindness written on them. Please join us in helping to make our community a kinder place during the month of December.

Technology

This week several of our teams will pilot the next phase of our 1:1 technology roll out, which will involve students taking devices with them from class to class. Teams involved are 6-1, 7-1, and the entire 8th grade. This pilot will help us make any revisions necessary before we roll out the plan to the entire school after Winter break. Teams that are not participating in the pilot will still have the same level of access to technology as they do now. We look forward to taking this next step in our 1:1 initiative.

Pax Panther is Coming to Hilsman!

The Hilsman administration and athletic program have had as a goal over the past several years to start a tradition of having a costumed mascot to attend sporting and other Hilsman events. At the same time, the Hilsman community has been searching for a way to remember our beloved Coach Paxson, who passed away two years ago November 4th. I am happy to announce that the PTO has graciously offered to help us raise the funds to purchase a top quality panther mascot costume! Additionally, we have decided to name our mascot Pax, to honor Coach Paxson's memory. Coach Paxson was a true Panther, and an avid sports fan. Not only is Pax a part of Coach Paxson's name, but also it is an international name that means "peace." As an IB candidate school, this name fits our mascot perfectly, and as a Hilsman family, we are honored that Coach Paxson's family has given their blessing to our naming Hilsman's mascot as a tribute to him. I hope you will join us in welcoming Pax Panther to Hilsman when he makes his debut, hopefully sometime early next year.

Athletics

Basketball season is here!  Our next basketball game will be this Wednesday at home vs. BHL. Tip off is at 4:30. 

Announcements

Our announcements are now a daily Google Presentation, which can be viewed by clicking here. In these announcements there is information regarding sports tryouts, club meetings, etc. Our weekly news show can be viewed by clicking here.


Not Seeing Enough News?

If you have Hilsman related news to share, please send it to me for inclusion in the blog.

Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendars!

December 9-16                  Quarter 2 Benchmark Assessments

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