A&P Labs

Having recently studied the various systems of the body, students who are taking Human Anatomy and Physiology are now dissecting pigs in the lab. The following are a few reasons that schools use fetal pigs to instruct students in anatomy:

    • Pig and human anatomy are rather similar.
    • Dissection provides a different style of learning — hands-on.
    • Dissection allows students to see the body’s structures in three dimensions (unlike in a textbook) and how the organ systems are interconnected.

Bell Ringers?

In the Upper School, a bell is the signal to begin or end each class. A bell ringer, on the other hand, is an activity commonly used by teachers — Hillcrest’s faculty among them — at the start of a class. This brief assignment typically consists of a question, problem, or task to engage students when they first enter the classroom every day, with the goal of helping them get in the habit of being on task and prepared to learn immediately upon coming into class and settling in their seats. While the students complete their bell ringers, instructors often tend to administrative duties, such as taking attendance and passing out papers. Some teachers use bell ringers as a quick assessment to determine whether students are understanding the material taught or meeting learning goals; others assign bell ringers which discover what students know about a topic before it is taught; still other instructors use their bell ringer activities to review concepts which students may have forgotten. Teachers then individually decide if or how to grade the bell ringers they assign.

So, parents, if you see these activities listed among the assignments when you check your children’s grades, now you have an idea of what they are as well as of the purpose they serve. Bell ringers are yet another tool Hillcrest teachers use in order to provide meaningful instruction to our students and to maximize learning from bell to bell.

District Reading Fair

Last week, Hillcrest hosted the district reading fair in the Lower School gym. Hillcrest students did very well! Check out a few of our winners:

  • 3rd Grade, Non-fiction – Amari McNeal, Third Place
  • 3rd Grade, Fiction – Addison Cohn, Third Place
  • 4th Grade, Fiction – Savanna Morton, Second Place
  • 4th Grade, Fiction – Kayla Epperson, First Place
  • 5th Grade, Non-fiction – Olivia Simmington, Third Place
  • 5th Grade, Non-fiction – Wesley Lindsey, Second Place
  • 5th Grade, Fiction – Jordyn McGee, First Place
  • 6th Grade, Non-fiction – Andrew Kuhn, Second Place
  • 6th Grade, Non-fiction – T.J. Mitchell, First Place
  • 6th Grade, Fiction – Brooke Boney, Third Place
  • 6th Grade, Fiction – Danielle Wallace, First Place

Congratulations to everyone who placed!

Hope: The Reason We Give

As we become immersed in preparing for and celebrating Christmas, we must never forget that we give gifts because we were given the greatest gift of all — God’s perfect Son came to earth in the form of a man to sacrifice Himself so that we might have eternal life. Sometimes, however, we need reminders about the true “reason for the season” …and sometimes those reminders come from surprising sources, from young minds.

At the start of this school year, HCS sophomore Jessica Bewley traveled with her family and some members of her church to Santa Emelia, Nicaragua, where they worked in medical, dental, and pharmaceutical missions. Recently in her Writing Skills class, Jessica had to write an essay in which she defined a term which is meaningful to her; she wrote about hope and how her definition of it changed as a result of that trip.

Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” The Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as this: to want or to wish for something with a feeling of confident expectation. I do not believe that hope is always a verb, but an idea of light in the midst of darkness. I realized what hope was when I looked in the coffee-colored eyes of a young child in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. I found hope in a poverty-filled village where the thought of hope seemed to be hopeless. Read more