Elementary Events

The Mississippi Reading Fair Competition provides students with the opportunity to share their favorite book through a storyboard display or digital presentation. The following students represented Hillcrest at the state level: (bottom row left to right) Jordyn McGee – 5th grade, Wesley Lindsey – 5th grade, Caden Thornton – 4th grade, Andrew Kuhn – 6th grade; (top row left to right) Teagan Hammond – 4th grade, Kayla Epperson – 4th grade, Savannah Morton – 4th grade, TJ Mitchell – 6th grade, Danielle Wallace – 6th grade.

Congratulations to the following students who were given awards for their hard work: 1st place – Savannah Morton (4th grade), for fiction; 1st place – Wesley Lindsey (5th grade), fiction and best character portrayal; 3rd place – TJ Mitchell (6th grade), non fiction.

The first-grade class had their Penguin Program this morning, sharing songs and their knowledge of the adorable, aquatic animals.

Even the administrators got in on the penguin fun!

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

This morning Hillcrest juniors took the ASVAB — the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery — which, according to Military.com, is “a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense.” It tests four critical areas — Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge — in order to not only determine whether a person is eligible to enlist in the U.S. military, but also how qualified test-takers are for vocational specialties and even enlistment bonuses.

However, the ASVAB is useful even for students who may not have any desire to enlist in the armed services; the test can introduce them to careers which they may never have considered studying and pursuing. As part of this program, students also take surveys about their interests and personality characteristics; their ASVAB scores then help match them with possible careers. When students receive their scores in the near future, they will also receive a report which shows them the areas of the test on which they scored highest, and then they can access a designated website to explore future options based on those results.

All smiles after they finished the test!

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.