Hillside Technology Night
Hour of Code
On December 8th, students from the AP Programming and Computer Science classes at Hastings High School visited Hillside Elementary School to work with 3rd and 4th grade students in recognition of the global “Hour of Code” event. This yearly event reaches tens of millions of students across over 180 countries and provides access to over 170 different applications and activities, both computer based and kinesthetic, designed to teach the principles of coding. The focus of these activities is not on the use of technology but instead an emphasis on the critical thinking and problem solving skills that are required to complete these tasks. Our high school students prepared short presentations to share with the elementary school students, provided a demonstration of a coding application and worked individually with Hillside students as they learned to think like a coder. The event was truly a success and both the high school and elementary school students genuinely enjoyed the experience. Our elementary school students left with stickers and certificates, acknowledging their successful completion of this new type of learning.
Tri-State Consortium Visitation
After months of planning and preparation the Hastings-on-Hudson School District welcomes the Tri-State Visitation Team. The group of seventeen administrators, teachers, and consultants from across the Tri-State area will spend three days here in Hastings focusing on student engagement. Believing that student engagement is at the center of all of our instructional practices, it was easy to select this as the theme for this visitation. The visitation team will collect information through classroom observations, focus groups, and presentations to assess the extent to which our students are engaged within the learning process here in Hastings. Prior to the visit, faculty and staff from across the district participated in the creation of a document that reflects what we believe are indicators of student engagement. This document will serve as a resource for the visitation team throughout their three days in Hastings.
Tri-State Visitation Schedule and Resources:
Today I was invited to attend the "United Classes of Hillside" event and left truly amazed. This event, which is part of the 3rd and 4th grade current events program, brought students through the entire electoral process. Rather than elect people, students were electing a charity. Each student was provided a dollar bill and an opportunity to vote for a charity to which they would like to donate. The classes were split into two parties, one party believed it was important to support local charities while the other felt is was important to support larger charities outside their community. After caucusing, the six potential charities were narrowed down to a final two that were announced during each party's convention, complete with representatives present to accept the nomination. In April the students cast their ballots deciding between the Hastings Food Pantry and the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. During the announcement of the election results, in a room filled with over 200 students, you could hear a pin drop as students anxiously waited to hear the final results. Soon the silence was replaced with the roar of students celebrating as the winner was announced.....the $247 dollars would be donated to the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. More important than the winner was the experience these students went through. Each left with first-hand knowledge of the electoral process and an understanding of what it feels like to give to those in need. I applaud all who helped put this event together, especially its organizers Claudia Heitler, Paula Higgins, and Debbie Troop as well as the other teachers, administrators, PTSA members, charity representatives, and most importantly the students for making this event possible.
Z-Space Virtual Reality visits Hastings giving students a hands-on experience with educational virtual reality. Students participated in virtual dissections, sculpted pieces of art, designed science experiments, and traveled on virtual field trips. The students left amazed by the experience while discussing how this technology can be used to enhance their learning.
Helpful information on requirements for professional development: