Friday, January 30, 2015

Max A Million

If you don't know, Mr Grantz and Mrs. Grantz have a dog named Max.

Max is a very playful pup.  I've known ever since he was a puppy.  He loves all the children and causes lots of comotion downstairs.

Every other day Max goes with a dog walker to get some exercise.  When he's not with his dog walker, he goes to the park with Mr. Grantz.  Smetimes the upper-grades see him at the park.  Sometimes we even throw the ball for him for a few minutes.

Before the Grantz' had Max they had a dog named Zach.  I remeber being very afraid of dogs but being around Zach helped me a lot.  I was able to even get my own dog after a couple of years.  Zach was 14 years old before he died.  He was a joy to have at the school and everyone misses him.

When Max was brought to the school everyone wanted to be around him.  He was a bit more than a foot long.  Now he's huge!  Max is now 3 years old and he is a happy and healthy pup!

Written By: Claire P.

Assignments for January 30 — yearbooks & White House video fest

Today is the day we finish our White House entries. Please work with Mr. Clarke to edit and finalize your videos.

If you are not making a video, work with Claire to finalize your yearbook topic. All students will have a yearbook assignment next week, and we will be work on the stories. If you would like to help design the cover, let Mr. Clarke and Claire know.

If time allows, please produce a post for The Hillwood Herald. Here are some story ideas, and of course, feel free to pitch your own:
Did you watch the President's State of the Union. Here it is in "code" — emoticons!

Need help decoding the full text? Watch the State of the Union at The New York Times.

Practice 10FastFingers; then watch President Obama's announcement for a film challenge:

From Now through February 2, submissions are open for the second White House Student Film Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is The Impact of Giving Back, and it’s open to U.S. students, grades K-12. So tell a story about paying it forward, about community service, or what making a difference looks like in your eyes and through your lens. It can be a fictional story or a short documentary, so break out the lights, write a script, get the camera ready, and show us your passion for service and giving back.

For inspiration, take a look at the official selections from last year's White House Student Film Festival, when the theme was the power of technology in education. This one in particular is relevant to us:

Films can be short – in fact, they must be 3 minutes tops. The official selections will be featured on the White House website, and shared across the world on White House sites and official social media accounts. If selected, you may have a chance to attend the film fest yourself at the White House.
Submission Guidelines:
  • All films must be shorter than 3 minutes.
  • All films must be made by students in grades K-12.
  • No film may use copyrighted material including music, TV shows, or movies.
  • All films must be uploaded to YouTube
  • All film submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 2, 2015.
Next, we begin work on the yearbook. The goal this week? Settle on the two stories that you will write this year.

Here are some story ideas for the week:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Year Book Stories

1. History of Hillwood-Leo and Rory

2.Max-Claire, Maddie, and Caroline

3.Teachers and Staff-Ethan, Rory, Finn, and Kasama

4.Talent Shows-Natasha, Maddie, and Grace

5.Hillwood BBQ-Rory

6.Art With Anna-Caroline

7.French-Maddie and Grace

8.Free the Children-Grace

9.Student Body Council-Nicole and Caroline

10.Hillwood Band-Natasha, Claire, and Maddie

11.Halloween/Pumpkin Patch-Claire

12.Hillwood Herald-Rory, Ethan, Leo

13.Any School Field Trips-Leo

14.Mrs. Okamoto Day-Maddie


16.Yosemite-Asiana, Sophia, and Grace

17.Ms. Caine-Finn

18.We Day-Claire, Leo, Sophia, and Asiana

19.Lunch-Kasama and Rory

20.Ms. Shmitt-Ethan

21.  Big Storm- Finn and Claire

Friday, January 9, 2015

Lifeguard Gets Fired for Doing His Job.

In Florida, a lifeguard was fired for saving a life. Thomas Lopez was fired because he went past a sign he wasn't supposed to, in order to help save a distressed swimmer. Thomas saved a 19-year-old Estonian tourist named, Maksim Samartsev. After the rescue, Maksim shook Thomas's hand and said "Thanky you." Maksim was swimming in an unprotected part of the beach. People helped pull him Maksim out of the water while Thomas stayed with him while the paramedics arrived. Maksim received oxygen for two days. Thomas was fired for leaving his section on the beach right after the rescue. Jeff Ellis head of the lifeguarding services, decided that Thomas was fired too quickly and he offered him his job back but, Thomas decided thay he wanted to pursue other opportunities. Thomas said he didn't want to work at the company out of spite or anything he just wanted to finish school and find another job.
Thomas was only fired because he broke a big rule for the lifeguards. The reason why they have the rule not to pass the sign is because, it puts the lifeguards at risk as well. They wouldn't want two people to die at once. Two other lifeguards quit as well because they were angry that Thomas got fired for doing his job! For his heroic rescue, Thomas was honored at the city hall ceremony in Arizona and he got to meet Maksim after he recovered.        

Taking the Lowell High School Test

When applying to Lowell, you have to take the school test.  The test itself was not hard.  There were some problems that I didn't understand and didn't answer the questions to.  Overall it wasn't that bad.

When you first get to the school there will be papers in the windows.  One of them will say your name and on that piece of paper it will have other names and the classroom where you will be taking your test.  When you find your name you need to get inside the school and go into the auditorium.  There will be a sign that says the classroom number.  When you find it you need to go sit down with other people with that sign.  You just need to sit and wait and then someone will go onto the stage and talk about what is going to happen. Then your classroom will be called with other classrooms to go.  If you don't have an ID you have to go to a table where you will get your picture taken.  If you do have an ID you need to go to your classroom.  There will be Lowell students in red and white caps blocking off hallways that you can't go through.  They will also help you get to your classroom. 

When you get to your class room there will be a piece of paper.  That looks the same as the pieces of paper in the windows of the school.  Your name will be on it and you will have a number.  When you go into your classroom you need to find the desk that has a piece of scratch paper with your number on.  There will also be a sticker with your name and your ID number.  Once you have found the right desk sit down and wait for everyone else to get in and wait for directions.  There will be the same directions on the white board but don't do anything until you are directed to do so.

Once you are directed to take the test...well...take the test.  The first half of the test will be reading and language.  They are separate so don't go onto the language without instructions.  After everyone has completed the test you will have to leave your classroom and take the 25 minute break.  You have to go onto the courtyard.  It will be crowded so I recommend staying near the hallway or in the hallway.  You will not be able to be on the second floor of the school.  You can bring a snack but I also recommend to eat something at home before and after the test if you don't have anything during the break. 

Once the break is over you will have to go back your classroom and then you will take the last part of your test. The last part is the math.  The math was pretty easy but there were a couple of problems that didn't make since but just try your best.

Once the test is over you will leave and go home.  The test wasn't that bad.  I took the SSAT and taking the SSAT was a good prep to the Lowell high school test.

Written By: Claire P.   

      A series of devastating tornados occurred in southern United States in April of 2014.  The torrent of tornadoes killed 35 people and caused billions of dollars of damage. Animals were also affected. The one species of animal that was untouched were the Warblers.(a kind of bird). Amazingly, they left their breeding grounds two days before each tornado. Henry Strevy, a ornithologist, attached a half gram tracking device on 20 of the tiny birds.

The Upside Down Tortoise

If a tortoise flips upside down, how does it get up again? For a tortoise its a deadly sirious matter; being able to right itself counts as one of life's struggles. It's a matter of life or death. Now scientists have investigated the struggles and determined if and how tortoises evolved to do it. Dr. Ana Golubovic at the University of Belgrade, Sirbia and her partners studied the slow motion of an inverted chelonian. They studied the Hermann tortoise to see the shape of its shell and it's about
It's to rise again. The animals can easily lose their bale de and fall on their back, where they are vulnerable to exposure. Tortoises are sustainable, being unable to flip themselves by twisting their bodies inside their shell. Dr Golubovic and her partners analyzed 118 tortoises(54 females and 64 males), placing each on pe on their back and then measuring how much they spent furiously waving their heads, legs and tail. Then they compared the tortoises performances with the geometry of their shell. The analysis needed to be more comprehensive than first supposed. They also needed the body temperatures of the tortoise.
The tortoises are gold blooded and might have struggled to have the energy to flip the selfs back over.

Self-Driving Cars

There are some car companies that are trying to make self driving cars. The companies are trying to make it like a living room on wheels. Some of the companies are designing the car. Other companies are designing the features of the car. One of the features is a static distance that the car makes so that you don't run into the car in front of you, even if the car in front slows down, or even comes to a complete stop. Another one is that there is an alarm that tells you if your car is spinning out of control. There is also a smart watch that will allow you to unlock your car and lock it and you can tell it to pick you up from somewhere. The cars will probably come out in 2017. This is what the car looks like on the inside.  
Self-Driving Cars Get Real

Friday, December 12, 2014


A man named Shawn Young recently invented a game called Classcraft. He is an eleventh grade physics teacher at a school in Quebec. He invented this game so his students would engage more in his class, and it was successful. The students engagement level Sky-rocketed. He published his website about two months ago.

The game does not not interfere with the curriculum. At the start, you pick a role/class. There are three, The Mage, The Healer, and the Warrior. The teacher creates groups of five or six at the start of the year and every class has a specific trait. The Mage is for example, good in academics and the healer is good in socializing. The teacher evens up those groups to make it fair. The group stays together for the rest of the year and they have "powers." If they do well, they are able to get special privileges such as eating in class or being able to bring notes to tests. If they do worse, they face "death"   which is kind of like detentions. For example, they have to come in on Saturday morning and things like that. One bad action from a person could end up affecting the whole team, which is something that I wouldn't like if I were to do this.

To ensure that the students would always be on their toes, he made hundreds of random events that he will randomly pull out to make a usually boring class into a fun one. He said that the website has tremendous benefits that help the students. He said that students are improving quickly because they don't want to "die" in the game.

Scientists open mummy coffin and find more than dust

Scientists have recently found a 2,500-year-old mummy of a 14-year-old Egyptian boy. A conservatoire at Chicago's Field museum,and a few other scientists used clamps to raise the fragile lid. The mummy was a son of a priest and his name was Minirdis. The mummy will be in the exhibit called Mummies: Images of the after life. The exhibit will premier next September.The Field museum had the mummy since the 1920s. When the scientists used a CT scan, which is an X-Ray The scientists found out that the mummies' feet were detached.

If you want to find out more about a mummy, go to Tween

By: Ethan K. and Kasama T.

Baby sea otter, Luna, found in California

"Pup 681" during a feeding at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
 An orphaned sea otter pup was rescued from the California coast and ended up at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. Her name is Luna. 
The people at the aquarium named her Pup 681.  Then they held a contest to find a name for her. 10,000 people entered. They found that Luna was the most voted for name. The name Luna has significance because, she was found in Half Moon Bay.

Luna was more than two pounds when she was found in October on Coastaways Beach between San Mateo and Santa Cruz.

"A team of marine staff at Shedd Aquarium have been determined to provide 24-7 care to Luna since her arrival in October. She was one of the smallest otters ever rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's team and has come incredibly far. Now almost twelve weeks old, the otter is up to 14 pounds. Luna receives eight feeding sessions daily and four types of seafood have been added to her diet. She still is fed from a bottle and is learning behavior for her survival like foraging for food and grooming on her own." This information came from The Chicago Tribune. 

Erik Finman

Erik Finman bought 100 bit coins, which is electronic currency, when they were only worth $12 each, but now there worth $1200 EACH so he got over $100,000. So he started a website called which allows teachers to teach you in any subject. Then he started a company called "intern for a day" we're you can be a intern at a new company and you can actually get a job at the company! He did a Ted talk

His Ted talk
Now he wants everyone to take his challenge: be something for a day, and learn something.  Eric is actually a C student, but this shows that sometimes grades don't matter, look how much he's achived bye creating his own business.

We Are Running out of Helium on Earth?

     On our happy little Earth, we are running out of the element helium.  The element has two protons, and two electrons, and neutrons, is sadly leaving our Earth.  Helium can be made by fusion with two hydrogens with two  neutrons.  I think that we can get our helium back with hydrogen fusion with two neutrons by squishing together two hydrogen atoms and two neutrons. 

     Helium is important so balloons will not go around with pricetags that say: deal of the
century, only $499,999,999.99

West Coast 'Pineapple Express': Floods, Power Outages, and Mudslides

The recent flood has been blamed to have killed two people in Oregon, as it continues to throw wind into the streets. Rain falls along the west coast, all the way from LA to Washington.

The AP notes that residents experienced power outages, floods, and mudslides. They said:

"Avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County early Friday, National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

"He said that heavy rain was falling in Ventura County as well as western Los Angeles County, where possible flash flooding was a concern."

In Los Angeles, trees have been recorded to have fallen onto cars. Fears of mudslides have caused evacuations.

The rain is to continue today, and there has been nearly 3 inches of rain so far. This has been a huge change from this historical drought.

To finally relieve the lack of water, we would have to have at least 7 more storms like this one. It is easy to imagine the type of damage seven storms could do, seven times as much rain.

Mark Kunze of San Bruno pushes his stalled vehicle out of the flooded intersection in South San Francisco, on Thursday.

the last day until winter break

It is finally here.The last day till winter break!Yay!Santa's Deputy (which is claire) will give the students their presents. We call it Secret Santa.For those who don't know what that is , it is when the the students draw a person name from a jar and whomever they got,they have to get that person a gift and you cannot tell who you got.This will be in the morning.In the afternoon,we will be having a talent show.The students will perform whatever they signed up for like singing,dancing,and more. All the students will perform their class song they have been working on.I am scared I will make a mistake when I am performing.I will be doing piano and i am afraid i will mess up on a note.We have a big day ahead of us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .

These Moms Are Helping Knit The World's Largest Christmas Stocking For The Best Reason

There are two moms who lost their husbands when they were at war. Lori Kleppe has two sons who were going to college, and a toddler who she thought wouldn't understand his dads death. The other mom, Sarah Greene also lost her husband, and she has two kids, a son named Wesley, and a daughter named Jenna.Wesley was eight when his dad died, and Jenna was ten when her dad died. They called each other and they found a foundation called the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. When they found it they started to knit the worlds largest Christmas stocking. They will be done by December 2015.

How to Get Ready for the Talent Show

When you are about to play for the talent show, normally, people get really nervous.  At least I know I do.  Knowing that this is my last year at Hillwood and I have been playing for the talent shows for a long time, I know a lot about it.  These are just something I do.

The first thing I normally do is telling my oarents how nervous I am.  They always tell me to not think about it too much.  I play the violin and they akways tell me by the time I've started playing I'm just going to keep playing until it's over.  Which always ends up being true.  You always want to talk to your parents or an adut about how you feel.

The next thing I do right before I play for the talent show I always drink some water.  Drinking water helps me relax and I helps my stomach a little bit too.  My stomach always hurts right before I play so I always drink water.

Another way of calming down is going over what you are sing or playing or anything you do.  Since I play violin I always play it really quickly in the classroom.  If I know the song really well and not a specific part I play the part I need to work on te most.  It's good to get a feel for what you need to do.  It's almost like a warm up.

These are the things I do to calm down and get ready toplay for the talent show!

Written By: Claire P.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Long Lost Apartment????

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? Well, this apartment from the Belle Epoque era is probably as close as you’re going to get for now. A lady named Madame de Florian inherited a very old apartment that hasn't been opened since 1942. The apartment is almost like a time capsule. It is stuffed full of priceless antiques.The owner left to one of her other villas to escape the war.

Here’s the stor

Madame de Floria

Cat Cafe Craze!

Cat lovers in Oakland are jumping on the chance to go to the new cat cafe, sip coffee, eat cat themed cookies, and pet cats. The cafe has been full since opening day because of people living in apartments that want to have cats but can't have them.

The owners took the idea from cat cafes in Japan because they started a craze. All the cats in the cafe are from the local animal shelter. The owners talk to the people working at the shelter and they adopt the cats that people at the animal shelter say are least likely to get adopted. For ten dollars a costumer can play, sleep, and pet a cat for a hour and eat food.

I think that this is really great and I wish that I could go to this cafe and play with the cats.