Friday, February 24, 2012

A choice on our Rube Goldberg

Hello all you Rube Goldberg fans! You know, that cool machine which does easy tasks in the most hard way possible. We have finally decided what are machine idea is going to be. Sadly, you people NEVER leave a comment telling us things. For example, you could of guessed what the machine was going to do. Anyway, getting off that depressing note, the machine is going to pop a balloon! *tweet, tweet* Well it may not sound exciting, but remember all those videos you saw? Well, hopefully this we'll be just as well.                    
The picture is drawn by Nikita, and this report is written by me, (Andre). This machine might be improved, so please leave a comment telling us how we could improve it. If you don't like the idea or how this machine is going to be built, please tell us how we could take away a part and replace a certain part with, or add to the machine. Be honest! (children never lie, right?)   Well, sadly this article comes an...............END! :(

Our New Science Teacher!

At Hillwood we have a new science teacher  coming in every Friday to teach us Aerodynamics.

 Our science lady's name is Auritte. Last week we made gliders out of stiro foam!  Last week we had to cancel because their were only 5 students. Her family was born engineers. Auritte owns this program call Celsius and Beyond. Last year another lady from her program came to Hillwood, her name was Mary and she did dissecting! It was very fun but Mary left because she went to study to be a scientist! Even though last year was fun i'm pretty sure this year is going to be fun too!

Fluffy Brown Bears

Bears live way up in the mountains of Alaska. Bears like to go deep into the forest. What bears do in there seems to be a secret. If we know what they are doing, then we will be able to help them. Lately many people are going have been going into they're home.

Bears come in all sizes and colors. Brown bears are also known as grizzly bears in different places. Pandas are black and white, polar bears are white and live in the snow. Bears are loaners which means that they don't like company even other kinds of bears. Loverd Byerd is a bear detective and watches them in a pan handle in Alaska.

When detectives want to film what animals are doing, ten they have to put a camera on them. They put it on to find out what the mysterious behaviour. Bears like to eat anything in sight. When they are tired, bears dig up dirt and fall asleep. The big secret is that they are with their family.

How To Train Your Dog

Do you want to know how to train your dog to do cool tricks? Do you want your dog to be top dog on the street? Read on to know how to train your dog to be awesome.

Sit: to teach a dog to sit you must have patience and treats. First you get a lot of treats. Then, you push you dogs bottom down, but don't push too hard, and while you do this say sit. After your dog is in a sitting position, you give him a treat. After you are comfortable with your dog doing this don't push his bottom down and say sit. Do this while holding the treat above the dog's head. Once your dog masters this trick try a new one. Also, every time your dog does a trick say "good boy" or "good girl."

Lie down: to teach a dog to lie down your dog should know sit. First, you must get plenty of treats. Get your dog to sit down. Then, you must lower a treat to the floor, and your dog will follow. While doing this say "lie down." When your dog is on the floor give him the treat. Do this for days until you think your dog is comfortable doing this trick, then say :lie down" without having your dog follow the treat.

Roll over: to teach your dog roll over your dog should know stay and lie down. For this trick you should have nice treats or meat. First, have your dog lie down. Then have your dog roll onto its side and tell it "stay." Lure your dog with the treat until it is fully on its back, whil doing this say "roll over." Your dog should roll all the way over, and keep trying the trick because it most likely won't roll over the first time.

Gayle Schmitt and the Toodala Ramblers!

I always write about this. It's the Toodala Ramblers performance again. But this time it's not at the Randall Museum. It was at the St. Cyprian's church.

The Toodala Ramblers are :
Gayle Schmitt : Guitar and voice.
Tom Drohan : Stand-up bass
Craig Fletcher : Banjo
Betsy Maudlin : Fiddle

Usually, Hillwood students help out in the shows. This year, many little kids help out. (When I say little kids, I mean fourth-graders. )

Gayle Schmitt, Mrs. Schmitt is what we call her, is the music teacher here at Hillwood. Mrs. Schmitt comes to school on Wednesdays.

At the show, the Ramblers sing and play Bluegrass country songs. This show was like a pre-bluegrass festival for the little kids.

Written By: Rubina H.

Cat Whisperer

Have a cat that won't get into its cat carriers? Then Jordana Serebrenik might be able to help, she is a cat whisperer who has a job of getting cats into their carriers. She uses a red nylon net bag and leather gloves covered in cat bites. She might be able to get cats into carriers easier then other people because she doesn't mind as much as the owner to bring the cats to the vet. Some people hardly ever bring their cat into the vet because they cant get the cat into the carrier but Ms. Serebrenik can. You could find some more information about this cat whisperer here.

My own cat gets into the carrier on his own time. I would leave the carrier open and my cat would just just crawl in to sleep. What might help is putting a couple treats into the carrier to attract your cat so it would want to get in.

Do Dancers Count As Athletes?

Some people say that dancing is n
ot a sport but as a woman in this Ne
w York Times video. In this video the woman compares dancers to Michel Jordan say how he was ready to run, and he knows what he has to do every time he gets on the court. Dancers do not know what hey have to they learn a new routine every time. She also talks about when basketball players go to stretch they usually lift there legs up and when they let go their foot just drops. When a dancer lifts their legs up they have to learn to hold it. I would count dancers as athletes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The fist American to orbit the moon

Today's article is about the first American man to orbit the moon in outer space, John Glenn. This video shows you an interview about him. Check out this New York Times interview video with John Glenn. Notice the amazing view of the Earth he got to see on his exciting adventure to orbit the moon.

It's important to not forget that he was the first AMERICAN man to orbit the moon. Yes, this is amazing, but we must remember that the Soviet Union did this amazing task before us. The Sovieit Union is now known as Russia. The U.S. is celebrating this today, for this event happened 50 years ago. John F. Kennedy laid down this task, for at first the Americans were lagging behind. Please check out the video, for it gives great information.
Have a nice day!  

By Andre J.

Beyond GREAT White Sharks

When you think of great white sharks you might think of a man eating monster that with any luck you never meet, but there is much more to them than big teeth — 2.5 inch long teeth by the way.

When a shark is born, along with up to 12 siblings, it immediately swims away from its mother. This is for the reason that the mother sees the pubs (baby sharks) as prey. They are 5 feet at birth, but can grow nearly three times that!

These sharks are the top of the food chain, but while they are young they must feed on fish, rays, and other smaller sharks. If they survive the first year, their diets begin to consist of sea mammals such as seals or the occasional sea lion. To gain such a rewarding meal, they use the never failing element of surprise. They strike from under at up to 34 miles an hour (for adult males) then bust out of the water in a leap called a breach, then fall back into the water with their prey in their mouth. They do not chew their prey though, they rip it into chunks then swallow whole. After a large meal such as a sea lion, they do not need another meal for one to two months!

These sharks give birth after about 13 years of life. Some can weigh up to 4,500 pounds! Although human attacks are very rare, most common shark attacks are the work of the great white, tiger shark, or bull shark. Most of these happen in the United States. These sharks actually don't have bones, other than their teeth. Their skeleton is made completely out of cartilage. These guys were around for about 35 million years! So next time you think of a shark, don't think of a man eating beast, think of an exotic creature of the deep!

— Kennedy S.

Don't forget Hillwood School is closed on President's Day

President Obama Comes to Town!

As reported on ABC7,  President Obama came to town and ate at a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. He was here to raise money for his upcoming presidential election. Obama came right before President's Day and ate at a dim sum restaurant that I eat at.

In that video, there was a pleasant surprise: Finbarr J. , a student from Hillwood in first grade rode his bike in the video below. Finbarr rides his bike every day to  school and back! You will see Finbarr at 2.53 minutes in the video.

A Skunk's Life

Skunks may scare you away because of their smell, but they are also very cute if you think about it.

Skunks only spray you if you scare them which is a preatty good idea. To give a warning that they are going to spray you is that they will raise their tail, stomp their feet, and charge at the preditor. Even their black stripes keep their preditors away leaving the skunks free to look for food.

A delicious treat for them are eggs. Skunks also eat berries, grass, and nuts as well, even crustatians and, fish. Skunks also eat rodents. Skunks are nocturnal, but they are always on pest control and always eating. Skunks learn to live with people but we don't learn to live with them. Skunks can be found in cities, farms, and open forests. A skunk that is left alone is no problem to anyone. Suprisingly skunks like to dig and eat snakes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hear About Hillwood's Annual Snack and Bake Sale

Listen to Anya interview Asiana about her story explaining Hillwood's annual snack and bake sale. Learn what organization will receive all the money raised this year. 

Click here for Asiana's full story.

Happy Chinese New Year from the Reporters of The Hillwood Herald

Watch this animated video made by Kennedy and Claire. You can read their story about Chinese New Year in San Francisco here. Read Christen's story to learn more about the parade and its route.

Awesome Animation Highlights a Rube Goldberg Contraption

Last time we told about how a non-animated  Rube Goldberg worked. Now we will tell you how a animated one works. It's hard to explain so just watch the video. You will receive more info next week. We are in the process of deciding how we — the reporters from The Hillwood Herald — will build our Rube Goldberg contraption. Enjoy the video!                                                                                                                                                                
By Nikita and Andre                                                                                                        

Selling and Giving to Help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

This week we had snack sale we call it. A few years back we called it a bake sale where we baked something by choice. And this year we had a snack sale were we could bring and buy snacks.

All the money that we raised went the Leukemia and  Lymphoma Society. We also had Pennies for Patients where we put money in a box...whatever amount we want or can manage to collect from family and friends. Ms. Caine handed us small boxes of our own where we bring the box home and fill it up with coins and bring it in and put it in the big box in our class. All the classes have a big box.

The class who raises the most money wins. The class that wins gets free dress and gets a ribbon that says gold champion. In second place we get a silver ribbon, and third bronze. Last year we raised $1424.35 and our goal is to raise even more this year!

By Asiana D.

Aida At The Met!

Aida is an opera written by Guiseppe Verdi. Aida is about an Egyptian warrior named Radames. He falls in love with an Ethiopian slave named Aida. Unfortunately, Amneris, the king's daughter, wants to marry Radames. The king decides that Radames and Amneris must marry.

Then, more slaves are brought and one of them is the king of Ethiopia. He is also Aida's father. Her father tells her that she can help them escape if she tricks Radames. She does so but her father is killed and Radames is accused of treason.

Amneris meets with Radames and begs him to marry her and she will grant him his life. He refuses and says that he will die for Aida. He is buried alive but Aida sneaks into the tomb and they die together.

Radames: Marcelo Alvarez
Aida: Violetta Urmana
Amneris: Stephanie Blythe

Written By: Rubina H.

The Enchanted Island!

David Daniels, Danielle De Niese, and Joyce DiDonato in one performance at the Met! Joyce DiDonato was the mezzo-soprano that sang with Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica Von Stade at Frederica's recital. Danielle De Niese sang Susanna at the SF opera in The Marriage of Figaro.

The Enchanted Island isn't written by one specific composer. What?! How did that happen?! The opera is made up of arias from different baroque composers. Like Vivaldi, Handel, and others. To find out what the plot is, go to this website.

Written By: Rubina

Happy Chinese New Year!

This weekend is the Chinese New Year celebration! On February 11 2012, a large parade will roam the streets of downtown San Francisco where loads of people will crowd the side walks, getting in on the Chinese New Year action!

This event has been taking place since 1958 where lots of action has been happening. Lanterns, fire crackers, and lots more are a must to see, including a Chinese dragon! One Chinese tradition that I know is that the Chinese set off fire crackers to scare the enemies away so they don't have any bad luck.

Come to the festival this saturday for lots of excitement and truck loads of fun!

By Kennedy and Claire

Service Dogs for Kids

Have you ever seen a service dog? If so, have you ever seen a child with a service dog? Well if not there is a foundation called 4 Paws for Ability, or 4 Paws.

4 Paws trains service dogs to help children who need help with problems including autism, mobility assistance, signal/hearing ear, seizure assistance, emotional support, and multi-purpose service dogs. 4 Paws helps children in all of the states. Adults feel that 4 Paws is not a good organization because they feel their children are too irresponsible to have dogs.

4 Paws has placed dogs in nearly all the states, Canada, and New Zealand. The organization started in 1998, and has placed over 500 dogs since then. 4 Paws asks for donations of food, water, blankets, and money.
Another part of the organization is the Rover Rehab, a program in which volunteers from 4 Paws take shelter dogs and bring them to prisons to raise inmates self esteem. While in the jail, trainers work with prisoners to train the dogs common obedience, socialization, and manners.

Goodbye, State Funding for California Libraries

Libraries around San Francisco have state fundings cuts. Libraries will no longer be giving literacy programs nor InterLibrary Loans. They will no longer be buying as many books, and Library Training Programs. 1999-2000 Libraries were getting $56.8 million but buy 2008-2009 $ 12.9 million. 2012 libraries get nothing.

This is a major problem for not only librarians but for people who can only get their books at the library. I get my books online so this is not a major problem personally, but for most people it is. Even if I do not get my books at the library, it is still a good thing to have them around.

Try This Word Game

The game named deep leap is a word game. It is for fourth and up. The game is trying to teach kids to spell. You can learn new words playing this game. Deep leap is a fun learning game. Kids can use this experience with other Kids.

Testing your color skills

If you ever want to test your knowledge of colors, you should go to this website. It's where you can test if you know the difference between different hues. Its a test where you put different colors into the right order. Then you submit your score. The closer your score is to 0, the better.

Charles Dickens turns 200!

Charles Dickens was an American author. He wrote A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and the famous A Christmas Tale. Of course he wrote much more books than that.

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 and died on June 9. 1870. Dickens had much more fame then other authors of his time. He was one of the greatest authors during the Victorian Period. None of his short stories or novels ever went out of print.

Dickens' whole name was Charles John Huffam Dickens. Most people praised his writings for their realistic and comedic plots. Others, like Virginia Woolf and Henry James criticized his work for having melodrama in his stories.

Written By: Rubina H.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Giving Christmas shoeboxes!

At the end of November Hillwood School made Christmas shoe boxes! We buy dollar items and other little toys such as bouncy balls, jewelry, mini combs, hair bands, tooth brushes little stuffed animals, pencils, erasers and more. We made these boxes for children in need in the Philippines. We had the help of  Karen H. the mom o Fiona a second grader. I really hope the children in the Philippines enjoyed the boxes! And I also hope we can do this next Christmas! To learn more go to

Asiana D.

The Epic Rube Goldberg machine

This is a continuation of the Rube Goldberg project. Leading this project are Nikita and Andre. As a reminder, the Rube Goldberg machine is made to do the most simple everyday tasks in so much more complicated ways. If all goes well we will create a Rube Goldberg machine. To get some ideas we went on YouTube, and watched some videos. One of our favorites was a Halo Reach Rube Goldberg video, but since it was animated we posted this one instead. In this video, a Rube Goldberg machine saves a weird dancing kid from stepping on a banana peel. The Rube Goldberg video is a bit hard to explain, so for more information watch this video!

by Nikita and Andre

Do the Bottle rocket experiment!

This week my article is about Diet Coke and Mint Mentos. First you go to the grocery store and by a liter of Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi but I recommend Diet Coke, then the Mint Mentos you could buy  a tube or line up the Mentos on top of paper and pull the paper and let all the Mentos fall down. In fact the 5-7th graders did this experiment but we bought a tube and used Diet citrus soda and for the tube we lined the Mentos in the tube and on a count on three we pulled a string that triggers the mentos to drop ut the soda only went up 3 feet. You guys should try this at home it will be fun for everybody!!

Asiana D.                

Groundhog Day

In Pennsylvania the Groundhog Day is celebrated the most. Phil, a groundhog, saw his shadow this year. Phil saw his shadow ninty-nine times and didn't see his shadow fifteen times. If he sees his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, then spring will start early and there won't be six weeks left of winter. Even if he sees his shadow or not, there will still be six more weeks of winter left.

I think that Groundhog Day is for winter and not just to see a groundhog and having fun. Groundhog Day is helpful for finding out if there is winter left or not. Groundhog Day is fun at school because it is Jojo's birthday.

Written By: Claire P.

Join the Celebration for Chinese New Year!

In 1847 San Francisco was a village called Yerba Buena the population was 459. In 1849 gold was discovered and over 50,000 people came to San Francisco a good amount of them were Chinese. In 1860's the Chinese wanted to share their culture with people who were not familiar with it. The Chinese started putting on little shows. Since 1958 Chinese Chamber Of Commerce has been in charge of Chinese New Year.

Today San Francisco Chinese New Year in one of the biggest celebrations in the world. Chinese New Year starts January 14th thru February 11th. Here is a picture of the directions of the route.

Learn About The Let's Move Campaign

The founder of the let's move campaign Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama is the first lady of the United States of America. She is Barrack Obama's wife. Let's move is a campaign about eating healthy for children. They partnered with Disney channel and the NFL or the national football league. With Disney channel they have a website called

Take a Look at the Statistics and Numbers of Groundhog Day

Art is Math?

Have you ever thought I wish I was in art instead of being in math. Well, today Angela and I found out you can do art in math or vice versa. You can just draw spirals or shapes that are connected and color the spaces in as long as the colored in spaces don't touch. When you draw a squiggle, a line in which both lines connect, and weave the lines you draw, you create a snake.

Angela and I drew our own spirals/snakes.The creator of the video said that whatever you draw, the games will work out, but a few times Angela and I messed up and it didn't work.

14 Year-Old Piano Prodigy!

Gun Chaikittiwatana is a piano prodigy. At age 14, he already played almost all of the most difficult piano pieces that were ever composed.

If a 14 year-old boy is playing Liebestraum, (which he played), he must really practice a lot. Liebestraum, by Franz Lizt, is particularly difficult because of this one section with a bunch of grace notes. Grace notes are note that are written in small print and are not counted as beats into the measure. Grace notes are usually played extremely fast and not every grown pianist can play it. There are many reductions of the piece for people who are learning or who cannot play it correctly. Go to this website to listen to him playing Liebestraum.

Written By: Rubina H.