Sunday, January 31, 2016

Country Flags, the People We Meet and Box Tops

Oak Hill prides itself on its cultural inclusiveness and one of the ways we celebrate this is through our country flags in the cafeteria. Each week a country is highlights at our Friday assembly. The students see the flag and learn facts about the countries such as where it is in the world in relation to Oak Hill, what language they speak, and important foods and customs.  They view a short presentation that shows them various pictures of important items from the country. The students love learning about each country and seeing all of the pictures from that country. You should come one Friday to listen to all of the oohs and aahs as they view the various places.  Our new flags this year are:  Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Catalonia, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

In all, we have 76 countries represented. We truly are a multicultural school! You can view the country presentations here on our YouTube channel.

This week, the PreK/PPCD students learned about "People We Meet." They had an auto mechanic come to visit the class.   He showed them how to change a tire on a car, and they got to have a look at the car engine,  the car battery, and where the oil goes. The students had a great time learning about cars.

We also had the first box top store on Friday! Students who brought in box tops were able to go shop in the library for T-shirts, books, pencils, erasers, and various trinkets. It was quite busy! You can continue to bring in box tops for future shopping and to help your child's grade level win the grade level contest. Currently, Kindergarten is in 3rd place, Fourth grade in 2nd place, and Fifth grade is in 1st place, but it's a very tight race and still anyone's contest to win.  Deadline is Feb. 19th for the contest.

This coming week, we will celebrate the 100th day of school on Wednesday, Feb 3rd. On Friday, it is National Wear Red Day for women's health. Get those red shirts out and save them for Friday! Looking forward to another great week of learning at OHE!

Thursday, January 28, 2016


 Last week, I was visiting with a parent of a younger Eagle and she was asking me what I do at Oak Hill.  Over the years, I have worn many hats.  The most recent being a fuzzy black hat as I help the 5th Grade Greeters open car doors at the front circle drive. This has come to be one of my favorite times of the day because for 40 minutes I get to hear statements like, “I Love You!” and “Be a good friend and a good listener!”. 
  I came to Oak Hill in 1993 when I did my observation and student teaching.  After I graduated from UT,  I was fortunate to be hired as a 5th Grade teacher.  Over the years, I taught all subjects, but my favorite was math.  I was with 5th grade for 18 years and then, as I was ready to step down from full time teaching, Dr. Mitchell offered me a Teaching Assistant position.   It has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed working with students of all ages.   This year I work with 1st, 4th, and 5th grade. 
Fifth Grade has always been a fun age to work with.  I have enjoyed watching them as they mature and  prepare to move on to middle school.  One of the perks of being a 5th grader is the chance to do 5th grade jobs.  At the beginning of each year, each 5th grader has the opportunity to apply for a position.  These include Honor Guard, Greeters, Recyclers, Kinder Walkers, Shade Managers, Marquee, and Equipment Managers. The 5 classes take turns and do it on a weekly rotation.
Honor Guard is one of great responsibility.  Raising and lowering the flags in a respectful manner is very important. 

Greeters show up each morning, rain or shine.  They cheerfully open doors and say, “Good Morning” or “Buenos Dias”.   There are Greeters at both buildings, except on Fridays, when we have our Morning Assembly.  Their goal is to get the cars unloaded in the safest and most efficient manner possible. 

Recyclers do a great job of helping to dump the recycling bins from the classrooms.  They have a map of the school and visit different areas each day.  It usually takes a couple of months to get things running smoothly, but they are dedicated.
Kinder Walkers were  added 5 years ago when we started having buses unload the Annex students at the main building.  Their job is to deliver the students to their classrooms safely.  They always discover how challenging it can be at times to keep a group of students together and following directions. They really enjoy working with the younger Eagles and make sure they all get to their classrooms safely.

Shade Managers have the job of putting the umbrellas up at the picnic tables.  This happens mostly during good weather.  The umbrellas provide shade for classes who might go outside for a lesson and also for parents who come to eat lunch with their children.
The Marquee has been the responsibility of Ms. Osio’s class for the past several years. They try their best to keep you informed of what is happening at our school.
Finally, most of the classes have an Equipment Manager.  Their  job  is to take out playground equipment at WOW time.   The most difficult part is collecting it when it is time to come indoors.
These traditions, as well as the staff and students, are a big part of the Oak Hill experience and just one of the many reasons I am still here after 23 years.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Teacher of the Year

Every year, the OHE faculty nominates and then votes on a teacher to represent our school as the Teacher of the Year.  This is always a hard task as we have many wonderful and deserving teachers. Congratulations to Antoinette Roberts, Oak Hill Elementary's Teacher of the Year!
It was wonderful to read all of the sweet messages about and to Ms. Roberts on the Oak Hill Facebook page. She has given so much to our school and her students throughout her career. We are so happy for her!

We also chose a Teacher of Promise. This is a first year teacher that shows tremendous promise to have a great teaching career. We have several first year teachers this year and I know that they will ALL are and will continue to be great teachers. Congratulations to Rudi Garza, Oak Hill Elementary's Teacher of Promise!

Our Science Fair winners were also celebrated at the Friday Assembly. We are sending 16 very deserving students and their projects to the Regional Science Fair. We had so many great projects this year and it was very hard for the judges to decide on the winners. I am very proud of the hard work that all of the students displayed. They should all be proud of their efforts!

We also wrapped up a week of No Place for Hate activities. Students gave compliments to each other throughout the week and also threw mean words in the garbage where they belong.  While we take several weeks during the year to focus specifically on No Place for Hate activities, we are a No Place for Hate campus EVERY SINGLE DAY! Compliments can be given out at any time. Mean thoughts or words can be written on a post it note or a piece of paper and be thrown in the trash instead of being said out loud. We can choose to be nice and friendly all the time and I know that our students do.  We truly have the best students in all of Austin!
A banner to collect all of our compliments over the week. 

This week, we are kicking off the Read-A-Thon!
It runs from Jan. 25- Feb. 5. Read, read, read and try to get pledges to help raise money to buy books for Austin students in need. Even if you don't raise money, you can still help by reading and logging your minutes! I hope some of you got started over the weekend! An information flyer went home on Friday in your child's folder.

I am excited to begin another great week at OHE! See you bright and early on Monday morning.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Science Fair

Science Fair is tomorrow! The students worked very hard to complete an experiment or exhibition then display their hard work for us all to see. I love how creative the students can be and it is always interesting to see the different topics they choose to investigate. Look how many projects we have!

Students who wanted their projects to be considered for the regional Science Fair, will be judged tomorrow morning. Tomorrow from 3-6 the projects can be viewed by families. We hope you will come by and take a look at all of the wonderful projects. The projects advancing to the regional Science Fair will be announced at 5!

It's been a slow start to January, but it is already starting to get busier. There are a lot of Spring field trips and performances in the coming weeks.  I hope you all enjoyed the MLK Holiday!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

We are off to a great 2016 here at Oak Hill! Students are back into the swing of learning. We have been reading, working on Science projects, problem solving in Math, and continuing to work on our social and emotional well being. Dr. Cruz, our superintendent, came by this week to take a look at all of the wonderful things our students learn and do everyday. Be sure to check out his tweet here: 

Today at Friday assembly, students introduced the SEL word of the month: Confidence. They talked about how we should believe in ourselves, never give up, and accept challenges as they come. All month, the teachers will be looking for students in their classrooms that show confidence. 

Today was crazy hair day at OHE! I love seeing the crazy hair on all of the students and the teachers. 
The lost and found is overflowing with coats, sweaters, and water bottles. 
These are only the jackets that we could fit on the rack. We have another box FULL of jackets. PLEASE come check the lost and found if your child is missing a jacket or water bottle. Jackets not claimed by January 31 will be donated. 

Tomorrow morning is the FUN RUN. We hope you can come and join us for some exercise and fun. There will be a few prizes- like this cool bike! I think it's a bit small for Mr. Cumings, but he sure got a lot of laughs from the kids.  Registration starts at 9:30, the family run/ walk is at 10 and at 10:30 there will be a run for anyone who wants to go fast! We really hope you join us! 

Have a great weekend Oak Hill Eagles!