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Looking for a Chromebook this Holiday?

Looking to give the gift of connectivity this holiday season? Our Director of Technology Regina Cherill has two great Chromebook options for you to consider gifting:   This Samsung is a great entry-level laptop. It’s nearly identical to what we’re using at school: super sturdy, decent graphics and it is maintenance free. All the updates […]

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3 Must-Have Holiday Gifts for Every Preschooler

‘Tis the season for gift giving! Here are three must-have gifts for every preschooler as recommended by our longtime preschool teacher Christine DeStefano. Hoot Owl Hoot Matching Game: My grandchildren love this game!  It is cooperative and everyone either wins or loses. Magformers: I started each of my grandchildren with Magformers when they were 3.  Each year […]

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Holiday Gift Ideas from the Makerspace

Here are holiday gift ideas from our Makerspace Design Lab for innovators and tinkerers.  Chibitronics Chibi Lights (Ages 9 and up) A kid-friendly introduction to circuits in a creative stick-on format. Makey Makey – An Invention Kit (Ages 8 and up) Want to play piano with a banana? This kit lets you turn anything into […]

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Petrie’s Picks: Cozy Up With A Good Book This Winter

With the weather getting colder, it’s a great time to curl up with a good mystery. Not only are mysteries entertaining, but they are great for encouraging close reading and critical thinking skills in readers as they gather clues and try to solve the puzzle. Here are a few favorites. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz: Follow […]

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7 Must-Have Physical Fitness Apps

Having trouble getting your child to stay active? Here are several apps you can use to make fitness fun at home.   1. Bit Breaker  Bit Breaker is best-used solo and employs a strict lateral and jump regimen. Your movement controls an ‘Atari’ type of paddle on the bottom of the screen to control the […]

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Six Traits of Good Writing (And How We Develop Them)

Teaching students the art of writing is one of the most fundamental components of the middle school English curriculum. Hilltop students begin fifth grade with a strong background in composition skills to develop well-constructed paragraphs about a variety of topics. In middle school, we build on those fundamentals and encourage students to become more confident […]

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Best Homemade Sensory Playdough Recipe - Image

Best Homemade Sensory Playdough Recipe

What kid doesn’t love playdough? We don’t know any! But what’s even more fun than playdough is sensory playdough! Our Kindergarten teacher Nicole Petrillo made homemade sensory playdough with her class and shared her recipe, and some things to do with it, with us. Enjoy! Ms. Nicole Petrillo’s Homemade Sensory Playdough Recipe Ingredients 2 cups […]

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Is My Child Ready For Preschool?

We are all aware that children are capable of learning at an early age. Most schools accept preschool students at age two and a half. But is that a magic age? Is your two and a half-to-four year old child ready for preschool? As a seasoned preschool teacher for 33 years, I ask parents to […]

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5 Parenting Hacks For Life With Toddlers That Are Guaranteed To Make Your Life Easier

When you run a preschool program bustling with 20, 2.5 to 5-year-olds, you develop a few life hacks over the years to help the classroom run smoothly. Here are some of our favorite hacks you can use at home to make life with toddlers easier. Comment below to share you favorite parenting hacks, too!  Save […]

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Make Sunscreen Part of Your Outdoor Gear

Summer is almost here! We can’t wait to be outside enjoying the beautiful warm weather! We need to protect ourselves and our children from overexposure to the sun and its harmful rays. Your best defenses against getting too much harmful UV radiation are protective clothing, shade and limited time in the sun: Hats, shirts, shorts […]

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