Hilltown Families


Deep from our archives we’re rebroadcasting our 2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode. Music by Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Dan Zanes, Elle Jenkins, The Deedle Deedle Dees and many other celebrate the work of MLK, Jr.

Have you heard of TED-Ed yet? TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas through collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. Lessons featured on TED-Ed are written by educators and animated by professional animators. These videos provide lessons on a wide variety of topics in every typical school subject. Families can use TED-Ed resources to supplement studies done in school, to help with homework, or to explore new and exciting topics together…

Food Security in Summer Months in Western MA For children across America, the end of school means the end of book reports and spelling tests, and the end of school breakfast and lunch-their most reliable source of nutrition. In Western Massachusetts, 38,870 kids don’t always know where they will get their next meal. That’s one out of every five kids in the region. Across the country, more than 16 million children live… Read More

Asian Studies Supplemented in the Pioneer Valley Exhibit, Educator Workshop, Guided Tours, Performance Art & Free Family Day Educational opportunities are numerous over the next few months for those interested in teaching and learning about Asian art!  The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be opening a new exhibit on Asian art beginning February 1st through May 26th, 2013.  Titled, Collecting Art of Asia, the exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary… Read More

Engaging Experiences at the Berkshire Museum When you think of the Berkshires, images of the green and blanketed Tanglewood lawn may come to mind, or the beautiful colors of fall in the Hilltowns, but the Berkshires don’t close up shop for the winter! The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA has a busy winter season planned, with engaging new exhibitions, hands-on public programming, and lots of opportunities for family fun and learning. The… Read More

American Centuries: Views from New England Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield Offers Online Educational Resources on American Village History Western Massachusetts today is home to scores of artists and artisans – a fact that brings visitors from near and far to see the unique and interesting products and pieces being created in the region.  Art has been a common thread amongst local residents for decades, and it could perhaps be said that… Read More

Sophia Flips the Classroom with New Social Education Platform Are there topics that you want your kids to learn that haven’t yet been (or aren’t) covered in their school’s curriculum?  Are you a teacher looking for online information to supplement your student’s textbook or classroom notes, or a place to share your own curriculum?  Are you a homeschool or unschool learning facilitator wishing you had a map of topics in multiple disciplines? Sophia,… Read More

The Girl Scouts: So Much More Than Cookies Have you checked out the Girl Scouts recently? What an impressive institution! They are celebrating their 100th anniversary and they are better than ever. You probably know that the Girl Scouts support growing girls by encouraging responsible citizenship, generosity, and camaraderie. You might not realize, though, that there is a strong academic component to the organization. The Girl Scouts have an actual curriculum with… Read More

Hilltown Families collaborated with The Food Bank of Western MA in compiling a list of kids books on the topic of food security/scarcity for their Youth Action Hunger program. We asked our readers to share their favorite children’s book that touches on the topics of hunger, soup kitchens, food banks, homelessness, etc. See what titles our readers had to recommended, both for children and adults…

Original Short Videos Aim to Fuel K-12 Students’ Interest in STEM Well-known education resource Khan Academy, a web site offering video-based learning to students, sparked a small revolution in the utilization of video in the classroom.  Videos, once reserved for rainy days or special activities, can now be an incredibly valuable educational resource.  Students are able to pace their own learning when using videos, as they can stop, repeat, and rewind as… Read More

YAH! Curriculum Youth Against Hunger Education Take time this summer to learn about issues affecting your community as a family!  For starters, resources from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ Youth Against Hunger (YAH!) curriculum can be used to help kids learn about how issues of hunger, homelessness, and/or poverty are present within and affect members of their own communities. The curriculum, available on the food bank’s website, includes a wide variety… Read More

Pittsfield History: A Curriculum The city of Pittsfield is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year!  As part of the year-long 250th celebration, a curriculum has been developed for teaching kids about the city’s history- and it has been posted online so that parents and families can utilize the resources and information offered.  There are units on how the Great Depression affected the city, the changes in mills and mill buildings over time,… Read More

The Winter Solstice Ellen Jackson’s book, The Winter Solstice, (published by Millbrook Press) takes a look at the many different cultures throughout history who have celebrated the Winter Solstice and developed customs for this shortest day of the year. With a simple storyline and attractive watercolor illustrations by Jan Davey Ellis, Jackson’s book is a nice addition to a social studies curriculum for children ages 4-8 this time of the year. The… Read More

I Love Trash! Late autumn here in New England and the light is leaving us. The sun is down almost as soon as we have eaten our after school snack. Everyone in my house becomes slightly grumpy as the light fades and we spend less time outdoors. The boys know their screen time allowance goes up and I fight my own lack of energy to keep us out, about and moving. We… Read More

Links to Share & Learn About Hanukkah with the Family The History of the Dreidel The History of Hanukkah (video) Hanukkah Recipes Hanukkah Songs and Poems (blog) Send a Chanukah Ecard Cooking Latkes (recipe) History of Channuka (web site) Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights (curriculum) Make a Driedel (printable) Celebrating Hanukkah (web site) Dreidel Game (web site) Hanukkah Crafts for Kids (blog) How to Play Dreidel: Rules for the Popular Hanukkah Game… Read More

If You Give a Kid a Shovel by Joe Gillespie Have you ever watched kids dig potatoes for the first time? It is like a treasure hunt. Or experienced the joy of pulling a beautiful, long orange carrot, washing it, and eating it right then and there? There is no substitute for these experiences. I have been gardening with students for a long time. More recently, I have written a couple of… Read More

Ratios as a Sweet Treat! By CISA As one of his first orders of business, CISA’s new Executive Director, Phil Korman, has offered to share a maple syrup-based math lesson that he developed for use in his son’s 4th grade classroom. He’s been doing a variation on this lesson with his son’s class for several years, so it can be adjusted to fit most young age groups. First he introduces the students… Read More

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Web site: teacher.scholastic.com. Scholastic presents a collection of material for homeschooling families, school teachers and students in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15. WEB SITE FEATURES: An interactive map showing Hispanic history in the America An annotated listing of Latinos in history Interview transcripts with recent famous Latinos (such as astronaut Ellen Ochoa) Research guide on the Spanish missions in California Teacher guide, games and more!

Listen to Podcast:  HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW Martin Luther King, Jr. Episode WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Tuesday evening @ 7pm 01/22/08 PLAYLIST  Archived Podcasts ♦Radio ♦ Facebook ♦ Twitter PLAYLIST Pete Seeger – “Dr. King on Violence” [Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger] Buck Howdy – “This Little Light of Mine” [Giddyup!] Tom Paxton – “Your Shoes, My Shoes” [Your Shoes, My Shoes] Dan Zanes –… Read More