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Welcome to our class at Helena High School for the 2016-2017 school year. We are looking forward to a great year full of learning and fun. Check here often for updates on what we’ve been working on and upcoming activities. Go Husky Nation!



Important Dates:

April 20: Helena CBI

April 26: Red Mountain Park

March Update 2017

March was another great month at HHS. We did a job and programs tour at the Pelham YMCA then out to lunch at Cracker Barrel, had our annual Track and Field event for Special Olympics, and did another round of our Helena Community Based Instruction (work at Riverside church, Jack’s, and park). Thank You to the HHS Community for the wonderful send-off as we loaded the bus to head to Track & Field. The hallways were lined with students and faculty cheering our students on with posters, music, and encouraging words. We also id a scrapbooking class with Mrs. Paula and Mrs. Deborah as we added pictures from our special needs Prom to our album. It’s hard to believe we are already into the 4th nine weeks. We have a lot of great things planned for April and May!

Upcoming in April: April 20 (Helena CBI), April 26 (Red Mountain Park)

February Update 2017

What a great month we’ve had. In the classroom, we have practiced shopping and measurement skills (Math), read numerous articles related to Black History Month and Presidents (Reading and Social Studies), and learned about force and motion as well as acids and bases (Science). At the Learning Cottage, we worked on our deep cleaning skills and cooked Chinese fried rice and spring rolls, pizzas, and meatball subs. We started filling pots up with soil and prepping the greenhouse for the plants to arrive. Our OT and Speech providers did another round of the scrapbook group with us as they continue to add to those each month. We had our annual special needs Prom at the Sterling Castle which some of our peer pals attended with us on Feb. 16  and did another round of our Community Based Instruction (work, lunch, & park) on Feb. 23.

January Update 2017

We have gotten back into the swing of things since the Winter Holiday break. At the Growing Place we have been getting the Greenhouse and Cottage reorganized after the big Holiday sale in December. We have to get everything ready so the Greenhouse will be set up when the seeds and bulbs arrive for the plants. In the Cottage we put away decorations and did some deep cleaning as well as cook yummy food: pancakes and sausage, appetizers (wings, fries, and cheese sticks), and quesadillas.

We had our district wide Special Olympics Bowling event at Oak Mountain Lanes. Everyone did well and then we enjoyed lunch at Zaxby’s. We also had another round on Community Based Instruction. We helped clean many rooms at the church, had lunch at Jack’s, and enjoyed a nice afternoon at the park.

In class this month we discussed various habitats, animal adaptations, made Borax crystals, and investigated ice orbs. We discussed the Inauguration, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Lunar (“Chinese”) New Year. We also did a lot of practice with money and writing about various topics. We passed our 100th day of school and now will count down until our last day.

We ended the month with a special breakfast with our Peer Pals, Honor Roll party, and Pep Rally to cheer on all of the Winter and Spring Sports.

Upcoming in February: Prom (Feb. 16), Helena Community Based Instruction (TBD), Late Start (Feb. 8), NO SCHOOL (Feb. 20)

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Semester Wrap Up Friday December 9, 2016

It’s hard to believe that the first half of the school year has already come and gone. We have had a great few months and the students have been working hard in and out of the classroom. The Holiday Open House at The Growing Place was a success and many of the items our students helped create were sold (with many compliments for the beautiful and hard work). This week at The Growing Place we helped set up for the Open House and made cheeseburger cups. This was a new recipe for everyone and some of our students really enjoyed them. Everyone enjoyed the curly fries! We have been learning about the various holiday traditions around Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. We have discussed, written, and compared the holidays and gone into more detail about how we personally celebrate this time of year. We have done some fun activities in Science with chemical and physical changes and learned about various animal classifications. This week HHS had holiday dress up days and I enjoyed seeing the different things students were wearing this week. Our Holiday Shopping and Lunch CBI is coming up to finish off a great semester. We are looking forward to this and spending some quality time together in the community.

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Friday Update November 18, 2016

As we head into the Thanksgiving Break, it’s hard to believe it will soon be December. This week we read “A Feast for Turkeys” as learned about the 17-year old cicada that turkeys enjoy eating. The 17- year cicada stays underground for 17 years! Male turkeys are called toms and females are called hens. Only the make turkeys actually make the “gobble” sound. We learned about the food chain in Science and dissected owl pellets to find the small bones of animals that an owl in unable to digest. We visited Project SEARCH at Shelby Baptist Hospital. We learned more about the program, heard from the director and some of the current interns, took a bit of a tour, and had lunch in Morrison’s cafeteria at the hospital. We are looking forward to a fun December and end of the second nine weeks. At The Growing Place this week we made pizzas in the Learning Cottage and continued working on the many items that will be for sale for the holidays at the Greenhouse. Below are some of the items the students have been working on for the sale and they are doing great work!

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Friday Update November 4, 2016

We started off this week with a Halloween Dance at the Helena Community Center. Many of our Peer Pals joined us and we had a great time! Tuesday at The Growing Place we worked on making and painting frames for the Holiday Craft Sale and we focused on cleaning skills in the Learning Cottage. We prepared popcorn and sauteed shrimp and rice for lunch. This week in Science we learned about the best way to prevent spreading germs. We did a couple of experiments to show us that germs are everywhere even if we cannot see them and that soap and water is the best way to wash germs away when we need to get our hands clean. We read the Weekly Reader article “Trip to a New Land” which gave us the story from the Pilgrims about what happened once they arrived in America on the Mayflower. We continued working on our Election 2016 packet, looking at maps, timelines, and even interesting pets that have lived at the White House. Last week we had our field trip to Griffin Farms and it was a blast. Please see pictures below from this trip as well as our Halloween Dance.

Halloween Dance

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Griffin Farms

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Friday Update October 21, 2016

This week was all about Fall. Our Weekly Reader article was about “Leaf Litter Critters” and we read all about animals, insects, and spiders that make use of the leaf litter for finding food and protection. We also created leaf litter critter cards. Science was all about pumpkins. We predicted various things about our group’s pumpkin (number of seeds inside, height, circumference, number of ribs on the outside, etc.). Our group’s pumpkin had 517 seeds! The seeds were baked and everyone tried one. The seeds weren’t a hit with everyone. but some enjoyed them. We also looked at the pumpkin life cycle and learned some interesting facts about pumpkins (like a pumpkin is actually a fruit and the largest one grown weighs over 2,000 pounds). Our field trip to Griffin Farms is on Monday and we are excited to get to pick out our own pumpkins to take home. At The Growing Place this week, the students worked on making items for the December Holiday Sale. They painted and some used the table saw to cut wood for the snowmen families. In the Learning Cottage we made taco soup. On Thursday, Group 2 did thei Community Based Instruction outing to work at Riverside and eat lunch at Jack’s. Tonight the Huskies take on Chelsea High School (at Chelsea) for the annual “Pink Out” night to support breast cancer awareness. Go Huskies!


Friday Update October 14, 2016

This week started off with our weekly trip to The Growing Place since we were out of school on Monday. We were lucky because Linda Nolen was having their Fall Festival that day and a band was playing right outside of the Learning Cottage so we enjoyed some great music. In the Learning Cottage we worked on folding laundry and practicing a data entry program on the computer. With Mrs. Brennan they began painting some things for the annual Holiday sale in December. On Thursday, Group 1 went out on CBI (Riverside Church, Joe Tucker Park, and Jack’s) and we had a great time with beautiful weather. Our Weekly Reader this week was about vampire bats, which everyone thought was super interesting. Fall is here so we did some observations and experiments regarding fall objects (leaf, gourd, pumpkin, apple, acorns, pinecone). We did a float/sink experiment and found out that none of these things sink. Friday was Pajama Day which is always comfy.

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img_2108Practicing Data Entry

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img_2143Pajama Day

Friday Update September 23, 2016

This week we started reading an adapted version of the novel Twilight. We will complete a book report on this novel and we began the characters section this week. We will continue to work on this report as we read and meet new characters. We also saw a few clips from the movie. In Math we worked with coins and in Science we took a look at some important scientific tools and items that we can recycle. Our Weekly Reader (Fuzzy Friends) told the story of Raina (dog) and Ruuxa (cheetah) that were paired together as babies and have become best friends. We also got to watch a video about these animals. This week at the Growing Place we prepared buffalo chicken dip and discussed Mealtime Manners in the Learning Cottage. At the Greenhouse students worked in the garden with the job coach. Elmo and Superman made an appearance today in our classroom for Character day and we enjoyed seeing all the creative characters the HHS students came up with today at lunchtime. Next week is busy with a field trip to Camp Cosby on Monday and Homecoming week activities Thursday and Friday. Go Huskies!

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Friday Update September 16, 2016

We had a great week. Our News 2 You article this week was about “Hurricane Season”. We made hurricanes in a bottle at the end of the week. We looked at a presentation about Sloss Furnace and Vulcan Park to help us prepare for our field trip on Thursday. We also took a look at Google Earth and maps to see where we would be going. At The Growing Place this week we cooked meatballs and discussed Kitchen Safety in the Learning Cottage and in the Greenhouse, the students spent some time cleaning up the garden and looking at plants to order for the big Spring sale. Our field trip to Sloss Furnace and Vulcan was on Thursday and we had a great time. At Sloss Furnace we did a self-guided tour with a scavenger hunt. We then rode over to Vulcan and had our lunch at Vulcan Park before being given a tour through the history of Birmingham and Vulcan statue by the Director of Education. Most of our students even decided to go up to the top of Vulcan and take in the beautiful view of Birmingham. Friday was “Hip Hop” dress up day and we had a pep rally to cheer on our huskies as they face Homewood tonight!

Sloss Furnace

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Vulcan Park

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