December 6, 2017

Principal’s Message

Congratulations to our third and fourth grade students on completing their first ever Project Based Learning Exhibition last week! Students presented their learning about Native Americans to an authentic audience of parents and students.

A public display of learning, such as an exhibition, is a crucial part of successful PBL implementation because it builds students’ communication and critical thinking skills. As we do with all things, students and teachers will reflect on this experience: what went well, what we learned, and how we will improve things in the future.

These are fantastic Growth Mindset opportunities, and we want your input as well. Parents, if you attended one of the events last week (or any such events in the future), please do send your constructive feedback to any of our staff so that we can revise and improve our efforts. Thank you in advance!

Traffic Check In

Thank you for continuing to follow our traffic guidelines shared at the start of the year. Here it is again for your reference. A few reminders:

  • Bicyclists and scooter-riders should always wear helmets. Adults too.
  • Bicyclists and scooter-riders must yield to pedestrians, especially in a crosswalk.
  • Cars should pull up all the way when dropping off or picking up in the front driveway.
  • Never leave your car unattended in the driveway.

Thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do to ensure everyone’s safety!

Project Based Learning Updates

Kindergarten students are exploring the purpose of commemorative holidays that are celebrated in America each year in their current Social Studies PBL Unit. They are learning about the history of some of the major US holidays, the people or events they honor, and ways in which they are celebrated. As a final product, each student will create a piece of a patchwork quilt that will be displayed to show the different holidays and the important people and events they honor. This unit will be completed mid-January.

In the upcoming Social Studies PBL Unit, first graders will explore how symbols, landmarks, heroes, and holidays of the United States provide a sense of community among all Americans. Students will have a chance to apply what they learn about the United States as they will design a model of their own country, including a flag, national symbols, and landmarks. In their final presentation, students will share the meaning of the symbols of their new country and describe how they unite its citizens.

Second graders will examine the effects of weathering and erosion on landforms in their upcoming Science PBL Unit. They will compare different solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land and design their own model to prevent or slow weathering and erosion. Students will present their completed designs and models in an exhibition for parents at the end of this unit.

Third graders just completed their Ohlone Museum projects, and held their first exhibition event. The driving question for this project was: “How can we, as anthropologists, create museum exhibits that celebrate and explain the life of the Ohlone Native Americans?” To answer this question, students read nonfiction text about the various aspects of Ohlone life, conducted research, planned the design for a model of one aspect of Ohlone life, built the model, and prepared presentations for exhibition day. The next third grade project will focus on the science standards of force and motion. Students will be using the design thinking process to create “marble runs” that will demonstrate their understanding of these science concepts.

Fourth grade students completed their California Native American project, answering the driving question, “How can we, as anthropologists, create living museum exhibits that teach about California Native American tribes?” Students answered this question by researching tribes from each of California’s four regions. Students had to think critically about how to transform their research into vignettes, in which they had to act out three scenes from the daily life of the tribes they studied. The next Fourth grade project will focus on the science standard of energy and its impact on the environment. Students will analyze energy use at home and in the community, then research and propose ways to reduce energy consumption.

Fifth Grade students have been hard at work answering the driving question, "How can we, as landscape architects, design plans for school planters that efficiently use our resources?" Students learned about plant adaptations, and engaged in inquiry through guest speakers, classroom lessons, and research to learn about drought-tolerant plants. Teams chose a plant based on researched criteria, then wrote persuasive business letters in order to acquire donations from local businesses. While waiting to hear from the businesses, the students will be creating presentations to each classroom in the school that will be receiving a new plant in their planter box. The next Fifth grade project focuses on the thirteen American colonies. Students will be incorporating research and performing arts skills to create dramas depicting various aspects of the daily life in the colonies.

Principal’s Coffee: Imagineerz

Please join us from 8:15 to 9:15 on Thursday, December 7 for a special Principal’s Coffee featuring our 1st and 2nd grade enrichment providers, Imagineerz Learning. Come and find out how your child develops an “I-Can” mindset (Growth Mindset) and learn about the lessons and activities they enjoy each week with our Imagineerz instructors. Imagineerz will also share tips for how support your children to become more perseverant, creative problem-solvers. Hope to see you there!

Literacy Week

Literacy Week is in full swing! Ask your child what kind of Literacy Week activities they have participated in during lunch this week. Click here to see the schedule for the rest of the week.

Take a look around the Huff campus at the fantastic Literacy Week signs, displays, and door decorations made by the parent volunteers. Thanks to all the parents who have volunteered their time in support of Literacy Week!

Yearbook Cover Design Contest

Calling all artists! Here's your chance to create a design for the front or back cover of the 2017-2018 Huff yearbook. Read the design rules/guidelines and submit your entry by Dec. 11.

Donate and Double your Impact!

Remember to submit corporate matching requests for your PTA donation -- some employers have a Dec. 31 deadline.

It's not too late to make your 2017-18 school year PTA donation and have it qualify for your 2017 tax return! You can donate online at join or drop a check at the main office.

Thank you for supporting Huff! Email with any questions.

Baking some holiday treats? Look for Box Tops!

If you and your family are baking some delicious holiday treats remember to look out for Box Tops. They can be found on Betty Crocker baking mixes, Reynolds parchment paper and baking cups as well as the ziplocks you put the treats in. Don’t forget about eBoxTops on Safeways’ Just for U app!

So clip those box tops and bring them in after the holiday break. Every box top helps us raise funds for Huff! For any Box Top related questions please contact our Huff Box Tops Coordinator Gina Rybolt at

Auction Events

Looking for something fun for your kids to do during December so you can get a little holiday shopping (or relaxing) done? Check out the December auction parties that still have space available. You can sign up for parties online at or simply email and tell us which party you would like to attend.

December Parties:

****If you attended the auction and left without your black wool coat or accidentally took home the wrong ladies black coat please email so we can return your missing coat.

Luau - Crittenden Middle School - Dec. 8

Crittenden’s music department is hosting a luau on Friday, December 8, 5:30-7:30pm. Cost is $10 for adults ($15 at the door if available) and $8 for students/children which includes a luau dinner, entertainment and a Silent Auction. Purchase your tickets today by submitting the order form and payment (exact cash or check made out to ‘Crittenden Middle School’) to the Crittenden Front Office.

Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair - Graham Middle School - Dec. 9

Music performance by Graham Middle School Band. Food provided Hosting a variety of arts & crafts vendors! All Mountain View School District is invited and if interested in being a vendor contact Joey Ordoñez at See flyer.

Living Classroom Winter Volunteer Training!

Mountain View Whisman School District’s Living Classroom program inspires our students to value the natural world through garden-based education. We provide Kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms (in all 8 Mountain View Whisman elementary schools) with hour-long lessons that correlate with current science, math, and social studies standards. Living Classroom uses a hands-on, inquiry approach to learning which ensures our lessons are effective AND fun!

Last year we reached thousands of students and taught over 550 lessons with the help of our volunteers. Volunteering with Living Classroom is rewarding, enjoyable, and no prior teaching or gardening experience is required. Interested in sharing your love of nature with students? We would love to have you on board! Consider attending our upcoming winter training sessions:

Monday, December 11 (9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.)
Stevenson PACT School - Conference Room D
Agenda: second grade lessons

Monday, January 8 (9:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.)
Duveneck School - Room 10
Agenda: kindergarten lesson (9-10:00), 3rd grade lessons (10:00-noon)

Monday, January 22 (9:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m.)
Stevenson PACT School - Conference Room D
Agenda: 4th grade lesson (9-10:00), 5th grade lesson (10-11:00)

Check us out at or send questions to Program Manager Mallory Traughber at

After School Programs

The Huff After School Programs List 2017-18 available here. Check back frequently for updates over the next few weeks.


We plan to continue the Colorcycle Marker, Highlighter, Sharpie, and Dry Eraser Pen recycling program this coming year. Last year our community kept 3,890 items out of landfill! (That's a 16% recycling increase from the previous year's collection). Please bring your used markers, highlighters, dry erase markers, and sharpies to the office and drop them in the Colorcycle box to keep them out of landfill. To learn more about the Colorcycle program, check out or email Huff parent Ariana Menhenett (

Upcoming Dates

Dec. 4 - 8 - Literacy Week

Wed., Dec. 6, 6:00 p.m. - Incoming Kinder Information Night

Tue., Dec. 12, 3:00 p.m. - Huff Site Council

Thu., Dec. 14, 1:30 p.m. - Huff Honor Choir

Dec. 18 - Jan. 1 - NO SCHOOL - December Break

Tue., Jan. 2 - NO SCHOOL - Staff Development Day

To learn how to add the Huff calendar to your personal calendar, click here.

Flyers and Attachments

December Lunch Menu

Comments? Feedback? Questions?

Click here to send your thoughts directly to the principal. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us get better.