Gillispie’s Preschool Room 1 children explored the art of sewing by using small embroidery hoops and child-friendly needles threaded with yarn. With guidance from a teacher, the children experimented with how to push the needle through the burlap . . . and back again. As the children mastered this skill, they began creating their own designs. Opportunities like these develop children’s manual dexterity and fine motor skills while exposing them to new venues for creative expression.
Gillispie Grades 2-5 Kiwanis Junior Olympic participants trained hard yesterday at the La Jolla High School track. After a quick warm-up and stretch, our athletes got out on the track and practiced their short and long races. The children practiced the “blind handoff” technique used in relay races, which included using visual markings on the track, specific hand and arm positioning, and auditory signals between teammates when passing the “stick.”
Students from nine La Jolla elementary schools–public, private, and independent–will gather at La Jolla High on Sunday, May 19, to endeavor for personal-best performances. Events will include obstacle course, broad jump, softball throw, and track events, including boys and girls team relay races . . . and the crowning event: the Fastest Girl and Fastest Boy in La Jolla races.
Gillispie students are preparing for Earth Week next week!
Using Earth inspired paint colors, Gillispie students of all ages rolled up their sleeves and lent a “hand” to decorating recyclable and reusable shopping bags for Earth Day, Monday, April 22. The bags include a label wishing users a “Happy Earth Day” from Gillispie and requesting that the bags be reused or recycled.
Thanks to the generous paper bag donations from Come on In, Sorrella, and Jonathan’s, these earth-friendly recyclable bags will be available to patrons shopping at these establishments next week.
Preschool Room 1 students do some demolition of their own! The excitement surrounding the construction of Gillispie’s “Field of Dreams” is being shared by even the youngest members of our school. Using bulldozers, diggers, and backhoes of their own, the children mimicked the on-campus activity in a classroom sensory bin–moving rocks, pushing sand, and making noise.
Teacher Mr. Inigo and several fifth grade boys prepare to leave Gillispie for the annual Grade 5 overnight trip: “Prelude to the American Revolution.” Students, teachers, and even a few parent chaperones will spend tonight on the HMS Surprise re-living the “the turbulent year of 1774, experiencing the struggle of merchant mariners sailing the triangle trade route between New England and the Caribbean. Embarking on a voyage of the imagination, students will role-play with maritime instructors, raising sails, loading cargo, and protecting the vessel from pirates. Navigating their way through the political storms of the era, students will face frustrations that inspired American colonists to revolt. Ultimately, they will choose their own destiny and find out what role they will play in the war for America’s freedom.”
Students in Preschool Room 3 were offered a new “provocation” this week. The class was presented with wires of varying thicknesses, needle-nose pliers, and an array of washers, bolts, and paperclips. As the children began exploring the wire, their hands became familiar with its strength, pliability, and creative possibilities. The students started to challenge themselves to twist, wrap, and bend the resources using their fingers and pliers–with no directed outcome, the teachers will be observing to see what emerges.
Children in Preschool Rooms 2, 3, and 4 are encouraged to take advantage of their greater physical, intellectual, and social skills. Classroom centers are rich in objects that spark the intrinsic curiosity of the very young.
Gillispie parent and renowned wildlife photographer Tony Newlin visited prekindergarten through Grade 6 students today for two assemblies about his work. Mr. Newlin shared numerous photographs from his travels to Alaska, Canada, India, and Africa. Students especially enjoyed seeing brown bears, a great horned owl, an orca whale, a black wolf, and polar bears, all in their natural habitats. Following some deeply curious questions by the children (Have you ever been bitten? “No, I’m careful to study the habits of the animals I visit.”), Ms. Fleming emphasized the opportunity all children have to someday merge passion and career through hard work.
To help launch this year’s International Day, Josiah the Musical Storyteller visited Gillispie for a special Grades K-6 assembly. During his 45-minute presentation, he emphasized the important, seemingly contrasting elements of a successful International Day program: recognizing that we are all the same and we are all different; valuing our commonalities as we celebrate our differences; pursuing unity through diversity. Josiah shared three of his own songs with the students invited Nathan L., Alex C., and Lila C. to jam with him on unique instruments to demonstrate that harmony can result from variety.
Mrs. Epperson’s PK Room 6 took a walking field trip yesterday to The Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla. The children were asked to find specific maps and given magnifying glasses to help them along the way!
Exploring beyond the traditional classroom setting is a key component of Gillispie’s “whole child” education.
Mr. Edwards compares a tree he designed on the iPad with the version he printed on Gillispie’s new 3-D printer. The printer, purchased through a grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, will be used by students to help them realize that they can design and manufacture tangible solutions to real-world problems.