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Gillispie School / Early Childhood

New this year, the Spring Arts & Science Showcase was a day to celebrate the performing arts, visual arts, and science at Gillispie! Parents, grandparents, and special friends were treated to musical performances and guided walks through exhibits and displays around campus. Thank you to Ms. Walters for her beautiful backdrops and for helping coordinate the students' art projects, Mr. Edwards for inspiring some amazing science displays, Mrs. Jacobs for leading the beautiful (and her final) spring musical...

Last Friday, the entire school celebrated "GeckoFest" where all students hit the field for some outdoor fun! The EC classes participated in various games and activities. Bubbles floated and music played while the children rotated through an obstacle course that included an egg and spoon relay, bowling, and "fishing." Students in Grades K-6 were split into ten teams with a designated team color. They rotated through eight different stations that included tug of war, a leaky cup relay,...

During an exploration of the Sustainable Garden with Mrs. Knight and Mrs. Brady, children in Rosewood Room noticed that the lemon tree was full of fruit and decided to pick a few to bring back to class. At first, they used the lemons as a provocation for observational drawings with dry and oil pastels, but soon, talk of lemonade began. Excited about the idea of making the refreshing drink, the students decided they would open a stand. Together,...

Students working in Occupational Therapy celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a fun way! They worked on building fine motor skills using gold coins and a pot of gold. These tools can be used to target different skills in a variety of ways, such as: Hiding the gold coins around the room for a treasure hunt to work on visual scanning skills and identifying objects in a busy background. Placing the coins along an obstacle course to work on gross...

The family of a former student reached out to me recently with a dilemma: Although their oldest child was a voracious reader, their youngest child didn’t seem to be interested in books at all. The parents wondered if I might “work my magic” on their youngest child, to ignite the spark that would eventually become a raging fire for books. As flattered as I am to be credited with this power, the secret to turning reluctant readers...

Gillispie students PreK to Grade 6 were treated with visits from Practical Karate owner and Gillispie parent, Frank McCarroll, who engaged students in interactive workshops designed to help children create an environment of kindness at school and cope with confrontational or bullying behaviors from other students or strangers. Using the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids and his own experiences growing up, Frank showed students that making a conscious...

Recently, Gillispie welcomed Dr. Adria O’Donnell who spoke on ways in which we can instill resiliency in children, which in turn allows children to handle life’s stresses and to take on challenges. Having resiliency contributes to a child’s ability to recognize and regulate emotions. Dr. O’Donnell shared some helpful illustrations: The Blender When your child is emotionally charged, it is like a blender on full speed without the lid. In this state, it is not the right time...

One of the fondest memories of childhood for many of us is being read to. Anna's grandmother was a fantastic reader, and when she came to visit, she always read from a thick leather-bound book of the Grimm’s Fairytales. Not only did the stories become familiar to her grandchildren, but so did their unique language. “Storybook language," the language that writers use, differs from the everyday language that we use when we speak with friends, or the...

This week in Physical Education class, Early Childhood students worked on performing Jumping Jacks. They followed the cues of "Toy Soldier" and Rocket Ship" and repeated! The Prekindergarten through Grade 2 students also continued with their underhand throwing practice at targets which included a Thanksgiving Turkey! Elementary students completed their Football unit and played Gaga (Israeli Dodgeball) in the gym. It's been a great, active week in P.E.! Ed Whelan and Cheyenne Kibblewhite  PE Teachers...

Last week, Cypress Room held its annual Thanksgiving feast in the gym.   Students made hand-printed placemats and table decorations for the event.   The meal was potluck style, with each family bringing in a dish specially requested by their child to share.   During the event, families wrote down things they are thankful for on cut-out feathers that were attached to a shared turkey display.   Everyone had a wonderful time eating together, laughing, sharing stories, and enjoying each other's company...