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Gillispie School / Elementary

Even with the off and on showers, it's been a fun week in P.E.! Early Childhood and Elementary P.E. classes have been centered around the topic of nutrition and healthy food choices. Following guidelines from the USDA and MyPlate.gov, students have been grouping foods based on the MyPlate chart and deciding between healthy and unhealthy choices. Grades 3-6 are also wrapping up their exciting volleyball unit this week. Passing, serving, setting, and hitting have all been practiced and...

We strive to develop open-minded collaborators and articulate communicators at Gillispie. Every child and adult has to navigate working with others on a daily basis and the tools needed to be an effective collaborator and communicator are not ones students are born with. Skills like these need to be explicitly taught, practiced, and reflected upon just as any other subject in school. Through group projects, students have a platform that not only develops these skills but...

In music class this month, our Prekindergarten students have been learning how to read music notation. Pre-K through Grade 1 students have been playing xylophone and learning various songs. This picture captures students reading and playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!” This month has a continuation of our exploration of new styles of music. Over the past few months, we have learned about “The Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns. Recently, we have started our journey into blues...

The Grade 3 Blood Drive and Bake sale was a huge success! Overall, we raised $4,092.07 for the San Diego Blood Bank on behalf of Gillispie School and collected 44 pints of blood. That makes 423 pints collected and more than $27,000 raised since 2010! We'd like to thank everyone who donated blood and baked goods and bought items from the bake sale. We'd also like to thank the following bakeries for donating treats for the event: Brick & Bell...

What is the best way to organize our classroom library? How might we reduce food waste at our school? How can we combat pollution on the La Jolla coastline? In what ways could we address the homelessness issue in San Diego? Questions like these, whether small or big, drive the work of students in classrooms that take a project-based approach to learning. They also look a lot like the types of questions adult professionals face daily...

Pick up a ball and toss it to a friend.  It’s pretty likely they’re going to catch it. Why is that? Currently, the 3rd graders are exploring the predictable way in which things move. Through the time we have spent growing up in and learning about this planet we’re on, we’ve each become an expert on forces like gravity, air resistance, and the push given to a ball by a thrower’s arm. We know that the...

In Grade 2, students are studying Physical Geography, specifically changing landscapes. Students have learned how various landforms and bodies of water are created, where they are found on earth, and how they are connected/intertwined. Working in groups, they are creating islands that demonstrate the landforms they've been studying. Not only is this project a fun way for students to apply their learning in a hands-on way, it's a great way to practice and develop strong collaborative and communication...

Keeping our community well is our highest priority. As such, we have been monitoring our community health during the normal cold and flu season, and also in consideration of the media coverage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. It is important that families continue to monitor the health and wellbeing of their children and themselves, and take all necessary, routine precautions that we would expect: washing hands, remaining home from school for at least 24-hours following any symptoms...

One major goal of our media literacy program is to instill and support a lifelong love of reading in our students. Since reading is the core of both academic and personal competencies, we aim for all of our students to think of themselves as readers. To that end, our media literacy course includes regular library visits. In the library, reading is not just a quiet, solitary activity. Students listen to a story read aloud, which builds student...

Grade 1 students have been using our Design Thinking model during science class with Mr. Belsha, and this week they were on the MAKE stage. Students were given simple materials like popsicle sticks and Play-Doh and were asked to use these items to design a structure. After their hands-on session, they reflected on what went well and what challenges they faced during the MAKE stage. Some students noticed that creating smaller structures as the building blocks for their larger structures was effective. Others...

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