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Gillispie School / Experts in Education

As part of the 6th-grade social studies curriculum, students studied the timeline of early human history and the features and capabilities of various hominid groups. They also learned about ancient Egypt, focusing on geography, social classes, certain pharaohs, and the process of mummification. In Science and Design, students learned about human ancestors, specifically, the changing structure of the skull over time. Students created vacuumed formed skull profiles and then reverse-painted and labeled distinct anatomical features. In art class,...

Third through sixth graders really enjoyed the street hockey unit in January. Students worked on stick-handling, passing, and shooting. It is a very popular unit and it was great to see the improvement in skills and strategy throughout the upper elementary grades. Kindergarten through Grade 2 students had fun playing the more informal and safer version of "noodle hockey" on the field. This month, all elementary classes are working on various types of rope jumping. Early Childhood students...

This purposeful space is being built and organized to allow our Kindergarteners to create, collaborate, and experiment with various materials. Kindergarteners can take items apart, put things together, and dream up imaginative creations. Teachers have labeled shelving spots assigned to each student so they can safely store and then revisit their designs over time. The goal is to support curiosity, innovation, free-thinking, and creativity in our future scientists, teachers, engineers, architects, surgeons, artists, and inventors! We would like to...

The third graders recently finished their FRD (Fox Relocation Device) Project. Inspired by Roald Dahl’s book, Fantastic Mr. Fox, they set out to more humanely rethink the human characters’ decision to kill the foxes because of their continued raiding of the farmers’ storage houses. Each student’s FRD required designing and planning to meet the specific goals they brainstormed, as well as careful building, testing, and re-designing as they worked through the iterative Design Thinking cycle to create...

Grade 1 students have been working on their coding skills during tech time with our Director of Technology Dr. Lisa Hasler Waters. In these photos, students are getting creative with code using Scratch Jr. to animate silly cartoon characters. These age-appropriate games make coding so much more user-friendly, fun, and approachable for children. We only wish they were around when we were young!...

WeCare San Diego is offering an upcoming virtual parent event on February 16 at 6:00 p.m. that is free to all Gillispie families! Join us for an evening with Dr. Wendy Mogel who will share tips from her previous books as well as her most recent book, Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen, offering guidance for communicating with children across the expanse of childhood and adolescence and explaining the most effective ways to...

Sixth graders have been learning about forensics through a simulated crime scene investigation in which gold was stolen from a train. So far, they’ve worked with several different types of forensic evidence, including fingerprints, documents, and soil. While analyzing each others', as well as our fictitious suspects’ fingerprints, they learned to identify general and sub-types of fingerprint categories, as well as how to notice and compare unique identifiers such as “islands”, “type lines”, and “deltas." To analyze a...

Willow Room students turned their classroom into a Makerspace of their own! Using the basics of the Design Thinking Model, students brainstormed ideas for gadgets they could make, discussed the materials they could use, sketched out their ideas, and then got to building! They created some amazing contraptions using recycled, everyday materials and loved the process from start to finish. We can't wait to see what these Early Childhood students create one day in our Elementary Makerspace—they are already displaying...

Grade 6 students have been working on finishing their nichos in art class! The nicho is a traditional Latin American art form that uses a three-dimensional or recessed display box as a portable shrine to an important figure or loved one. Timed to celebrate and honor El Dia de los Muertos, each student’s creation commemorates a creative individual, from traditional painters like Michelangelo, to contemporary artists like Banksy. There is a  wide diversity of artists chosen by...

To complement their study of California's indigenous cultures, the Grade 3 students were treated to a presentation on the Kumeyaay by a visiting speaker. In the new multi-purpose room, they learned about the history of the Kumeyaay people who are native to the San Diego region. They were able to view a number of artifacts and representations of traditional garb, tools, and natural materials used historically by this indigenous tribe and hear more about how the Kumeyaay continue to...