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Gillispie School / Experts in Education

Grade 2 students impressed their families and teachers with amazing presentations last week. Each student chose a person of historical significance who they viewed as an inspirational hero, researched the individual, and wrote a two-page biographical report explaining a bit about their lives, accomplishments, and interesting or surprising facts. Working with their teachers and technology instructor Ms. Moore, students used the interactive iPad drawing tool Osmo Masterpiece to illustrate portraits of their subject. Additionally, they created videos with...

Can you describe your family’s moral North Star? How do you serve one another, the world? If those questions seem tough to answer, you may have some work to do. You’ve probably noticed that most successful organizations have a mission statement, setting the framework for who they are, where they are going, and how to work together. These core values and beliefs are often critical to the ultimate success or failure of the business. Family is more...

It’s tough to be a kid today. So many expectations, so much pressure. Consider that in many places preschool, a place that should be filled with play, imagination, and creativity, is frequently being labeled as “The New Kindergarten”. These preschoolers are forced to move at a fast-forward pace, drilled on letters and math, reading before their eyes are ready, often maintaining busier schedules than adults. Then, it’s off to elementary school, where the pressure is on to...

Parents, family, and friends joined us for the 2017-2018 Gillispie Big Project Exhibition on Friday, April 20! With event maps in hand, visitors toured the various exhibits around campus which showcased the work that students have done all year on their specific grade-level topics. Cycling through a design-thinking process, students first researched their topics, developed awareness of the issue as it exists around the world and here in our community, and developed questions, which led to specific areas...

Last weekend, I took my daughters to the LA Times Festival of Books, which is held every April on the campus of the University of Southern California. During the Q&A portion of a talk by award-winning author Kate DiCamillo, my elder daughter asked, “What did you like to read as a kid?” DiCamillo answered, “If it was a book, I liked it.” I asked DiCamillo what advice she had for kids who want to grow up...

Pulitzer Prize-winning Editorial Cartoonist from The San Diego Union-Tribune and children's book author, Steve Breen visited students Grade 2-6 for an assembly recently. Mr. Breen explained the difference between editorial cartooning and other types of cartoon drawing and took students through his daily process. He described how he begins with researching current events, moves to formulating ideas that either take a position on an issue, pay tribute to an individual or event, or poke fun at public...

Now more than ever, it is crucial that children learn how to become creative and empathetic solution builders, and the development of the skills needed for success can begin as early as preschool. In order to give children the opportunity to hone their creative problem-solving skills, it is important for them to be allowed to construct their own knowledge and understanding of the world through both experience and reflection on those experiences. This approach is referred...

Mark your calendars! On Thursday, January 25 at 6:30-7:30 p.m., author David Schwartz will present a family program called Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere! David will be treating families to delightful storytelling when he talks about the connection between stories and numbers. Children (and parents) will long remember the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion when the evening is over! Earlier that day, prekindergarteners through sixth graders will be participating in four separate assemblies David will be interacting...

Gillispie's elementary teachers are coming together to learn with consultant Ryan Candelario as we continue to refine our delivery of the Lucy Calkins’ Workshops. Adding to our knowledge of the Writers Workshop (last year’s emphasis), we are currently focused on the Readers Workshop in creating a balanced literacy program. While on campus, Mr. Candelario taught students in some of our elementary classrooms while teachers observed his delivery of content in both whole and small group settings. A...

This is a great example of the type of project-based learning across disciplines that helps students further deepen their understanding of the curriculum! As an Art, Science, and Technology cross-study, Grade 6 partners have been creating their own topographical maps of an imaginary island. In Art class, the students hand-shaped their island out of clay and included eight real geographical features such as a waterfall, mountain, sandbar, etc. Once their clay models were finished, the students sliced the models, decided...