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Gillispie School / Experts in Education

With bittersweetness, admiration, and respect, I announce that two incredibly accomplished and dedicated educators will be leaving at the end of this school year. Linda Jacobs, who has lovingly instructed our students for the past 29 years in music, and Laura Moore, who in her twelve years has nimbly taught elementary students library, technology, and media literacy skills, have big plans as they head into their future. These two women have been bedrocks in their areas of...

What do the bold flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, the slashing drips of Jackson Pollack, the enigmatic smile of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the melting clocks of Salvador Dali have in common? Gillispie students! These artists were chosen by our third grade students for their artist biography projects this year. Each year in the art room, third graders select an artist, read a book about their chosen person, write a short report, create an artwork inspired...

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...

Because reading and access to books are the core of both academic and personal competencies, media literacy classes include time in the library which gives students space and time to listen to read-alouds, browse for a “just right” book, read a book for pleasure, and to develop their love of literature. Learning to use the online catalog using appropriate search techniques, to post a book review, or to learn more about a subject of interest, boosts...

At Gillispie, we recognize the importance of preparing children for a future that is increasingly lived online. We give students opportunities to research, communicate, and create using online tools across the curriculum and across grade levels. As children develop these important skills, they must also develop the ability to protect themselves and to behave appropriately while online. Digital citizenship is a recurring theme throughout Gillispie's program in Media Literacy classes and in any other class where online...

Recently, our head of school found a large note on her door that read: Dear Ms. Fleming, Can we wear Valentine's Day clothes or hearts, please? We want to look fancy and cool and festive. The party is special and we want the same colors as Valentine's Day so we match. Can we do this, please, on February 13 even though Valentine's Day is February 14? Room 18 The Kindergarten students had written and left the note with the simple ask...

Kindergarten through Grade 3 students were recently treated to a special assembly featuring author and veterinarian, Dr. Ruth MacPete! Dr. MacPete spoke to the students about her children's book, Lisette the Vet, and answered the many questions they had about what it is like to be a veterinarian. Her adorable adopted dog Oski also came on campus to assist her in a veterinary examination at the end of the presentation. The experience was so informative and fun, and many...

Students in Grade 2 have been learning to play the recorder! In early January, they received lesson books to begin the process of note reading. The children are enthusiastic about playing an instrument and using music stands and books. The recorder is a wonderful, age-appropriate instrument that helps students develop their musicality and sense of musicianship. Students also learn how to coordinate their fingers, their tongue, and their breath – all 3 things at once – in order to play...

Mr. Inigo's fifth grade recently hosted a guest speaker to learn more about homelessness, the topic of their year-long big project. Lindsey Fisher, Gillispie PTEP parent, spoke about her experience working with people struggling with homelessness and severe mental illness. She shared stories and information, and the students peppered her with questions. A few fifth-grade parents joined the audience, and one parent asked: "What's the best way to treat people you see on the street?" Ms. Fisher reported that...

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...