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Gillispie School / Experts in Education

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...

Learn by Doing  Fine motor skills are those that involve a refined use of the small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb. With the development of these skills, a child is able to complete important tasks such as writing, feeding oneself, buttoning, and zippering. These abilities gradually develop through experience and exposure to a variety of toys and materials. This includes the ability to grasp, pick up, release, imitate, and copy patterns. As a provocation, Preschool...

To help children practice the design-thinking process, teachers have been engaging their classes in short collaborative projects. One of these projects involved the Kindergartners and third graders working together to get Billy Goat Gruffs across the bridge. Kindergarten students have been reading old storybook favorites during Readers Workshop, including the classic, The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Teachers presented the Kindergartners and their Grade 3 book buddies with a design challenge: create a way to get the three billy goats in...

“Where are your shoes?” This is a familiar inquiry overheard at the end of the day toward barefoot preschool students. Most likely the shoes in question have been tucked away while the child has been blissfully barefoot during the school day. You may have wondered what are the benefits of walking barefoot in the park? Body Awareness, Balance, and Agility Going barefoot helps children develop kinesthetic recognition which leads to better dexterity and proprioception. It also stimulates...