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In the upper elementary, we have been tying in many art projects with grade-level social studies. In Grade 3, students created mini-murals and ceramic dwellings for their Kumeyaay dioramas. The Grade 4 class has been studying California history, so its art focus has been on creating scenes of California's central valley, mountain, coastal, and desert landscapes. In Grade 5, students drew North American explorer galleons. Sixth graders created ceramic vessels and temple pop-ups while studying the ancient Greek civilization and are currently working on Egyptian...

We have been very lucky to have had such great weather on the field for P.E.! Elementary students have been doing regular workouts, playing various tag games, and just finished up the very popular hockey unit. Grades K-2 played noodle hockey (which is simpler and safer than traditional field hockey) while Grades 3-6 students played a version of 4-on-4 street hockey on the grass. Fun was had by all! We are now transitioning into our modified volleyball unit for the...

We are always in awe of the way our students shine inside AND outside of school. Just this week, we saw Emma in Grade 4 highlighted in the San Diego Union-Tribune as the winner of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen's caption contest. Over the past two years, we have had other budding creative writers published. Emma was a K-12 Winner with her witty caption, "So who wants to top off this meeting?" for Breen's illustration of congregating condiments (see above). We also...

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...

Sequoia students are building their very own robot! Over the past week, students have been creating drawings and "blueprints" of what they want their robot to look like and how they plan to build it. After discussing and comparing the plans, they started construction. Using found parts and pieces, they created a "robot workshop" where they used tools and teamwork to begin assembly. Collaboration was key as they discussed every aspect of the project and took turns taking turning...

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...

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...

It has been over a decade since Gillispie first rolled up its sleeves and hosted the first blood drive, and the tradition continues with our annual Grade 3 Blood Drive and Bake Sale February 11, 2020. An event that was organized to support a former Gillispie family affected by childhood leukemia has now turned into our blood drive--a life-saving, annual event that our local community depends on. Over the past ten years, our Gillispie blood donors have saved...

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