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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...

This week, Grades 5 and 6 students held a musical theater performance for their peers and parents! Bringing their techniques to the stage, they performed two songs from “Hamilton” and a song/scene from “The Lion King." They did a fabulous job! We can't wait until they have a beautiful new theater space to perform in! Click here for a video of one of the songs from Hamilton! ...

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...

Grades 3-6 science students are deep into investigations of different kinds! 3rd graders are finishing up their close look into optics and vision by studying energy waves, which will serve as a transition into their next major topic, sound energy. To culminate our study of electrical circuits, 4th graders are making their own, functioning electric motors from scratch. As we begin to learn about the structure of atoms, 5th graders choose an element and make a model of it...

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