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Gillispie School / Learn by Doing

Grade 1 students have been studying dinosaurs in Science class. Their lessons have brought about many questions, specifically centered on how we know so much about dinosaurs given that they are extinct. During a class discussion, students were introduced to the term "paleontologists," and they learned more about this researcher's important role in the discovery and classification of ancient fossils. Each student had the opportunity to be a paleontologist for a day during a hands-on project where they carefully...

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...

Our Preschool classes held their annual Fall Feast in the gym recently. Students made hand-printed placemats and table decorations for the event. The meal was potluck style, with each family bringing in a dish specially requested by their child to share. During the event, families wrote down things they are thankful for on cut-out feathers that were attached to a shared turkey display. Shared mealtimes in Reggio are held in high regard, and our educational philosophy values children, educators, and family...

As a kick off to the school-wide food drive, Grade 4 students recently visited Feeding San Diego where they sorted, packed, and weighed potatoes, pears, and squash donated by local farms. By the end of the three-hour shift, the children had packed 2500 pounds of food. The food was later delivered and distributed to the organization's mobile pantries around San Diego as well as the UCSD diabetic wellness program. Feeding San Diego feeds over 65,000 people a week, and...

This week, the Grade 5 students participated in Gillispie's annual Explorers Fair. Each student researched an explorer from the Age of Exploration and became that explorer for a presentation for families, teachers, and fellow students. The students shared letters they’d written to gain funding for their expeditions, quill pens they made to write the letters, maps of their proposed routes, and technological innovations that helped navigators of the era. Students entertained their audience as they informed them by dressing...

The Gillispie School Big Project last year reached for the stars, asking students to imagine settling a new planet. The three-day multi-discipline experience allowed children to think collaboratively about what goes into developing a new society and required them to use skills and content knowledge to plan for the roads, buildings, vehicles, laws, and jobs we would need in our new other-worldly community. This year, and for the foreseeable future, we will be turning our focus to...

Learn by Doing  Science in our Early Childhood program allows children to participate in discovering, exploring, and questioning a topic or activity together. This week, it was all about blowing bubbles. Students used modified pipettes, natural bubble solution, and the air in their lungs to create cups full of bubbles. They discussed their separate techniques and explored the ways that airflow effects the bubble formation; using a lot of air creates many small bubbles, and a slow stream of...

Registration is now open for the Fall Artisans In The Atelier workshop series taught by Porschia Talbot of My Art Shed in Gillispie School’s beautiful atelier and community garden! During each art workshop, students will explore the natural beauty that surrounds us every day and see how even the smallest flower can inspire wondrous art. They will slither paint like a snake, design and build tiny houses fit for a fairy queen, breathe color into fallen leaves, and plant seeds that will one...