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Gillispie School / Learn by Doing

I wish each of you family time and lots of “game-on” fun as we head into the Holiday Break. Below are resources shared by parents at our Early Childhood and Elementary check-ins. Some of these bring out the competitive edge while others require a team effort (for example, see games by Peaceable Kingdom). In addition to your great suggestions, our fifth and sixth graders, as our on-campus experts, added a few of their favorites. Besides their choices listed below,...

As Gillispie finishes up the first month of this very different school year, I’m struck by how ‘normal’ certain things seem. Nobody’s curiosity has waned, and the world remains a place of wonder to the young minds I’m surrounded by. Second graders have just planted some seeds as part of our look into the basics of life science. The next step will be to design and conduct an experiment to answer a question about these seeds. Third graders...

Hola familias de Gillispie! Bienvenidos a un nuevo año escolar. It is my greatest pleasure to teach Spanish to Elementary students at Gillispie. There are many layers to learning a language. I like to focus on inspiring students to associate positive memories with Spanish and the language acquisition process. In Spanish class, we reinforce grammar and vocabulary through music, movement, games, food prepping (when possible), and a variety of activities the incorporate reading, writing, and the use of technology. I believe that...

We strive to develop open-minded collaborators and articulate communicators at Gillispie. Every child and adult has to navigate working with others on a daily basis and the tools needed to be an effective collaborator and communicator are not ones students are born with. Skills like these need to be explicitly taught, practiced, and reflected upon just as any other subject in school. Through group projects, students have a platform that not only develops these skills but...

In music class this month, our Prekindergarten students have been learning how to read music notation. Pre-K through Grade 1 students have been playing xylophone and learning various songs. This picture captures students reading and playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!” This month has a continuation of our exploration of new styles of music. Over the past few months, we have learned about “The Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns. Recently, we have started our journey into blues...

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...

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