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Gillispie School / Specialties

Grades K-6 began their soccer unit last week! Students have been practicing dribbling, footwork, passing, shooting, and juggling the ball in class. We have been playing 3 on 3 mini-games with Grades 2-6. Next week we will start mini-games with Kindergarten and Grade 1. I have been pleased to see the enthusiasm and improvement in skills in a short period of time. Our younger EC students have loved practicing large locomotor movements to music on the field!...

Fourth graders are beginning an investigation into rocks and minerals. Enlisting their hands and their creativity, they are seen here working on a learning tool that we’ll be able to refer back to as we progress through our unit of study. This cutaway Earth model is made of air-dry clay and marked with colors to indicate the different layers of our planet’s interior. Complete with the color key, these models will serve to concretize the concepts...

Sometimes, the best, deepest, longest-lasting learning comes from doing (as opposed to, say, hearing about) something. In Science, students very often manipulate materials to create physical expressions of the concepts being addressed in class-- “making,” for short. There is a well-defined thought process called Design Thinking that guides us through our maker projects--it’s a topic that merits its own discussion. Every maker project takes time, which results in a meaningful relationship to the underlying concepts, and...

In music this year students have had the opportunity to share their work, compositions, and even solos with the class. In these experiences, our students develop confidence, empathy, and presentation skills. Many students have requested to perform with instruments that they are learning outside of school. A few weeks ago, one student asked if she could play her violin with her Kindergarten class. For many of our students, this was the first time they had seen or heard a...

The San Diego Museum of Art’s biennial exhibition “Young Art: My World, Our Planet” features four Gillispie School artists. The theme of Young Art 2021 is the environment and sustainability. Landon (K), Maddy (Gr 2), Abigail (Gr 5), and Sydney (Gr 5) are the Gillispie students whose artwork was selected by the jurors. Young Art is a ninety-year-old children’s art celebration and tradition at the museum. The exhibit is on view through May 9 and admission to Young Art is free (the entrance is by Panama...

Sometimes, in the course of teaching my different subjects to different grade levels, I’ll suddenly realize that two totally different areas of study are simultaneously touching upon the same underlying science concept. I guess it’s possible that I’m unconsciously guiding these convergences, but I nevertheless marvel a little bit at the crossing of content strands. Currently, not two, but three such strands are crossing, as 2nd, 5th, and 6th graders all arrive at the idea of...

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...