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Gillispie School / Specialties

Students in Grade 2 have been learning to play the recorder! In early January, they received lesson books to begin the process of note reading. The children are enthusiastic about playing an instrument and using music stands and books. The recorder is a wonderful, age-appropriate instrument that helps students develop their musicality and sense of musicianship. Students also learn how to coordinate their fingers, their tongue, and their breath – all 3 things at once – in order to play...

Fourth graders are in the middle of an investigation into electrical circuits. Each class time is spent with bulbs, batteries, wires, and switches as we work through such fundamental concepts as series/parallel, conductivity, resistance, voltage/wattage, and electrical schematic diagrams. This is an area of intense interest to nearly all the students, some of whom are pictured here sorting the Bungalow inventory of bulbs and batteries with the help of a voltmeter and a DC power source. By the...

Each month I change the art posters on display in the Art Room. I usually wait for students to notice the images before I comment on the art depicted. This month I hung a portrait of a young lady. Someone in every class remarked immediately on this portrait. Many students shouted out, “Mona Lisa!” A few Leonardo Da Vinci!” They were quite right in identifying the style of painting - Italian Renaissance. The painter is Raphael, a...

The most engaging, memorable, and successful activities are those which demand that we approach them from many points of view, solving challenges with various parts of our minds and bodies. An example of this at work is the Island Projects the sixth graders have been working on for several weeks. In teams, they dreamt up an island and sketched it, but that was just the beginning. Each team carefully sculpted its island from clay, and the clay islands...

The first meeting of the Design Challenge Club went well! Students started off by going over collaborative communication and cooperation skills and discussing what it means to be a good teammate and a good leader. An exercise was given to the students with a goal of building a bridge that could hold the most weight. Groups were given materials throughout the building process and were taught simple skills like how to tear blue tape or what to do...

One of the fondest memories of childhood for many of us is being read to. Anna's grandmother was a fantastic reader, and when she came to visit, she always read from a thick leather-bound book of the Grimm’s Fairytales. Not only did the stories become familiar to her grandchildren, but so did their unique language. “Storybook language," the language that writers use, differs from the everyday language that we use when we speak with friends, or the...

This week in Physical Education class, Early Childhood students worked on performing Jumping Jacks. They followed the cues of "Toy Soldier" and Rocket Ship" and repeated! The Prekindergarten through Grade 2 students also continued with their underhand throwing practice at targets which included a Thanksgiving Turkey! Elementary students completed their Football unit and played Gaga (Israeli Dodgeball) in the gym. It's been a great, active week in P.E.! Ed Whelan and Cheyenne Kibblewhite  PE Teachers...

Students recently celebrated El Dia de los Muertos in Spanish class! El Dia de los Muertos is a day when people celebrate those who have parted but continue to be remembered because of the teachings, values, and loving memories they left behind. Grade 6 students made ofrendas for a famous person that they admired, that included a picture of the person, flowers, candles, sugar skulls, their favorite food, fruits, sweet bread, water, and items the person was known to...

Gillispie is a constructivist school. Nothing exemplifies this educational philosophy more than our Gillispie ceramics program. Students in grades kindergarten through sixth enjoy working with clay. The elementary ceramics curriculum builds on the Early Childhood clay experiences. Both divisions are fortunate to have kilns. In the process of hand building with clay, children learn to realize their three-dimensional artistic visions experimenting with slab, pinch pot, and coil construction methods. Examples of pinch pot modeling are the Grade 2 “monster”...

Over the past two years, the Student Learning Center (formerly the Reading Room) at Gillispie has worked closely with classroom teachers to strengthen the use of differentiated instruction in each classroom. Differentiation allows for each student’s unique learning styles to be addressed through a variety of instructional techniques, flexible small group instruction, and multiple learning modalities. Across the primary grades, reading, spelling patterns, and writing instruction are being delivered through whole group instruction as well as through...