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Gillispie School / Technology

Recently, students in Sequoia explored coding using fun, programmable robots called BeeBots. The students delighted in giving the Beebots instructions (code) to get from one end of the mat to the other. They began their coding exploration with simple instructions on how to use the buttons on the backs of their Beebots to code their robots. Then, they explored challenges and tried out different ways to program the bot to reach its destination. Some students even...

This past week during our Hour of Code activities we saw a flurry of young coders diligently working to solve coding challenges. The students were engaged and focussed. They showed persistence, drive, and importantly, joy in what they were doing!  The value of learning how to code extends well beyond just using a computer. Coding, more formally referred to as programming, teaches students logical reasoning, problem-solving and creative thinking. Some suggest that coding helps students to build...

“This is gonna be great!”  “Minecraft coding is awesome!" “CodeCombat is the best!” These are just some of the enthusiastic comments students have made this week while participating in the Hour of Code. Throughout the week, students have been using a variety of apps and programming languages during their coding activities. Our PreK students engaged in “unplugged” activities to learn about how to give computers instructions. They played a variation of “Simon Says” where one student plays the role of the...

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...

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...

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...

New this year, the Spring Arts & Science Showcase was a day to celebrate the performing arts, visual arts, and science at Gillispie! Parents, grandparents, and special friends were treated to musical performances and guided walks through exhibits and displays around campus. Thank you to Ms. Walters for her beautiful backdrops and for helping coordinate the students' art projects, Mr. Edwards for inspiring some amazing science displays, Mrs. Jacobs for leading the beautiful (and her final) spring musical...

This month, the library is abuzz with ballots and brackets. No, it’s not March Madness… it’s Book Madness! We began with 32 best-selling picture books and chapter books and pitted them against one another in a single elimination tournament. The number of votes cast more than doubled from the first round to the second round (growing from 64 to 142 total votes), and we’re hoping the numbers and excitement will continue to grow. The contest has...

Because reading and access to books are the core of both academic and personal competencies, media literacy classes include time in the library which gives students space and time to listen to read-alouds, browse for a “just right” book, read a book for pleasure, and to develop their love of literature. Learning to use the online catalog using appropriate search techniques, to post a book review, or to learn more about a subject of interest, boosts...

At Gillispie, we recognize the importance of preparing children for a future that is increasingly lived online. We give students opportunities to research, communicate, and create using online tools across the curriculum and across grade levels. As children develop these important skills, they must also develop the ability to protect themselves and to behave appropriately while online. Digital citizenship is a recurring theme throughout Gillispie's program in Media Literacy classes and in any other class where online...

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