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Gillispie School / The Journey Matters

Gillispie School celebrated its annual International Day Friday, October 26. Students grabbed their “passports” and traveled to Portugal, Greece, New Zealand, France, Japan, Spain, Botswana, Mexico, India, and Thailand. Parent volunteers and teachers transformed classrooms into virtual countries where children experienced smells, sights, and sounds of the different cultures represented. The students had the opportunity to learn about each unique culture as they journeyed “around the world,” completing crafts, sampling exotic food and drink, listening to live music,...

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”...

When the discussion of names came up in Rosewood room, teachers saw an opportunity to inspire students to reflect on what their names mean. They soon noticed that the children were getting confused with such a literal question, so they took a new approach to the discussion. Instead of asking, "What does your name mean?" they asked, "What does it mean to be you?" Student responses included: "Being Dagny means like fun!" - Dagny "Uhmm, hero, and super lion, and a super speedy...

Grade 3 students have been enjoying time spent with their Kindergarten Book Buddies! Our Book Buddies program pairs upper elementary students with their younger cohorts for weekly meeting spent reading or playing together around campus. Kindergarten students are working on their reading and writing skills, while Grade 3 students are working on their while confidence reading aloud. Both classes enjoy the camaraderie and mentorship that the program provides!   About Gillispie School: Gillispie is an independent toddler through Grade 6 school...

Our students are tumbling, kicking, spiking, and throwing with FULL FORCE thanks to an incredibly generous gift from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation! A long-time supporter of Gillispie, the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation was founded by its namesake, an American journalist and philanthropist. In her lifetime, Ellen Browning Scripps gave most of her vast fortune away, and through her foundation, her legacy is felt to this day. “The most important and beautiful gift one human being can give...

It certainly has been an exciting couple of weeks as the school year winds down! As an educator, I am always pleased to see students find their individual “sandboxes;” those places where they stretch themselves, gaining excitement and sense of purpose from the challenge. Recently, some of our fourth and fifth graders participated in the county-wide Science Field Day, collaboratively constructing catapults, paddle boats, towers, and a series of simple machines that delivered marbles into cups. This...

It’s tough to be a kid today. So many expectations, so much pressure. Consider that in many places preschool, a place that should be filled with play, imagination, and creativity, is frequently being labeled as “The New Kindergarten”. These preschoolers are forced to move at a fast-forward pace, drilled on letters and math, reading before their eyes are ready, often maintaining busier schedules than adults. Then, it’s off to elementary school, where the pressure is on to...

Parents, family, and friends joined us for the 2017-2018 Gillispie Big Project Exhibition on Friday, April 20! With event maps in hand, visitors toured the various exhibits around campus which showcased the work that students have done all year on their specific grade-level topics. Cycling through a design-thinking process, students first researched their topics, developed awareness of the issue as it exists around the world and here in our community, and developed questions, which led to specific areas...

A former Gillispie student was recently back on campus observing an EC classroom for her college Child Development course, and we were warmed by an email she sent us in regard to her experience: Coming onto campus for the first time in over 5 years brought more joy to me than I have had in a long time. Gillispie was my life from preschool to fifth grade and I am who I am because of Gillispie. I...

The Journey Matters Recently in Mrs. Long's Grade 5 class, students had several tasks to accomplish before the end of class. Knowing they would finish the tasks with differing amounts of time left, she directed them to "make a good choice" with the remaining time. Almost every student chose to dive into a book. Reading expert Nancie Atwell notes that "the single most important predictor of academic success is the amount of time children spend reading books." And...