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The sixth-grade class recently hosted an expert speaker for a conversation about their Big Project on human rights. They spoke with Jaime Todd-Gher, a lawyer for Amnesty International USA, whose work focuses on human rights violations. The students read and discussed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in the wake of the Holocaust. The students had recently visited the Museum of Tolerance in order to better understand the Holocaust and events around the Civil Rights...

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...

Gillispie students PreK to Grade 6 were treated with visits from Practical Karate owner and Gillispie parent, Frank McCarroll, who engaged students in interactive workshops designed to help children create an environment of kindness at school and cope with confrontational or bullying behaviors from other students or strangers. Using the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids and his own experiences growing up, Frank showed students that making a conscious...

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...

Recently, Gillispie welcomed Dr. Adria O’Donnell who spoke on ways in which we can instill resiliency in children, which in turn allows children to handle life’s stresses and to take on challenges. Having resiliency contributes to a child’s ability to recognize and regulate emotions. Dr. O’Donnell shared some helpful illustrations: The Blender When your child is emotionally charged, it is like a blender on full speed without the lid. In this state, it is not the right time...

History class has a bad reputation. Sometimes, it’s well deserved: I remember high school history as a blur of forgettable names, places, and dates. Today’s history teachers go beyond rote memorization. They teach inquiry, research skills, discussion, and analysis. The best teachers spark student curiosity and ignite a passion for the study of the past. Mr. Inigo, a master teacher at Gillispie School, wins praise from his students for his memorable history lessons. Occasionally throughout the year, he...

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 year's Grade 5 play was a hit! "Sleeping Trudy" had parents, peers, and teachers laughing out loud as the students delivered a stellar performance. Thank you to Mrs. Chaney for leading another, wonderful theatrical debut!   About Gillispie School: Gillispie is an independent toddler through Grade 6 school in La Jolla, CA. We believe that learning is a journey in which children are active participants. Our students partner with teachers to further their academic, creative, and social growth, and...

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...