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Gillispie School / Posts tagged "Constructivist"

Grade 3 students were beaming with pride during the check presentation ceremony of funds raised at their annual Blood Drive and Bake Sale. The students reflected upon the experience by sharing a personal message to our special guests from the San Diego Blood Bank. “I learned that giving blood helps millions of people in the hospital.” -Lucian “I hope everyone that got the blood feels better soon and I thank everyone that donated blood or brought something to...

Now more than ever, it is crucial that children learn how to become creative and empathetic solution builders, and the development of the skills needed for success can begin as early as preschool. In order to give children the opportunity to hone their creative problem-solving skills, it is important for them to be allowed to construct their own knowledge and understanding of the world through both experience and reflection on those experiences. This approach is referred...

On Wednesday, January 24, the sixth graders of Gillispie School visited the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California with the intent to further our knowledge on the Holocaust and other issues of injustice. Our class has been avidly studying the Holocaust as well as civil rights, reading books such as Miracle’s Boys, The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This field trip offered us the opportunity to see directly how...

Grade 1 students have been studying dinosaurs in Science class. Their lessons have brought about many questions, specifically centered on how we know so much about dinosaurs given that they are extinct. During a class discussion, students were introduced to the term "paleontologists," and they learned more about this researcher's important role in the discovery and classification of ancient fossils. Each student had the opportunity to be a paleontologist for a day during a hands-on project where they carefully...

Gillispie's elementary teachers are coming together to learn with consultant Ryan Candelario as we continue to refine our delivery of the Lucy Calkins’ Workshops. Adding to our knowledge of the Writers Workshop (last year’s emphasis), we are currently focused on the Readers Workshop in creating a balanced literacy program. While on campus, Mr. Candelario taught students in some of our elementary classrooms while teachers observed his delivery of content in both whole and small group settings. A...

This is a great example of the type of project-based learning across disciplines that helps students further deepen their understanding of the curriculum! As an Art, Science, and Technology cross-study, Grade 6 partners have been creating their own topographical maps of an imaginary island. In Art class, the students hand-shaped their island out of clay and included eight real geographical features such as a waterfall, mountain, sandbar, etc. Once their clay models were finished, the students sliced the models, decided...

This week, the Grade 5 students participated in Gillispie's annual Explorers Fair. Each student researched an explorer from the Age of Exploration and became that explorer for a presentation for families, teachers, and fellow students. The students shared letters they’d written to gain funding for their expeditions, quill pens they made to write the letters, maps of their proposed routes, and technological innovations that helped navigators of the era. Students entertained their audience as they informed them by dressing...

Learn by Doing  Fine motor skills are those that involve a refined use of the small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb. With the development of these skills, a child is able to complete important tasks such as writing, feeding oneself, buttoning, and zippering. These abilities gradually develop through experience and exposure to a variety of toys and materials. This includes the ability to grasp, pick up, release, imitate, and copy patterns. As a provocation, Preschool...

To help children practice the design-thinking process, teachers have been engaging their classes in short collaborative projects. One of these projects involved the Kindergartners and third graders working together to get Billy Goat Gruffs across the bridge. Kindergarten students have been reading old storybook favorites during Readers Workshop, including the classic, The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Teachers presented the Kindergartners and their Grade 3 book buddies with a design challenge: create a way to get the three billy goats in...

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...