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Gillispie School / Posts tagged "Elementary"

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...

As a kick off to the school-wide food drive, Grade 4 students recently visited Feeding San Diego where they sorted, packed, and weighed potatoes, pears, and squash donated by local farms. By the end of the three-hour shift, the children had packed 2500 pounds of food. The food was later delivered and distributed to the organization's mobile pantries around San Diego as well as the UCSD diabetic wellness program. Feeding San Diego feeds over 65,000 people a week, and...

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...

Working on this year’s goal of building empathy, at a recent assembly kindergarteners through second graders discussed the importance of practicing kindness daily. I challenged these children to perform two acts of kindness—one at home and one at school—that were to cost nothing monetarily and where nothing was expected in return. Some heartfelt examples are described below. One kindergartner explained, “Last night when my brother wasn’t feeling that good, we went to go get ice cream and...

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...

The Gillispie School Big Project last year reached for the stars, asking students to imagine settling a new planet. The three-day multi-discipline experience allowed children to think collaboratively about what goes into developing a new society and required them to use skills and content knowledge to plan for the roads, buildings, vehicles, laws, and jobs we would need in our new other-worldly community. This year, and for the foreseeable future, we will be turning our focus to...

Values and Community  It's a tradition for the Grade 6 students to start off their final year at Gillispie with an overnight team building trip. Last week, they packed their bags and headed out for an excursion full of activities, including mountain biking in Mission Beach, kayaking on the bay, and camping at Crystal Cove in Laguna. This annual trip helps the class bond, build community, and learn to work together!   About Gillispie School: We are an independent toddler through Grade...