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Learning Updates for January 22 to January 26

January 26, 2024

Arts Update: Transitions & Transformations – 2D into 3D

This week in the studio, fifth graders transitioned from making prints with their printing block, which they designed and carved earlier in the year, to impressing their printing block into a clay slab to create an image in bas-relief. Students then carefully added a flange to the underside of the clay, as it will ultimately be a removable lid for their unique clay ‘design cube.’ In the coming weeks, students will work with a partner as they impress several clay tiles, and then attach the tiles together to create the base and walls of their cube. After the cubes and lids have been fired in the kiln, students will finish their ceramic pieces with glaze. Be on the lookout for these treasures from the studio in the coming weeks!

– Anne Armstrong, visual arts teacher and arts coordinator

First Grade Feature Their Expertise In New Books

First graders are finishing their “All About Books” in writing. First graders began this writing project by brainstorming their “expert” lists: different topics that they know a lot about and topics they are excited about. They then chose different topics and began planning the parts and sub-topics of their books. As they wrote, they revised their work and added sketches. First graders then spent time adding more detail to their work and editing their writing by looking at punctuation, spelling, upper and lower case letters, and handwriting. In the final stages of their project, writers began publishing their work. They carefully copied over their work from their first draft to their final copy and added illustrations. To put the finishing touches on their books, writers created an “about the author” page and thoughtfully crafted covers that included the author’s name, picture, and title. First graders are excited to publish their books and showcase them very soon!

– Geoffrey Fox, first grade teacher

Sixth Grade English Tackles “The Giver”

This week in sixth grade English, students are rewriting chapter 8 of The Giver, by Lois Lowry. They finished reading the book this past weekend and now they are being asked to imagine it from a different character’s perspective (not the protagonist). They have to rewrite the scene through the eyes of the titular character, The Giver but keep the same setting, plot, and dialogue. During our unit on The Giver, students are also learning discussion techniques (talk moves) that they can use to discuss a book. Talk moves include “I heard [name] say and I would like to add . . .” as well as “Can you repeat that using different words?” Students came up with some brilliant ideas and theories about this classic dystopian YA novel.

– Becca MacKillop, sixth grade English teacher

Martin’s Big Words Inspire Second Grade’s Banner

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the second grade class read Doreen Rappaport and Brian Collier’s bold and vibrant pictorial biography, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. We discussed how powerful words can bring about change. We are creating a second grade banner to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and remember what a gift it is that “his big words are alive for us today.” We brainstormed a list of words that remind us of Dr. King’s work, such as justice, hope, together, and peace. Each student will design a flag featuring one of these powerful words. We will continue to highlight the importance of equality, love, and understanding in our community as we honor Dr. King’s service to all.

– The Second Grade Team

Eighth Grade French Lesson Hits Home

Eighth grade French students have been talking about family dynamics around household chores. Last week they had role-play family discussions about who should do which chores and why. This week they are learning how to describe what they appreciate in a house. They played a game where they described a house to their partner, who had to figure out which one they were describing. Next week they will explore a French version of Airbnb and play the roles of realtor and buyer.

– Jen Friborg, middle school French teacher

The Kindergarten Is Now Taking Reservations

Meet the hottest restaurant in the Boston area: The Kindergarten Cooks! This year in kindergarten, students voted to learn more about chefs as community helpers. After exploring videos and books, and even meeting chefs, kindergarteners decided to open their own restaurant. They came up with a name for their restaurant, decorated the walls, planned what tools were needed for the kitchen, designed the menus, and even created coloring pages for any patrons waiting for their food. So far they’ve welcomed and served their sixth grade buddies, specialist teachers, pre-kindergarten teachers, and even the BDS chefs themselves. Bon appetit!

– Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teacher

BDS

June 7, 2024

PE Update: First Graders Explore Their Athletic Identities At Belmont Day we often say that every student is an athlete. But what does that actually mean? Our Athletic Identity Project is a chance for first graders to explore that idea…

By John O'Neill, Director of Athletics |

June 7, 2024

Recipients of the 2023 Coaches’ Awards returned to campus Thursday afternoon for the Athletics Banquet. Before recognizing this year’s award winners, Liam Brodeur, Avery Schneider, Nebiyou Elias, and Quincy Treisman shared some advice with this year’s graduating class and then…

By John O'Neill, Director of Athletics |

May 31, 2024

Belmont Day’s mountain biking team has grown exponentially in gnarliness since its inception four years ago. This year’s squad benefitted from extended Monday rides, leveling up throughout the season, and culminating in the first-ever MTB “away game” at Great Brook…

By Devan Fitzpatrick, middle school learning support specialist and club advisor |

May 28, 2024

Our middle school chess club hosted a tournament against Milton Academy on Saturday, May 18. The type of tournament that they played was the Swiss System, which enables all students to play every round. Students from both teams played with…
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