Learning Updates for March 13 to March 17

March 17, 2023

Seventh Grade Math Tackles Problem Sets & ChatGTP

Our seventh grade mathematicians have been working on problem sets throughout the year. They have recently been exploring what it is like to work on these challenging problems with a broader mathematical community. By working together with family members, friends, and past teachers outside of BDS, the students saw how talking through problems and sharing solution pathways expanded their thinking. Students began to wonder what it would be like to expand their mathematical community to include non-human collaboration. What would it be like to solve a problem alongside ChatGPT? After working through a problem together, students turned to ChatGPT to see how artificial intelligence would approach the problem. They quickly found that working with ChatGPT was not as easy as they may have hoped. It made assumptions and generalizations that led to incorrect answers, and it struggled to think creatively. Students found that they needed to break the problem into pieces, give ChatGPT rules to follow, and give specific mathematical frameworks to work in. It turns out the biggest perk of having AI do your math homework is that it forces you to deepen your mathematical thinking and reasoning.

– Sarah Pikcilingis, middle school math teacher, and Annie Fuerst, director of technology & innovation

Spanish Students Honor Women’s History Month

A short note but a big shoutout to all identified women at Belmont Day and to the sixth and eighth grade Spanish students who contributed to celebrating Women’s History Month. In sixth grade, students worked on an acrostic poem with the words MUJER and WOMAN; they reviewed previously learned vocabulary and learned new words from peers, and some of them looked at the Pictionary they made at the beginning of the year. Eighth graders wrote descriptions of their Capstone projects and honored women who contribute to a variety of different fields. ¡Felicidades!

– Ana Maria Restrepo, middle school Spanish teacher

Oh, The Stories These Fourth Graders Will Tell!

Our fourth grade storytellers are busy rewriting ancient Greek myths in preparation for our Ancient Greek Storytelling Festival in May. Students chose from a variety of hero stories and, as they collaborate, are discussing what makes someone a hero. In preparation for writing, they have to decide whose perspective they want to share, and this leads to questions such as: Was Odysseus a hero or a thief? And, was the Cyclops a villain or a victim? (Or, as one wise fourth grader stated, “I think he was a bit of both.”) This year we are also telling the story of Pandora’s Box because, as we emerge from a pandemic, it feels like a great year to tell a story about hope.

– Lana Holman, fourth grade teacher

Kindergartners Learn About Ramadan

Next week will officially begin the month-long holiday known as Ramadan! We kicked off celebrations in kindergarten by welcoming in Passant Ahmed, mother to both Omar and Mariam in kindergarten, to help us learn more about this special time. The students had a wonderful time making paper lanterns and even received real lanterns brought in from Egypt. Throughout the 30 days of Ramadan, kindergarteners will continue to learn more about Ramadan and the three-day festival that marks its ending, called Eid. Ramadan Mubarak!

– Missy Hartvigsen, kindergarten teacher

By John O'Neill, director of athletics |

March 24, 2023

This spring, a trio of JV teams will be competing interscholastically for Belmont Day. The girls’ lacrosse, tennis, and ultimate programs are all fielding junior varsity teams this year and athletes are off to a great start. Eighth graders Audrey…


March 24, 2023

Fifth Graders Write Free Verse Poetry Over the past week, our fifth graders have been writing their own free-verse poetry. The fifth graders’ definition of free verse poetry is a poem that has no rules but requires the author to…


March 24, 2023

When Belmont Day physical education teacher and mindfulness director Alex Tzelnic was challenged by bridging mindfulness and social justice in his lessons for fourth graders, he contacted Rhonda Magee, author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice, for help. A…
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