Learning Updates for March 27 to March 31

March 31, 2023

Arts Update: Fifth Graders Rehearse Class Plays

Fifth graders are very excited to be performing together on stage in The Princess Plays. One student noted, “We haven’t done a class play since first grade because of COVID!” This week some students worked on coordinating their gestures to enhance their storytelling, while others developed their character’s voice, attitude, and body language.

Rehearsals have immersed students in theatrical skills such as memorization, character development, blocking, working with sets, costumes, and props, and taking direction. Students learn to listen and react in character, maintain focus, and work together to support each other during the process. Smiles and laughter fill the stage as the fifth graders inhabit the imaginary world of distant fairytale kingdoms!

– Susan Dempsey, theater arts teacher

Seventh Grade Science Builds Skills with LEGOs

Students in science classes have been using LEGOs recently to build their design and coding skills as they gear up for their next physics unit focusing on Newton’s Laws of motion. Each day students come to class and face a new design challenge that ranges from building the perfect amusement park ride to a cozy chair for Stephen, the 96-year-old sheep, or a vehicle that uses something other than wheels to move. These LEGO-builds are then brought to life using word block coding, in a Scratch style, in which students tell motors to move at a certain speed and distance or a sensor detects colors telling a vehicle knows when to stop. As students become more comfortable with the engineering of LEGO, this work will be connected with our study of Newton’s Laws. All this hard work will be displayed at the upcoming Belmont Day STEAM Expo on May 3, hosted by the middle school science department along with Annie Fuerst and the technology and innovation department. Stay tuned for more details on the expo! 

– Maggie Small, middle school science teacher

Fifth Graders Start a Magical New Book

This week, teachers were excited to introduce fifth graders to The Marvellers, a fantasy novel following the adventures of Ella Durand while she attends the Arcanum Institute, a magical school in the sky. Students began by receiving a scroll from Headmarvellers Skinner, Fuerst, and Sprung with the text of the letter offering Ella entrance into the Arcanum. They studied it carefully to look for magical elements that might appear later in the text.

Students also began learning about wikis and how we might develop one as a group to serve as a knowledge base to keep track of the many characters and magical elements in the novel. Students tried their hand at some wiki markup language and will soon be working together to collaborate on curating and organizing content with our class wikis. They also borrowed copies of the book in audio format from Sora, our ebook and audiobook library, and engaged in some reflection on active listening and the differences between reading a text and listening to it.

– Vaniecia Skinner, fifth grade teacher, Annie Fuerst, director of technology & innovation, and Amy Sprung, librarian

A student in the air catching an ultimate disk

By John O'Neill, director of athletics |

May 17, 2024

It was a slow start to the spring for the varsity ultimate team. After the first two games were canceled due to bad weather, the team opened with lackluster performances and entered last weekend’s Middle School Jamboree with a 1-2…

By Josh Sussman, school counselor |

May 14, 2024

On Thursday, May 2, Belmont Day was represented at the AISNE Health and Wellness Conference in Norwood by food program director Tara Lightbody, second grade teacher Nancy Fell, physical education teacher and mindfulness director Alex Tzelnic, school psychologist Arlene Silva,…

By Sarah Merril, director of high school placement |

May 14, 2024

Congratulations to our eighth grade class on their recent decisions on which high schools they will attend in the fall. We’re proud of every student for the journey they’ve taken to reach this milestone in their education. While the decision…


May 14, 2024

PE Update: Fourth Grade Olympians Shine In Competition In fourth grade, the study of Ancient Greece made its way out of the classroom and into their physical education classes! The young Olympians learned all about the spirit of the Olympic…
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