Learning Updates for November 13 to November 17

November 17, 2023

Second Grade’s New Mural Is a Feast For the Eyes

For our summer reading book this year, second graders read Tomatoes for Neela, written by Padmi Lakshmi and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. It is a story about a young girl named Neela who loves to cook tomato sauce with her mother, Amma. Every year, Neela and her mom go to the market to get fresh tomatoes, make the sauce, and put the sauce in cans to save it for later in the year. Making this special family recipe with her mom helps Neela to feel closer to her grandmother who lives far away.

In art with Ms. Solomon this fall, we worked together to create a mural based on this book. We decided to represent the special foods that are important to us and our families, whether because of our culture, history, or taste buds! We looked at images of foods from around the world. Then, we sketched the food we had chosen with pencil and outlined it with black pen. Next, we used watercolors to paint our foods to make them more realistic. We hope you enjoy our delicious second grade “buffet” now on display outside Ms. Fell’s classroom!

– The Second Grade Team

Eighth Graders Weigh In On Physical Science

In eighth grade science, students are looking forward to beginning their study of physical science for the remainder of the school year. This will include a look at matter and its properties, an introduction to the structure of the periodic table, the structure of the atom, the historical development of our understanding of the structure of the atom, how atoms bond to make compounds, and how atoms combine in chemical reactions. In order to prepare for this part of the eighth grade science curriculum, students are currently completing a short unit in which they are learning how to name scientific lab equipment and how to properly use these tools to accurately make measurements of matter. In addition, students are learning about the metric system, how to complete conversions between various metric units, and reviewing scientific notation. After students come back from the Thanksgiving break they will also work on the challenge of understanding how to make measurements and complete calculations to the correct number of significant digits. It is great to see them incorporating their math skills into their science work in this unit!

– Sandra Trentowsky, eighth grade science teacher 

Third Grade Studies Different Community Constructs

Third graders are embarking on their study of communities, local government, citizenship, and economics. They kicked off the unit by working with Teacher Conroy and Ms. Rochford to learn about rural, suburban, and urban communities. Students explored images of these different types of communities and made inferences and connections to define them. Later, students were led in a See, Think, Wonder exercise using Google Earth, many for the first time, to explore the three different types of communities from a bird’s eye view. Next, they learned about why having a local government is important and the role it plays in the lives of citizens. After learning more about citizenship and economics, third graders will be designing their own communities while also learning about construction engineering techniques. Keep an eye out as you may also see some third grade detectives in Belmont Center in the coming weeks doing some exploring of what makes a community!

– Larissa Rochford ’93, third grade teacher, and Brittany Conroy, innovation coach

Sixth Grade Social Studies Explores World Religions

In sixth grade social studies, students are now in the middle of studying world religions while transitioning into longer analytical writing. A goal is to explore each religion with curiosity and an open mind. We have studied two of the three major monotheistic religions: Judaism and Christianity. This week, we began our studies of Islam while doing our best to keep in mind what we’ve learned about the other religions so that we can approach analytical writing with analysis that is based on specific evidence.

Toward the end of the week, we aimed to discover as much as we could about the Islamic religion and the empire that was built around it. After Thanksgiving break, we will transition into studying Hinduism and Buddhism, and the empires built around each respectively.

– Khang Phan, sixth grade social studies teacher

A Week Filled With Food and Learning In Pre-K

Our pre-kindergarten students have been busy helping Chef Lightbody with some important meal prep tasks! Last Wednesday, the remaining potatoes we harvested and washed went into some hearty stew for Belmont Day students and staff. We were even able to visit Coolidge Hall during lunch for a proper thank you from seventh and eighth graders, and then we tasted some stew for ourselves! This past Monday and Tuesday, students learned all about the holiday Diwali. To celebrate, Chef Lightbody prepared some cookie dough and we helped grind some cardamom seeds, mix them with sugar, and roll the cookie dough in the mixture. The lemon cardamom cookies were thoroughly enjoyed by pre-k and first grade students.

– Kim Edwards, pre-kindergarten teacher

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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