Learning Updates: Highlights from October

Belmont Day School
November 7th, 2022

Eighth Grade Math Tackles Spreadsheets

We've been getting acquainted with spreadsheets (specifically, Google Sheets) in some of the eighth grade math classes this week. As we've been studying one-variable statistics, students have also had the chance to see how a spreadsheet can increase the efficiency and simplicity of data analysis in a major way. Students have been using spreadsheet functions and formulas to collect summary statistics, graph the data, perform calculations with the data, and more. We have also taken this opportunity to squeeze in some conversations about budgeting and using a spreadsheet with formulas for managing money.

– Rachel Starks Chaves, eighth grade math teacher

Lawrence's Migration Series Inspires Fifth Grade Art

Fifth grade students were "commissioned" this week by the Phillips Collection to create the sixty-first panel to add to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. Students created a piece of artwork that built on the artist's visual narrative while adding a modern-day twist. Students' paintings included the stylistic elements found in Lawrence’s work and incorporated the themes of the Great Migration. Students wrote artistic statements to explain their paintings.

– Vaniecia Skinner, fifth grade humanities teacher

PE Update: Pre-K Hops to the Challenge

The October weather has been a gift, allowing our physical education classes to soak in the sunshine with outdoor activities. Our pre-kindergarten students did their best bunny, kangaroo, and frog impressions during a "hopstacle course" on Claflin Field.

After bounding over our hurdles there were a variety of hopping implements to try. The pre-kindergartners rose, or leaped, to the challenge, bouncing their way across the grass to an area full of gold coins that they could return to the bank at the start of the course. Then they were off to the races again, achieving great heights, and proving that no 'hopstacle' is too large for our energetic friends.

– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher, coach, and mindfulness director

Sixth Grade Science Heads Into the Woods

The sixth grade science curriculum challenges students to develop an understanding of how Earth's natural forces shape the ecology of New England. We've kicked off the year exploring how complex natural systems are driven by the interplay of living and non-living components, and this week's beautiful fall weather gave us a chance to broaden our understanding of what defines a "community" by exploring, identifying, and documenting the ways in communities of organisms are directly influenced by the non-living conditions that surround them. Along the way, students made keen observations as budding naturalists and are on their way to better identifying several of the tree species native to the New England landscape.

– Bill Hamilton, sixth grade science teacher

Kindergarten Carves into a Lesson on Pumpkins

This month, the kindergarten classroom has transformed into a pumpkin patch! Kindergartners have been exploring pumpkins in many different forms. We observed and sketched the outside of an orange pumpkin and then cut it open to observe the inside. Students even had the chance to touch the slimy pulp and try a roasted pumpkin seed snack from the seeds that they had washed and dried. Finally, we took the leftover seeds and planted them. We are excited to monitor these pumpkin seeds over the next few weeks to watch the pumpkin life cycle happen in real-time. Happy harvest!

– The Kindergarten Team

Eighth Graders Gather Around LaptopStudent In An Outdoor Classroom SettingPre-kindergartner Jumping Kindergarten Student Planting Pumpkin Seeds