Learning Updates for October 11 to October 15

October 15, 2021

Los diseñadores de modas de séptimo grado

Seventh grade Spanish students are learning about clothing in the context of Guatemalan culture and traditions. Inspired by the Mayan attire, students designed a style they believe would be a perfect mix of Guatemalan-style clothing and their favorite clothing. Students engaged in audiovisual activities and watched videos for inspiration. This week, they displayed their designs in the classroom and engaged in a picture-talk activity. In the accompanying image, you can appreciate some of the traditional patterns, the descriptions of the colors they chose, and the natural resources used in Guatemala to tint the textiles.

– Ana Maria Restrepo, middle school Spanish teacher

Sixth Grade Mathematics Takes Shape(s)

In sixth grade mathematics, students start the year by exploring the area of closed, two-dimensional shapes with straight lines (polygons). As the unit progresses, students begin to explore surface area in three-dimensional shapes and work to determine rules for finding surface area. The study of 3D shapes involves “unfolding” a 3D shape into a net–a 2D representation of a 3D shape. Later, students take nets and fold them back up to make 3D shapes once more.

– Matthew Segil, middle school math teacher 

Sixth Grade Studies Major Religious Traditions

How was the universe created? How will it end? What happens after we die? What are we supposed to be doing while we are here? What do the major religious traditions of the world teach about these questions? How do their followers worship? How should we understand not only the differences of practice or belief between different traditions but also within the same tradition? Teams of sixth graders are tackling these tough questions and more in social studies this year with great openness, respect, curiosity, and excitement. They are seeking answers as they prepare to teach their classmates about what they have learned about Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.

– Dean Spencer, middle school social studies teacher

PE Update: Soccer Scope and Sequence

All across campus our students have been busy kicking, dribbling, passing, and working on their soccer skills in their physical education classes. The scope and sequence of our program allows soccer to be a unit that everyone enjoys, from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. For the lower grades, this can mean developing skills at stations such as soccer bowling and obstacle course dribbling. As our students progress through the ranks they begin to engage in more gameplay out on Claflin and Far fields, combining the fundamentals with strategy and teamwork to achieve a common goal. By fifth grade, students are mirroring a similar model to our middle school athletics teams by warming up, playing, and competing at a high level. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world … and despite our love of all things active, that might just be true at BDS as well.

– Alex Tzelnic, physical education teacher

Arts Update: Team Effort to Paint New Library Murals

Students in the middle school painting elective class this term have been working together in teams for their first major assignment: to design and create a series of murals for the Erskine Library. After touring the revamped space—complete with the new layout and furniture—and interviewing Librarian Amy Sprung to understand her goals for the paintings, each student created an individual mural proposal. From the initial 14 proposals, several proposals were combined to create a final project consisting of six mural designs.

For each location—two walls in the Story Room and two walls in the middle school research room—the artists needed to address a variety of factors in their designs, including the age of the students who primarily use the space, the location of bookshelves, and furniture, and the sightlines in the room. Throughout the design and painting process, Ms. Sprung has provided feedback and suggestions; the iterations and daily progress can be seen in the Barn’s mezzanine hallways, as three of the murals are ‘stored’ on the walls between class painting sessions. The completed murals will be hung in the Erskine Library after Thanksgiving!

– Anne Armstrong, visual arts teacher and arts coordinator

By John O'Neill, Director of Athletics |

April 5, 2024

The track & field team traveled off campus this week for a tri-meet against Shady Hill & BB&N. The Blue & Gold jumped out to a fast start with notable performances in the field events. Eighth grade classmates Alexander Meredith…


March 22, 2024

Second Graders Host ‘Read For Seeds’ Read-a-thon On Wednesday, you could hear a pin drop in second grade. How is this possible, you might ask? We were holding our 17th annual Read-a-thon! The second graders spent all day reading to…
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