Learning Updates for October 25 to October 29

October 29, 2021

360 Degrees of Discussion in Sixth Grade

Students in sixth grade English observed and practiced discussion skills with a “fishbowl” protocol. Five brave “fish” sat in the center of the room to discuss a question from the current book we’re reading in class, The Giver by Lois Lowry while their classmates observed the dynamics of the discussion. Those outside the fishbowl looked for questions posed, evidence cited, ideas shifted, and airtime shared, then shared what they saw with the group. Throughout the year, sixth graders will continue to establish independence in classroom discussions, preparing for the Harkness model used in the seventh and eighth grades.

– Julia Juster, middle school English teacher 

Third Graders Learn Months of the Year in French

Third graders is finishing up their months of the year unit in French. Our lower school language program is oral proficiency oriented, which means that the students practice using French “from the top of their heads.” Many activities are necessary to build up confidence and agency. The students danced the Macarena of the months (presentational speaking/kinesthetic learning), they sorted the months with a secret rule that their partners had to guess (language observation/communicating observations), and they practiced asking and answering questions about birthdays with partners (interpersonal speaking). The wrap-up activity was a multistep interpersonal speaking project: the students were tasked to line up in the order of the months of their birthdays, using only their French. See the accompanying photo!

– Nathalie Pellenq, French teacher

Fifth Graders Research, Write, Deliver Speeches on Activists

Over the past few weeks, students in grade 5 humanities have been working on their activist research project. At the beginning of the process, each student chose an activist and visited the Erskine Library to refresh on research skills and find resources with librarian Amy Sprung. Students then engaged in their research, using resources such as databases and non-fiction books. From their research students created a speech that outlined their activist’s accomplishments, obstacles, and lessons we can learn from them. On Thursday, students’ projects culminated when each student presented their speech. Great work fifth grade!

– Vaniecia Skinner, grade 5 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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