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

By Kassie Bettinelli, music teacher |

November 17, 2023

In March of last year, a few students approached the music teaching team about the possibility of organizing a talent show. Knowing one hadn’t been scheduled for the spring, and that planning one for the future could be an awesome…


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…

By John O'Neill, director of athletics |

November 3, 2023

This fall, BDS piloted an intramural volleyball team that spent the season learning the game, practicing skills, and holding weekly scrimmages. Over the course of the season, players improved tremendously and are prepared to step into a more competitive environment…


November 3, 2023

Spanish Students Learn, Share About El Días de los Muertos Spanish students learned about and celebrated the traditional Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Through different audio activities, students engaged in hands-on projects. Sixth grade…
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