Learning Updates for Week of October 5 to October 9

October 9th, 2020

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!

Middle school Spanish students worked in teams to create two amazing murals to honor and to recognize the contributions of Hispanics to the culture and history of the United States. Sixth grade students researched and wrote biographies of different people, including Rita Moreno, Shakira, Jaime Escalante, Oscar de la Hoya, Dolores Huerta, and Frida Kahlo. Seventh and eighth grade students colored the murals, researched various countries, Hispanics’ contributions, and biographies. The murals are located next to the Palandjian Arts Center and in the Kiva. Make sure to stop by and check them out!

– Ana Maria Restrepo, middle school Spanish teacher

Eighth Grade Studies Meiosis, Sexual Reproduction, and Mendel

This week students in eighth grade science wrapped up their first unit on meiosis, sexual reproduction, and the discoveries of Mendel when he studied the genetics of pea plants. Throughout this unit, students learned how meiosis makes sex cells in organisms, how flowers can complete the process of sexual reproduction, and the types of offspring created as a result of various monohybrid crosses. Students applied the concept of probability learned in seventh grade math to this work to better understand Mendel’s results. In the next unit, we will look at some applications of genetic crosses by looking at the passing of traits in humans including blood type.

– Sandra Trentowski, middle school science teacher and adviser

Arts Update: Sixth Grade Gets the Beat on Bucket Drums

For the past few weeks, the Spencer and Moriarty sixth grade cohorts have been learning bucket drumming and basics of drumming technique. Earlier this week, they presented their bucket drumming final performances to the songs "Demons" by Imagine Dragons and "If I Could Change Your Mind" by HAIM. As you can see and hear in the video compilation, the students made great progress on the drums in a very short time.

– Yui Kitamura, music teacher for grades 3-8

Athletics Update: Middle School Athletes Rise to the Challenge

It’s been a challenging fall for many reasons, including the newly structured middle school athletics program. As a result of limiting exposure and following mandated safety guidelines, Belmont Day has shifted away from its robust interscholastic program and pivoted to a more traditional physical education program. Choosing between three unique offerings–Outdoor Adventures, Running Club, and Training Camp–middle school athletes have risen to the occasion. Despite being unable to wear the Blue & Gold and compete against other teams, athletes have found motivation within to improve their fitness, try new activities, and maintain a team-first approach to athletics. As we all adapt to new routines, this group of talented athletes hasn’t missed a beat.

– John O'Neill, athletics director

Third Graders Clean Up At This STEM Challenge

In third grade, we've been talking about a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. We read the book The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett. In the story, the main character never makes mistakes until one day she makes a BIG mistake, which also creates a big mess. Third graders engineered a broom and dustpan with a limited number of materials to try to clean up the main character's mess. Then they tested their designs and thought about what changes they would make to improve them. They made those specific improvements and then tested their designs again. Many of them went from cleaning up a few pieces of trash to gathering over 20 pieces, all by using a growth mindset!

– Larissa Rochford '93, grade 3 teacher

Learning UpdateScience ClassAthletics UpdateThird Grade Class