11 Dec

“Industry” in Kindergarten

Contributed by Lorraine Yamin, Kindergarten Teacher

When five year olds cross the thresholds of their kindergarten classrooms, they bring with them all that they learned during the preschool years. They socialize, communicate, and manage climbers and gym classes with fewer collisions. They also dramatize roles as complex as a baby-Ninja-princess.

The renowned psychologist Erik Erikson identified five and six year olds by their sense of industry and their drive to feel competent.  While one can see industriousness and competency in younger children, Erikson states that kindergarteners are developmentally more eager to try out the conventional mechanics of reading, writing and mathematical thinking.  Additionally, they love constructing creative works the world will admire.

Teachers at D-E wholeheartedly agree with Erikson!  We believe that five year olds are ready to take on more independence and are increasingly invested in the world of school.  They eagerly discuss ideas, learn to listen to each other and answer questions relating to a specific topic. They want to emotionally connect to their teachers and peers and often show pride in their work.

Please enjoy these photos of our industrious, creative, and competent kindergarten children!


11 Dec

Bulldog Math Team Update

Contributed by Cecily Gottling, LS Math Specialist

D-E’s Bulldog Math Team is off to a great start again this year!  17 third graders, 17 fourth graders, and all the fifth graders are once again participating in the Continental Math League math contests.

Our 3rd and 4th grade teams meet once a week to learn problem-solving strategies and practice solving really challenging problems. Then once a month, the children try to solve 6 challenging problems in 30 minutes. Coaching sessions are designed to help students develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.  Participating in the actual contests builds perseverance and a willingness to take a risk.  Math Team is all about working together and developing grit!

The third graders are currently practicing two important strategies—guess and check and logic—in order to solve challenging problems about sums and differences. Fourth graders are working on algebraic reasoning and understanding the nuances of divisibility.  Our fourth graders just finished their second contest and were cheered to see that everyone improved after a really tough first contest. Problem-solving strategies are a routine component of the fifth graders’ math experiences.  The fifth graders will participate in their second contest next week.

Below is a sample problem the children are working on:

Go Lower School Bulldogs!


“Math team is a bit hard because you have to think a lot. That’s a good thing because it gets your mind going.” – Adesola


“Something surprising happened to me! I was doing my contest, and it was really challenging.
I expected to get a 3 or under except
I surprisingly got a 4. I felt really good
about that.” – Ellie


“I feel good about the answers I got. I don’t feel too badly about the ones I didn’t get because there’s always room for improvement.” – Kiran