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Highlights From the Summer Program

The City Bus class learned about folktales. During read aloud, they enjoyed the classic stories The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs. Students identified the different characters and setting in each tale. After listening to a few variations of the story, students chose their favorite parts to act out for a class movie! 

The Spaceships class worked on a social studies unit on the continents. Each week they had a recorded read aloud about one continent using the National Geographic Big Book of the World. During a live class, they took virtual field trips to special places in each continent, like Machu Picchu, an African wildlife safari, European castles, and the Taj Mahal. Finally, they created posters about their favorite continent, shared "Did You Know?" fun facts they researched independently. 

The Jetpacks class did a unit study on ancient Greece. They compared and contrasted modern and ancient Greece, learned about the history of the Olympics, and learned about Greek mythology. They also used their math skills to identify lines of symmetry in Greek architecture! During read aloud, teachers dressed up as Athena and Zeus and recounted many Greek myths with the class. Finally, each student researched a Greek god and presented their findings to the class during their "Google Meet on Mount Olympus!"

Students in several Art classes focused on shape exploration using a variety of art making techniques. They read different books such as Opposites, Only One You, and Oodles of Animals to inspire their art making. Students cut out shapes and combined them to make animals, ice cream cones, pizza, and more. They explored painting, glueing shapes, and drawing with markers to add detail. At the end of each class, students shared their artwork with their classmates and talked about what they made!

The Food Trucks class did a social studies unit about communities, and each student was assigned a different community worker. They researched their community worker, dressed accordingly, and attended social studies class wearing their costume. Students gave clues by showing their outfits and tools they use for their job, and the rest of the class had to guess which worker they were. 

The Scooters class focused on community building by playing lots of games, such as matching faces to names and links, and by participating in class turn-taking books such as Willaby Wallaby and Silly Scooters Went to Town. They got to know each other by participating in snack conversation groups using photos and bringing objects, with topics ranging from "when we were babies" to "our favorite books." The Scooters also worked on being part of the Gillen Brewer School community by learning about Whole Body Listening, practicing socially distant ways to greet each other, and decorating and dancing in masks!

The School Bus class loved reading and learning about different folktales. Students worked hard to identify  the story elements of each folktale (characters, setting, problem, solution) as well as sequencing the stories. They made puppets for each story and students acted out folktales as teachers read them aloud. Some students and families even recorded their reenactments of their favorite folktale!

Science class has centered on students learning about matter through "Kitchen Science." Using everyday household items, students learned about the different states of matter and how the states of matter can physically or chemically change. Younger students explored materials while observing whether a material was a solid, liquid, or gas, and using their five senses to see if the material changed in any way when mixed with another substance. Older students were introduced to how matter works on a molecular level through the use of building blocks. Science this summer provided students with the opportunity to explore with materials found at home and reinforced the idea that science can be done anywhere. 

The Surfer Trains class worked on a story-writing project. They focused on story elements such as topic, main ideas, characters, setting, problem and solution, and sequencing. Incorporating technology, the students presented their stories via Google Slides to their classmates, teachers, therapists, and family members on the last day of school. 


The Little Red Wagons class studied farm animals. They sang many songs, such as “Old McDonald” and “8 Brown and Spotted Cows,” with each student “acting” as a different animal in the song. They also used the animals to sort, rhyme, count, read, and even write! Finally, they made a class book with all the students and teachers riding a Little Red Wagon for all the students to enjoy over break. 

The Jets class engaged in a Fairy Tale unit! The class learned about story elements, compared and contrasted different versions of books, and even acted out various fairy tales by creating their own puppets. To complete the unit, the class worked in groups and created their own fairy tales. Each group used their imaginations and interests and collaborated together to create magical fairy tales. As we say in fairy tales, all of the characters lived happily ever after!