The seventh grade second trimester elective studied the use of helmets as a method of protection. The students each designed and tested a helmet to protect the skull (using a pasta shell). Their investigation then went on to examine the impacts to the head which can result in concussions. Dr. E. Eisenstein, a pediatrician from Wayne, New Jersey, came in to give the students a deeper understanding of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of concussions. Additional information and learning about the topic was also obtained from Heads up Football, USA Football, and the Riddell company.

By Mrs. Kelly
Science Teacher
Physical Education Teacher


The Sixth Grade Social Studies class is now immersed in the world of ancient Sumer (modern day Iraq).  We have finally entered civilization!  Of course that means that we are discussing the role of government and leadership, and the transfer of secular power from the priests to the kings.  We have discussed the qualities that it would have taken to become king, analyzing these qualities in light of the “7 habits”.  Each Sumerian king ruled his own city-state, and certainly he had to “synergize” and to “begin with the end in mind” in order to effectively protect his society from attacking nomads!  

Sumer/Mesopotamia is also the world of Avraham Aveenu. The class read stories, in Hebrew, that reflect the polytheistic society into which Judaism was born. The students had learned these parables in lower elementary school, and it is wonderful to return to them as seen through the more sophisticated lens of Middle School.  The belief in many gods is starkly contrasted to the belief of the monotheist, Avraham.  Idols are smashed rather than sold, and Avraham miraculously survives Nimrod’s fiery furnace, rather than acknowledge the many deities of Sumer.  

The Sumerian civilization was the first to develop a system of writing.   The students studied this evolutionary process, creating a flow chart illustrating the steps that eventually lead to cuneiform script.  They created their own “cuneiform dictionary”, and with Mrs. Jaffe’s guidance, they used a stylus to imprint the wedge-shaped characters onto actual clay tablets.

We will soon begin our study of the earliest empires in the region.  No doubt Hammurabi knew a thing or two about the “7 habit” himself!!  Leadership, after all, is as ancient as humankind….

Mrs. Glassberg

Social Studies teacher/Coordinator

What could such diverse women as Queen Elizabeth I, Sacagawea, Abigail Adams, and the Pharaoh Hatshepsut possibly have in common? The answer became clear Tuesday night at the GBDS Curriculum Fair. Time travel is full of contrasts, particularly when comparing people from c. 2,000 BCE, 1560, 1776, and 1805! In fact, all those who had a chance to chat with "Hatshepsut" (Samantha Rigante), "Queen Elizabeth I" (Danielle Wieselberg), "Abigail Adams"(Ariella Burnstein), and "Sacagawea"(Daniella Attiya) learned a great deal about the respective lives of these female leaders. Our role-players did a great job discussing the obviously very specific, unique accomplishments of each person. Yet it quickly became clear that those "habits" that define leadership transcend time and space. Each of these historic figures was "proactive" in ways that enabled her to succeed and to make a permanent impact in her lifetime and beyond. Each knew the importance of synergy, working closely with others to advance a cause. These women had many challenges to overcome just by virtue of gender alone. Their gender necessitated particular strength and focus, as they "kept the end in mind" to accomplish their many goals. As we study such remarkable people of the past, we feel time dissolve into the reality that human beings of any age are more closely linked by their similarities, than separated by their differences.


Click here to view pictures from the Curriculum Fair.

By Mrs. Glassberg
Social Studies Teacher/Coordinator

The sixth grade has been studying the different land and marine biomes of the world by identifying properties that differentiate them.  We began with an experiment using the scientific method, where the students planted various seeds in three types of biomes, (forest, grassland and desert) to observe which would support the best growth. After learning about the different marine biomes, they were then each given a leadership role in which they created a presentation as well as an informational handout for the class on one of the land biomes.  The class completed this section with a review of all the different biomes.


By Mrs. Kelly

Science and Physical Education Teacher

In Language Arts our group consisting of Kayla Blecherman, Elijah Greenberg, Leeor Ginzburg, Kaylee Maines, and Jared Pomarlen is creating a unique experience. Each student has chosen an author whom we have studied and a novel containing a character who demonstrates a number of The Seven Habits. Members of the group are dressing as that particular character and answering specific questions concerning the author, plot, setting, character, and utilization of The Leader in Me Habits.They also are sharing habits not used, but which could have been of great benefit to the character's dilemma and denouement of the novel. The group and Mrs. Schwack thoroughly enjoyed this experience.


Click here to see pictures from the Curriculum Fair.


By Mrs. Schwack

Language Arts Teacher/Coordinator

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