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The Rossman blog features content written by our faculty and staff.

The Buzz on Rossman's Bees

by: Denise Boyd
Science Teacher Grades SK-3
Social Studies Teacher Grade 3

If you’ve walked Rossman’s halls this fall you may have noticed there is quite a buzz. Beyond the beautiful art wall of textured honeycomb and worker bees in the foyer, past the 5th and 6th grade commons, you’ll see skeleton Mike adorning a traditional Langstroth beehive. Atop the hive is a smoker and full length gloves. Skeleton Mike is also wearing an unusual hat with netting all the way around the brim. This may have caused you to have a few questions. I hope to answer some of the frequently asked questions below and to create more of a buzz around campus! [...]

Stretching Independence in the Summer Months

by: Lower School Director Rachel Dixon
It’s hard to believe that summer break is a week away. Soon, you’ll receive recommendations for summer learning to keep your child engaged academically and continue the momentum from the school year. Though reading, writing, and practicing those math skills are undoubtedly important, summer also offers a critical time for play, exploration, and building independence. [...]

Classroom Transformations

by: Third Grade Teachers Lynn Frankenberger and Kristie Kerber
Last August, when we began looking at our curriculum for the upcoming year, we wanted to find new and innovative ways to engage our students in the classroom. From experience, we know that kids buy into what they are learning on a deeper level when they periodically break away from the normal routine. We began researching meaningful, hands-on activities that would support the different skills our students would learn throughout the year. [...]

Building Academic Skills with Family Game Night

by: Upper School Director Jordan Andes

When my family gathers for dinner, it is not long after the dishes are cleared that we find ourselves crammed around the dining room table, fifteen strong, ready to play games. We pick our seats, hoping that we’ll end up on grandma’s team. mong a myriad of remarkable qualities, my grandmother is joyful, nurturing, and humble. She is also very bright. It is often the case that no one realizes grandma is winning until she puts her cards on the table, tallies up her endless points and wins by a landslide. [...]

Cursive Writing

by: Second Grade Teachers Emily Moll and Jamie Rhinesmith
The question we posed to our second graders during our first morning meeting of the school year was a simple, and probably quite predictable one: “What are you most looking forward to in second grade?” As we started going around the circle giving each student a chance to answer, we expected to hear expressions of excitement for upcoming field trips, anticipated hands-on projects, and favorite games in P.E. However, what we heard from an overwhelming majority of students was a seemingly much more mundane skill that they knew they would be learning in the upcoming year – cursive handwriting. [...]

Rocket News

by: Sixth Grade Teacher Zack Mouw

Rocket News – Rossman’s student-led newspaper – was founded by several sixth graders from the Class of 2021, but the tradition of serving our school community with articles, comics, and word searches lives on today through the Class of 2023. Each year, joining Rocket News is an honor for our sixth graders, and while there are many roles when it comes to assisting the team – cartoonist, chief editor, copy editor, and writer – the main responsibility falls on the chief editor, who oversees the other members of the team and ensures that each monthly issue is published on time. [...]

Productive Struggle

by: Sixth Grade Teacher Caroline Ivey

So often, when we hear the word struggle, we assume a negative connotation.  But is struggle always a negative thing?  In education, we use the term “productive struggle” because challenges or “struggles” are a learning opportunity. [...]

Engaging the Mathematical Conversations

by: Fourth Grade Teacher Leann Kane

Students often engage in conversations about the books they are reading, the art they are creating, and the discoveries they are making in science, but how often do students engage in mathematical conversations? I asked myself this question while completing professional development this summer, and I made it my goal to incorporate more meaningful math conversions in our classroom through math talks.[...]

Importance of World Music

by: Music Teacher Amira Fuller

Fourth grade is currently entrenched in one of my favorite sections to teach, our world music unit. Each year our fourth graders embrace the adventure of becoming ethnomusicologists as they study the different instruments and musical traditions of nine different cultures around the world. We spend time learning about Native American, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, and Australian Aboriginal music.[...]

Establishing Connection with Our Children at Home or in School: Using Principles from, Good Inside, a book by Dr. Becky Kennedy

by: Learning Consultant Heather Blome
Some valuable parenting and teaching practices can be found within the first few chapters of “Good Inside,” a book by Dr. Becky Kennedy. Dr. Becky, as she refers to herself, has an online presence on social media. She shares examples of tough parenting moments with her own children and how she applies the concepts in her book.[...]

The Benefits of Playing Board Games

by: Senior Kindergarten Teacher Abbie Duvall
With winter break approaching, I am sure most families are excited about their traditions, time spent at home with loved ones, eating yummy food, traveling maybe, and just enjoying the holidays. You also might be thinking “what am I going to do with my children for two weeks at home?” The answer is, play! Play with your children. Playing board games or card games has so many benefits for children, plus it’s just fun![...]

Building Stronger Readers Through Vocabulary Instruction

by: Lower School Director Rachel Dixon

Courses on reading instruction often begin by introducing the “Simple View of Reading.” This model suggests a reading equation: word decoding x language comprehension = reading comprehension. Likely when adults reflect back upon the process of learning to read, it is “sounding out” (decoding) words that they’ll recall. [...]

Focus on Gratitude

by: Upper School Science Teacher Scott Rigg
My wife gave me a gift a few months ago. It was a gratitude journal. It was nice to get a gift and I have long respected the process of journaling and reflection, but why the focus on gratitude? I needed some gratitude for gratitude. To use the journal, I list “three things I am grateful for” each morning, and “three amazing things that happened today” each night before bed. [...]

Rossman Kids Love Books!

by: Librarian Marie Unanue

Hands down, Rossman students love books and love to read! I have no doubt with the holidays fast approaching that our students are putting books on their wish lists. To help with your holiday gift shopping, I am sharing my favorite gifts (with links) for book-loving kids. [...]

Executive Functioning - How do I Function?

by: Social Studies Teacher Erin Moore
Executive Functioning is the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. It goes along with self-regulation and understanding how one can best support their own learning. This year, my goal is to start introducing the concept of executive functioning and work with students to identify and understand their strengths and areas of growth and why identifying them is beneficial.  [...]

Why Elementary School is the Best Time to Learn a Second Language

by: Spanish Teacher Elizabeth Garcia
Have you ever heard the idea that children learn languages more easily than adults? Or even that adult language-learners who miss the “critical period” of childhood exposure to a second language will likely never become as fluent as those who start learning the language as a child? [...]

Say Yes Whenever Possible

by: Art Teacher Erica Spangler
This fall, I experienced a new first as a parent of three children. My oldest, Ellie, went to college for the first time! Our summer began when Ellie graduated from high school. The next day she turned 18 - a day that had loomed in my mind since my spikey-haired, blue eyed baby girl turned one month old. On that day long ago, I already knew the time was going to fly by and now she was celebrating her 18th birthday and ready to head to college. [...]


Junior Kindergarten is Where Learning Begins at Rossman

by: Junior Kindergarten Teachers Julie Renne, Mary Schwartz, and Diane Vujnich
Renowned psychologist and child development theorist Jean Piaget was quoted as saying “Our real problem is…what is the goal of education? Are we forming children that are only capable of learning what is already known? Or should we try developing creative and innovative minds, capable of discovery from the preschool age on, throughout life?” [...]

Science Enrichment at Home

by: Lower School Science and Social Studies Teacher Denise Boyd

Does your child love Science? Do you need to refresh your rainy day activities? Do you want to give memorable, cool, and educational gifts (to your child or others)?  Look no further.
I’ve had many parents say, “My child loves Science, what can I do to foster this at home?”.  [...]

Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in St. Louis, is a private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills.​ To learn more or schedule a tour, visit our inquiry page.