Lewis Letters: A Blog from our Head of School

Visible Learning

I find the bulletin boards that line the Primary School hallways to be a real source of wonder. They are an extension of the classrooms, a means for capturing much of the core learning that is underway.

The bulletin boards signal a message to the children that what they are doing is SO important that the world outside needs to be aware. The boards capture our commitment to bilingualism, to social justice, to environmental awareness, to intrapersonal awareness, and to many other WIS values. The displays change regularly with new units of inquiry; they are unique expressions of the children’s curiosity and exploration. There are so many great examples that I’m unwilling to cite those that especially catch my attention.

What I will do is encourage you to examine those boards yourself. Next week the Primary School is hosting both the Bilingual New Book Sale and parent-teacher conferences. Between those two events, parents will have ample opportunity to walk through the halls. Plan on taking a few extra minutes and look for the IB PYP “transdisciplinary” themes such as Who we are in the early childhood corridor. Or, travel up to the third floor where you will find Grades 3 and 4 displays that incorporate visible thinking routines from Project Zero.

And speaking of Project Zero…this past weekend I attended Project Zero’s Golden Anniversary at Harvard University, along with Jim Reese, Director of our Professional Development Collaborative, and my wife Susan who uses Project Zero strategies as a docent at the National Gallery of Art. Suzanna Jemsby, WIS’s next head, was also in attendance in connection with her own experiences with Project Zero.

The larger majority of participants were Project Zero researchers, such as WIS parent, Veronica Boix Mansilla. It was heady affair, with sessions led by a range of intellectual leaders in education. The icing on the cake? WIS received a special shout out in a plenary session due to our leadership in public/private partnership, e.g., our summer institute for teachers (WISSIT), and our year-round networking with local Project Zero educators (DC-PZ).
Posted by clayton.lewis on Wednesday October 18 at 06:14PM
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