Lower School Director Leslie Hosey, Ph.D. ♦ Friday, December 1, 2017
Throughout the last school year, including a summer professional development seminar hosted at Roeper with esteemed gifted education expert Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, I am proud to report that teachers have collaborated to develop a new structure to provide project-based learning opportunities in all four stages. These new “intensives” are fully integrated, four-week interdisciplinary units centered on a single theme. With student input, each stage has developed its own theme to study: Stage I –Water; Stage II – Food Culture; Stage III – Community Change; and Stage IV – Food Justice.
The overarching goal of intensives is to provide real world, authentic learning opportunities that have meaning and relevance to our students’ lives. Throughout the course of the intensives students will engage in observation, develop questions, research, read from non-fiction texts and work together on social studies that include economics, history, and political science. Music, art, science, computer science, physical education, and dance teachers are all integrating their content to align with the intensive units of study. Student voice is the predominant factor in guided lessons to promote an enduring understanding and encourage solution-based answers to essential questions.
Already, with only the first week under our belts, the palpable display of student confidence and ownership of the learning is inspiring! We are thrilled to launch these intensives and provide truly authentic opportunities to build the 21st century skills of multiple literacies in technology, visual arts, knowledge of the natural world, creative and divergent thinking and collaborative skills, as well as to connect with experts throughout the area and allow for intentionally integrated learning opportunities.