Almost ten years ago, I wrote an article titled "Academic Rigor and Student Engagement: A Perfect Match." While many feared that they would need to sacrifice student engagement in the service of academic rigor, I argued strongly that academic rigor could ONLY genuinely come together with student engagement, and that truly rigorous learning at its core needed to be about exploration, discovery, creativity, inquiry, and pattern recognition.
Progressive education is built on the premise that learning is an active and inquiry-based process. Understanding is better than memorization, and with this in mind we are excited to share Structured Word Inquiry with our students.
After only a year, the Orsini Library has doubled its previous collection and now holds almost 3000 Chinese and English titles! This was made possible by the powerhouse team of volunteers at Presidio Knolls, led by parents Vivian Looi and James Huff. Their efforts have made it possible for all children level P2 to Grade 4 to regularly borrow books and integrate library time into their weekly curricula.
While the students spend the majority of their day learning in Mandarin, English at PKS is truly a special time of day! Currently, our students receive 45 minutes of daily dedicated English instruction, often in collaboration with their Units of Exploration. Reading and Writing Workshop is also part of our daily practice. Stop by any time of day and you will see our teachers modeling reading and writing for students and students engaged in independent reading and writing. You will also see students actively sharing reading and writing strategies with each other.
Families may know me as the jovial, coffee-drinking, salad-eating English teacher (and I am absolutely all of those wonderful things!) but I am also a deeply concerned human being who worries for the future of our students, given the divisions in our society, events around the world, and even challenges here in the Bay Area.