When I enter classrooms and see students working on their Wonderworks projects, the joy and engagement are self-evident. But Wonderworks is more than this -- it is also a lever to create future scientists, writers, mathematicians, and activists.
One of our main goals at PKS is to foster a lifelong passion for learning and exploration, not only among our students but also among our parents, faculty, and staff. A few weeks ago, however, the pedagogical team wanted to try something innovative and engaging to provide our faculty and staff with a different type of professional development (PD) opportunity; something we call “Pinterest Live” or “Old School Pinterest.”
In our parenting journey, we model, we scaffold, and then we take off the training wheels and let them go.
If you’ve ever wondered about the history of Chinese food in America, the 6th grade class has something they’d love to share with you, in their own words.
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.
I couldn’t be more thrilled by the prospect of becoming the next Head of School at PKS this July!
Ensuring that your future teenager makes healthy choices, navigates through toxic external pressures, and enters young adulthood as a powerful, confident self-advocate begins when they are toddlers.
Our third graders recently explored symmetrical stitched designs. They began by looking at examples of Chinese embroidery and discussing the intricate designs and varied stitches. With a plastic needle and yarn, students intermittently watched a basic stitch video while practicing on their own piece of burlap.
Our goals each year include problem solving, critical thinking, and improving social skills. We provide ample opportunities for children to do hands on projects, based on their own interests, we provide children with engaging materials, and ask them questions to provoke their thinking.
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.
Last week, our PKS first graders continued their discussion on "community." Students read the mini-book I Love My Community and used the Chinese names for libraries, parks, toy stores, restaurants, and soccer fields. The mini-book ended in an open-ended form that invited students to think about what other places could be added to a community to make it even better.
Teachers provided an overview of what the students will experience over the course of the year, including the developmental milestones and expectations for each grade. They outlined the Units of Exploration, and how math, STEM, and field trips are woven into the curriculum.
With the same nurturing and joy embodied in our mission and experienced in our classrooms, we involve parents in the cycle of inquiry through small group activities that provide an experience similar to their child’s.
As a progressive school, our vision for mathematics has many unifying elements. It is our expectation that students look beyond “doing math” to “thinking like mathematicians,” and to see the potential for beauty, fun, creativity, and trans-disciplinary connections in mathematics.
Chris Livaccari, a distinguished language immersion educator, Mandarin scholar, Mandarin speaker, and author, has been named our next Head of School by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Among the highly talented candidates who visited the school in recent months, Chris stood out for his commitment to educational excellence and his deep knowledge of and involvement in Mandarin language learning on an international scale. Chris’s bright vision for PKS’s future and his inquisitive, warm, down-to-earth style made him the ideal match for our school.