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Rhoades Teachers Participate in Project Zero with Harvard University

Rhoades teachers Alicia Trout (MS Technology and Engineering), Wendy Schramm (MS Social Studies), Julianne Loly (LS Grade 4), and Paul Ruppert (LS Grade 4 and 5 Science), and Head of School Regina McDuffie participated in a semester-long course through Harvard University’s Project Zero on Making Learning Visible.

Teachers engaged in weekly meetings with Harvard coaches around the importance of nurturing thinking in the daily lives of students. “It is so important for our faculty to remain current in best practices in education from research universities,” says Dr. McDuffie, Head of School. “One of my goals is to ensure that we continue to have a strong adult learning community at Rhoades.”

In the course, the teachers learned strategies for teaching students how to explore ideas, synthesize and organize these ideas, and then dig deeper and extend student learning. Each of the teachers shared what they learned with the greater faculty at the Professional Development Day on November 1.

The newly learned strategies and concepts are being practiced on both campuses across all disciplines. Julie Sugarman, Kindergarten teacher, shared that she and Mary Ruppert (LS Kindergarten) have been utilizing “generate, sort, elaborate” with our youngest students. “It’s been a great additional to promote thinking skills.” Julie Watts and Alina Rozsas, both MS teachers, used the concept “see, think, wonder” in math and Spanish. Rozsas said, “I used ‘see think wonder’ with my class just days after Mr. Ruppert shared it with the faculty. This was a great way to wrap up my Día de los Muertos unit.”

Paul Ruppert, one of the teachers who participated in the course, said, “We are reaping the benefits of repetition and shared vocabulary. The concepts and practices are already becoming part of every day in the classroom, rather than being reserved for a ‘routine.'” Parents, ask your kids about their thinking – you may be surprised at what they share with you!

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