Latest News from the Collaborative

By: Abby Krolik

Read from our latest newsletter about everything PDC has  been up to!

 About twice a month, the Professional Development Collaborative sends out a newsletter to its 2000+ subscribers to let them know about the projects we are working on; the relevant meetings or conferences at which we are presenting or that we are attending; and, of course, descriptions and reminders for all of the wonderful DC-PZ events that are coming up soon. This includes information about WISSIT–our annual summer  institute for educators. In addition to being emailed to all of our subscribers, each newsletter will also be posted here, on our website. If you would like access to previous newsletters, you can click on the link to our Mailchimp archive. While you’re there, you can also sign up for our mailing list!

April 10, 2019:

Join Us for Our First
Making Across the Curriculum Conference!

What are the promises and practices of maker-centered education?
How can “making” make learning memorable and build community?
How can maker practices help students to deepen interdisciplinary connections and develop agency?
MAKE plans to explore these questions
at the first-ever Making Across the Curriculum conference on Saturday, May 18!
The conference will take place at Washington International School’s Cleveland Park campus.
There will also be an optional pre-conference afternoon at WIS on Friday, May 17.

The inspiration for the conference is the Making Across the Curriculum project, an initiative co-led by Agency by Design at Harvard Project Zero and the PD Collaborative. It has brought together 15 teachers from Washington International School and 25 educators from five public schools across DC to explore the powerful ways making can happen across disciplines and grade levels. Teachers from this project will showcase tools and practices they have honed over the past year.

Project Zero researchers Edward Clapp and Sarah Sheya will be the featured speakers at the conference. They have guided the project since its inception in February 2018.

The conference will consist of plenary session keynote addresses by PZ researchers, breakout sessions led by classroom teachers, and maker happenings. Breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee. The deadline for registration is Friday, May 10. Follow this link to find out more and to register!

Participants will come from the DC region and across the country. Content will be relevant for educators at any level who have an interest in infusing maker-centered practices into their setting.


DC-PZ In Action, Vol. III: Emily Muha

“DC-PZ In Action” highlights the many ways in which DC-PZ educators are using Project Zero ideas in their practice. We hope that our readers will be inspired to try something new in their own setting. Each of these articles will also appear in the DC-PZ newsletter as well as on our PD Collaborative website as blog posts.

In this edition, we hear about Emily Muha, an Art Specialist at Crossfield Elementary School (Fairfax County Public Schools).

After attending WISSIT for the first time in 2018, Emily was excited to try out in her classroom some of the Project Zero-inspired tools and strategies she’d experienced. In particular, she was inspired by the “Move, Think, Wonder” course she took, facilitated by dancer Ingrid Zimmer of Inner City-Inner Child. Participants in the course engaged in a dance activity called “Name, Describe, Dance” (inspired by a Thinking Routine developed by PZ researcher Ron Ritchhart), which got her mental wheels churning. She decided to “approach looking at landscape paintings with [her] 5th graders in a totally new light.”

(from left to right) Haying, by Grant Wood (1939), National Gallery of Art, DC; The Starry Night, 
by Vincent Van Gogh (1889), Museum of Modern Art.

Emily, collaborating with some of the music teachers at her school, wove in her own background with dance to create a four-part lesson for her students that opened up multi-sensory entry points to understanding and appreciating landscape paintings.

Coming Home, by Jeff Condon

Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, by Albert Bierstadt (1868),
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Here is how she describes the lesson:

“Sitting in small groups of about four or five, the students were given a  reproduction of a landscape painting with questions to answer. Each of the eight groups did some slow looking and were asked to write down five objects they saw in the painting and adjectives that would describe their piece. With this pool of words, each small group was then asked to choreograph a short dance by reflecting on the painting’s elements with their bodies as well as their minds. I worked with our music teachers to help me select pieces of music that would work with each painting, but I did not want to introduce the music to them until after they had choreographed their dance. I have to say that I had no idea how this would fly! I was nervous but excited to give it a try. I just loved the idea of letting them guide me instead of the other way around.”



Professional Development Collaborative in the Media:

This past February, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s magazine highlighted Project Zero’s Children Are Citizens project in its “Usable Knowledge” feature. The article not only describes the great work that PZ researchers Ben Mardell and Mara Krechevsky have done with the project, but it uses our DC-based version and DC-PZ educator Catalina Stirling (DC Bilingual Public Charter School) as a prime example of the positive impact the project has had on early childhood classrooms! 


Featured Event: Annual Exhibition of DC-PZ Teaching and Learning

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 4:30pm-7:00pm
Sidwell Friends School, 3825 Wisconsin Ave, Washington, DC 20016

Our annual Exhibition of Teacher and Student Learning will take place at Sidwell Friends School’s Wisconsin Avenue campus. If you are interested in exhibiting this year, please fill out this survey! For more information about the exhibition and what it means to exhibit your own teaching and learning practice, visit this great website put together by Sidwell Friends teacher, Denise Coffin. Please RSVP to the event HERE. Light refreshments will be served.


Follow The Collaborative on Social Media

The Collaborative is now on social media in a BIG way!

“Like” us on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter! 
We’ll post news, events, and photos on both platforms. Share us with all your educator friends!


To see all of our upcoming events, click here!