Checking In with DCPZ Affiliate Groups

By: Abby Krolik
Since 2017, DCPZ has inspired several specialized affiliate groups that seek to continue the energy and ideas that come out of WISSIT and our other programs. Each group has a defined audience so that they can bring a narrower focus on Project Zero strategies that fit their members’ specific needs and interests. With a new year upon us, we decided now was a great time to check-in on these groups to see what they have planned for 2019.

DCPZ for Early Childhood, a.k.a. DC-PZ-EC:

What is your group? The DCPZ-EC group started as an affiliate group two years ago with the purpose of creating a community of learners interested in collaboratively exploring PZ ideas, particularly as they relate to an early childhood context.

What do you do? We meet once a month during the school year. Through our regular meetings, we have discovered the importance of empowered advocacy. Hopefully, our conversations support us not only in transforming our classroom teaching practices, but also in developing the clarity and confidence to articulate to parents, administrators, and other stakeholders about the need to keep thinking skills at the center of the curriculum and build the academic learning from there.

When is your next meeting? Wednesday, February 6th at 5:00pm at the Flint Hill School . It will be a joint meeting with NOVA PZ, on the theme “Communicating our Values.” 

How to Learn More: Contact Kerstin Schmidt at
You can also check out our Facebook Group:

DCPZ in Northern Virginia, a.k.a. NOVA*PZ:

What is your group? NOVA*PZ is a learning group made up of educators from Northern Virginia who are interested in learning more about PZ ideas and practices. The group meets several times throughout the year to explore our thinking and to learn from one another.

What do you do? Given the growing number of educators in Northern Virginia who have taken part in WISSIT or DCPZ events, NOVA*PZ formed in October 2017, after an initial meeting at WISSIT the previous summer. We meet in a variety of locations around Northern Virginia to explore ideas coming out of Project Zero that would be of interest to our members. We also have an annual exhibition of learning.

When is your next meeting? NOVA*PZ’s next gathering will take place on Wednesday, February 6 at Flint Hill Independent School. It will be a collaboration with DC-PZ-EC; we will explore PZ ideas in the early childhood setting.

How to Learn More: Contact Elizabeth Dean at if you’d like to be put on the NOVA*PZ mailing list or if you have any questions.

DCPZ for People of Color, a.k.a. DCPZ-POC:

What is your group? DCPZ-POC is a new affinity group that formed at WISSIT 2018 in order to provide a platform for open dialogue on issues of equity and inclusion.

What do you do? Our initial conversation unearthed a desire within WISSIT and PZ for more conversation around culturally responsive teaching and issues of equity and justice in the context of PZ research.

When is your next meeting? After our initial meetings at WISSIT 2018, we had a brainstorming session at the DCPZ kick-off, “Beyond WISSIT,” in October. We will publicize future meetings through the Collaborative newsletter and Events page.

How to Learn More: If you want to learn more or be placed on our mailing list, contact Sher Anderson Petty (, Kerri Redding (, or Tara Villanueva (

PZ In Another Language:

What is your group? DCPZ in Another Language is a gathering place for language acquisition educators from preschool to high school who would like to meet colleagues and exchange ideas and practices from their classrooms that are based on or inspired by PZ research. The main goal of the group is to expand the culture of thinking in world language classrooms of all levels, including immersion and dual language.

What do you do? Everyone is welcome to volunteer and lead sessions showcasing how a PZ idea helps in the language curriculum. Since its launch last year in January, the group has met three times and offered free PD about documentation, differentiation, and Thinking Routines (TRs) in Spanish; using TRs to teach vocabulary or writing; and ways administrators can support teachers trying to use PZ ideas in their classrooms.

When is your next meeting? Save the date for our upcoming meeting on February 13 at DC International School! In 2019, the group is planning to meet at least two more times with sessions about how to foster a Reggio-Emilia approach in immersion EC classrooms, as well as using PZ ideas in math in a dual language PS classroom, and how to use the Smithsonian Learning Lab in the MS/US language classroom.

How to Learn More: If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Sarah Hair at