May 9, 2019

Dear Harbor Families,

Something you already know: Harbor teachers are doing really incredible work with kids. Something you may not know: They are sharing their learning with colleagues from other independent, public, and charter schools!

Last Thursday evening, a group of four Harbor teachers, along with a colleague educator from the KID Museum, presented two displays at the DC-PZ Exhibition of Student and Teacher Learning. DC-PZ is the DC area chapter of Project Zero, a set of research projects out of Harvard’s School of Education, centered around innovative, research-based practices in education. Themes include making thinking visible, teaching for understanding, teaching and learning through the arts, and maker-centered learning and design thinking. DC-PZ provides a context for innovative teachers in our area to regularly come together to learn and reflect together on their teaching practices, ensuring that through collaboration - both within and across school settings - we are holding high standards for ourselves and our profession. This, of course, translates directly to our students.

Harbor teachers presented on two topics at Thursday evening’s event, which took place at the middle and upper school campus of Sidwell Friends School. Kindergarten teachers Seth Fangboner and Debbi Nichols presented on “Turning Kindergarten Questions into Classroom Investigations”, highlighting the ways in which our Kindergarten students used our Harbor design cycle to create a large maze to give their class pet, Jaws (a leopard gecko, in case you haven't met him) some much-needed exercise. They also shared a special project where students developed student-created claymation movies after becoming interested in the process. (Click here to learn more about the process and to view their final products!)

Preschool teachers Kelly Kasper and Diego Urresty, along with Amanda Puerto Thorne, presented “Innovation by Design: A Partnership”, where they articulated our year-long partnership with the KID Museum and reflected on the student and teacher learning that took place over the course of the school year. Throughout the evening, teachers from other schools in the area learned about some of our exciting work at Harbor, while our teachers gained ideas from others about ways to further student-centered, meaningful learning in their own classrooms. What a rich experience for all - and yet another reason for pride in our excellent school!

The display boards from the DC-PZ Exhibition are in our lobby; we encourage you to linger and read them for yourself!

Warm regards,

Leah Musico
Head of School
The Harbor School

Harbor School