Once a year The Willows departs from the day-to-day school curriculum to offer an in-depth, multi-age, cross-disciplinary study of one theme. Why? Because Intersession offers a different approach to project-based, experiential learning and an opportunity to fully integrate our disciplines in a fresh, illuminating academic experience. Intersession is not as much a departure from our academic curriculum, as it is an enhancement. A few of the positives that Intersession offers are:
- Collaboration between students of different ages
- Departure from regularly scheduled units of study to focus intensely on one multi-age group project
- Fosters deep thinking and exploration, problem solving, planning, organizing, executing (which are executive function skills that are very important
- Provides uninterrupted blocks of time to engage deeply
- Opportunity to investigate a theme, problem, subject, challenge, or activity from new perspectives
- Students and teachers share a vibrant academic experience
- Offers teachers a time to further integrate subjects and gain ideas for new ways to approach material
This year's theme is STORY which is also our 2018-2019 schoolwide theme. Lower School Courses and some of the skills addressed include: DK/K Carnival
• Fine and gross motor exploration • Collaboration • Math: computing scores in games Story of Simple Machines
• Physics: gravity, force/motion • Engineering/design principles Maker mindset:
tinkering, trial/error PLAYing with Stories
• Reading comprehension • Collaboration and team responsibility (all contribute in different ways to create a play) Bookmaking
• Cultural studies (different kinds of books from around the world) • Tech integration – Animationish software • Fine motor skills: sewing Amazing Interiors: Bringing Stories to Life
• Reading comprehension (importance of setting) • Maker: diorama creation using a variety of tools/media Parties tell a story
• Math: budgeting, calculating expenses • Presentation skills: pitching 25th Party ideas to an audience Choose your own adventure
• Tech integration: Google Slides/Powerpoint, Scratch • Writing skills: revision, editing, story structure Willows Story Slam
• Writing skills: revision, editing, story structure • Digitial storytelling using a variety of media (film, sound, photography) What’s My Story?
• RULER connections: student-created charters for this class • Writing skills: revision, editing, story structure • Paper/Book making (from scratch)
Intersession is tremendously effective as a deep learning experience. Projects incorporate numerous skills such as
- Math skills (measuring, estimating, adding, subtracting, multiplying, etc.) are used in many projects
- Physics and engineering skills are used not only in the Power of Physics classes, but in the projects where students are building structures.
- Students are making decisions by analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information.