Integrated Projects Week
I thought to share the following note about the Integrated Projects Week (IPW) from my son Lu's teacher Linda Vasu (with Linda's permission), because I think that The School at Columbia is good at using the local resources as a learning community besides taking advantage of new technologies.
Each semester, the school has an Integrated Projects Week (IPW). In IPW, the kids of different grades mix, form a group of 5-6 kids each, and conduct a project with a particular theme for a whole week. Kids get to choose what themes they prefer and there are different projects, e.g., touring, drawing, cooking, experimenting with scientific concepts, etc.. Each group produces some products at the end of the week such as concrete architecture, slideshows of photographs or videos with stories, scientific experiments, or blog writings. Parents are invited to see their final products at the end of the week.
Lu always looks forward to the IPW. I thought that there were quite several benefits of such an IPW: 1) it socializes kids of different grade levels so that they can learn from and help each other; 2) it turns the local community into a learning community; 3) it's fun for kids because they get to "play" for the whole week.
I think this is a great approach for us to think about our EdLab projects.
From: Linda Vasu [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 11:47 PM
Here we go.... Welcome!
Talk of The Town is for those interested in walking, observing, sampling cupcakes, engaging in conversation and the literary scene in a selection of neighborhoods — and writing! We'll be taking the subway, and we'll be walking...so wear comfortable shoes and dress WARMLY. BRING YOUR LUNCH; we'll eat back at school, after our morning travels and tastings.
IPW Project Description:
Did you know that New York is a Cupcake Town? That there's a film script in development called The Cupcake Wars? That cupcakes sell books?
Let's figure out why…..
Each morning we'll visit a neighborhood independent book store and a nearby cupcake cafe or bakery. We'll browse and stroll, taste and talk. By 1:30 we'll be back at The School, where you'll develop and work for a few hours each day on your own writing project: cupcake reviews, book profiles, book store blogs, personal journalism, poems, lyrics…you name it. Or you can develop a series of read-alouds for one of the lower grades....
Project Learning Goals/Objectives:
- To learn about the NYC independent bookstore scene
- To discover and define the concept of taste and a personal aesthetic, as we get a taste of bookstores, books, cupcakes
- To use personal experience as a stimulus for creative writing
- To try varieties of writing and find a form of expression that best “fitsï¿½? intended content.
- To respond to the spontaneous changes of direction that writing, though planned, often takes
- To become a practitioner of story-finding, story-developing, story-revising
- To learn the art of craftsmanship
- To complete a mini-portfolio of written work by the end of IPW
Here's the possible schedule:
Friday, December 16: Columbia University neighborhood In case of a transit strike and bad weather, we'll stay in the neighborhood.
Priority: The Plan
Together we'll frame the IPW and your writing project.
We'll look at cupcake blogs, cupcake reviews, book blogs and reviews online and in The New Yorker and New York Magazine.
Then we'll go out.
Columbia University Bookstore
Bank Street Bookstore
Papyrus 114 & B'way
Silver Moon Bakery
Monday, December 19: Union Square area
Subway: Broadway local to 18 St.
Books of Wonder 18 W. 18 St. (212-989-3270)/Cupcake Cafe is next door/City Bakery is across the street Strand Used Bookstore, 828 Broadway at 12th Street, 212-473-1452 Lectorum, 137 W. 14 St. (betw 6th and 7th Avenues) largest Spanish language bookstore in the U.S.
Tuesday, December 20: West Village area
Subway: 1 or 9
Itinerary # 3:
Three Lives & Company Bookstore, 154 W. 10 St (212-741-2069).
Partners & Crime, mystery booksellers, 44 Greenwich Avenue, corner of Charles St.(212-243-0440) Biography Bookstore, Bleecker and W. 10 St (212-807-8655)
Mary's Off Jane, 34 8th Avenue
Polka Dot Cake Studio, 312 Bleecker Street
Wednesday, December 21: Harlem
Subway: Broadway local to 125 St
Priority: finish projects
Hue-Mann Bookstore, African-American childrens books Make My Cake, 139 St and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd
Soho and Nolita
Subway: Broadway to 42 Street, F to Delancey McNally Robinson Bookstore, 50 Prince Street (betw Lafayette and Mulberry)
Housing Works Used Bookstore Cafe 126 Crosby (betw Houston and Prince)
Sugar Sweet Sunshine, 126 Rivington Street Babycakes, 248 Broome Street
Grade Level Coordinator/Humanities/High School Placement
The School at Columbia University
556 W. 110 Street
New York, NY 10025