To become a strong writer, one must write a lot.
Each session, middle school learners are presented with a writing challenge during Genre, which occurs twice each week during the afternoon. The writing challenge for learners in Session 2 is to complete a work of short fiction.
Every morning in the elementary studio begins with a morning launch, a Socratic discussion that allows learners to practice making critical real-world decisions. In an ideal Socratic discussion, learners practice the Rules of Engagement, make difficult choices, share their ideas, and listen to others’ views.
As Halloween approaches, the Montessori learners have been focusing on the human body. During morning circle, the learners compared X-rays of human bones to pictures in a book and arranged the X-rays to construct a skeleton. Learners took turns comparing and arranging the X-rays.
Learners have been enjoying making flag crafts during morning outdoor time. They have been learning that each part of the flag has a different name such as field, canton, flagstaff, or hoist. While the learners may only remember a few of these terms, the goal is not retention. Rather this practice helps learners appreciate the specificity and diversity of language. Learners experience hearing and making different sounds as well as internalizing how language can classify the world in a seemingly infinite number of ways.
This year, Acton Middle School kicked off its Adventure Program with a trip to the Washington Sailing Marina in Alexandria, VA. The Adventure Program is designed to challenge learners mentally and physically.
At the beginning of each year, elementary studio learners are introduced to the Challenge Donut. The Challenge Donut is a visual metaphor that helps learners identify when a task is challenging but not overwhelming.
Dear Whittle School Families,
We were sorry to read about the closing of the Whittle School’s DC campus.
We invite those who are quickly searching for alternatives to sign up for a virtual tour of Acton Academy of Washington, DC in Foggy Bottom. We have few spaces for the 2022-23 school year as follows:
- Two spaces left in our Montessori primary program (ages 3-6)
- One space left in our lower elementary program (grades 1-3)
- Two spaces in our upper elementary program (grades 4-5)
- Two spaces in our middle school program (grades 6-8)
Acton Academy of Washington, DC was founded in 2018—about the same time as the Whittle School. We have deliberately chosen to grow slowly, carefully, serving one family at a time. We take our promises seriously. And we have have quietly earned a reputation for excellence.
This year, we were pleased that U.S. News & World Report named Acton on a list of ten top DC private elementary schools including Sidwell Friends, Beauvoir National Cathedral School, Georgetown Day School, and Maret.
Throughout the year, we use a range of metaphors in the elementary studio to put words to the ebbs and flows of the hero’s journey. These include the “Challenge Donut,” “Rubber Bands,” and “Flow.”
Each month learners regularly discover new books in the studio library. For example, in the spring, books about insects and spring complement the work they find around the studio. Learners will also find books exploring the culture and geography of whichever continent they're currently studying. All learners have access to a library in our studio on the first floor. Learners who nap after lunch in the garden level also have their own rotating selection of books to peruse before drifting off to sleep!