Projects 2019


1.  Documenting Learning in the Early years
How can we use documentation to make learning more visible to our students, parents and school community?

Our research is about finding an effective way to use documentation as a tool to make learning and teaching visible, to take a snapshot of thinking, to make public what we value based on our new educational culture. Our goal is to change our reporting system by documenting the learning process based on a more flexible and open student-driven approach.

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KEYWORDS: Early years: reporting system: documentation: learning stories: student driven

The Early Years Documentation Team: Nancy Loschiavo; Irene Romeo; Nicky Shamash;

  1. Focusing on Research Based Early Literacy Practices with Children Ages 3-8
    What does research tell us about developmentally appropriate Early Literacy practices for children ages 3-8?

    How can we ensure all students have a solid early literacy foundation at the International School of Florence? Becoming literate is a continuous developmental process that begins very early in life.  Although reading and writing abilities continue to develop throughout the lifespan, the early childhood years from birth through age eight are the most important period for literacy development (NAEYC and IRA 2009)…

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Early literacy ·Print awareness. Intervention · Phonological awareness  Phonics-Orthography· Instructional Dicotomies. Sensitive periods. Invented spelling

Diane Lutz, Reading Intervention Specialist; Mary Rose, Grade 4 Teacher

  1. How can we integrate digital technologies to improve teaching and learning?


Research shows that digital skills are best acquired when technology is used as a tool for learning, and facilitates access to curriculum, rather than simply being the curriculum itself. So, how does this approach apply to ISF? This research will present the rationale, methodology and results of interventions aimed at examining the impact of an integrated approach to technology in the classroom.

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Technology, curriculum development, teaching tools, digital society, student agency, skills and knowledge, integration

Researchers: M. Boscherini, T. Dean, C. Ewing, V. Tosatti;;;;

  1. Social and Emotional learning/teaching methods in the HS Curriculum.

How can we improve the engagement, and general motivation for learning of our High School students?

My aim was to enhance my student’s engagement with their learning and overall motivation.  In particular how we as teachers can implement methods of teaching that support our students with more challenging issues that they face in the 21st century.  In addition taking into account factors outside of the classroom and within our school community.   My methodology was primarily based on the voice of our students through the use of qualitative data, observation, questionnaires, interviews, which focused on the overall question ‘what makes an effective classroom or learning environment for them’?

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KEYWORDS: motivation; engagement; independent learners, social emotional competence, teaching methods, effective teaching.

 RESEARCHER: Catherine McPhilemy;

5. How can a student-led approach combined with project-based learning motivate, challenge, and lead all students to success?

 My passion behind this research project stems from my own experience as a high-achieving yet rarely academically challenged student. I wanted to create a unit of study with the lofty goal of challenging my highest achieving students, while still engaging the entire class. I never wanted to single any student out, or create a unit that was impossible for some to achieve success with. Keeping all of these aims in mind, I set out to implement a unit of study in 8th grade social studies focused around the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and having the students create and play their very own board games.

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KEY WORDS: gifted and talented; exceptional learners; creativity; arts education; middle school; Student-led learning; project-based learning, motivation; aptitude; kinaesthetic learning.

RESEARCHER: Amanda Korsell Brown;