LEARNING THAT'S MORE THAN TEST DEEP

Our students probe deeper than “Who?” “What?” and “Where?” to ask “How?” and “Why?” Far more than short-term recall, a Congressional education builds long-term understanding applicable to a complex world.

"The shape of education has changed. As our world has become multidimensional, so has learning. Instead of teaching to tests, we teach for the long term by encouraging students to dig deep and apply what they learn. Knowing becomes more than recalling. It becomes understanding."
- Andrea Weiss, Director of Innovation and Learning

Hear and see the active learning taking place in our classrooms through this video highlighting STEM at Congressional School.

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Cookie Miners

While learning about minerals, 4th graders went into the mining business but not the kind you would expect. They carefully invested “$20” on tools (toothpick or paperclip) and ore (a cookie) and then mined for chocolate chips. They then cashed in their chips by weight to see which pair of students had the largest profit margin in the end!

mining for cookies

Constructing a Home

As Jr. Kindergarten learned all about houses, they decided to build their own! They decorated the materials and strategized how to build it. They constructed it together and problem solved as a group as they encountered structural weaknesses.

jr kindergarten design

Walking in Others' "Shoes"

While studying the world's water crisis in science, students filled water jugs and carried them up and down the field barefoot (without spilling) to gain perspective about kids in other countries needing to carry water long distances just to have water to drink, cook, and bathe in.

 

This activity joined with math to measure the distances in metrics to later find mean, median, mode, range and graph their recordings.

water walk

Shared Learning for All Ages

We share our learning throughout the grades. We learn from each other. When there's a dissection... perfect opportunity for our younger learners to observe and ask questions and for our older students to be role models. 

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Field Trips

Students in preschool - 8th grade participate in field trips that enhance their learning experience. We take advantage of our location in Northern Virginia near DC, which provides ample opportunities to supplement every academic subject. Last year, students participated in more than 50 off-campus experiential learning activities, visiting educational sites near and far from school.

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Discovering Fibonacci

After reading a book about young Fibonacci, 3rd graders get to search for the Fibonacci sequence in flower petals, pinecones, and pine needles. It's everywhere and they take the time to find it to discover for themselves.

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Through all grades, we want our students to go beyond their first thoughts and carefully think about a topic, problem solve, and create—no matter the subject—as shown in this design cycle drawing by one of our students.

Straight from Our Faculty

We asked our teachers to think about ways they see "Learning That's More Than Test Deep" in their classrooms and around our school and jot down quick notes for discussion. Here's a glimpse at a few of them...

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