Elements of Acton: Self-Directed Learning

  • Mastery learning
  • Self-directed learning
  • Real-world projects
  • Socratic discussions
  • Identifying strengths and passions

Self-Directed Learning: What It Is

Self-directed learning puts students in charge of their own learning process. In a self-directed learning environment students are responsible for setting learning goals, monitoring progress, and evaluating their work.

How We Use Self-Directed Learning at Acton

Students at Acton Elementary learn how to set daily, weekly, and session learning goals, which they monitor and report on. Once they become adept at goal setting and tracking, they are able to choose what to work on during core skills (math, reading, writing) time. For example, one Acton student could choose to work only on math for three weeks before switching to writing, while another might prefer to spend time on math, reading, and writing each day. However a student chooses to divide his/her work, all students monitor their progress to ensure they are balancing the core skills and challenging themselves.

More on Self-Directed Learning

Here are some helpful resources on self-directed learning:

Self-Directed Learning
A summary of self-directed learning, including some of the benefits, such as fostering students who are “motivated and persistent, independent, self-disciplined, self-confident and goal-oriented.”

20 Tips to Promote a Self-Directed Classroom Culture
This list of tips for supporting self-directed learners includes making it safe to fail, fostering peer support, and removing limitations.

Sparking Children's Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Acton Children's Business Fair

The third annual Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC took place May 12. This year’s business fair buzzed with the activity of 125 young entrepreneurs delighting over 3,300 customers with everything from tooth fairy monsters to Star-Wars-themed noodles, hand-dyed jump ropes, race car crayons, and more.

The Washington Post featured the business fair on the front page of its Sunday metro section under the headline "At a D.C. business fair, kids test their entrepreneurial skills — and cash in." We love how the article captures the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the young business owners!

The Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC is now the largest children’s business fair in the country, outside the original in Austin.

A one-day showcase of the power of entrepreneurship for even the youngest children, the Acton Children’s Business Fair invites children ages 6 to 14 to create a business, sell to real customers, and keep the profits. We provide tents and tables. It’s that simple. Along the way, children learn about entrepreneurship and, more importantly, about themselves and what they are capable of.


Highlights from the Acton Children's Business Fair Launch Party

We enjoyed seeing everyone who came to the Launch Party for the Acton Children's Business Fair of Washington, DC Saturday!

We heard from four young entrepreneurs about their experiences as business owners:

  • Danielle, 15, owner of Save the Moms, acknowledged that starting a business is scary and said that being part of the Acton Children’s Business Fair boosted her confidence.
  • Kalimah, 13, founder of Dinkra Stylez, told us that one of the hardest parts of running her business is deciding how to price her products (and making sure she doesn’t underpay herself!).
  • Joshua, 11, of Organic Plants Ahoy! + Wiggly Worms, shared that one of the things he loves about owning his own business is seeing people interested in his products.
  • And Isabella, 7, founder of Bella’s Workshop, emphasized the importance of starting a business from passion.

We also talked about the 3 Magic Seeds and how they can be a helpful tool for starting a business.

3 Magic Seeds for Starting a Business

  1. Passion - What do you love?
  2. Sales - How can you turn what you love into something other people want to buy?
  3. Profit - If your business is successful, what will you do with the money you earn?

Learn more about the 3 Magic Seeds and find other resources for young entrepreneurs.

Announcing Acton’s New Home in Foggy Bottom

Row House Image 1500 Pixels RBG.png

We are very excited to announce that Acton Academy of Washington, DC has found a home in the Foggy Bottom historic district, a lovely residential neighborhood in the heart of Washington, DC!

Acton students will embark on their entrepreneurial journey in the Carwithen House, a fully-renovated historic row house on the campus of St. Paul’s Parish and within walking distance of The Kennedy Center, Potomac River, Lincoln Memorial, and many other historic and cultural sites. 

Located on K Street and just steps from the Foggy Bottom-GWU metro, Acton’s location is convenient for families who commute to downtown DC.

Visit Acton’s New Location!

We’d love to show you Acton’s new location! Join us for an open house at St. Paul’s Parish or sign up for a tour.