Natalie Belli is a fifth-grade humanities teacher at the Village School in Marblehead, Massachusetts where she integrates Project Zero practices and initiatives. She is a passionate devotee of literature, lifelong learning, and joyful teaching. Natalie embraces the unexpected and often laughs at her own mistakes. Her practice is featured in Ron Ritchhart’s book, Creating Cultures of Thinking and Angela Salmon’s new book (spring 2018), Authentic Teaching and Learning Pre-K – Fifth Grade. Natalie is currently using Culture of Thinking principles to guide her students’ learning in digital citizenship and online learning with Out of Eden Learn (HGSE Project Zero and Nat’l Geographic). Her students’ engagement prompted her to establish diverse book clubs for students 10-18 years and the Vagabonding Club, a multiage club that meets twice a week where students can slow down and look closely at global literature, view international films, and make connections to bigger stories.
Natalie admires the devotion and collaboration which Laura Manni and John Farrell provide to teachers, students, and friends. Natalie’s last visit to Mukwashi was with her daughter, Libby–an art teacher in Boston, MA. Students at Mukwashi created powerful art narratives depicting stories of heroism. She looks forward to returning to Mukwashi next year! Natalie presents learning at Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute, The International Conference on Thinking, and at schools in the USA, Europe, South America, and Africa.