RPRY’s professional development day engaged teachers in hands-on electives to hone their teaching craft through carefully designed art, improv theater, and gym classes.
The day started with elective opportunities in the arts which served a double purpose. One was to give teachers an opportunity to collaborate and engage in actives which promote teamwork. It also engaged the teachers in reflection of their own metacognitive processes in learning unfamiliar material - doing activities outside their comfort zones and new to them. The second purpose was for teachers to take techniques from the arts and integrate them into each subject area.
Then the general studies faculty focused on language arts and teachers teaching teachers. RPRY is rolling out the Writing Revolution, a foundational writing program that builds core writing skills from the sentence up, across all subject areas and domains. Three of our own teachers shared their new knowledge with colleagues, spearheaded by Mrs. Emily Menasha and supported by Mr. Carl Limerick and Mrs. Meryl Silver. Then Mrs. Penny Kaplan, a highly trained Wilson Reading Teacher of Students with Dyslexia, shared her expertise with the teachers of grades K-2 as they transition to incorporate Fundations Reading Program, a program which provides students with strategies and lays the groundwork for lifelong literacy.
In the afternoon, the general studies teachers collaborated in cohorts to implement best practices using the many individualized computer based programs RPRY uses to meet individualized needs of students. The Kindergarten teachers continued their immersion in Handwriting without Tears program focusing on strategies for preventing letter and number reversals.
The Judaic studies and Early Childhood departments focused on project based learning. Mrs. Tikvah Weiner joined RPRY to do a workshop with teachers encouraging the them to implement more project based learning the curriculums. The teachers had opportunities to follow up and reorient their curriculums to be more project aligned. Mrs. Chana Luchins, the Assistant Principal of General Studies, described the program; “everything was carefully constructed for teachers to be mindful and intentional in their goal setting, whatever their subject. We already do a great deal of project based learning, but it is intentionality and clear goals are what unify the educational vision of the school. Again, this being under the rubric of metacognition, that a metacognitive teacher is mindful of goal setting and how those goals need to be revised in response to the student’s needs."
Early Childhood faculty examined several key practical metacognitive practices and how could they implement them in the classroom, facilitated by Helene Lockspeiser and Rabbi Joshua Einzig. Such practices include reflective learning logs and building positive self talk/affirmations, in which children become aware of their inner voice.
RPRY is committed to faculty enrichment, keeping our education and educators supported with best practices in the field.