Think Tank: Academic Support and Enrichment
Think Tank is our learning resource center, focused on support, acceleration, and enrichment to provide support for all kinds of learners.
RPRY employs highly qualified learning specialists as part of our Think Tank who collaborate with classroom teachers to innovate and develop modules to meet the needs of all students, including accelerated and extra support learners, by providing more diverse learning options. We design the program to be flexible and provide both push-in and pull-out opportunities.
Additional services are available for students deemed eligible by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).
A metacognitive educational philosophy underpins the RPRY approach to teaching. Metacognition, or thinking about one’s own thinking, refers to the processes used to plan, monitor and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognitive practices increase students’ ability to transfer learning to new contexts. Students learn to recognize their confusion, acknowledge difficulties and then plan how to expand their knowledge and extend their abilities. Teachers model their own thinking processes and self-reflection for students. Students are encouraged to recognize conceptual changes in themselves. They may ask, “How has my own understanding changed? Before, I thought….now I know…” Students of all ages can engage in these practices in a developmentally appropriate way.
To bolster these habits of mind across the school, Think Tank is a re-envisioning and expansion of our current enrichment and support services. This year is the exhilarating first step toward the full realization of our Think Tank vision. A think tank connotes the idea of people gathering together for intellectual problem solving. Think Tank promotes opportunities to tackle complex problems in a collaborative and self-reflective manner. Each student has the opportunity to learn and grow based on his or her individual learning profile within a community of learners.
Think Tank learning specialist teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers to innovate and develop modules to meet the needs of all students, including accelerated and extra support learners, by providing more diverse learning options. The learning specialist supports the classroom teacher in long-term planning, using a judicious mix of push-in/pull-out sessions.
Think Tank activities provide robust opportunities for problem solving while continuing to support crucial foundational skills. Mathematical topics are approached with a growth mindset. Areas of interest may include: logic, unsolved mathematical problems, geometry, number theory, early mathematics/math systems of other cultures, infinities, and new, exciting developments in the field of mathematics. Language arts modules weave more depth into the classroom instruction, with sophisticated writing and presentation opportunities. It may also include reading and activities related to companion works of fiction, nonfiction, drama or poetry of high caliber.
RPRY’s metacognitive framework is a unique and groundbreaking amalgam of Jewish values and current research in education, which together will drive the transformative quality of our education.
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