Learning Research Team
Several learning specialists work directly with small groups of students in reading, writing, and math in order to differentiate instruction to meet the learning needs of students. As a result of this small group work, students are able to participate more successfully in the full academic program.
In the early grades, explicit phonics instruction and skill work are integrated with meaningful language activities related to children’s literature. Children in the upper grades develop critical reading and writing strategies as they read narrative and expository texts. Beginning in the second grade, students are divided into accelerated and regular sections for mathematics instruction. A full-time mathematics specialist works with students and faculty to facilitate the implementation of a mathematics curriculum that is challenging for every student at every level of ability.
Beyond direct instruction of students, the LRT also is involved in consultation and collaboration with Lower School teachers, working together as members of the instructional teams. In concert with the administration, teachers, and parents, the LRT thinks deeply about the learning environment and the teaching strategies that will offer each child the most effective education Riverdale can provide.
The LRT oversees an ever-growing resource center of teaching materials and coordinates professional development opportunities. Together with the Lower School technology department and librarians, the LRT is in the process of creating guidelines for conducting research in the digital age.
In addition, the LRT extends its reach into the broader community by providing workshops for parents about significant issues in education. Recent parent evenings have included “The Role of Autonomy and Organization in Education” and “School-Related Demands and Developmental Expectations.”