Richman believes in the workshop approach to teaching Reading. How do students (and adults) learn to be better readers? By reading! In Reading Workshop, teachers teach a very short lesson whole-group and then give students extended amounts of time to practice new skills while reading books that they choose. While students are independently reading, teachers give personalized, targeted feedback to students one-on-one or in small groups. This is not your one-size-fits-all curriculum! Every classroom at Richman has a classroom library complete with the latest, high-interest fiction and nonfiction books, and we also purchase access to many online reading programs. We are mindful when selecting books for our classroom and school library that represent all cultures and celebrate diversity.
Richman believes strongly in the Workshop approach to teaching writing. Like during Reading Workshop, our students listen to a very short writing lesson and then spend the majority of their writing time---WRITING! While the students write for an extended period of time, the teachers give personalized, targeted feedback to students one-on-one or in small groups. That way, each writer learns at his/her individual level. Students are also rewarded for building stamina in writing, writing about topics that interest them, and on giving positive and constructive feedback to other student writers.
Richman believes that students need to learn conceptual mathematics as a strong basis for higher-level mathematical thinking. For example, we prioritize learning WHY an algorithm works as opposed to just teaching the algorithm. In addition, students practice speaking and writing about math daily! Students practice high-level problem solving daily and learn to critique the mathematical reasoning of others. Like Reading and Writing Workshop, students in Math Workshop spend the majority of the their math time practicing math... not listening to the teacher. While the students are working on math problems, the teacher concentrates on giving personalized feedback to students one-on-one or in small groups.