At Dwight-Englewood, reading centers around “Reading Workshop” which teaches the skills children need to develop into life-long readers. In Reading Workshop, students choose (sometimes with teacher guidance) books that are “just right” for them. They read for meaning and purpose, and they share what they read with others. Reading Workshop gives students a lot of time to read. Research tells us that the amount of independent reading students do in school is directly related to their progress as readers, as well as a source of vocabulary growth and reading fluency.
As part of our ongoing curriculum review, the Lower School looks closely and carefully at its Reading and Writing programs and instruction. The intent is to build a powerful “vertical curriculum” that aligns itself closely with what is done in the Middle and Upper Schools. Results of this work include the school-wide adoption and shared understanding of the term “Writing Workshop” and a purposeful writing curriculum.
In the Lower School, problem-based learning is emphasized throughout the process of learning mathematics. Putting any skill into context helps to “hook” it more effectively. Learning math works the same way: our children are encouraged to collaborate, “talk math”, present their own innovative, creative solutions to math problems that are presented to them, and gain confidence in the power of their own problem-solving.
In addition to language arts and mathematics, Lower School students experience a rich and coordinated curriculum in the areas of social studies, science, physical education, art, music and science. These subjects are highly valued in our school and provide students with expanded opportunities to learn, share ideas and understand themselves and the world around them through multiple disciplines.