PRIED’s approach in education aims to create connections between academic disciplines and the real world. Whether it be language arts or science, PRIED strives to develop engaged 21st century citizens.
PRIED students utilizes a Singapore Math based curriculum. Math in Focus was chosen because of its strong focus on skills and mathematical thinking. Math at PRIED enables individualized student advancement. Using the Flipped Classroom model students begin new math concepts at home through instructional videos. What was traditionally done as homework is now done in the classroom with personalized guidance. This inverted, individualized approach creates an environment facilitating student learning and mastery. Students work at their own pace and are encouraged to set goals for themselves. For students that complete the 3rd course, the opportunity to begin either Geometry or Algebra II exists.
Utilizing the comprehensive Cover Story curriculum, students explore writing via poetry, blog posts, and short stories. Students create formal writing pieces related to other areas currently being studied, including persuasive essays, and non-fiction research articles. Students also engage in daily journal writing and weekly current events exploration with a focus on creating summaries. In addition to writing, students develop public speaking skills through both planned and extemporaneous speaking opportunities.
PRIED has partnered with the Delaware Nature Society (DNS) to provide our students the opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of earth, space, life and physical sciences. DNS will engage students in exploring and investigating science through a problem based approach that blends science & engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Next Generation Science Standards will guide the instruction of Earth, Life and Physical Science.
PRIED students explore culture in both present and historical forms. Incorporated into daily studies are reviews of global current events. An understanding of the issues chosen is deepened through facilitated discussions, statistical analysis and the use of Google Earth. History is presented through literature and then explored further through project-based learning. Expeditionary learning trips extend the students understanding of history and culture, providing numerous opportunities to make individualized connections with their world.
The Spanish program joins didactic learning with a foreign language coach. Individualized study occurs as each student works independently with Descubre’s on- line applications. Interactive study occurs as students spend time in small groups and with the foreign language educator.
In a technology-driven classroom, student become adept at maneuvering among devices and software. PRIED students utilize Google Classroom as the platform for their work. In addition to the technology within the classroom, students learn beginning coding with programs such as Scratch, Alice and Python. Digital Citizenship is also embedded in the curriculum teaching our adolescents the importance of appropriate and responsible behaviors.
Study of music is connected to the humanities’ curriculum and expeditionary learning. This integration allows dynamic learning. As an example, PRIED students will travel to the Annenburg Center at the University of Pennsylvania to hear the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble. This performance blends music and cultural history, opening a new way to view the beginnings of the civil rights era in America.
Art at PRIED is more than just the creation of artwork. It aims for both artistic learning and self expression. Areas of study include: The creative process, Mindful observation of our World, The elements of Art and principles of Design, and The role of Art in history, society and everyday live. Through trips such as visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Henry Mercer Mansion, the students’ studies and artwork are brought into broader perspective as they view, first-hand, the artistic expressions of others.
About the Flipped Learning Model
Flipped learning is a learner-centered model in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space. It “flips” traditional work done at home into the classroom. The main goal of a flipped classroom is to enhance student learning and achievement.
A flipped class facilitates differentiated instruction (flexible groupings, scaffolded content, diverse instruction). This can be difficult to accomplish in group settings. Flipped lessons enable instruction to be responsive to each student’s readiness, learning style and prior knowledge. This approach shifts the teacher’s role to a facilitator in the students acquisition of knowledge as opposed to the traditional classroom setting where the teacher is the disseminator of information.
Flipped learning allows for self-paced work. The student who needs more time to achieve mastery doesn’t get left behind and the student who masters the same concept quickly is able to move on. As a result, both learners reach their individualized potential, and many times, student behavior in class improves as each child is more engaged.. No one is idly sitting in class.
Flipped moves the entry level instruction to outside of the classroom, into a personalized environment at home, whether it be bouncing on an exercise ball, lying on their bed or sitting at a desk. The self-paced video instruction allows the student to experience the “power of the pause” empowering the learner to control the rate at which the lesson is delivered. To be able to “interrupt” the lesson if the student is confused, and “rewind” to hear the content again, is an incredibly empowering tool.
Increased Student Engagement
The flipped classroom raises student engagement and collaboration. With the introductory instruction accomplished prior to class time, in-class activities allow for greater depth of topics, activity learning, group work, and practice problems. Students engage in peer learning, sharing their knowledge with each other. Teachers are easily able to identify gaps in understanding, errors in thinking, or mis-concepts in application as well as be more available for one-on-one instruction.