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Our Approach

The following research-based models serve as a framework for teaching practices at The Rhoades School:

Habits of Mind (Bena Kallick and Art Costa) are the characteristics of what intelligent people do when they are confronted with problems, that do not have readily apparent solutions.  At The Rhoades School, we integrate the teaching of 16 Habits of Mind in academic and social settings.

Renzulli’s Three-Ring Model consists of three characteristic identified by Joseph Renzulli as markers of giftedness: above-average intelligence, creativity, and task commitment. Through our admission process we identify students with these characteristics. Once enrolled in our school, students use their creativity, commitment and intelligence to master our challenging curriculum in collaboration with like-minded peers.

SAMR Model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) is a method of using technology to impact teaching and learning created by Ruben Puentedura at Harvard University.  Rather than using technology to perform the same task that was done before the use of technology, we strive to engage students in new tasks that were previously inconceivable.  SAMR is a continuum of technology use, with substitution and augmentation enhancing the teaching and learning process, and modification and redefinition transforming the process.

Social & Emotional Learning at The Rhoades School is grounded in our core value of intrinsic motivation. Through classroom meetings and carefully planned lessons, teachers help students to learn emotional literacy, empathy, perspective and moral courage.

Thinking Maps is a language of eight visual patterns, each focused on a cognitive skill.  We all learn in many different ways, however, research by Eric Jensen and Robert Marzano supports the belief that our ability to learn visually is greater than any of our other senses.  Thinking Maps provides a common language for students and faculty across grade levels and disciplines.

Understanding by Design (UBD) Framework is used in our school to plan curriculum that meets the needs of our above-average, creative and highly motivated students.  Our faculty uses the UBD model to first identify the content knowledge and skills that need to develop as a result of a unit, to determine acceptable evidence of learning and plan instructional strategies around the six facets of understanding: explain, interpret, apply, perspective, empathy, and self-knowledge.  For more information view Jay McTighe speak about UBD.

Homework at the Rhoades School

  1. From research we know that the amount of homework a student does in elementary and middle school does not impact their academic achievement.  Academic gains from homework are found only in the high school years and they are slight.
  2. The Rhoades School has a no homework policy for weekends.  That means we do not assign homework on Friday that is due on Monday.  Also, we do not assign homework on Thursday that is due on Monday but is clearly too much to complete in one night.
  3. We believe that students should have down time to reflect, renew, think and create.  We believe that students should have at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
  4. Based on individual family situations, we encourage students to use time on the weekends to complete their homework should their weeknights be full of activities.

Homework Resource: Five Hallmarks of Good Homework