Reading and Writing Workshop:
Arts in Action believes that the building blocks of literacy are not only made up of a set of skills, but that these skills in isolation will not help students become competent readers, writer's speakers and listeners. Students must become critical thinkers as they read and write, and be able to become readers and writers. In the workshop model students truly "learn by doing." Children build individual identities as readers by reading books at their "just right" level. Students spend extensive time actually reading each day (not talking about reading or answering questions about reading.) Students develop fluency through guided reading, individual conferencing, and small group instruction. Similarly, students build identities as writers by writing on a daily basis. Daily writing is not corrected and inventive spelling is encouraged, however, students are guided in revising and adding to their writing pieces.
Arts in Action's math curriculum will develop conceptual understanding and thinking skills students need to apply mathematical skills to real world contexts. The math curriculum will also help students develop logical thinking, problem-solving capabilities, the ability to monitor their thinking, and a sense of intellectual confidence in math. One of Engage NY's key strengths is that it is set up to help teachers enact learning at a higher level of cognitive demand. Engage NY's framework develops mathematical problem solving through the following phases--concrete, pictorial, abstract, and model-drawing. Engage NY was first implemented in NY with significant success. The structured lesson outline utilizes scaffolding, differentiation and reinforces math skills while teaching new ones. This increases students' ability to obtain mastery of concepts taught.