Curriculum & Instruction

How We Teach

Boston Renaissance applies a student-centered approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing student independence and rigorous instruction utilizing effective questioning techniques.  These instructional practices are core to our philosophy of having high expectations for students and providing a high-quality, rigorous education.

Our teachers engage students as leaders in their own education, allowing them to articulate and demonstrate their learning and comprehension, while respectfully challenging responses and fostering classroom debate. We create classroom settings that are safe and supportive, with consistent structure and clear expectations for students.

 

Curricula & Assessments

English Language Arts

The BRCPS Literacy Model incorporates several high-quality instructional tools in order to meet the multiple levels of student abilities and needs in each Renaissance classroom.  Wonders is utilized as the core ELA curriculum, and is supplemented with other scientifically-based research programs such as Project Read, Lively Letters, and Early Reading Intervention, as well as computer-based interventions, which include Lexia, Read Naturally, and i-Ready.

Literacy instruction at Boston Renaissance is built around the concept of “universal design”, This means early reading intervention is built into the regular curriculum, and the overall model is designed to ensure reading success for all students.

BRCPS utilizes several screening, diagnostic, and formative assessment systems to inform instructional strategies and monitor student progress.  These assessment tools include DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), GRADE (Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Reading Evaluation) and A-NET (Achievement Network).

Math

Our math curriculum is Eureka Math, published by Great Minds.  Eureka Math connects math to the real world to take the fear out of math and build student confidence—helping students achieve true understanding of mathematical concepts.

Eureka Math’s elementary level curriculum, A Story of Units, is based on three overarching concepts: A coherent lesson structure, a story, and an assessment.

  • Lesson Structure:  Each lesson consists of four parts: fluency, application problems, conceptual understanding and student debrief. This lesson structure helps teachers lead students through fast-paced practice, encourage perseverance, and foster thoughtful development of understanding. The structure helps the teachers focus their energy on engaging students in the mathematical story through the introduction of challenging problems that call for quantitative and creative thinking.
  • Story: The curricular design for A Story of Units is based on the principle that mathematics is most effectively taught as a logical, engaging story. At the elementary level, the story’s main character is the basic building block of arithmetic, or the unit. Themes like measurement, place value, and fractions run throughout the storyline, and each is given the amount of time proportionate to its role in the overall story. The story climaxes when students learn to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions; and solve multistep word problems with multiplicative and additive comparisons.
  • Assessment:  Well-designed materials quickly and accurately identify student misconceptions and misunderstandings around content. Because they promote self-monitoring and self-improvement, assessment tools also serve as learning devices for students and are thus essential for creating effective student teacher partnerships.

Our staffing model also facilitates the use of differentiated instruction, employing a team of math and literacy intervention specialists, working with students in pull-out sessions and in the classroom, working alongside core classroom teachers.

Supported by these staffing structures and classroom configurations, small-group instruction is a core facet of our approach to teaching and learning, interwoven into every classroom and every teacher’s training.

Across grade levels, we emphasize higher-order learning to ensure scholars develop critical thinking skills, confidence, and a true love of learning. BRCPS Instructional Coach
Science

 

Boston Renaissance recently adopted the interactive, curiosity-driven MYSTERY SCIENCE curriculum.

 

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Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum FrameworkTHE MYSTERY SCIENCE CURRICULUM FRAMES EVERY LESSON AS A MYSTERY.

 

“Where does sound come from”?


“Who set the first clock?”,


“How do we know what dinosaurs looked like?”

Dinosaur Dig Day photo

Starting with natural questions about the world around us, each mystery engages students from the very beginning of each unit with hands-on interactive lessons guiding them to question, investigate, hypothesize, experiment and draw conclusions.

Find out more about Mystery Science and their goals at https://mysteryscience.com/mission