The ICEI’s instructional model is based on Balanced Literacy approach using the Workshop Model of instruction developed over the past 20 years by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University and adapted for teaching Hebrew in Israel. This model has proven successful in more than a thousand schools in the United States and in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
ICEI students are given the tools, habits and experience to enable them to become independent readers and writers – in short, independent learners. Students in the program read a lot and write a lot, far more than students in other Israeli elementary schools. They are 10- 15 hours of literacy instruction per week, compared to 4-8 hours in most Israeli schools. They receive daily reading mini-lessons, and read on their own in class for half an hour every day. Students are required to take books home, where they are encouraged to read at least half an hour every day. They also have mini-lessons in writing and engage in half an hour of independent writing time three to five times a week. They learn to identify promising ideas, to develop those ideas, and to deepen their writing and improve its clarity through multiple revisions. The children are taught to write in a variety of genres, including personal narrative, short fiction, persuasive essays, information books, and research papers.
ICEI students are given the tools and experience to become independent readers and writers – in short, independent learners.
ICEI teachers make books come alive. They help students visualize the story, anticipate developments and connect the stories with their own lives and other reading they have done. The result is that ICEI’s students not only master reading and writing but fall in love with books and reading as well.
ICEI uses special classroom management routines that eliminate the vast majority of behavioral problems and provide a calm and peaceful atmosphere for learning. These routines provide a clear structure to class-time and help teachers and students know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them. The result is that students and teachers alike are calmer and more focused, spending far more of their time on task.