Multisensory lessons based on the Orton-Gillingham Approach are utilized to teach phonological awareness, reading, written expression, oral language, listening comprehension, math, science, and social studies. Each day includes three periods dedicated to developing sequencing and gross motor skills through structured recess, free-play recess, Tang Soo Do, and Stretch and Grow fitness classes.
Oral Language and Listening Comprehension:
A Speech-Language Pathologist on staff works daily alongside primary teachers in the classroom to help students develop strategies that improve their receptive and expressive language skills. Enrichment activities develop sequencing and gross motor skills through Tang Soo Do and Stretch and Grow fitness classes.
Phonological Awareness and Reading:
Students use various exercises to explore the number, order, and sameness or difference of sounds and then compare, contrast and track speech sounds in a sequence. Syllable division, spelling rules, and generalizations are taught directly. Phonetically balanced readers are used with the lessons to ensure success and to reinforce the principles that have been taught. Meaningful reading comprehension skills are explicitly taught.
Cursive handwriting is introduced from the very beginning to help children master directionality, reduce letter reversals, and build writing fluency. Written expression skills begin with oral group participation in composition of single words, word lists, and sentences while sharpening the students' abilities to use precise, descriptive language. Students are involved in brainstorming, categorizing, classifying, and sequencing. Syntax and semantics are emphasized. Self-monitoring of performance and proofreading skills are utilized so students develop independent work skills.
In math lessons students are encouraged to build problems with concrete materials so they can see the underlying place value concepts. The Math-U-See curriculum provides multi-sensory reinforcement as students build it, write it, say it, and teach it back. Concepts are arranged sequentially from simple to complex.
Content Classes (science and social studies):
Content is used as a means to equip students with the ability to recognize, process, and organize the basic elements of language. Science class fosters curiosity in students through inquiry-based teaching with an emphasis on observation. Social Studies allows students to explore historical events through age-appropriate and interactive exercises.