Lower School Skills Class
Students in lower school have two periods of language each day. All lower school students have one period of Language Skills, and depending on their age level, either have a period of Language Arts or a period of Written Language. I Group students have an additional period of Enrichment class.
There are usually 2 to 3 students in a Language Skills class, and the content follows a scope and sequence of language mastery developed by Project Read. Project Read is Orton-Gillingham based; the content is taught in a sequential, structured, and cumulative fashion. Students work to improve their reading, handwriting, spelling and fluency skills. Teachers draw from a number of multisensory reading programs, including those developed by Project Read, Wilson, Lindamood-Bell, Neuhaus, and Sounds and Syllables. Students are grouped according to their level of mastery in this scope and sequence, as well as by their learning style. Progress is formally assessed two times during the school year using the Pre/Post Phonics Assessment developed by Project Read, as well as a fluency benchmark. In addition, standardized testing is administered in the spring of each year. The standardized testing battery includes portions of the BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills-Revised (CIBS-R) and the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test-4.
Touch Sensitive Flat Screen in Skills Class
The Language Arts curriculum covers other language topics/skills that are not addressed specifically in skills class. Because our students all have language-based learning issues, having an additional language class each day helps to further remediate and advance the students in the area of language. Students study grammar and sentence structure, oral and written language, handwriting, story-mapping, and vocabulary. Through these activities, they improve analytical thinking skills.
We teach writing similar to how we teach reading, in that the “whole” is broken into its “pieces.” We use the Framing Your Thoughts program from Project Read to teach grammar and sentence structure.
This class is designed to give each I Group student time to develop additional language and organization skills needed to transition successfully into middle school. Topics include the history of language/alphabet and an examination of learning styles. Students practice keyboard and handwriting skills, research techniques, and writing.