The primary grades are 1st and 2nd (A & C Groups)
The primary program offers an emotionally sound, environmental structure that creates desire, joy, encouragement, and opportunity for knowledge complementing each child's unique style of learning.
The programs are designed to meet the individual needs of the students. They incorporate a diagnostic and prescriptive approach that utilizes multi-sensory techniques to enhance the learning styles of each child. The social, emotional, physical, and educational needs are an integral part of each profile. The innovative language-based curriculum promotes receptive, expressive, and language processing skills, as well as vocabulary enhancement. This stimulates the child to think about language metacognitively. The self-contained classes for phonological awareness, reading, written expression, oral language, listening comprehension, math, and social studies are based on the following Orton-Gillingham principles:
- Ordered daily presentation and materials
- New concepts based on previous learning (cumulative)
- Concepts taught gradually, one at a time, with adequate practice
- Precise steps in procedures
- Sequential steps introduced through all avenues of perception (multi-sensory)
- Stronger cognitive functions support weaker ones until all are developed adequately
- Rapid rotation of activities
- Small increments of new learning enhanced by reading (visual), handwriting (kinesthetic), or spelling (auditory)
- Evaluate, plan, teach, direct instruction, and reevaluate continually to provide realistic goals and objectives
Phonological awareness exercises have students explore the number, order, and sameness or difference of sounds and then compare, contrast and track speech sounds in a sequence. They encode the changes in syllable structure and indicate additions, substitutions, repetitions, omissions, and shifts of sounds in words.
Reading and Comprehension Skills
The reading program in the primary grades is presented in conjunction with the tutorial program and the suggested Orton-Gillingham reading sequence. Students engage in highly phonetic, structured, sequential, systematic, cumulative, multi-sensory lessons. 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 comprehension skills are explicitly taught.
Writing 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 to provide a foundation for written expression.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills
Gross and fine motor skills and auditory, visual, and kinesthetic reinforcement are at the heart of the program. Cursive handwriting skills, using the Diana King Approach, begin in first grade.
Our math program offers many hands-on activities to develop understanding and insights of the patterns of mathematics through the use of concrete materials. These activities help students see the relationships in mathematics and formulate ideas and concepts. Strategies are presented to assist them in learning their math facts.
Self-Monitoring and Proofreading
Self-monitoring of performance and proofreading skills are utilized by the students to develop independent work skills. Our program creates a respect for and love of learning and instills in each child the ability to advocate for him- or herself.
Going Above and Beyond
Students receive instruction in science, Tang Soo Do (karate), art, and Stretch and Grow (a fitness program) in addition to the self-contained academic setting. The primary program teachers collaboratively integrate the content and experiences each provides.