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.
There are usually 2 to 3 students in a Language Skills class, and the content follows a scope and sequence of language mastery carefully developed by Jemicy’s language directors. Students work to improve their decoding, spelling, vocabulary, reading fluency, reading comprehension, and handwriting skills.
The scope and sequence are based on the fundamentals of Orton-Gillingham instruction and research-based literacy development. Students are grouped according to their level of mastery in this scope and sequence, as well as by their learning style.
The content is taught in a sequential, structured, and cumulative fashion.
Teachers draw from a number of multisensory reading programs, including those developed by Project Read, Wilson, Lindamood-Bell, Neuhaus, and Sounds and Syllables.
Progress is formally assessed two times during the school year using a pre/post curriculum-based benchmark, as well as a fluency assessment. In addition, standardized testing is administered in the spring of each year. The standardized testing battery includes portions of the Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery battery, The Test of Written Spelling, and the GRADE (Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation).
Students in I Group have written language class one period per day. Writing skills are taught in a similar fashion as reading, in that the “whole” is broken into its “pieces.” The parts of speech are presented in a multisensory way, focusing on the function of the word, rather than the abstract label. Students are introduced to the importance of color coding as it pertains to structuring written content in a logical and systematic way.
The Framing Your Thoughts program from Project Read is used to teach grammar and sentence structure.
Paragraph structure is taught utilizing the Paragraphology™ scope and sequence.
Students in JE – M Groups have language arts class one period per day. Because our students all have language-based learning issues, having an additional language class each day helps to further advance the students in the area of language. The Language Arts curriculum covers other language topics/skills that are not addressed specifically in skills class.
Students study grammar and sentence structure, oral and written language, handwriting, story-mapping/literature, and vocabulary. Through these pursuits, they practice and improve analytical thinking skills.
Again, research-based language programs are utilized, such as Framing Your Thoughts, Story Form, and Handwriting without Tears.