Typical Lesson

Our 3 guiding principles.

  1. Learn daily. When it comes to reading, frequency and repetition matter.
  2. Keep it short.  Each lesson is 55 minutes—because tired, bored kids don’t learn as quickly.
  3. Read at home. We ask every family to sign a contract to encourage and participate in daily reading homework.

The 7 fundamental sections to each lesson.

Sounds.  The student learns and practices her sounds using the letters on the magnetic board. For spelling, the tutor says the sounds and the student points to the letter(s) that represent that sound on the board. For reading, the tutor points to the letters and students say the sounds. As appropriate, the tutor introduces a new spelling or reading concept.

Syllables. Using the letters on the magnetic board, the student makes and reads nonsense words that range from 1-6 syllables. For spelling, the tutor sounds out nonsense syllables that focus on phonetic concepts (such as diphthongs) and students will spell these on the board using the magnetic letters. The tutor then dictates changes that require one or two changes in letters. For reading, the tutor creates nonsense words on the board that focuses on phonetic concepts and the student reads these words.

Words. Tutor directly transfers phonetic words into daily spelling, reading, and writing. For spelling, the tutor dictates high-frequency words that address several spelling concepts and the student writes these words onto paper in the student binder. The dictated words correspond to the concepts addressed earlier in the lesson.

Reading & Comprehension. Half of each session is spent reading in the reading books. Each chapter book corresponds to the program curriculum and has a list of words and phrases that correlate to the phonetic principles being taught. Our read aloud technique is called Pressure Release.

Writing. The student completes a 5-minute written response daily. Reading prompts include questions about the student’s understanding of the story and asks them to summarize, predict, and infer what the story is about.

Reading at Home.  We ask our families to read together using our fluency techniques for 5-10 minutes at home every day. We call this homework “Repeated Readings”. These readings help activate the word form area of the brain, and daily practice reinforces and maintains learning and stimulation.