Each Lil’ Reading Scientists’ TM Mini Class or Individual Reading Therapy Session is taught with the student’s developmental needs in mind. Table activities are alternated with motor activities, so as to meet the student’s need for movement and variety. The curriculum includes not only phonics-based literacy instruction, but also a focus on good work habits, fine motor development, and state-of-the-art technology, to teach a myriad of skills. Our unique, proprietary, Structured Literacy/Orton Gillingham-based literacy curriculum is based on current reading research, and our highly effective materials and techniques breed success and a positive attitude towards literacy.
Based on your child’s screening results, he or she will be placed in one of our Tiers, and the program will be individualized to meet his or her specific needs. Below is a description of each Lil’ Reading Scientists’ Tier:
Children in Tier 1 learn phonemic awareness skills such as rhyming, syllabication, initial and final sounds, and rapid automatic naming, to prepare them for formal reading instruction. Also taught in Tier 1 are: pre-reading skills, including colors, shapes, numbers 1-20, numerical quantity, visual matching and patterning, listening skills, following directions, and fine motor skills such as cutting, tracing, and gluing. Oral language skills form the foundation for reading success, so our curriculum includes games and activities with nursery rhymes, riddles, and language concepts such as association and classification. Students learn the alphabet auditorily, and learn to visually sequence the alphabet letters in A-Z order.
Children in Tier 2 focus on learning the alphabet and letter sounds through American Manual Sign Language, keywords, songs, and games, in preparation for phonetic reading instruction. Phonemic awareness skills, such as rhyming and syllabication are taught, and students have plenty of practice with rapid automatic naming with colors, shapes, numbers, and eventually, alphabet letters, to increase their automaticity. Listening skills and following directions are practiced, as well as fine motor skills, including instruction on proper letter formation. New vocabulary is interwoven into every lesson. Students have worksheets for every alphabet letter, and practice their cutting, tracing, and gluing skills.
Children who know their alphabet letters and sounds, but are not quite ready for the beginning reading process, can learn how to segment spoken words into individual sounds, and how to sequence spoken sounds to build words, using the Lil’ Reading Scientists’ specialized curriculum and materials. Students practice blending and segmenting words with the Lil’ Reading Scientists’ Color Coded Blocks, until that MAGIC MOMENT occurs, when they are ready to begin reading and spelling with alphabet letters!
Children in Tier 4 know their alphabet letters and sounds, and are ready to learn to decode (read), encode (spell), blend, and manipulate letter sounds to begin the MAGIC process of phonetic reading! Children work at the word, phrase, and sentence levels in Tier 4, while working their way through the five short vowels. Spelling and reading are taught reciprocally, as are handwriting and creative writing, with each new word taught. Sight words and reading comprehension skills are introduced. Students work on writing at the sentence level. Children work in Tier 4 until they have mastered all five of the short vowels. New vocabulary is woven into every lesson.
Students at this level have mastered beginning reading skills with the short vowels, and are ready to learn about twin letters (ex: ll, ss, ff), digraphs (ex: ch, th), chunks (ex: ong, ank), blends (ex: cl, br), long vowels, compound words, and two syllable words. The first two syllable types are taught in Tier 5 (the Closed syllable and the VCE syllable), and also taught are the first two syllable division rules. Students continue to progress with handwriting, writing composition, creative writing, reading comprehension, and reading fluency. New vocabulary is woven into every lesson. Students work on writing at the paragraph level. Children work in Tier 5 until all of the Tier 5 skills have been mastered.
Students in Tier 6 are ready to learn super advanced reading/writing/spelling skills, involving complex concepts. Four new syllable types are introduced in Tier 6 (Bossy R (ex: ar, er,), the Open Syllable (ex: hi), the Consonant-L-E syllable (ex: table), and the Double Vowel syllable type (ex: oa, ie). Students also learn vowel diphthongs, three letter blends, digraph blends, advanced suffixes, and prefixes. New vocabulary is woven into every lesson. Students learn the syllable division rules for spelling and reading, to make multisyllable words easier to tackle. In Tier 6, students learn to write the five paragraph essay, and work on proofreading and editing skills. The use of thesaurus is also taught. Students work in Tier 6 until all of the Tier 6 skills have been mastered.
Students in Tier 7 are in grades 4-12, and benefit from The Wilson Reading System’s advanced curriculum for reading and spelling. The Wilson Reading System is an Orton-Gillingham based curriculum for students who struggle with literacy development. Students learn the six syllable types of the English language, the basic and advanced alphabet sounds and their applications, and they learn to sound out every letter/letter cluster in a word, without adding in or omitting letters. Reading comprehension and reading fluency are integral parts of every session. Also taught in Tier 7 is the Five Paragraph Essay, and editing and proofreading skills.
“Part of the Lil’ Reading Scientists TM curriculum, authored by Jenelle Erickson Boyd, is a derivative of a previous work entitled The Language Laboratory, authored by Jenelle Erickson Boyd and Polly Scott”.