The Carmody School Curriculum
The Carmody School
curriculum is designed for students, Beginners (Kindergarten) - Grade 8. Teachers in the program have experience using and teaching many different supplemental reading and writing programs, but we have found the following researched-based teaching methods to be effective for our students:
JSCS Lower School
JSCS Lower School instructional methods are designed to teach children academic skill so that they "learn how to learn". Skills are directly and systematically taught, reinforced, and retaught throughout the program and at grade level. These children learn best through direct, systematic teaching using a multisensory approach. All subjects reflect the importance of the kinesthetic and tactile modalities to reinforce and bond the visual and auditory pathways for learning. While JSCS teachers do not always cover the quantity of content, frequently the content curriculum for each grade parallels the content within the corresponding RCDS grades. Teachers meet regularly between divisions (RCDS and JSCS) to plan, develop, coordinate, and evaluate curriculum.
All JSCS Lower School students have a daily reading class, Wilson Reading classes 5x/cycle, and regular written expression classes. In addition to the content built into these courses, they are designed to teach and practice reading, writing, and study skills. Students have an opportunity to apply what they are learning in each of these classes to their science and social studies classes in a general education setting.
JSCS Upper School
In Upper School students are faced with an increased amount of work to accomplish and, thus must learn to work more efficiently to be successful. Students in JSCS are explicitly taught executive functioning skills in addition to their academic subjects.
The JSCS has 15-20 students in grades five, six, seven, and eight. All students have one JSCS teacher who is their language arts, literature and study skills teacher and one math teacher. In this way, teachers are able to develop close relationships with students and guide them as needed.
Upper School JSCS students have learned how to read, but often struggle with reading fluency and integrating the study skills necessary to complete multi-step and long term assignments. The goal of our Upper School program is for students to succeed in a challenging independent school curriculum, while simultaneously strengthening their component reading, writing, math, and study skills. Students must understand those areas where they are weaker and advocate for themselves with their teachers.
- Orton Gillingham Multisensory based language instruction program
- Wilson Reading Program Lower School students in Beginners (Kindergarten) – Grade 4
Wilson Reading Program directly and systematically teaches students how to fluently and accurately decode (read). The program is very interactive and multisensory and teaches using total word construction, not just phonics, so students learn to encode (spell) as they learn to read.
- Megawords Supplemental Reading Program: Upper School Students in Grades 5-8
Megawords teaches the reading, spelling, and contextual use of polysyllabic words through a systematic progression of skills. Each book focuses on a distinct group of phonic skills. Specific teaching instructions are provided to ensure that students use their auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities when learning a skill. The process of seeing, saying, hearing, and writing is a major key to success. Thus, the students practice spelling the words as they learn to read them.
• Multisensory Approach to Writing and Grammar: Framing Your Thoughts- Project Read
- Project Read Written Expression curriculum and instructional strategies inspire and energize students as they learn the fundamentals of writing. The curriculum teaches written language sequentially and systematically, coupling creative freedom with direct multi-sensory skill instruction. Instruction progresses from simple sentences through five kinds of paragraph development. This program has students diagram sentences, creating a visual image for those who benefit from visual input, sky write for those who benefit from tactile input, and verbally repeat information for those who benefit from auditory input.
- The Read Naturally Strategy combines the three powerful, research-proven strategies of teacher-modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring to create an effective tool that individualizes instruction and improves reading proficiency. Using audio support and tracking their progress, students work with high-interest material at their skill level to improve fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
- The Read Naturally Strategy…
o Builds fluency.
o Increases accuracy.
o Promotes comprehension.
o Supports vocabulary.
o Reinforces sight words.
o Builds automaticity in decoding.
o Motivates students to read.
o Increases self-esteem and self-confidence.
o Differentiates instruction.
o Provides feedback to students and teachers.
o Increases the amount of time spent reading.
Stevenson’s Essential Grammar Program-Upper School in Grades 5-8:
Stevenson's Essential Grammar Program uses mnemonic clues to improve memory. This method provides students with the foundation they need to master the process of writing. Students learn to identify parts of speech and understand their functions. They learn to use words correctly, to generate phrases, and compose sentences and paragraphs. All the material is put into simple, logical order, while each piece of information builds upon the previous one and students constantly review what they have learned to make sure the skills are being mastered.
Multisensory Approach to Math Instruction
The Jayne S. Carmody School’s goal for mathematics is to develop each student’s number concept, strengthen and solidify each student’s number sense and have students work through all levels mathematics with fluidity. During introduction stages of new mathematical concepts, the use of physical manipulatives is important to develop understanding. Students work towards being able to pictorially represent the concept at hand. With this firm understanding in place, students work on traditional mathematical algorithms in order to solve problems with accuracy and efficiency.
Students must have a strong mathematical number sense to build on as they move through the curriculum. The Jayne S. Carmody School teachers meet the individual student’s needs by tailoring grade level curriculum and spiraling back to basic number concepts as needed.
Executive Functioning Skills Instruction: All Levels
Executive Functioning - SOAR Study Skills
The SOAR® Curriculum is a simple set of skills to help students organize and study efficiently.
SOAR® teaches students how to:
- Identify students' strengths & “Super Powers” (according to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences)
- Set goals
- Establish priorities
- Manage time
- Organize papers, desks, lockers, & other space
- Speak & listen effectively
- Work with teachers & peers
- Read and understand textbooks
- Take notes
- Study for tests
- Write research papers
- Prepare for presentations
- Track long-term goals