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Language Arts and Reading Program in Hamilton, NJ

The Newgrange School emphasizes Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading® and other established as well as innovative programs. Our language arts curriculum provides instruction in reading, writing, and oral language.

About the Programs

At The Newgrange School, we offer multisensory programs that are not just limited to listening and reading. Instead, they try to use all the senses to allow students to engage with material in several ways. For example, they can touch, smell, examine, and taste an apple instead of just reading and listening to the teacher speak about it. Many of these programs use sound, sight, touch, and movement to help students connect language to words.

Who Do the Programs Benefit?

All students can benefit from multisensory programs because they help to understand information more easily. However, it can be particularly helpful to kids with listening and learning issues. Our education programs are also designed for students who suffer from autism spectrum disorders and Asperger’s as well as other non-verbal learning disorders. Students with these conditions usually experience trouble with auditory or visual processing, making it hard for them to gain new information through only listening and reading. With our programs, they can connect with what they are learning using different senses that allow them to learn quickly.

Reading

Reading instruction at our school in Hamilton, NJ focuses on decoding, vocabulary development, and comprehension. To improve the student’s ability to process words, teachers emphasize phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, linking orthographic letter sequences to sounds of oral language to support decoding, encoding, morphology and other word attack skills. Standardized and curriculum-based assessments are used to measure student’s baseline skills and monitor progress on a monthly and annual basis.

Instruction is provided by master teachers with in-depth Orton-Gillingham/Wilson Reading® training and certification. The lessons in our program are diagnostic, prescriptive, and designed to meet individual learning needs. Students build accuracy and automaticity of single word decoding and progress to fluency of connected text as they progress from simple to more complex language and orthographic patterns.

Teachers increase student achievement in reading comprehension through direct instruction using evidence-based multisensory programs, including:

Developing Metacognitive Skills (Neuhaus). Classroom and content teachers of students in grades 3-12 implement this program. It provides educators with teaching techniques to help students improve reading comprehension of informational and narrative text, vocabulary, and writing skills by training them to monitor their reading before, during and after reading and build a framework for oral retell and précis writing.

Language Circle®/Project Read® Framing your Thoughts. Knowledge, understanding, & analysis of sentence structure are powerful tools in increasing reading comprehension, fluency and decoding text through context clues. This process leads students from understanding the function of sentence parts to standard labels of parts of speech in order to enhance their writing skills from simple to complex sentences and from paragraphs to extensive expository and narrative essay formats.

Lindamood-Bell®: Visualizing and Verbalizing®. The Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking® (V/V®) programs, created by Pat Lindamood and Nanci Bell, help struggling readers develop the sensory-cognitive function of concept imagery. Unlike most reading and comprehension programs, V/V instruction directly applies concept imagery to aid comprehension and expression of both oral and written language and developments skills to enhance critical thinking.

Through these systems, students build knowledge of language and story structure. They become more proficient in understanding advanced vocabulary, and they develop techniques for summarizing information. They learn to answer concrete and inferential questions about what they have read and become independent readers.

Literacy Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling: LETRS®. Newgrange teachers are trained in LETRS comprehensive course work, which provides our teachers with an underlying understanding and expertise of the language structures they teach to their students. The knowledge base from LETRS® print modules allows our teachers to expertly create individual lessons with the intensity and focus needed for our students.

Newgrange students are exposed to all genres of literature. Teachers use selections ranging from published anthologies to classic/contemporary chapter books. Literature is often chosen to link with a current area of study in either science or social studies. This cross-curricular piece of our program is a powerful teaching strategy.

Reading instruction complies with Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading – as developed by experts at the International Dyslexia Association (2010) as well as the Common Core State Standards. Both sets of standards ensure that our teachers understand content and the following areas of language to maximize student progress:

  • Foundational concepts about oral and written language learning
  • Knowledge of the structure of language
  • Knowledge about dyslexia and other learning disorders
  • Interpretation and administration of assessments for planning instruction
  • Structured language teaching: Phonology, Phonic and Word Study, Vocabulary, Text Comprehension. Handwriting, Spelling and Written Expression

Written Expression

Writing instruction at Newgrange School in Hamilton, NJ, ensures that students are meeting grade and developmental expectations in writing mechanics and the conventions of writing composition and editing. Each student at Newgrange receives daily instruction in written expression, which focuses on the structure of the elements of the basic sentence, paragraph, and essay writing through Framing Your Thoughts curriculum. All lessons in our program are taught in a direct, systematic, cumulative, and multisensory way. Students initially master sentence construction, so that they have a clear understanding of how various types of words function and can be used to formulate a complete thought. They are then taught increasingly more advanced grammar elements to build longer, more complex sentences, paragraphs, and essays of both story and informational formats. The writing process is infused into content area courses for additional practice and application of skills. It is critical that our students understand the need to write for an intended audience and purpose and to use various schemes for writing, including reports, narratives, and arguments in opinion essays.

Finally, children learn and practice various strategies for proofreading and editing their work. Students also learn to use technology to process words efficiently and to plan and edit a document. This helps them learn to create their best writing. For those students with handwriting and motor difficulties, Newgrange provides an array of technology such as Chrome voice to text, which allows students access to producing written works that were once challenging.

Handwriting is directly taught as letters and their sounds are introduced and reinforced. Research provides evidence of the link between letter formation accuracy and speed as a sound predictor of successful writing fluency and more complex written expression. At Newgrange School, Wilson Fundations Handwriting programs are used to ensure our students learn the appropriate development of letter formation in both print and cursive forms to enhance the writing process.

All of our programs work on developing oral language along with written language.

Academics

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