Learn for Excellence:
for those who will go far.
English Reading Program
At Learn, the reading program stresses reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. As a help to all three of these,
we also require students to memorize selected poems and prose.
The majority of our reading students are in grades 1-8, so I'll discuss that program first.
On each visit to the learning center, reading students (1) read aloud to myself or one of the teaching assistants, (2) take a
spelling test, (3) have the previous reading homework corrected, (4) review poetry/prose memorizations, and (5) receive
homework for the next visit.
By reading a few pages aloud each visit, we insure that the student knows how to pronouce the words and is actually making
progress in the reading.
The spelling tests are taken from standard spelling lists at several grade levels, from first to eighth grade. When a student
begins, he/she is tested as to the appropriate level. Spelling tests (20 words for most levels) are repeated until the student
gets 100% correct two consecutive times. In this way we insure that the student actually learns and, hopefully, retains what
is being studied. Students are provided with the spelling lists for home study.
The reading assignment consists of a short story at the grade level of the student, which is read, followed by a number of
review questions which test comprehension and add to what was learned. If a student does poorly, the assignment must be
repeated. If a student does poorly on several assignments, remedial action is taken. For example, it may be that the student's
reading assignments are at too high a level and must be lowered. Other possibility is that the student is not devoting sufficient
time to homework, in which case we counsel the student and parents.
Our poetry/prose memory assignments serve to reinforce all of the above. Students memorize small sections of poetry or prose,
which have meaning, lessons for life and learning, and good vocabulary and grammar as well. Some of the assignments also
are used as history or science lessons; for example, one of the required assignemnents is a part of H.W. Longfellow's
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. Another required poem is the famous Try, Try Again, which has the basic theme of perseverence,
a lesson important for success in any field. Yet another includes excerpts from the U.S Declaration of Independence, a very
importan historical document.
(In the future I intend to put all of our required memory projects on this web site). Not only do we requre the students to memorize and
repeat the projects one time, but they must be repeated at regular intervals, so as to be retained in permanent memory.)
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