Programs

Academic Curriculum

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Academic Programs

The Diener Difference really shines throughout all of our academic programming. Our small group instruction, multi-sensory learning, and integrative movement supports us in meeting our mission of educating the whole child.

Language Arts

Curriculum

Our curricula provide comprehensive instruction in vocabulary, phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, and comprehension strategies. We use the following programs:

  • Interventions By Design
  • Reading A – Z
  • Mondo
  • Guided Reading with the use of instructional level fiction and non-fiction texts

Supplemental Programs

  • Phono-Graphix – a research-based system designed to teach reading and spelling
  • Read Naturally – improves comprehension and vocabulary through fluency development
  • Orton-Gillingham based Phonics Programs – improves decoding skills

Instruction

Small Groups of 2-5 students at their instructional level

Instruction is structured and multi-sensory

Employs the use of graphic organizers to build comprehension skills

Assessments

Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessments are used to determine the instructional reading level based on a combination of accuracy (decoding) and understanding (comprehension)

Completed three times a year: September, December, and May

Math

Curriculum

Math In Focus: Singapore Math

  • An incremental approach to learning
  • Focuses on a specific concept over several lessons
  • Reviews concepts already introduced
  • Encourages algebraic thinking even among young learners
  • Emphasis on developing good thinkers and problem solvers

Instruction

Small Groups of 2-5 students at their instructional level

Instruction is multi-sensory and hands-on

Students have online access to digital resources, manipulatives, guides, tutorials, and the textbook

Math In Focus teaches in a way that builds understanding through activities that move students in sequences:

  • Concrete (manipulatives and hands-on materials)
  • Pictorial (visual modes)
  • Abstract (symbolic)

Assessments

End of chapter tests are done to asses the understanding of concepts taught

Science

Curriculum: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) ScienceFusion

Instruction

Students receive whole group instruction

Students have interactive instructional options: write in, digital lessons, hands-on, and virtual labs

This program supports every learner through three levels of scaffolded differentiation; directed, guided, and independent

Assessments

Integrated activities and projects guide students to demonstrate what they’ve learned through performance tasks

End of unit quizzes

Discussion prompts

Social Studies

Curriculum: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) Kids Discover Social Studies now known as Into Social Studies

Instruction

Students receive whole group instruction

Students learn about various Social Studies and World Events through differentiated instructional tools

This program also provides the reading support and scaffolding needed for each individual child

Students have access to the materials online as well as a magazine-style format

Assessments

Integrated activities and projects guide students to demonstrate what they’ve learned through performance tasks

End of unit quizzes

Discussion prompts

Writing

Curriculum

Handwriting Without Tears — uses fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate instructional methods to enable children to master handwriting as an automatic and comfortable skill.

Step Up to Writing — a multi-sensory writing strategy designed to help students improve reading and listening comprehension, expand vocabulary, master sentence writing and learn to write effective paragraphs, speeches, essays and reports.

Keyboarding Without Tears — is a web-based curriculum for grades K–6 that teaches pre-typing skills, typing, general computer readiness, digital citizenship, and online test prep.

Instruction

Students work within groups based on the instructional level

Students learn the writing process through the use of graphic organizers, picture symbols and organizational strategies

Assessments

Informal Assessments for each grade level and for each of the major types of writing (informative/explanatory, argument, and narratives)

Scoring guides (rubrics) for each type of writing, written in student-friendly language so that students can use them to assess and improve their own work

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