Reading and Language Arts

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Because our classrooms are multi-age, younger students are constantly exposed to the older children in the class who are already reading. The total environment of the Primary classes (3 to 6 years-old) tends to create and reinforce in our young children a spontaneous interest in learning how to read. We begin to teach reading as soon as that interest is first expressed. Younger students recognize the shape and phonetic sounds of the alphabet through the sandpaper letters: a tactile alphabet.

Using a total exposure approach, we help the youngest children to develop a highly sophisticated vocabulary and command of the language. Children are taught to listen and recognize the individual phonetic sounds in words. Children are introduced to literature by reading aloud and discussing a wide range of classic stories and poetry.


Reading is teaching the concept that written words are thoughts set down on paper. Sounding out simple three or four-letter phonetic words in the primary grades. Preliminary exercises to practice reading and to gain the concept of a noun are done by labeling objects with written name-tags.

Children read specially selected or prepared small books on topics of their interest, such as in science, geography, nature or history. Reading for comprehension at different levels of difficulty, begins in the early elementary grades and continues until high school graduation. Library and reference books are used on a daily basis for both research and pleasure. Students are introduced to the world's classical children's literature.


Young children practice making letters from the time of their first initial at age 3 or 4 years. Moveable Alphabet made up of easily manipulated plastic letters is used for the early stages of phonetic word creation, the analysis of words, and spelling. Age 4-6.

1. Tracing letters into sand
2. Writing on special tilted, upright blackboards: unlined, wide-lined, and narrow-lined
3. Writing on special writing tablets, becoming comfortable with script
4. Cursive writing. Around age 5
5. Word processing. Around age 5
6. Calligraphy. Around age 10

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