ELF and Math Magic
ELF (Early Literacy Focus) Program
Rise & Shine Academy (RSA) is proud to offer a unique program designed to teach preschoolers the early language and literacy skills necessary for later school success. This program is called ELF (Early Literacy Focus). ELF includes three literacy programs that serve to enrich our preschool curriculum: Language for Learning, Reading Mastery and Reading Mastery Plus.
Language for Learning emphasizes language as a means of describing the world and as a tool for thinking and problem-solving. The program also provides the basis for early reading comprehension skills and for understanding books and other written materials. Reading Mastery teaches children basic, beginning decoding and reading comprehension skills through an explicit phonics approach that stresses mastery of letter sounds and sound-blending strategies. A unique reading alphabet is used to minimize confusion for the novice reader and, as in the Language for Learning program, teachers lead and monitor research-verified activities delivered through scripted lessons. Children participate in fast-paced, small group instruction designed to give them continuous practice using all skills and strategies taught throughout the program. Reading Mastery is designed to ensure children’s success with reading decoding and comprehension skills. Reading Master Plus combines the objectives taught in both Language for Learning and Reading Mastery. All three programs are components of an approach to literacy development called “Direct Instruction.” Direct Instruction teaches reading and comprehension skills using scripted instruction that is designed to teach phonics and reading skills in an environment that encourages repeated practice.
ELF Screening and Placement:
Children will be screened for readiness beginning at 3 ½ years of age. Your child’s social maturity and readiness to participate in a small group learning experience are considered during the screening and placement process. The process may include class observation, review of the child’s work samples and consultation with the classroom teacher, as well as a screening to determine which direct instruction program is most appropriate for your child.
ELF is an enrichment program. As such, participation in ELF small group instruction is provided at the discretion of Rise & Shine Academy’s Education Consultant for students demonstrating readiness and families willing and able to commit to attendance requirements. Intermittent attendance may result in your child “falling behind” his or her peers, which may lead to undo frustration and affect the instruction of other children. Because regular attendance is so crucial, ELF small group instruction is limited to children who attend Rise & Shine Academy on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, or a five-day per week schedule. For example: a child attending Rise & Shine Academy on a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday schedule would participate in a Tuesday/Thursday ELF group; a child attending Wednesday/Thursday/Friday would not be eligible for small group instruction. If a child attends Rise & Shine Academy on a schedule that does not allow ELF small group participation, parents have the option of bringing the child to the center, at the scheduled group times, on a day that would allow for participation in small group instruction. For example: the child who attends on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday could be scheduled for a Monday/Wednesday/Friday ELF group if the parent is able to commit to bringing the child to group and staying at the center during the group time on Monday. Children who are not eligible for small group instruction and those waiting for screening/assessment prior to group placement, will receive instruction in their classroom based on the Language for Learning curriculum objectives.
Monitoring Child Progress:
Your child’s progress during small group instruction will be periodically monitored to ensure that he or she is placed in the appropriate literacy program. Mastery tests and standardized assessments (the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and/or The Preschool Language Scale) may be used to monitor progress. Assessment data, direct observation and teacher reports are used to adjust program placement and instructional delivery to ensure maximum learning and retention of curriculum objectives.
As a parent, you can play an active role in your child’s ELF program. You will be invited to attend quarterly ELF informational meetings that will focus on at-home ideas for fostering early literacy development and provide you with an opportunity to discuss your child’s individual progress in his or her ELF group. Of course, you are always welcome to make an appointment to observe your child’s ELF group or to meet with staff to discuss progress at any time throughout the year.
Transition to Kindergarten:
Many children, who participate in ELF small group instruction during their preschool years, enter kindergarten knowing how to read. Your child will leave Rise & Shine Academy with a transition packet that you may share with his or her kindergarten teacher. The packet will include information about your child’s literacy level and the results of the standardized tests that are administered prior to concluding the ELF program.
Rise & Shine Academy is proud to present our newest enrichment program, MATH MAGIC. MATH MAGIC incorporates Direct Instruction mathematics program entitled: Connecting Math Concepts. Direct Instruction teaches mathematic skills in an environment that encourages repeated practice. As in the Reading Mastery program, teachers will lead and monitor research-verified activities delivered through scripted lessons. Children will receive continuous feedback that confirms or corrects their responses and participate in continuing practice using all skills and strategies taught throughout the program. Like the ELF program, MATH MAGIC is considered an enrichment program and will be offered to all preschoolers who demonstrate readiness and attend Rise & Shine Academy 5 days per week on a regular basis. Your child’s reading group composition and schedule will remain the same, except that mathematics instruction will be taught in the place of reading instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays.