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East Lake Academy’s Preschool 3 year old and 4 year old classes use a multi-sensory systematic approach to begin teaching reading, spelling, and phonics. We present concepts and skills in a cumulative manner, beginning with our 3 year olds. The students in Pre K 3 are introduced to lower-case letters, how to form lower-case letters, and letter sounds are presented using keywords (pictures) to help them remember the primary sound for each letter. The same keywords will be used at East Lake, beginning in our 3 year old program and all the way through 2nd grade, so whenever a child hesitates with a sound, they can reference the keyword learned during their initial years in our program. Weekly poems, songs, finger plays and read alouds provide fun opportunities to rehearse what is learned.
This organized method, which is further built upon in our 4 year old class, provides opportunity for skills practice and application so each student can build mastery. Our 4 year olds expand upon their knowledge, concentrating on upper-case letters while reviewing and using lower-case letters, and begin to learn phonemic awareness (for example: separating the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /ă/, and /t/). Writing, spelling, comprehension, journaling and fluency practice occur regularly in the Pre K 4 program at East Lake Academy.
Through engaging practices, using multiple learning modalities, we are providing students with the strongest possible start in mastering foundational reading, spelling, and handwriting skills to promote reading success.