Beginning with the End in Mind
Building proficiency and mastery in reading, writing, and math remains the primary goal of Lehman Learning Solutions. While all students might begin with an innate desire to succeed in school, repeated failure to keep up with academic demands often inevitably results in disengagement from the learning process. The root cause of this disengagement is rarely because a student lacks the intelligence to thrive in the classroom. Instead, wounded learning is often largely due to inefficiencies in the cognitive tools and underlying skills meant to support students through life-long learning.
When students struggle with academic skills like reading, writing, or math, schools and traditional tutoring will often work to provide support and accommodations to help students keep pace with their peers. However, teachers and schools are typically not equipped to resolve the root causes of academic struggle. While supportive academic tutoring and accommodations can be extremely helpful for many students, our intervention-based academic tutoring is designed to directly address and resolve the foundational processing issues that have blocked students from meeting grade-level benchmarks.
After working to address lower-level skills on The Learning Skills Continuum, we use evidence-based academic programs to close the gap in school performance. Our academic programs are designed to develop fluency in skills from a foundational level all the way to grade-level proficiency. These programs, along with quality instruction and practice, ensure a confident and visible transfer of skills into the classroom.
The duration of academic intervention depends on the needs of individual students and the consistency and quality of home practice. No program alone can be considered the best fit for every kind of student, and we rely on continued parent feedback to achieve program goals. The typical range of academic intervention is usually between 1 – 3 years, and often involves an integration of multiple programs.
The National Reading Panel, established by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education, evaluated existing research and evidence to determine the most effective methods for teaching children to read. Their findings revealed that the best approaches to reading instruction include:
- Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness
- Systematic phonics instruction
- Methods to improve reading fluency
- Ways to enhance comprehension
All of our reading interventions seek to meet these goals through direct practice developing strategies for the following skills:
- Phonemic awareness - The understanding that spoken words can be broken apart into smaller segments of sound, known as phonemes. Students with poor phonemic awareness often visually memorize words, and are unable to break words down to their individual sounds when spelling.
- Phonics - The knowledge that letters represent individual phonemes, and that these sounds are blended together to form written words. Readers with weak phonics skills are often unable to sound out words they haven't seen before.
- Vocabulary Comprehension - The ability to fluidly learn new words, either as they appear in text, or by focused word study. Students with poor vocabulary skills struggle with reading comprehension, and often have difficulty getting their ideas down on paper.
- Reading comprehension - The ability to understand what is read across a variety of content subjects and genres. Students who struggle with reading comprehension often have difficulty summarizing what they've read and applying understanding of the material.
- Reading Fluency - The ultimate goal of reading fluency includes the ability to recognize words easily and read with greater speed, accuracy, and expression so that the brain can better understand what is read. Students who struggle with reading fluency often read too fast or too slow, make small mistakes, and struggle to comprehend the text.
- Neuro-impress oral reading - In addition to independent reading, the reading brain benefits from reading out loud while getting guidance and feedback from more skilled readers. The combination of practice and feedback promotes the development of reading fluency.
The Reading Programs We Use
Wilson Reading System® is a program for students in grades 2-12 with word-level deficits who are not making sufficient progress with current reading intervention; require multi-sensory language instruction; or who require more intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. WRS provides a structured literacy program based on phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English language as students learn fluent decoding and encoding skills to the level of mastery. It is accredited by the International Dyslexic Association and is endorsed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education. Learn more by visiting their website.
Wired for Reading™ is an engaging, multi-sensory linguistics program designed to improve reading, spelling, and vocabulary. Based in the latest research, students are taught to use linguistics in an engaging, kid-friendly way to understand the deep structure of language and phonics. As they learn to connect speech to sounds, sounds to letters, and letters to meaning, English spelling patterns are demystified, and students are empowered to confidently and fluidly decode words when reading and spelling. Wired for Reading is derived from and deeply grounded in evidence-based research, and has been designed using the dual filters of the recommendations of the National Reading Panel and pedagogical best practices as defined by scientifically-based research. Learn more by visiting their website.
Master the Code is an intensive reading and spelling program that develops phonemic awareness, and an understanding of the phonetic code of the language. Basic and alternative spelling codes are taught, as well as multi-syllable skills (processing sounds and syllables, affixes, flexibility with accent and schwa, and breaking syllables for reading and spelling). Application of skills are made within the context of reading and writing. Learn more by visiting their website.
AST (Auditory Stimulation Training) Reading & Spelling Program combines the techniques of researchers in the field of dyslexia to develop the underlying auditory, visual, and language processing skills critical to successful reading. Lessons combine Samonas Sound Therapy and directed audio-vocal training to improve working memory; grammar and word usage; phonemic awareness; phonetic and visual decoding; visual attention to detail; reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension; and spelling.
AST Comprehension strengthens auditory skills through a combination of auditory sound therapy and audio-vocal training lessons. The program works to improve speech clarity, intonation, comprehension, verbal expression, and attention. Lessons are also structured to stimulate and strengthen working memory, grammar and word usage, reading fluency, and comprehension for effective listening and processing of auditory information. Learning specialists start by addressing critical components to comprehension, such as getting a clear message, attention to detail, auditory discrimination, visualization, problem-solving, and analysis. These skills then work together to develop self-guided logical reasoning.
Writing is an incredibly complex task that relies heavily on the coordination of multiple cognitive processes. The New Horizons for Learning (NHFL), now under the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, has served as a leading resource for educational practice by identifying, communicating, and helping to implement successful teaching strategies. They have provided a list of recommendations for writing instruction based on scientific studies of students in grades 4–12. Their recommendations include:
- Teaching strategies for planning, revising, and editing
- Having students write summaries of texts
- Permitting students to write collaboratively
- Setting goals for student writing
- Allowing students to use technology to produce writing
- Teaching sentence combining skills to create more complex and sophisticated writing
- Providing extended opportunities for practicing the cycle of planning, writing, and self-review
- Having students participate in inquiry activities for writing
- Involving students in prewriting activities
- Providing models of good writing
All of our writing interventions seek to meet these recommendations while creating writers who can...
- read a writing assignment, know what to do, and get started
- create clear plans that structure and guide their thinking prior to writing
- write well-structured, elaborated texts that convey their ideas clearly
- achieve success with writing across the curriculum and on high-stakes tests
- self-assess and self-advocate when they are having difficulty
- feel confident and capable as writers
The Writing Programs We Use
EmPOWER™ Writing is a method for teaching writing that was developed by Bonnie Singer, Ph.D. and Anthony Bashir, Ph.D. over many years of working with students, teachers, and schools. The goal of EmPOWER is to demystify and systematize the writing process so that students can understand and gain control over all that writing involves. Our learning specialists work to analyze and identify where writing skills or instruction has broken down, and develop a stable framework that students can learn to write across a variety of content genres. Learn more by visiting their website.
The 6+1 Trait® Writing works to address the key qualities that define quality writing by developing ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. Our learning specialists work to incorporate 6+1 Trait® Writing instruction throughout the duration of writing intervention. Learn more by visiting Education Northwest.
The hard reality is that many students struggle through most of their academic career believing they just aren't a "math person". While there are many reasons a student may struggle to master the concepts of numeracy and calculation, none seem an appropriate justification for a student to fail in math. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have highlighted several strategies that have been consistently effective in teaching students who experience difficulties in mathematics:
- The use of structured peer-assisted learning activities
- Systematic and explicit instruction
- Visually representing functions and relationships with manipulatives, pictures, and graphs
- Modifying instruction based on data from formative assessment of students (such as classroom discussions or quizzes)
- Providing opportunities for students to think aloud while they work
David Berg, E.T., founder and director of the Making Math Real Institute argues that successful remediation for struggling math learners of any age requires:
- understanding and identifying the precise cognitive development that supports math learning
- assessment to determine what development is already in place and which areas need further development
- incremental, systematic, multisensory structured methods to integrate that development within
every lesson and activity
- comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the state standards at every grade level
- ongoing communication with classroom teacher/school and the home to monitor all progress
- familiarity with a wide range of math text used in public and private schools and the specific content covered in standardized tests
- a safe, therapeutic environment for the student to receive prescriptive activities of appropriate challenge that directly address the goals and objectives determined through rigorous assessment and subsequent remediation plan
We firmly believe that quality math instruction requires well-trained and experienced math teachers. We know that most students who struggle in math are just as smart as their classmates, but often lack the underlying development that supports their ability to make lasting connections with the content. Our learning specialists work diligently to strengthen and prepare the math brain through our lower level programs on the Learning Skills Continuum. If a student requires further math intervention, we often refer parents to Spring Academy or individual math support tutoring for the highest quality math content instruction.
Academic skills rely on other underlying skills on the Learning Skills Continuum.
Executive function skills strengthen our ability to self-manage and direct our attention, choices, and thinking.
Cognitive processing skills like memory and language are the tools students have at their disposal to handle and interact with the information they face every day.
Core learning skills involve the mental flexibility and adaptability needed for ease in learning, social relationships, and general functions.