School Hours

Monday 8:20-3:00
Tuesday 8:20-3:00
Wednesday 8:20-3:00
Thursday 8:20-3:00
Friday 8:20-3:00
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED

Sea of Strengths

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The Sea Of Strengths Academy offers a unique learning environment for students with learning disabilities, speech-language disorders, ADHD, or those simply not performing on grade level in reading and math. Our school serves students in grades 1-8. Through a combination of intensive skills building, and high-interest learning activities, students can gain the skills they need to succeed.


Our Philosophy

We believe that children with learning disabilities possess many talents and abilities – a “sea of strengths”. We believe that the child is not defined by their disability. We believe that all children desire to achieve academic success. We believe that quality instruction by well-trained staff can change the life of a child forever. We believe in the transformational power of encouragement and positive reinforcement. We believe that parents and family are a vital component in a child’s education and success.

 

Curriculum

Reading - Reading is the cornerstone of a child's education. Without strong reading skills, students find it difficult to perform in other academic areas. For this reason special attention is paid to reading. Reading has five critical components: 

 

  1. Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic Awareness refers to the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds or phonemes that can be moved and manipulated.
  2. Phonics: Phonics refers to the ability to map sounds to the letters on the page. Phonics is critical for accuracy in both reading and spelling.
  3. Fluency: the ability to read with speed and expression.
  4. Vocabulary: Knowledge of what words mean.
  5. Comprehension: The ultimate goal in reading, comprehension refers to a student's ability to gain meaning from what they have read. All of these components are critical in developing strong and confident readers. In helping students improve their reading skills it is important to start with an assessment. The information gained from the reading assessment helps to determine which areas students need help in. The assessment also provides a baseline to measure progress.

 

The following are some of the approaches used in working with students on bulding reading skills.

  1. Wilson Reading - This program uses a multi-sensory, systematic and explicit approach to teaching phonics skills. Through direct instruction, students work to build their skills in sounding out unfamillar words in reading and spelling. Students progress through Wilson Reading at their own pace, after demonstrating mastery in both reading and spelling.
  2. Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) - The LiPS program is designed for students who need help in the area of phonemic awareness. These students typically are having difficulty distinguishing between sounds. By providing students with tactile cues, they are able to better distinguish between sounds in words. One example of this can be seen in looking at the sounds made by "f" and "th".These two letters make simillar sounds, but there is a difference in how these sounds are produced. When you make the sound for "f", you can feel air on your bottom lip. This sound is known as a "lip cooler". The sound for "th" , in contrast, requires you to stick out your tongue. This is known as a "tongue cooler". In the LiPS program students gain the phonemic awareness skills needed to become a strong reader.
  3. Visualizing and Verbalizing - This program is designed to help students who are struggling in the area of comprehension. Through V/V students are taught to create images as they read. Through the use of 12 structure words, students create vivid images from text. The process starts small, with a single word or sentence. As students progress they are able to image a whole page of text as a time. Students who have gone through the V/V program often describe the experience as "creating movies in their head".
  4. Great Leaps - The Great Leaps program addresses fluency through the use of timed reading drills. By spending a few minutes each day on these drills, students are often able to make tremendous gains in their reading speed and accuracy. To begin, students are assigned drills where they can read approximately 80% of the words on a page in one minute or less. Students continue on a drill until they are able to read all the words in one minute or less, with 2 or fewer errors. The difficulty is gradually raised as students progress in fluency development.
  5. Access To Age Appropriate Books - Students who are struggling in reading often lose a great deal by not being exposed to appropriate books for their age and grade level. According to the national reading panel, students gain much of their vocabulary through reading. Students who don't read, due to deficits in reading skills, wind up missing out on vocabulary development and critical content knowledge. In order to expose our students to books, students have access to books on mp3 and CD format. Classroom activities and social studies and science lessons provide additional opportunities to expose our students to content that is high-interest, and recognizes their many strengths and abilities.


Math

For students to understand math, they must understand what is happening behind the operations. An understanding of math concepts helps students to understand relationships between numbers. In order to help students build math skills, we have selected the Math U See program.

Math U See - This program uses a multi-sensory and systematic approach to learning math. Students are taught using a variety of manipulatives to help students "see" what is happening when they work with numbers. Like our reading programs, Math U See uses a systematic approach. Students begin with an assessment to determine their current level of math skills. This helps to place the student in the appropriate level. Students then progress through the math sequence, demonstrating mastery at each level. Math U See spans a broad range of concepts, from basic addition to algebra and geometry.

 

Writing

In teaching writing, we focus on two major components: penmanship and writing composition. Handwriting Without Tears: This programs helps students improve penmanship through hands-on activities. With daily practice students are able to improve their ability to forms letters correctly.

 

Writing Skills

The writing skills series focuses on writing composition skills. Instruction in grammar and writing mechanics helps students to create writing assignments that expresses their thoughts and ideas.

 

Social Studies and Science

Social Studies and Science provide our students with opportunities to shine. Instead of focusing on traditional paper and pencil tasks, our students gain content knowledge through hands-on theme base learning activities. In developing Social Studies and Science curriculum, the Sunshine State Standards provide structure and direction. The difference is in the format of instruction, and the varied opportunities our students receive to demonstrate their knowledge. 

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