Reading Mastery is a reading program that uses the Direct Instruction method to help students master essential decoding and comprehension skills. The program places particular emphasis on teaching thinking skills and helping students acquire background knowledge. Program materials include fully scripted lessons to guide teachers through carefully constructed instructional steps - modeling new content, providing guided practice, offering individualized practice and applying skills. Signals and group responses are used to keep students involved, help them stay on task and help with lesson pacing. Teachers assess student performance throughout the program, and struggling students receive practice through remedial exercises. Each level of the program typically spans one academic year. A typical lesson includes seven to nine short activities encompassing multiple strands of content including:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Letter-Sound Correspondence
- Sounding Out of Words
- Word Recognition
- Oral Reading Fluency
English Language Arts
RPA students receive reading and language instruction in small, skill-based groups using the Direct Instruction Reading Mastery curriculum. This research-based curriculum emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around sequenced learning increments and clearly defined lessons. Students also build their skills in English Language Arts (including reading, writing, research, listening, and speaking) through standards-based lessons directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
RPA students learn using the Direct Instruction (DI), RocketMath, and Connecting Math Concepts curriculum to drive their higher-level thinking skills. Grades K-6 utilizes the Direct Instruction curriculum. DI uses explicit, systematic instruction that is based on lesson plans which focus on teaching prerequisite skills to mastery before more complex skills are taught in order to bring students to mastery as quickly as possible. All grades utilize the Rocket Math curriculum. Rocket Math is a worksheet based, supplemental, math facts practice curriculum which uses worksheets, oral practice, and timed assessments for sequential practice and mastery of facts.
Spelling Mastery is a six-level Direct Instruction series that teaches students dependable spelling skills by blending three approaches: the phonemic approach, the whole word approach, and the morphemic approach. The whole word approach focuses on memorization. The phonemic approach is used for letter-sound correspondences that are predictable. The morphemic approach is used for combing the roots, bases, prefixes, and suffixes into words.