Timeless Teachings in a Changing World
All of the instructional materials, tools, and methods used at Phoenix Learning Academy are research-based "best practices" proven to be effective. Our curriculum and programs are continually evolving to better prepare students for being in school and in the community. Phoenix Learning Academy academic programs focus on the three main foundational skills: reading, writing, and mathematics. Other areas include science, social studies, literature, language, facts, skills, concepts, principles, problem solving, and organizational aspects. Each student participates in extensive entry assessments of academic, learning, and performance skills. Students with similar needs and goals are grouped together for instruction. Groupings change repeatedly throughout the day as students move from reading to writing to mathematics. Groupings also change continuously throughout the school year as students make more or less progress than students in their current group.
Currently, we use a research based reading program, SRA Reading Mastery. It is distinguished from all other currently available, commercially developed, reading programs. The specific instructional techniques, as well as the program as a whole, have proven superior in extensive research involving students of all ability levels. As all research indicates, the best reading instruction involves systematically teaching children the most common sounds for a selected group of letters and letter combinations. These letter-sound correspondences should then be practiced immediately in the context of words and, as soon as possible, in the context of sentences. Initial reading instruction should incorporate extensive oral reading practice with immediate corrective feedback. These recommendations cover only the first few months of reading instruction. Students must learn quickly to move beyond sounding out to sight-word reading. No other reading program incorporates all of these features to the extent that the Reading Mastery program does.
Saxon Math is another proven program that works for children of all abilities. No matter how well students initially learn a concept, if they are not able to retain their learning, connect it to other concepts and apply it in problem solving situations, they have not reached mastery. Saxon Math is designed to support the long-term mastery and applications that will make a difference during testing, future education and careers. Concepts are taught incrementally in small, approachable steps. Then those increments are distributed throughout the year, building in complexity, so students reach deeper understanding and fluency. The practice and assessments include concepts from lessons, both recent and past, to ensure students retain all concepts and make connections between them to prove mastery.