Boost ™ is specialized and intensive structured literacy reading instruction for children age 7-12 who have significant and severe decoding weaknesses. The primary focus of the lessons is phonemic awareness, phonics concepts, and essential word-attack skills, and the net effect of these lessons is faster and more accurate reading of complex text.
Students meet online in dynamic teams of 3 where students interact with and learn with their peers. In this time of separation and online learning, we believe it is essential for children to learn and grow together.
Boost ™ lessons help students who have trouble with decoding, either because of gaps in their phonics and phonemic knowledge or because of bad reading habits such as skipping or guessing unfamiliar words.
These students often read less accurately than they could, which leads to reading problems. Common symptoms include misreading unfamiliar words or words that look alike, struggling with multi-syllable words, reading slowly, or skipping small function words.
In our team sessions, students learn to practice what good readers do naturally: pay attention to every word, read with a high rate of accuracy, and use strategies for attacking unfamiliar and multi-syllable words.
Our lessons explicitly teach phonemic awareness, phonics concepts, and word attack skills. They also focus on reading accurately, which translates to better comprehension.
The lessons are research-based, multi-sensory, explicitly structured, intensive, and highly effective for children who have gaps in their basic decoding skills.
Many of the students who qualify for Boost ™ are not reading accurately enough to correctly comprehend what they are reading. Boost lessons focus on accurately decoding words at the word, phrase, sentence, and passage level.
The lessons provide the skills that students need to read with accuracy and reinforce the importance of accurate reading.
Students who complete the 20 week program improve their reading level by two years, on average.
Matching phonemes (the sounds in words) to graphemes (the spellings) cannot happen until students can confidently hear and identify the sounds in words. Boost lessons include explicit phonological and phonemic awareness instruction and practice that allows students to focus on sounds without the use of letters.
The lessons teach and review the proper articulation of the phonemes, the blending and segmenting of simple one-syllable words, and the blending and segmenting of multi-syllable words with and without schwa sounds. In Boost ™ lessons, it’s only after students have learned to identify and name all the vowel sounds that they learn the common spelling patterns for advanced vowels.
Boost ™ lessons encourage the use of positive error correction to emphasize what students do correctly instead of immediately pointing out mistakes. That means students can be and feel successful. Improved confidence is often one of the reasons that we see Boost ™ students make significant gains in their reading rate while simultaneously improving their accuracy – two of the positive outcomes we love.
The Boost scope and sequence is systematic and cumulative.
Each lesson has four parts: Oral Reading, with students periodically charting their own accuracy and fluency rate, Phonemic Awareness skill-building activities, Phonics Concepts taught with engaging manipulatives, and Student Practice. In addition, students have daily access to the digital playground to practice essential skills.