Curriculum

keystoneA16The curriculum and instruction methods used at Mainspring Academy are as varied as the population we serve.

Our goal is to find ways to teach each child that are customized to their learning style, academic level and demographic profile. We understand that every learner is unique and requires individual and ongoing assessment to promote growth in learning. Several research-based curriculum programs are used. Our specialized faculty provides modifications, accommodations and individual supports to ensure that each student is making gains in every aspect of school experience.

Mainspring Academy strives to provide standards-based instruction in all academic areas. Although students are exposed to the Common Core and Florida State Standards, individualized instruction is utilized to accentuate strengths and provide remediation for academic deficiencies. The teachers and staff at Mainspring Academy are well versed in implementing various prescriptive programs that have been designed to focus on individual needs.

Unique Learning System

The main curriculum for Mainspring Academy’s educational foundation is the Unique Learning System (ULS). This curriculum provides differentiated academic materials for educators to match the specific learning needs of our students. ULS is a standards- and-researched based special needs curriculum that is intended to reach a wide range of learners from prekindergarten to high school. Crossing the academic domains of reading, language arts, social studies, math and science, ULS provides curriculum that helps our educators create an engaging learning environment for all types of learners at Mainspring Academy.

In addition, in order to individualize instruction to each student’s style of learning, we offer the following supplemental curriculum:

Early Start Denver Model

The Early Start Denver Model is an evidence-based, comprehensive intervention model that integrates developmental principles with an applied behavior-analytic approach. This instructional approach focuses on the following key domains: imitation, communication, social, cognitive, motor skills, adaptive behavior and play. A curriculum checklist serves as an assessment to determine the individual needs of the student and develop an individual plan. This program encourages a child’s ability to engage with others and learn.

Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM)

The ELLM is a comprehensive curriculum program targeted for prekindergarten and kindergarten students. This curriculum encourages cognitive development through integrated content in the areas of literacy, math, science, social studies and the arts, as well as social-emotional development. This curriculum is highly interactive and provides many opportunities for students to engage in supported extension activities. It is designed to engage students in learning that will expand vocabulary understanding and comprehension.

Tools of the Mind

Tools of the Mind is a research-based early childhood program that sets the foundation for success in preschool and kindergarten. The Tools of the Mind curriculum focuses on promoting self-regulation in learning. Children can achieve more in their foundational early academics when they have self-regulation skills. Tools of the Mind teaches reflective thinking and meta-cognition in children. Activities are designed to be developmentally appropriate and encourage children to engage in imitative and imaginative play in increasingly complex ways.

The Wilson Reading System

The Wilson Reading System is a research-based program for students in Grade 2 through adulthood. This approach to reading is highly systematic and cumulative in teaching total word structure for decoding and encoding. Decoding is taught by introducing the learner to the six different syllable types in the English language. Oral reading fluency and comprehension are integrated into the program in a logical progression. Learning is multisensory and interactive. Word lists and materials are controlled for the pace of learning.

SRA Corrective Reading

Corrective Reading is a research-based, direct instruction teaching program that involves teaching critical thinking skills and strategies to enhance comprehension. Through guided and independent practice, students assume responsibility for their learning. Skills and strategies are presented explicitly and broken down into component parts. Frequent practice is provided to ensure mastery of each of the processes and skills.

Visualizing and Verbalizing

Lindamood-Bell introduced the Visualizing and Verbalizing curriculum as a means to help students with comprehension. Through a series of steps, students are taught to create images in their minds with language as a basis for comprehension and to promote higher order thinking skills. Students learn to integrate imagery with language and are then able to answer questions about what they read. Students are able to identify the main idea of a reading passage, sequence story events and summarize what they have read.

Earobics

Earobics is a multi-sensory reading intervention that is computer-based. The program is highly differentiated and is appropriate for students in prekindergarten through third grade. By focusing on phonological awareness, phonics and auditory processing skills, students recognize rhyme and sound patterns, blend sounds into syllables and segment words. Students learn to remember sounds and words in sequential order, as well as follow increasingly complex directions with and without distracting background noises. Games and activities are designed to maximize learning and maintain interest.

Great Leaps Reading

Great Leaps is a reading program that is research-based and designed to help students with reading fluency and comprehension, which are interrelated skills. The program is efficient in its presentation of timed reading of sounds, words, phrases and passages at grade levels kindergarten through fifth grade. This program provides measurable results that challenge students to continue to achieve their potential in reading.

Successmaker

Successmaker is a proven, computerized kindergarten through Grade 8 reading and math program that is research-based. Students are initially placed in the program and enjoy computerized learning and remediation customized to their individual level. Detailed diagnostic data is provided to teachers in order to effectively address the learner’s individual areas of need. The curriculum is differentiated and comprehensive, allowing students to experience success in learning. Successmaker supports the educational goals of each individual student and can be customized to the needs of the learner. Additionally, Successmaker’s design provides on-level learning, while maintaining age-appropriate interactive presentation.

Touchmath

Years of research support the Touchmath curriculum which takes a multi-sensory, intuitive approach to learning math. A step-by-step approach allows students to begin with a lot of visual support that naturally fades as they develop a comfort level with math. Simple graphics and materials help students avoid the “busy” look of some traditional math programs. Touchmath is designed for prekindergarten through upper grade students.

Florida State Standards

As a basis for curriculum and to prepare our students for life, the Florida State Standards are used to monitor content. Curriculum maps guide instruction across grade levels to ensure that language arts, mathematics, science and social studies content are covered in a comprehensive way. To the extent that our students are functioning below grade level, the Access Points are referenced in order to provide a guide to modifications necessary to prepare our students to the greatest extent possible. We recognize that students need to be exposed to all academic areas to build their background knowledge and promote individual interests. Our goal is to provide a school experience that is meaningful and practical.

Common Core Standards

As part of the Common Core State initiative, Mainspring Academy will fully immerse and implement academic instruction aligned with the Common Core Standards.  In accordance to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), instruction using the Common Core Standards will take place in the classroom setting using Individual Learning Plan (ILP) goals that have been correlated to ensure students obtain the necessary education for academic and independent success. Our highly qualified staff and teachers will provide multi-sensory approaches to meet the needs of students with various auditory, kinesthetic and visual learning styles. For more information about the Common Core Standards and how these standards will affect students with disabilities, please visit the Core Standards website.