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Program 5: Comprehension Training and Speed Reading Skills for Entering 6th-8th Graders

Speed Reading - Comprehension - Vocabulary - Study Skills - Love of Reading

This program is designed to produce active readers with strong comprehension and a lifelong love of reading. Our average student improves reading comprehension one or two grade levels while more than doubling reading speed.* Students also learn the best way to study textbooks, take notes, prepare for tests, and build vocabulary.

Finally, we help students to develop a greater interest in reading outside of school. This habit of independent reading contributes greatly to long-term academic success and personal development.

Instructors are drawn from the faculty of the Institute of Reading Development. Curriculum design and instructor training are supervised by Paul Copperman, a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Educational Research, and the author of Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child.

The class is conducted in a workshop format, which permits the teacher to provide each student with the appropriate level of challenge and encouragement. The teacher models skills and techniques to the class as a group, and then coaches individual students as they practice and gain confidence with their new skills, applying them to great works of children's literature and non-fiction materials. At home, students continue to practice these skills in assigned reading from their regular school classes or in books selected based on personal interest.

Class meets for two and a half hours, once a week for five weeks. Between lessons, students practice 45 minutes to one hour, four times per week. Parents are invited to attend 15-minute parent meetings at the end of the first and last lessons.


Speed Reading:
Students master eye-tracking exercises designed to increase reading speed and fluency. In addition to increasing reading speed, these exercises smooth out the reading process, making it less labored and distracting. As a result, students are able to concentrate more clearly on the meaning and content of what they read.

Reading for Pleasure and Strategies for Fiction:
Students learn to quickly identify crucial story elements, such as setting, character, problem, and plot, in order to establish a strong foundation for comprehending the story and exploring the development of characters. Students also learn to pick out the main events and link them together. Finally, students master techniques that help them to visualize more clearly what is described by the author, to identify more completely with the thoughts and feelings of characters, and to actively anticipate what comes next in the story.

Study Skills and Strategies for Non-Fiction:
Students master a step-by-step procedure that will improve their ability to understand and retain information in textbooks and other non-fiction books. First, students learn to develop an overview of the material presented. This overview includes an understanding of the author's background, the subject matter, and the author's purpose. Second, students learn to pick out the main ideas and to link them together. These study skills provide the basis for effective note-taking and ensure active comprehension and improved retention of the material.

Students learn Greek and Latin roots that hold the key to developing a larger vocabulary. Using our engaging Word Intelligence workbook, students master hundreds of new words. More importantly, they adopt habits necessary for continued vocabulary development.

Students receive a Class Manual and Workbook, which contains in-class exercises, homework activities for each week of the course, and a detailed set of notes about all skills and activities taught in the program. Parents will also use the Class Manual and Workbook to supervise home practice and to effectively communicate with the teacher.

See sample pages from Class Manual and Workbook (PDF document).

Students also receive a Word Intelligence workbook, which uses engaging exercises to help them to master hundreds of new words.

See sample pages from Word Intelligence workbook (PDF document).

In addition, students and parents will also benefit from the Reading Development Booklist. This guidebook, organized by level of difficulty, contains hundreds of listings of the best children's literature.

Tuition is $299.

*Average speed and comprehension gains based upon Nelson-Denny standardized test results.

Registration & Information
For more information or to register, call one of our Program Directors at 1-800-964-8888, 7 am - 9 pm Monday-Friday, 7 am - 6 pm Saturday, 8 am - 6 pm Sunday.

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