The grades one and two English language arts programs teach children to read through phonics and sight words taught in a sequential order. Phonetic concepts are introduced through sentences which gradually turn into short stories using a controlled vocabulary. Basic comprehension skills are developed through answering simple questions about the stories. Sight words are introduced in the short stories one at a time and practiced in a repeated reading book. The repeated reading book is made from sentences composed of the sight words which the child illustrates. As soon as they are able, children also begin to read short books independently in the classroom library.
Spelling is based on phonetic concepts and rhyming words. It is taught on alternate days. Sentence writing builds strong verbs and shows children how to vary sentence starters. Picture books are read aloud by the teacher and culminate in creative story writing projects. Each story writing project is based on three sequenced pictures which are taught through a guided writing process.
Smart Start in Language Arts is a 1300 page, reproducible, all-inclusive reading/writing/spelling program bound in a D-ring binder. Each student lesson is supported by: co-ordinating phonics worksheets, word analysis exercises, sentence writing, spelling practice, printing, and punctuation / capitalization exercises. Repeated reading books are made by students using sentence strips to master sight words in the context of little stories. Lists of themed picture books build towards writing sequence stories (there are a total of six story units). Teaching explanations for new material in the lessons are placed prior to a new concept being introduced in student work. Flip to the next day and you'll see what you're teaching and receive an explanation when necessary. Four reading assessments are provided for various stages of the year. Finally, the program now includes the revised Smart Start Companion.
NEW: Puppet shows support student learning of alphabet sounds for School Days 1 to 33, Day 47 and Day 61.
Foster the joy of learning in your students to develop a strong reading/writing/spelling foundation through a fun and successful method anyone can learn! This program is used in many private schools.
Here are some of the schools teaching this program in first grade:
Schools/Teachers who recently purchased this program include:
I have been using Smart Start in Language Arts for more than ten years in my grade one classroom, with superb results. JoAnne has developed a resource that provides structure, continuity and excellent learning strategies in all areas of the Language Arts program.
In reading, the children quickly develop decoding and word attack skills, and comprehension strategies that give them success and a sense of being a reader. By the end of grade one the vast majority of my students are reading independently, with comprehension, beyond grade level expectations as indicated by school board achievement results, and common diagnostic assessment tools.
The students' spelling skills are integrated into their daily reading assignment using a guided approach. Verbalizing the spelling rules, effective use of repetition, and spelling phonics posters have proven to be a very successful part of my Language Arts program.
I have found the most difficult skill to teach to grade one students is effective writing. I am always amazed at the writing growth my students display at the end of grade one, not only in their daily writing in the classroom, but on district level writing assessments. Using the many strategies in Smart Start, Sequence Stories, and Writing with Results, they grow from writing simple sentences to success in all genres and all subject areas.
There is no greater reward for a grade one teacher, than to see students reading and writing successfully at the end of the year. Searching for tools to enhance that success is always an important part of my job. I have used and discarded a great number of resources throughout my career of more than 20 years. Smart Start will continue to be an important part of my resource library.
Grade one teacher