Brighton is committed to using best-practices, evidence-based teaching methods and materials for its students. Here is an overview of our program:
Direct Instruction – This well-researched, evidence-based teaching method emphasizes small group, face-to face instruction by a teacher using structured and carefully sequenced daily lessons. Content is taught to mastery and placement tests ensure that students start in the correct program, and at the correct level for their abilities. Some of the Direct Instruction programs that Brighton uses include:
- Reading Mastery
- Spelling Mastery
- Corrective Reading Decoding
- Corrective Reading Comprehension
- Spelling Through Morphographs
- Reasoning & Writing
- Language for Learning
- Language for Thinking
Lindamood-Bell Visualizing & Verbalizing for Comprehension
The goal of learning to read is to get meaning. Too many students who are adequate to good decoders (they can sound words out, and even read fluently) struggle to understand what they read, and cannot answer questions involving higher order thinking skills (inferencing, predicting, problem solving, critical thinking). The Lindamood Bell Visualizing & Verbalizing program considers a weakness in concept imagery to be a primary cause of language comprehension difficulty. This weakness causes students to only get “parts’ of text, such as a few facts or details, rather than the whole picture. The Visualizing & Verbalizing program focuses on helping students develop strong concept imagery.
Lindamood-Bell Seeing Stars: Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words and Spelling Program
A significant number of students – even those who have well-developed phonemic awareness – have difficulty with rapidly perceiving sounds in words, and thus are slow to self-correct their reading errors. Their spelling is often phonetically accurate, but they can’t remember the visual patterns of words. The Lindamood Bell Seeing Stars program develops symbol imagery for fluency, develops symbol imagery to sight word development, contextual fluency, spelling and increasing the speed and stability of phonemic awareness. The program begins by visualizing the identity, number, and sequence of letters for the sounds within words, and extends into multi-syllable and contextual reading and spelling.
Math Makes Sense – Math Makes Sense is a program built from an understanding of current educational research and is aligned with the Ontario Curriculum. It has been field tested in hundreds of schools around Canada. The program is based on the principle that fluency with numbers is an essential skill for life. It works on both mental and computational strategies, and includes technology in the learning process.
TouchMath – TouchMath is a multi-sensory math teaching approach that simplifies and clarifies all areas of math including counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, story problems, time, money and fractions. TouchMath develops left/right directionality, reduces number reversals, reinforces number values, eliminates guesswork, and helps to develop confidence in math. Students use ‘touch points’ on paper to see, say, hear and touch numbers in order to learn without guessing.
Science & Technology
According to the Ontario Curriculum, the three major goals of the Science and Technology curriculum are to: relate science and technology to society and the environment; to develop the skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry and technological problem solving; and to understand the basic concepts of science and technology. In order to help students achieve these goals, our curriculum emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning.
Social Studies (Grades 1 – 6) & History & Geography (grades 7 &*8)
With a focus on inquiry-based learning, the goals of the Ontario Curriculum are to develop a sense of “sho am I?, where do I come from?, and how can I contribute to society?” The grade 7 &8 History progrm focusses on developing a sense of time: “who are we? Who came before us? How have we changed”; while the Geography curriculum develops a sense of place in students – “What is where, why there, and why care?”
Brighton is pleased to offer a social cognition curriculum based on Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework and strategies. Social Thinking can assist in developing perspective-taking and self-management strategies; improve academic and classroom success and assist with friendship management. In addition to two social ed classes a week, our Social Education curriculum concepts are also taught incidentally throughout the day at recess, lunch, on the playground and in after school activities.
Students who have difficulty with handwriting, poor spelling, or difficulty translating thoughts into writing may benefit from the use of assistive tehcnology. Various programs are available to students through our network, or on classroom iPads. A variety of computerized programs are used to assist students in becoming proficient with keyboarding.
Gym Classes – Gym time is about activity, participation and fun. In class, students learn team sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball and racquet sports. In addition to scheduled Gym classes, Brighton also provides several opportunities throughout the day for exercise and physical fitness.
Music – Our music program emphasizes the enjoyment of listening and participation in group music making and singing. We present two music concerts a year, at our Christmas/Hanukkah Concert and at our Closing Ceremony. In Term Two, our students are excited to participate in our own ‘Brighton Idol’.
IW (Independent Work)
Each student has an independent work program designed for them based on their own particular learning needs. At first, most IW programs use computer-based programs, and as students are able, desk work, novel studies and independent projects are added. Subjects practiced in IW include: reading(decoding), reading comprehension, spelling, math, auditory memory & listening skills, writing, keyboarding, language skill builders, novel studies, and independent projects.
Homework Help – Brighton provides homework help for all students during the last period of the school day (30 minutes). This time is teacher supported and students are encouraged to seek assistance from any of their classroom teachers for the different subjects that they have had throughout the day. Students can utilize this time for homework assignments, test preparation or working on projects.
Weekly Schedule – Brighton uses a weekly schedule rather than a rotational schedule to better enable students to organize and keep track of their daily lessons. Please click here to view a sample timetable.
Student Agendas – All Brighton Students receive an Agenda/Planner which is used in class at the beginning and end of each day to help students organize and plan their work. It is sent home each afternoon with students and used as a communication tool between parents and teachers.