All Kindergarten, First and Second grade classes use a phonics program called Fundations. Fundations primary focus is on phonemic awareness activities, letter recognition, phonics, and studying syllable types and affixes as a part of the decoding process. Vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension instruction are included in the program as well. In Level K, students learn letter formation by using “sky writing” involving gross motor movements, before they practice writing on paper. The letter names and sounds are learned, the alphabetic principle established and phonological awareness is emphasized. Through the use of multi-modality methods involving auditory input, manipulation of tiles and sound cards, “tapping” phonemes on their fingers to learn to blend words, and writing, students learn to read CVC words and the fundamentals of early reading and writing.
Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, spelling, handwriting and vocabulary development. Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are practiced during storytime activities. These components provide a foundation in literacy on which they can build for the remainder of their education.