Daily Schedule and Subjects
Language Arts encompasses guidelines from the Ontario Curriculum. The program will be designed with individual expectations in mind. In the Middle School there will be a heavy emphasis on language and composition in keeping with our mission of remediating significant deficits.
Generally speaking there will be an emphasis on the development of oral and written language. The program will incorporate theme-centered and structured approaches to language. In the Primary program there will be an emphasis on phonemic awareness and reading readiness. This will then transition into comprehension, brainstorming and early writing skills. The Junior Program will work with themes based on the curriculum and popular novels.
Movement is essential to learning and focus, as well as health.
MindWare Academy’s mathematics program is tailored to the individual needs of the student. Emphasis is placed on developing math skills which lead to a deeper understanding allowing for more success at the high school level.
Students are grouped in small classes based on individual ability. Students’ needs and abilities are continuously assessed allowing for program modifications. The students will be following the outline of the Ontario Curriculum ranging from basic numeracy to algebra. The focus will not only be on the ability to do calculations, but also the ability to understand math. MindWare Academy’s goal is to have students entire grade 9 prepared at either the academic or applied level.
Mathematics is its own language, and many children with learning disabilities struggle with certain aspects of it. The teachers at MindWare are sensitive to this. Compensatory strategies are taught to help students. Math is taught in a multi-sensory way starting with manuipulatives and transitioning to the more abstract. Technology is used when possible.
The Individual Remediation period is one of the things that separates us from other schools. Instead of simply modifying our program or offering accommodations, we work to remediate the deficit, thereby closing gaps and allowing our students to flourish here and in high school.
Individual remediation allows for the child to develop skills in specific areas. For language deficiencies, students will begin with phonemic (sound) awareness. Then they will enter the Orton Gillingham program to develop their ability to decode language (written and oral). The next step is the Real Spelling program which further advances their understanding of the roots of words, their meanings and their pronunciations.
Beyond language, individual remediation also includes programs for math for those who struggle. Teachers use manipulatives and keep groups small to maximize one-on-one explanations.
Lastly, social skills are also taught during Individual Remediation and are a very important part of the curriculum for children with Asperger’s or NLD. Students learn how to make friends, how to keep friends, appropriate conflict resolution as well as stress management, teasing, and interpersonal development.
The science program at MindWare Academy follows the themes of the Ontario Curriculum. It is a hands on learning experience where extra resources and experts will be brought in to enhance the learning experience. Learning will be student led as they discover the laws of science and nature. In our Middle School children will be taught the stages of lab writing which will prepare them for high school science.
Social studies will focus on two main areas: geography and history. Themes will be based on the Ontario Curriculum and will be student led. Using dramatic arts, music, art and language we will bring history to life. For many themes, students will have the opportunity to dress up in period costumes and perform skits or reenact the time period. Creativity will be a bonus for many of our students allowing their strengths to come through.
There are three overall objectives of the physical education program: physical education skills, health education and confidence/trust building. Students will learn skills, rules, strategy and safety within individual and team sports. Health education will cover fitness and nutrition, body awareness, safety and in the Middle School an introduction to puberty and body changes. The units on confidence and trust building will center around problem solving, teamwork and leadership.
Many of our students find that their true gifts lie in the field of the Arts. We want to help develop these skills so that students feel proud of their abilities. Areas of focus include the arts, music and threatre and are showcased in an end of year performance.
MindWare Academy is very excited to offer an Electives program that will introduce students to a variety of activities. Electives will be based on the age groupings and interests of the students and will rotate through every 4 to 6 weeks.
Homework is not assigned on a regular basis at MindWare Academy. Children with learning disabilities work very hard during the day and are far too tired after hours to be expected to do homework. Reading is assigned and children are asked to read aloud every evening. Also, projects will be assigned so that children have an opportunity to share this experience with their families. Whether it is building a mini log cabin or an entire First Nations village, children like to engage in these activities with their parents. It instills a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Any homework that is assigned is done so to teach students time management, organizational skills as well as a healthy work ethic in order to prepare them for high school. Our goal is to empowering students with skills needed to be proactive and hard working.
Should homework be given, it will be announced in class.