Horizon Academy uses learning strategies developed by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (KUCRL). These strategies are a component of their Strategic Instruction Model (SIM).

A learning strategy is a person’s approach to learning and using information. Learning strategy instruction focuses on making students more active learners by teaching them how to learn and how to use what they have learned to be successful. Students at Horizon Academy may be instructed in the use of the following learning strategies:



A Starter Strategy for Class Participation (SLANT)a simple, easy-to-learn strategy designed to help students learn how to use appropriate posture, track the talker, activate their thinking, and contribute information to the conversation.

  • Fundamentals of Paraphrasing and Summarizing (SUM UP)– designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to identify and paraphrase main ideas and details in sentences, paragraphs and, essays.
  • Inference Strategy (INFER)– designed to help students comprehend written passages and answer inferential questions (questions that are not answered directly in the text).
  • Self-Questioning Strategy (ASKIT)– helps students create their own motivation for reading by creating questions in their minds, predicting the answers to those questions, searching for the answers to those question, and paraphrasing the answers.
  • Visual Imagery Strategy (SCENE)– reading comprehension strategy for creating mental movies of narrative passages. Students learn to visualize the scenery, characters, and action of a narrative and describe the scenes to themselves.
  • Word Identification Strategy (DISSECT)– helps struggling readers to successfully decode and identify unknown words in reading materials by identifying prefixes, suffixes, and stems following three short syllabication rules.
  • Word Mapping Strategy (MAPS)– involves breaking words into their morphemic parts (prefix, suffix, root), attaching meaning to each word part, predicting the meaning, and checking the dictionary for definition.
  • The LINCS Vocabulary Strategy– helps students learn the meaning of new vocabulary words using visual imagery, associations with prior knowledge, and key-word mnemonic devices to create a study card to enhance comprehension and recall of the concept.
  • Error Monitoring Strategy (COPS)– involves detecting and correcting errors in written work to increase the overall quality of a student’s final product. Instruction stresses the importance of proofreading written work for content and mechanical errors and eliminating those errors before work is submitted.
  • Sentence Writing Strategy (PENS)– comprised of two parts: Fundamentals in the Sentence Writing Strategy and Proficiency in the Sentence Writing Strategy. Together, these components constitute a strategy for recognizing and writing 14 sentence patterns with four types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
  • Paragraph Writing Strategy (SCRIBE)– a strategy for organizing ideas related to a topic, planning the point of view and verb tense to be used in the paragraph, planning the sequence in which ideas will be expressed, and writing a variety of topic, detail, and clincher sentences.
  • The Theme Writing Strategy– focuses on the fundamental skills associated with writing themes, or five-paragraph essays.
  • The Assignment Completion Strategy (PROJECTS)– designed to enable students to complete and hand in assignments on time.
  • The Test Taking Strategy (PIRATES)– designed to be used while taking classroom tests. Students allocate time and priority to each section of the test, carefully read and focus on important elements in the test instructions, recall information by accessing mnemonic devices, systematically and quickly progress through a test, make well-informed guesses, check their work, and take control of the testing situation.
  • Self-Advocacy (SHARE)– students use self-advocacy when preparing for and participating in any type of conference, including education and transition planning conferences (IEP, annual review, etc). Strategy steps provide a way of getting organized before a conference and provide effecting communication techniques to use during the conference.