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Number Sense and 10

November 18, 2021

By Brenna Watson, Lower School Teacher It’s not uncommon that a special education teacher is led to the profession because of their own struggles in school. For me, it was math. I remember feeling so ostracized when my entire class grasped a concept that made no sense to me. To this day, my parents still talk about the stress and tears induced by math homework most nights. Ironically, math is now my favorite subject to teach. I’m very thankful for the shift in math instruction that’s been unfolding throughout my career.  One of my favorite “best practices” is fostering a…

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Faculty Spotlight: Teri Truog

November 8, 2021

Mrs. Teri Truog has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. She had many teachers who influenced her throughout her life, and she was continually reinforced with the thought that teaching was for her. During her time as a special education camp counselor, Teri knew she wanted to become a SPED teacher because she wanted to learn how to teach every kind of child in the way they needed to learn.  Since taking her first Orton-Gillingham course over ten years ago at Horizon Academy, Truog has carried it with her to every school she has…

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Yes, I have Dyslexia!

October 18, 2021

By Shaynee Sherwood, Lower School Teacher “What is it like having dyslexia?” I have been asked this question dozens of times since my own diagnosis in 2nd grade, and for a long time, I was unsure how to fully respond. Dyslexia is frustrating. It’s a lot of work: A lot of extra work. It’s working your hardest and still sometimes missing the mark. Or, oftentimes, missing the mark. It’s time-consuming. It’s knowing that you’ll almost always need extra time on language-based tasks. It’s being the last student to finish the test. It’s being the kid who accidentally left the completed homework at…

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Faculty Spotlight: Katlin Gardner

October 8, 2021

Ms. Katlin Gardner grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She had a hard time moving through the Kansas City public school system but had one particular teacher in 3rd-5th grade that advocated for her. This experience made her realize that she wanted to be a source of help for students struggling in school.  Growing up with a mom who taught preschool, Gardner recognized first-hand that, ‘teaching young children is exhausting and time-consuming, but if you’re meant to do it, you can see the joy it brings to the teacher every time they teach.’ This is what Gardner saw in her…

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Faculty Spotlight: Brett Lasseter

September 14, 2021

Mrs. Brett Lasseter has known she wanted to be a teacher since she was a child herself! Having family members diagnosed with learning disabilities, she was exposed at a young age to appreciate the different ways people learn. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education with a Minor in deaf studies from Northwest Missouri State University, Lasseter worked in various places before landing at Horizon Academy.  Lasseter has had previous experiences where teachers have the attitude of, not my student not my problem. That is one thing she really appreciates about Horizon Academy. In fact,…

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Sensory Processing Disorder

September 2, 2021

By: Jackie Thomas Does your child?: Have difficulty sitting still in class for a 30-minute lesson?Have meltdowns when having to go to an assembly in a loud gym?Refuse to wear certain clothes?Bump into things or people when walking the halls?Get upset during lunch with the smell of a peer’s lunch?Get distracted by a visually stimulating classroom?Have difficulty with bladder control? If you answered yes to some of these questions then your child may have a sensory processing disorder (SPD).  Sensory processing is the ability of the brain to take in, organize, and interpret information from our senses. Our senses give…

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The Transition Process

May 12, 2021

By Alicia Carr, Counseling Director At Horizon Academy, we cherish building relationships with each individual student. Ultimately the goal for every student is to transition back to a traditional school setting; we strive to provide our students with the skills needed to make that transition. We support our students in meeting their educational, social, and emotional goals; helping them to be strong, independent self-advocates with social skills; and improving confidence in their academic abilities.  The duration of a student’s stay at Horizon Academy varies greatly depending on the needs of the student. The four foundational skills we look for in…

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Collaborative Storytelling Club

April 13, 2021

By: Michael McConnell Over the last 3 years, Collaborative Storytelling Club has become one of Horizon Academy’s most popular clubs with sessions every quarter even during our online 4th quarter last year. If you have or have had a child enrolled in this club, you may have heard them come home telling some truly bizarre stories about what they did at school that day. “Well, we needed to get the DJ dragon to play at the party.” “I befriended a stalactite tentacle monster.” “I jumped off the Hoover Dam, but I didn’t reach the water.” These are all things students…

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David Kilpatrick’s “Equipped for Reading Success”

February 9, 2021

By Sage Isenmann My educator mind was blown last summer. I’m in my fourteenth year of teaching (and my eighth at Horizon), so this doesn’t happen often. We were assigned to read David Kilpatrick’s book, “Equipped for Reading Success.” As it often goes with summer reading, I begrudgingly, yet faithfully, approached the task. It didn’t take long, however, for me to get sucked into the material.  In the book, Kilpatrick explores the latest research into how children learn to read and how to prevent/correct most reading difficulties in a straightforward manner, along with many exercises to use with kids and…

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The Power of Our Words: How much and which words?

January 8, 2021

By Alana Seidenberg, Lower School Teacher Have you ever prepared for a pitch or a presentation by writing down your talking points or even a script of what you planned to say, and practiced it repeatedly? When we speak on a topic, we generally want to make sure that our words are purposeful, concise, and to the point. Teachers have the same mentality when instructing our students! It is very common for students with dyslexia, other learning disabilities, and ADHD to struggle with completing multi-step directions. Their working memory is not strong enough to hold on to the slew of…

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