Uncategorized - Horizon Academy - Page 2


A Tutor’s Perspective: Learning From Students Each Day

May 29, 2018

Written by Aly Burnett, Tutor This year I have had the opportunity to work with Elementary, Middle and Upper Team students while tutoring in Orton-Gillingham (O-G), and KU Writing Strategies. It has been extremely rewarding to provide instruction at various levels using the Orton-Gillingham approach. Additionally, being trained in KU Writing Strategies this past year has helped me broaden my knowledge of and approach to writing. While looking back on this school year, I feel like one of the major take-a-ways for me is recognizing how much I have learned from my reading and writing students this year.     One…

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Preventing the Summer Slide

May 15, 2018

Written by Ms. Linton, Elementary Teacher As we make our way into the final months of the school year, there have been quite a few requests about how to avoid the ‘Summer Slide.’   Unfortunately, I am not referring to that awesome green slide at the waterpark, but instead the decrease in reading ability or any other academic skill that is neglected over the summer.  Recent literature states that students on average lose between 25-30% of their school year during the summer months, which makes for a difficult transition back to school in the fall.   The solution for avoiding the…

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Making It Without Faking It

April 30, 2018

Written by Mrs. Denning, Upper Team Teacher   “Fake it 'til you make it.” It's a phrase I heard repeatedly during my college days, and I have heard it throughout my career, as well. I definitely agree that you can't always wait until you're completely confident with something before you give it a try; after all, a lot of things would just never get done! However, simply moving forward when you don't understand will not increase your understanding or your confidence.   The past few years as a Horizon teacher have truly pulled me out of my comfort zone and into…

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Multisensory Math:  A More Effective Approach To Teaching Math

April 18, 2018

Written by Ms. Jones, Upper Team Teacher This year, I’ve had an amazing opportunity to take both the Multisensory Math I and II classes taught by Marilyn Zecher from the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center (ASDEC).   These classes revolutionized my perspective in teaching math. They are designed to help teachers develop multisensory math instruction using the Concrete-Representational-Abstract Approach (CRA Approach).  This approach is based on the following teaching principles from Samuel Orton: Instruction should be systematic, cumulative, diagnostic, simultaneous, multisensory and explicit.   The CRA Approach emphasizes that instruction starts with simple or concrete concepts and progresses to the complex…

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Smart Is as Smart Does

April 2, 2018

 Written by Mrs. Semro, Middle Team Teacher You can be smarter.  You can learn to be a smarter person.  Sound good? It certainly would to most people.  Intelligence is highly valued in our society, even revered.  Why wouldn’t it be? Intelligence is equated with success, thus a handy quality to bring to the table in any situation.  It would seem that if someone is smart, they are always smart, and they should automatically be successful. This concept is referred to as a fixed mindset, a belief in fixed intelligence.   In reality, research is showing us that when it comes to…

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A Caring Community Pt. 2: In the Classroom

March 9, 2018

Written by Mrs. Herber, Elementary Teacher In part 1 of this series, Mr. Epsten discussed the school-wide initiatives Horizon Academy has taken to create a caring community of learners. Continue reading as Mrs. Herber discusses what this looks like in the classroom.   The Golden Rule. On the first day of school, teachers take the opportunity to discuss classroom rules.  Most teachers will let the students come up with classroom rules they think are important. These rules usually include, following directions, waiting quietly to be called on, picking up after oneself, and being respectful.  When the students share the rule…

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A Caring Community Pt. 1: School-Wide Initiatives

March 2, 2018

Written by Mr. Epsten, Counseling Director One of the main tenets of Horizon Academy is to create a caring school community to help students feel welcome, safe and accepted by staff and peers.  Many of our students have faced failure, rejection and been bullied in previous settings.  At first glance our efforts might seem contrived or ritualistic; however, in our experience students have appreciated and responded positively to these efforts in creating a caring community.   From the moment a student steps out of the car to be dropped off for the first day, they are greeted by staff who…

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Discovering Inspiration

February 8, 2018

Written by Mr. Isenmann, Middle Team Teacher As a teacher, I’m constantly looking for new ideas. I get bored doing the same projects, the same writing prompts, the same review games year after year. I’ve found the most success in idea generation by not actively seeking ideas; I do the opposite.   I try to always keep my mind curious and open, no matter what I’m exposing it to. Instead of Googling writing prompts, I make sure to note whenever I see something that makes me ask myself a question. For example, I saw a story on the news about…

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Preparing Students for a Digital World

January 2, 2018

Written by Mr. Hayes, Technology Specialist At Horizon, we strive to help our students achieve their best. As a school for students with learning disabilities, this means we use many new systems and creative methods to individualize the learning process. We also work hard to ensure our kids are able to expand their knowledge into studies that are exciting and modern. Our school tackles this in a number of ways, from science and technology classes, utilizing 1:1 iPad programs, constantly evolving our tech footprint, and a series of IT assistance programs for student helpers to participate in. We feel that…

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Entrepreneurship Project

November 9, 2017

Written by Mrs. Bergman, Counselor What do the founders of IKEA, JetBlue, Charles Schwab, and Apple all have in common? They all have learning disabilities. While learning disabilities can make many tasks more challenging, they are often associated with strengths in entrepreneurial areas such as creativity, problem solving, and big-picture thinking.   This fall, the 12th grade class undertook an entrepreneurship project aimed at developing skills for small business leadership including production, marketing, inventory management, and customer service. The students founded Great Minds Candle Company and together worked to create an appealing range of products to sell at Horizon Academy’s Fall…

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