Language Arts Program
Campers in the Benchmark program are set up to create success.
The combination of individualized teacher support and personal goal-setting lays the groundwork for huge confidence boosts. Campers are in class with other kids who are similar to them, both in terms of skills and age, which makes them willing to take risks.
We’re not just teaching subject matter; we’re teaching strategies for learning.
We teach strategies for decoding words, for building executive function skills, for reading comprehension, and for writing skills. Teachers identify these strategies explicitly, providing why, when, and how students should use the strategies.
This provides students with a "strategies toolbox" they can reach into whenever they need. Struggling students become confident learners.
Strategy Instruction: Executive Function Skills and Self-Knowledge
We introduce students to strategies that will help them become more successful learners by developing executive function skills such as time management, flexibility, persistence, active involvement, reflectivity, and organization.
Small Classes, Continual Support
Small classes led by a head teacher and teaching assistant work with up to nine students, tailoring instruction to meet each child's needs. Teachers are guided throughout the session by Benchmark's experienced supervisors who teach, observe instruction, and meet with teachers to discuss each child's needs and progress.
Learning One's Learning Style
We also teach children strategies that will help them become more successful readers, writers, and learners. Our trained faculty places an emphasis on helping children understand those characteristics of their learning styles that either enhance or impede their reading, writing, and learning.
Explicit instruction, goal setting, goal review, and reinforcement are ways we begin to help children develop awareness of learning strategies that will help them become successful in school and in life.
Small group instruction, word-identification instruction, read aloud sessions and independent response-to-reading activities are ways in which teachers introduce children to strategies that will help them become successful readers and learners.
Through a supportive learning environment that facilitates success and lots of positive reinforcement, children build confidence in themselves as learners.
Just as with reading, we work to develop children's confidence, motivation, and skill as writers. Experts in process writing suggest that developing these qualities involves providing students with ample time to write, giving them regular feedback on to their writing, and offering them choices of writing topics.
Using these methods, we see children make positive changes in how they perceive and approach the writing process, even in a few weeks.