During 90 minutes of language arts, CID primary school students learn reading skills in small ability-based groups. Their phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension and reading fluency improve as they succeed in learning to read. Our literature class provides practice of comprehension skills while appreciating classic children’s stories. CID students enjoy this story time and practice auditory skills while listening to the teacher reading out loud.
Daily gym class, or PE, is a student favorite. The children follow a general education physical education curriculum taught by an experienced teacher. Games, gross motor skills, endurance, sportsmanship and fun are all part of the PE curriculum.
We offer weekly special activities to develop art, music, library and study and social skills. The children learn from a teacher from the Center for Contemporary Art, as well as from a certified Kindermusic teacher. Our counselor (who is deaf and an excellent role model for the students) teaches them social skills. Throughout the day, CID students have access to laptops, iPads and SmartBoards. Not only is it fun for them to gain experience with computer technology, they receive a well-rounded background similar to that experienced by their typically hearing peers.
Speech and Auditory Training
Master-level teachers of the deaf and speech-language pathologists target goals for each individual child to improve his or her speech and listening skills. This takes place in small groups of one or two students. The skills are reinforced throughout the school day.
Language instruction at CID is two-fold. We group the students by ability and teach them specific language and grammatical structures. We practice these structures intensely each day. Then, when the students talk about their weekend, learn new academic concepts or participate in pragmatic language activities, we encourage them to converse using their new language skills. This period also enables students to use their best language to practice writing for a variety of purposes. These writing skills are also reinforced throughout the school day.
Lunch and Recess
Washington University School of Medicine graduate students working on their master’s or doctoral degrees in deaf education or audiology supervise the children at lunch and recess, either on the CID campus or in nearby Forest Park. Beautiful scenery, walking and running paths, playing fields and state-of-the-art playgrounds are among its many attractions.
CID math classes follow the same general education curriculum used by many schools in the St. Louis area. We teach math skills using a hands-on approach with concentration on critical thinking skills, language and vocabulary. Because the children are grouped by ability, our teachers can concentrate instruction to the level of each. To practice computation skills, the students use an online program called FASTT Math. This program gives students positive feedback as they become fluent in computation facts.
We introduce the students to a variety of experiences to help them learn basic science concepts and vocabulary for their grade level. Using the Discovery Education Techbook curriculum, we engulf them in textbook information, hands-on experiments, digital field trips and class projects. We give them ample opportunities to build a solid foundation in science.
Children learn best by doing. In CID social studies classes, the students supplement their classroom learning by participating in real-life experiences to help them understand basic social studies concepts and vocabulary. Building a model of a neighborhood and taking a trip to the local grocery store help them learn about the world in which they live.
Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Throughout the year, the students learn to collaborate on planning, problem solving and presenting information in a variety of ways. Projects have included art and living history museums, a trip around the world and a science center. Not only is PBL many students’ favorite activity, it prepares them for collaboration and group projects in a general education classroom.