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KICKSTART CURRICULUM

The K-Reading Kickstart curriculum offers two distinct options: a group instruction program tailored for schools and small groups, and an individualized instruction program designed for parents and tutors. Both options seamlessly integrate with the K-Math Kickstart program. Additionally, the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center (ASDEC) offers optional training and support to implement these programs with efficacy. 

K Reading Kickstart group

K-Reading Kickstart

K-Reading Kickstart individual curriculum

K-Reading Kickstart

K-Math Kickstart curriculum

K-Math Kickstart

I began the Kickstart program with a 1st grade student who had significant writing and letter recognition difficulties.  After working with her for just a short time, her performance improved considerably.  My student really enjoys the variety the program offers and this helps her stay engaged. I am truly impressed with Kickstart and am looking forward to her continued progress.

Lydia Whitham, Teacher, CALT

Developed by Mona Iyer, an early childhood educator and Montessori specialist for over 25 year, K-Reading Kickstart and K-Math Kickstart integrate Orton-Gillingham methods and Montessori techniques.

The objective of the Kickstart curriculum is to provide a strong foundation in reading, writing, comprehension, numeracy and quantity skills to young learners, and moreover, identify learners with reading difficulties and other early academic issues.  The Kickstart curriculum enhances skills by identifying different learning paths for groups with different learning abilities.

The K-Reading Curriculum

 

The K-Reading Kickstart methodology integrates foundational Orton-Gillingham instructional methods with highly effective Montessori strategies for multi-sensory learning.  It is a structured literacy approach to early education.  The objective is to provide a strong foundation in reading, writing, comprehension to young learners, and moreover, identify learners with learning difficulties.

 

​K-Reading Kickstart delivers a diagnostic and  prescriptive approach to reading and writing. The K-Reading Kickstart program provides learning modules in the key areas of phonemic awareness, alphabet skills, phonics, reading, and spelling to help the planning of detailed lessons for the entire year.  The learning modules also help design flexibility into the lessons to cater to the specialized needs of students as appropriate.​

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COMBINES EFFECTIVE MONTESSORI STRATEGIES WITH PROVEN ORTON-GILLINGHAM METHODOLOGY

MULTI-SENSORY INSTRUCTION KEEPS STUDENTS ENGAGED IN LEARNING

EDUCATOR AND PARENT SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO ENSURE SUCCESS IN IMPLEMENTATION

STRUCTURED BUT FLEXIBLE CURRICULUM ADAPTS TO ALL STUDENTS

WHY IT WORKS

COMPLETE YEAR-LONG CURRICULUM WITHOUT THE NEED TO PURCHASE COSTLY MATERIALS

Phonological awareness is the key predictor of reading in young children.  Research shows that concrete phonological skills develop strong reading skills.  Phonological awareness is a broad term that incorporates several skills.  It is the ability to hear and manipulate the sound structure within words, i.e. recognize that language is made up of words, syllables, rhymes, and sounds (phonemes).  This knowledge occurs in oral language initially.  It is a critical aspect of early literacy development and is linked to the attainment of reading, comprehension, and spelling.  According to National Research Council (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998) and National Reading Panel (NICHD, 2000) the critical components for teaching young children to read are:

 

  • ​​Phonological awareness;

  • Alphabetic knowledge;

  • Phonics;

  • Vocabulary development;

  • Reading fluency, including oral reading skills;

  • Reading comprehension strategies. ​

 

 

Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE) and Montessori techniques can work together to enhance beginning reading skills in preschool and kindergarten children.  Since the Montessori method is systematic and  multisensory, it blends well with MSLE to provide optimal results for early literacy development.  The educational methodology and learning modules using such a blended approach for reading and literacy development among young learners is presented in the curriculum.

child looking happy at table with other kids

Scope and Sequence

1.     Phonological Awareness

 1.1 Learning Sensorially

 1.2 Rhyming

 1.3 Words & Sentences

 1.4 Syllable

 1.5 Phonemic Awareness

1.5a Initial Sounds

1.5b Final Sounds

1.5c Medial Sounds

1.5d Combining Sounds

2.     Alphabet

 2.1  Names of letters

 2.2  Shapes of letters

 2.3  Sequencing

 2.4  Concept of consonants

 2.5  Concept of vowels

 2.6  Upper- and lower-case letters

3.     Phonics

 The letters are presented through auditory, visual, and kinesthetic pathways in the following  sequence:

  • m t a s b c

  • n l i r f p

  • h g o k d

  • j x e v z

  • w u qu y

  • ch ck th sh

4.     Reading

 Letters are presented in the same sequence as Phonics above. Reading Exercises—learning modules  include words, nonsense words, multisyllabic words, phrases, and sentences for students to read.  Students are given reading pages with “cvc” and “vc” words.

5.     Handwriting

 The letters in the handwriting Learning modules have been grouped by the ease of production and  similarly of the strokes.  The sequence movements for each letter is given.  Depending on the school district, either print or cursive are taught.

6.     Spelling and Spelling Exercises

 Spelling moves from sounds to letters.  The Learning modules in this section address three different  spelling procedures for spelling basewords; procedures to write phrases and sentences and  procedures to write multisyllabic words.

7.     Vocabulary and Comprehension, Fluency

 Learning modules in this section provide various methods for developing and improving vocabulary  and comprehension skills of the students. 

K-Reading Kickstart Group is designed to be implemented as a one-year program for emerging readers (PreK/K) in a classroom setting.  Assessment tools, including Heggerty's Phonemic Awareness assessments, enable the teacher to group students according to ability. These tools also enable early identification of those students with more profound reading deficits who may require more specialized outside intervention. The book includes detailed learning modules that present a staggered approach enabling repetition of foundational aspects (re-teaching) by creating sub-groups in the classroom.  Research* supports this approach; groupings are flexible and meet the instructional needs of all students.

 

The Kickstart curriculum supports Tier 1 ELA curriculum aligned to Science of Reading standards identified by THE READING LEAGUE NATIONAL CURRICULUM GUIDE.

*Guskey, T. R., & Gates, S. L. (1986). Synthesis of research on the effects of mastery learning in elementary and secondary classrooms. Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology Faculty Publications, 23. https://uknowledge.uky.edu/edp_facpub/23 

International Dyslexia Association. (2010). Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Baltimore, MD. Author.

Kulik, C.-L. C., Kulik, J. A., & Bangert-Drowns, R. L. (1990). Effectiveness of mastery learning programs: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 60(2), 265–299. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543060002265 

 

Phillips, B.M., Menchetti, J.C., Lonigan, C.J. Successful phonological awareness instruction with preschool children: Lessons from the classroom. Topics Early Child Spec Educ. 2008 May 1;28(1):3-17. doi: 10.1177/0271121407313813. PMID: 26038613; PMCID: PMC4450148.

Teacher with three children at table with book

K-READING KICKSTART: GROUP INSTRUCTION
for SMALL-GROUPS and CLASSROOMS

SAMPLE SEQUENCE

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flow chart of K-Kickstart Reading classroom year
K-Reading Kickstart group curriculum

Typically, in a school classroom setting, the K-Reading Kickstart program works as follows:

  • It is split into three Phases and each Phase runs for approximately 3 months:

 

  • Reviews and assessments are conducted as follows:

    • Daily review at the end of each lesson

    • End of Phase review (after completion of each phase) 

  • Students are divided into groups at the end of each of the phase reviews

    • Decision is made on instruction level required for each group; a group that has not made enough progress will repeat lessons in specific areas, while continuing with new lessons

    • After the second Phase review (6 months), there may be 2-3 different groups in the class

  • At the end of the program, 3 groups of students will be identified:

    • Students who can proceed to Grade 1 reading

    • Students who need to attend a Tier 2 group intervention program*

    • Students who may need Tier 3 one-on-one therapy for reading*  

*ASDEC provides training in Spire, a Tier 2 group intervention program, and Sounds In Syllables, a Tier 3 one-on-one therapy program.

Three teachers at table in library discussing

K-READING KICKSTART: INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTION 
for PARENTS and TUTORS

Boost your child's reading skills with K-Reading Kickstart! Our adaptable curriculum offers short, engaging lessons tailored to your child's pace. With low-cost materials and optional support, parents and tutors can provide effective, science-based reading instruction that sets children up for success.

Mother and child smiling reading book

The K-Reading individual program describes the educational methodology and learning modules using such a blended approach for reading and literacy development among young learners. The program is designed for young learners in a one-on-one setting (i.e. one teacher, one student).  When a lesson is taught, the program allows students to advance according to their abilities and progression and provides time to repeat lessons as required.  This helps students to move at a pace that is appropriate for them. At the conclusion of the program, the teacher may be able to identify if the student has additional reading deficits (e.g., issues like dyslexia or dysgraphia) that may require more specialized outside intervention.

Daily lesson plans consist of combinations of learning modules described in the main text.  A daily lesson plan will include some of the following elements depending on the student’s progress:

Phonological Awareness

2 modules reviewed daily.

Alphabet

Alphabet sequencing is included daily instruction from the beginning of the curriculum.     

          

Phonics

Starts after Phonological Awareness modules have been completed. Letters are introduced in a specific order and presented through auditory, visual, and kinesthetic pathways.

Letter Review

Starts after sound (phonics) introduction. Each day, the teacher shows the keyword and sound card and asks the student to say it. 

 

Sound Review

Starts after sound (phonics) introduction. Each day, the teacher gives a sound, asks the student to write the letter by echoing the sound and naming the letter after writing.

Reading & Vocabulary

Starts when student is ready to read. Vocabulary is introduced from the reading words and word of the day.

Handwriting

Introduced at the beginning of the curriculum and practiced daily. Cursive or print option.

Spelling

When the student is ready for reading, the student will also begin spelling.

Comprehension

Comprehension tasks are embedded throughout the curriculum.

Key features of the program are:

 

  • Easy to implement lessons

  • Low-cost materials

  • Adaptable to your child

  • Short, engaging, multisensory lessons

  • Based on Science of Reading

K-MATH KICKSTART: INDIVIDUAL and GROUP

wooden numbers with wooden dots underneath showing amount

Built on the premise that early math skills are fundamental to future academic success, our K-Math Kickstart program offers a comprehensive, multi-sensory approach to mathematics education for emerging learners. Drawing on research highlighting the importance of early math activities in predicting later math aptitude, our program emphasizes hands-on learning experiences that promote number sense and mathematical fluency. Through the use of concrete materials, interactive games, and representational drawing, children explore fundamental math concepts such as quantity, comparison, patterns, and spatial relationships.

The K-Math curriculum uses a structured approach and is rich in sensory experiences. In this approach, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic procedures using movements and touch are employed. The use of multi-sensory materials engages many parts of the brain and helps children to develop number sense.

 

Math in the early years of a child deals directly with shapes, patterns, and spatial relationship. Different exercises that have been included in this program, e.g., sorting, classifying, sequencing, pattern awareness, seriation, ordering, time, measurement, help the child see similarities, differences, and gradation in the materials. All these exercises have content for the child to explore and experiment with, in preparation for abstract thinking in Math. 

In this program, learning modules are organized using the CRA framework (i.e., Concrete-touch, Representational-drawing, Abstract-symbols). Concrete materials are used in every learning module.  With all materials, the first step is to give a concrete experience, so the child can manipulate quantities and count orally.  All modules also include interactive activities, learning games, and reinforcement and encourage teachers to try and provide real-life experiences whenever possible. 

Scope and Sequence

The first few learning modules help the student to explore Math concepts sensorially and prepare the student for future introductions of number sense. The next few modules deal with numeral recognition and writing numerals. This is followed by association of quantities and numerals, concept of zero and subitizing. Place value, teens, tens, decimal system and skip counting are explained next. The program concludes with lessons in addition, subtraction, geometry, and fractions.

COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH PROVIDING STRONG FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE MATH CONCEPTS

MULTI-SENSORY, HANDS-ON  INSTRUCTION KEEPS STUDENTS ENGAGED IN LEARNING

FOCUS ON BUILDING MATH VOCABULARY WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR UNDERSTANDING CONCEPTS AND PROBLEM SOLVING

STRUCTURED BUT FLEXIBLE CURRICULUM ADAPTS TO ALL STUDENTS

WHY IT WORKS

ALIGNED WITH RESEARCH SUPPORTED CRA FRAMEWORK TO SCAFFOLD LEARNING

After just a few lessons, our five-year-old started showing a remarkable interest in letters and words and began asking questions like "what word is this" and "what does this say". For the first time, he was feeling curious and excited about learning to read. Soon after, he started sounding out letters and reading simple words, and now spontaneously attempts to read random words during Storytime, which has very recently become his favorite activity. 

Maya and Bobby W., Parents

Alexa Young, CA

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