THE COGNITION & LEARNING DEPARTMENT
Cognition and Learning courses focus specifically on a student’s unique area of challenge. Students are placed in small groups and learning specialists customize the curriculum to meet the individual needs of the group. Open to all grades.
A Forman education is designed to foster academic confidence and independence. The Cognition & Learning classes are designed to do just that and are integrated into each student’s daily academic schedule. With strategies woven into classes, students develop the necessary skills to be confident and successful learners, ready for college and life beyond the classroom. Learning is an active, dynamic process. Constant change and growth occurs in each student day-to-day as well as year-to-year. Recognizing this, we are uniquely dedicated to supporting the educational journey of each of our students. Moreover, Institute teachers meet regularly with national experts in the field of learning differences. As a result, our master teachers hold expertise in current research and teaching methods about learning differences that informs our approach to education.
Introduction to Academic Reading I
This course is designed to help students develop basic reading and word attack skills using an individualized, multi-sensory, phonetic, and sequential approach. Course work in Reading I includes phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary and morphology, grammar and usage, comprehension, and spelling. The course is taught in a small-group setting with a reading specialist.
Introduction to Academic Reading II
This course is designed to help students develop increased reading fluency and comprehension to improve reading for academic coursework. Students focus on the active reading process, including the integration of paraphrasing, summarizing and interacting with text. Students read and interact with a variety of academic materials relevant to their individual reading level. This course further develops vocabulary, word attack skills, and spelling.
Introduction to Academic Reading III
This course is designed to assist students in continuing to develop reading fluency and comprehension to improve reading for academic coursework. Students focus on morpheme analysis, semantic mapping, active reading strategies, and vocabulary development. Additionally, reciprocal teaching techniques are used to strengthen students’ reading comprehension skills. Students practice independently choosing strategies to apply to content texts to improve comprehension of the material.
Metacognitive Strategies I & II
In Metacognitive Strategies, students learn to identify, explain, and manage their learning needs. They receive direct, explicit instruction in critical skills to enable them to function as independent learners. Coursework specifically includes: reading comprehension applied to academic work, vocabulary development, paraphrasing, listening and note taking, homework completion, test taking, time management, materials organization, and goal setting. Of particular importance is the fostering of self-advocacy skills. This course is not a content tutorial. Content help is available during evening study hall and by appointment for extra help with individual teachers and tutors.
Introduction to Executive Function Coaching
- Grades 9, 10
This course is designed to introduce students to executive functions, using practical, structured, and research-based strategies. In particular, this class is appropriate for underclass students. Executive function coaching is hands-on and uses a student’s strengths to help him/her develop academic coaching skills. In this course, students gain knowledge and awareness of the development of executive functions. The course focuses on direct instruction of planning and prioritization of assignments, as well as organizational, time management, task initiation and completion, and self-monitoring strategies.
Executive Function Coaching
- Grades 11, 12, PG
Students in upper grades use practical, structured, and research-based coaching methods to help with self-awareness, time management, productivity, organization, prioritizing, and other factors that help improve academic performance. Executive Function Coaching is a hands-on course and uses a student’s strengths to help him/her develop academic coping skills. The coach provides structure, accountability, and motivation until the student is able to develop these functions on his/her own. Because executive functions are neurobiological, students need the most effective strategies for planning, prioritizing, time management, task initiation and focal maintenance. Coaching facilitates continued development of realistic goals, a student’s ability to identify roadblocks, and continued use of individually customized strategies.
Perspectives in Learning I: Art of the Personal Narrative
- Grade 11
- .5 credit, Semester 2 of Junior Year
As current research suggests, students with learning and attention difficulties need to develop necessary skills in order to advocate for themselves; such skills begin with an understanding and recognition of their specific strengths and areas of challenges. Once students gain a better understanding of themselves as a learner, they are better able to identify and articulate their personal needs at the collegiate level. Incorporated into this unique curriculum are inventories assessing personality traits, interests and learning strategies, along with direct instruction on how to navigate the college research process. Over the course of a semester, there will be class time allotted to prepare students for standardized tests. At the end of the course, students will focus on crafting their personal narrative.
Perspectives In Learning II: College Bound
- Grade 12
- .5 credit, Semester 1 of Senior Year
In this course students will receive daily support and guidance in all aspects of the college application process. The students will be given the opportunity to individualize their curriculum based on their specific application needs. Incorporated into this unique curriculum are the implementation of time management, self-advocacy, and organizational strategies that can be used at the post-secondary level.