Lower School Phonics

Mrs. Dannemann Discusses the Open Court Phonics Curriculum

More on Phonics

When the founders envisioned Charlotte Latin School, they knew that a classical education should begin with phonics instruction for our youngest students. To truly understand language from the basic phonemic constructs enables all students to not only read but attack every type of word a Charlotte Latin student encounters.

As the Kindergarten and First Grade teams work together to create an intentional provocative reading progression, students become masters of the craft. From wall cards to word families, students explore all the many relationships language has – mastering more than 126 possible sounds and jobs of the alphabet. As they practice, rehearse, progress, and manipulate phonemes to both decode and encode, students develop a skill set that relies on critical thinking and solid understanding. Our teachers embed the lessons in dynamic, well-received instruction and continually monitor each child on an individual basis. The process is both engaging and age appropriate and provides a balanced combination of reach and reinforcement for every level of reader.

As readers, students have few barriers as the 24-month instruction is highly immersive and prepares them for any challenge a word might present. In addition, developing fluency and adding inflection and comprehension polishes the experience and develops lifelong readers. The founders seemed to understand that children needed to master “learning to read” so that when they advanced through school, they would be able to “read to learn.” As a key foundational premise, our phonics-driven reading instruction has proven itself since Charlotte Latin opened.

Mary Yorke Oates
Director of Admissions