Learning Center

The Hilltop Learning Center

The Hilltop Learning Center is available to students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, who have been identified by the learning center faculty, as needing additional support in the classroom to achieve their full potential. These may be students who would benefit from additional academic support and/or students who have been diagnosed with a learning difference.

The Learning Center utilizes a multi-tiered system of supports. The Hilltop Student Planning Team works together to match the student’s level of need with the level of support. Our goal is to address a student’s needs while giving them the strategies and tools they need to be successful.

If a child has been diagnosed with a learning difference the team will review psych-educational testing, manage accommodations, introduce assistive technologies, and teach academic strategies and organizational skills.

Accommodations are granted to students with a complete and updated (within the last 3 years) psycho-educational testing and a thorough review by the Learning Center Faculty/Student Planning Team.

Faculty in the Learning Center have experience using and teaching many different supplemental reading and writing programs and multi-sensory math instruction, but we have found the following researched-based teaching methods to be effective for our students:

Orton- Gillingham Multisensory based language Instruction Program

The highly structured program introduced the idea of breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time. It also pioneered the “multisensory” approach to teaching reading, which is considered the gold standard for teaching students with dyslexia. This means that instructors use sight, hearing, touch and movement to help students connect language with letters and words. Orton–Gillingham focuses on teaching kids to read at the word level. Orton–Gillingham also puts a strong emphasis on understanding the “how” and “why” behind reading. Students may explore why the letter s sounds one way in the word plays, and another way in the word snake. Once they know consistent rules and patterns, they’re better able to decode words on their own.

Recipe for Reading
Is a research-based, comprehensive, multisensory, phonics-based reading program that is designed for beginning readers in grades K–3 or at-risk and struggling readers in grades 1–6. Recipe for Reading incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic techniques to teach and reinforce phonetic concepts. The Recipe for Reading curriculum is ideal for differentiated instruction in a variety of settings—inclusion, one-on-one, or whole class.
Alphabet Series Readers

Contain decodable, controlled text that will enable emergent and struggling readers to practice decoding and comprehension skills while reading motivating selections.

Megawords Supplemental Reading Program
Megawords Supplemental Reading Program: Upper School Students in Grades 5-8. Megawords teaches the reading, spelling, and contextual use of polysyllabic words through a systematic progression of skills. Each book focuses on a distinct group of phonic skills. Specific teaching instructions are provided to ensure that students use their auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities when learning a skill. The process of seeing, saying, hearing, and writing is a major key to success. Thus, the students practice spelling the words as they learn to read them.
Multisensory Approach to Writing and Grammar using the Write Source
The Write Source prepares students to master the writing process, key writing forms, Six Traits, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Write Source provides instruction, practice, and assessment designed to promote student success.
Reading and Writing Source Book
Combines high-interest fiction and nonfiction with direct reading and writing instruction. It’s a great way to encourage active, analytical reading and help all students build key reading and writing skills. Focuses on developing critical-thinking skills.
The Read Naturally Strategy
Combines the three powerful, research-proven strategies of teacher-modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring to create an effective tool that individualizes instruction and improves reading proficiency. Using audio support and tracking their progress, students work with high-interest material at their skill level to improve fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Executive Functioning Skills Instruction
Executive Functioning is the control center for managing and organizing one’s daily life. Executive Functioning controls planning, self-awareness, attention, memory, and self-advocacy. Students foster these metacognitive skills through executive functioning lessons. Students also independently improve these skills during daily classes.
Multisensory Approach to Math Instruction
Direct teacher instruction is given to each student to learn and review math concepts using a multsensory approach. This helps students tap into their strengths to make connections.
Zaner-Bloser’s Superkids Reading Program
The Superkids reading program is a literacy curriculum that is integrated with language arts. The step by step lessons build skills systematically as children progress creating confident readers. The program integrates reading, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and composition. Superkids develops reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension.