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Literacy course

Basic facts about our Literacy tutoring course

  • School grades: Grade 1 ~ Grade 4
  • Duration of each lesson: 45 minutes
  • Lesson format: online using Zoom, or offline at our centre in Brentwood, Calgary
  • Class size: approx. 10 students
  • Tutoring Materials used: Letterland phonics curriculum (for Grade 1 & 2), Raz Plus and Raz Kids reading materials, list of age-appropriate reading strategies selected by certified teachers
  • Pace: approx. 2 age-appropriate leveled books per lesson
  • Registration: in 6-lesson bundles

Our beliefs about literacy education

  • Importance of phonics as a foundation: All early literacy needs a strong phonics instruction at it’s base. Struggling readers need explicit instruction on the building blocks of language (phonemes, graphemes, syllables, rhyming etc)
  • Just read: To get children to be readers they need to READ – that’s why we provide a large selection of fiction and non-fiction books through our Raz Plus account.
  • Appropriate level: Students need to be given books that are at an instructional level for them personally. Books that are too easy or too hard discourage the growth of a reader.
  • Importance of evaluation: Initial evaluation of the student is essential. We cannot properly teach them if we do not know what elements of reading are weak.

How do we teach literacy


Phonics games and literacy games are perfect ways to get children engaged. With gamification APPs that we adopt, we will integrate at least 1 game in each lesson. Including games as part of the curriculum will also help children with a series of other skills such as organization skills.

Phonics (taught to Grade 1 & 2)

Phonics instruction plays a key role in helping students comprehend text. It helps the student map sounds onto spellings, thus enabling them to decode words. Decoding words aids in the development of word recognition, which in turn increases reading fluency.

Various types of reading

We blieve that a successful program of multiple students should try and incorporate different types of reading. Each Braineer’s literacy lesson will incorporate at least two types of the following reading:

  • Guided Reading: Small groups of same skilled readers being taught specific skills and then reading a book together.
  • Shared Reading: Partners who read to each other from a book of their choice. This allows for peer teaching as well as a shared enthusiasm for reading.
  • Individual Reading: Time given to spend quiet reading alone with their own book.
  • Read-a-loud: The teacher reads a picture book or novel out loud to the whole group. This is a chance for the teacher to model Fluency strategies as well as do group Comprehension conversations.

What do we teach

Reading has 4 elements that are vital. A complete teaching of the reading elements is necessary if students are to become fluent, self-confident readers. Each of these elements has strategies that are taught to help students master them

  • Accuracy (Reading the words correctly)
  • Fluency (Reading with proper speed and expression)
  • Comprehension (Understanding what they read)
  • Expanding Vocabulary (Building a broader word base knowledge

With strong reading abilities, writing will hand in hand with reading. It is typical that one observes the transfer of what has been learned shows up and is reinforced by the other practice.