It is the mission of E.G.G.S. to help young students both become fluent, competent, and EAGER readers and become more confident of themselves as students through achievement.
The E.G.G.S. Learning Program itself is a skilled-based reading acquisition program designed specifically for pre-K, kindergarten, and even first grade students. E.G.G.S. is unabashedly a “bottom-up” program so we are obviously in contrast to “top-down” programs like whole language or reading immersion. Bottom-up instruction refers to starting with the basic skills of language and building Up to reading
Initial skill based, bottom-up programs were thought to be boring because they focused too much on rote repetition. Perhaps that was true, but repetition in itself is not necessarily the problem. Hasn’t it ever amazed you how many times children can listen to a story? Day after day, night after night they want to hear the same story. It’s probably you, not them, who suggests a little variety.
Kids have no problem with repetition – if it’s engaging. In fact, kids want and need repetition to understand and grow in their world. So the obvious key to making skill based instruction work is to make it engaging, make it so that students sense that this is something important for themselves.
This is what has made The E.G.G.S. Learning Program so successful: it makes skill based instruction something children WANT to learn.
How do we do this? Well…
The E.G.G.S. Learning Program makes skill based instruction something children want to learn in two primary ways:
- The activities in every lesson are fun, enjoyable games and activities which almost always involve manipulativies like blocks, animals, and tactile alphabet cards. Nothing like getting to hold a cool looking animal to keep you engaged!
- As much as possible, our program shows the association between various skills. For example, when students work on letter formation, we end that activity by having them draw a picture of something that begins with the sound of that letter. In this way students will intuit the association between letter formation and vocabulary. What’s the point of learning how to draw a “b”? Well, now your students can literally see for themselves!
The principle of association is so important that each and every lesson in The E.G.G.S. Learning Program integrates all the five skills necessary for reading competence. The five skills are: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension (check out our history page to learn more about each of these skills). There are several reading programs that recognize some or even all of these skills, but what definitively separates our program from all the others is that all five skills are taught together in each lesson.
Why is that so important? Well…
Simply put, it is important to teach all five skills together in each lesson because children learn to read best in this manner. Reading is a coordinated activity involving of all five of these skills – not one skill in isolation from all the others. So it isn’t as efficient to begin with phonological awareness instruction and then days, weeks, or months later move on to phonics. All Five skills should be taught together.
Take learning to ride a bike for example. A child does not spend of couple of days learning how to pedal before moving on to steering and balancing on the bike. Riding, like reading, is a coordinated effort of a number of different skills. Pedaling influences balance and steering and vice versa. And when the training wheels come off for the first time, a child needs to learn how to coordinate all these skills at once.
It takes time but eventually a child gets it, and then a miraculous transformation occurs: the child goes from focusing on the various skills involved in staying on the bike to thinking instead about where he or she want to go on the bike. In a way, the child’s world has just gotten bigger, and she has gotten bigger in her world. She has mastered the skill of riding a bike and now can really go places!
Simarly, our program has proven so successful because all five skills are taught in each and every lesson. By working on each skill in every lesson, children intuit the relevance of all the skills and their association, thereby gaining mastery of the five essential skills faster.
So what’s in the program? Well…
The complete E.G.G.S. Learning Program includes:
- Our witty manual with 64 scripted lesson plans. Each lesson has all the worksheets you need, and because the manual itself is a three-ring binder, you don’t have to lug the whole manual to the copier. The manual also include easy to use progress monitoring sheets and parent letters.
- Blocks, animals, and alphabet letter cards – oh my! We don’t tell you what you need to get for the lessons; we provide you with a set of 40 multi-colored wood blocks, 26 alphabet animals, and a set of tactile letter cards. And every lesson is scripted to show you how best to use these manipulatives.
- Our E.G.G.S. Book of Letter Formation Sheets Although the manual already includes letter formation sheets for each letter, we provide a plethora of sheets of varying difficulty in this book to ensure that each of your students gets the letter formation sheet that best meets his or her needs and skill level.
- The E.G.G.S. Learning Program DVD. It’s one thing to read about the program and the lesson plans; it’s quite another to see it in action. If you are having are hard time grasping a concept or lesson activity, we provide actual footage of Dr. Pat Frawley in action.
- The E.G.G.S. Assessment kit. The progress monitoring sheets are tied directly to the 64 lesson plans in our manual. The E.G.G.S. assessment kit provides an easy to use and quick way to test the orthographic competence of your students before, during, and after your students flourish through our program.