- ACADEMIC REMEDIATION PROGRAMS
- ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
- Homework, Exam & Organizational Support
- STANDARDIZED TEST PREPARATION
- PRE-READING & READING PROGRAMS
- INTERACTIVE ART PROGRAMS
- POWER WRITING
- Keyboarding & Assistive Technology
Founded on phonological awareness skills, Alpha-Mania is a pre-reading program that introduces children ages 3 to 5 to the magic and excitement of the alphabet. Based on thorough research, Alpha-Mania classes invite children to interact with the sounds, names and shapes of letters through activities, stories, songs and crafts. Our dynamic themes create an exciting learning adventure as children pretend they are in space, on a pirate ship or exploring the rainforest, just to name a few. Alpha-Mania encourages a love of language, and exposes children to the five predictors of reading success: sound-symbol correspondence, rhyming and alliteration, blending, segmenting and recognizing sounds within words.
Alpha-Maniacs attend lunchtime lessons once a week during the school year that are offered on weekdays and weekends. Additionally, Alpha-Maniacs can join week-long sessions of Camp Alpha-Mania during the Winter, March & Summer Breaks. Alpha-Mania can also be taught in your home for private groups.
Who should join this class?
Children from ages 3 to 5 years old.
What are the Alpha-Mania pre-reading and reading programs?
All Alpha-Mania programs are based on Phonological Awareness research and on the five predictors of reading success. The emphasis for all three programs is on experiencing and fostering the joy of language and reading. Each level of Alpha-Mania is designed to build a strong foundation of abilities in order to develop skilled, confident, and avid readers. All three levels are taught through creative play, songs, and crafts in order to prepare and support children for the challenges of a classroom setting.
What is the difference between Phonological Awareness and Phonemic Awareness?
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them.
Phonological Awareness is an umbrella term referring to the ability to recognize, reflect on, and manipulate the sounds in oral language. This includes skills such as rhyming, syllabication, and identifying onsets and rimes.
Phonemic Awareness is the part of phonological awareness that focuses on hearing and manipulating the individual sounds (phonemes) within words. This includes the skills of blending, segmenting, counting and manipulating phonemes.
Why are Phonological and Phonemic Awareness important?
Children who have developed the understanding that words can be segmented into sounds tend to be better readers than those with poor phonological and phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is not a concept that all children discover on their own, however, when children are taught to analyze the individual sounds in words, they can more quickly and accurately connect those sounds to letters and then blend groups of sounds into words when reading. Studies have shown that phonemic awareness skills are often deficient in children who struggle in learning to read and write.
For more information, we recommend consulting:
Early Reading Strategy: The Report of the Expert Panel on Early Reading in Ontario, 2003.
The Phonological Awareness Handbook for Kindergarten and Primary Teachers, Lita Ericson and Moira Juliebo, 2000.
The Roots of Learning to Read and Write: Acquisition of Letters and Phonemic Awareness, Linnea C. Ehri and Theresa Roberts, 2006.
How are the Alpha-Mania programs taught?
Each level of Alpha-Mania employs creative play as the main teaching tool, instilling the joy of letters and words. Interactive activities create dynamic learning experiences for children in all levels of the program. The main lesson of each class is presented according to a Direct Instruction pedagogy. This highly effective instructional approach involves the explicit teaching of concepts in a strategic and systematic method. This approach greatly enhances student understanding of the concepts presented, allowing for the mastery of new skills. In addition, dynamic themes such as pirates, construction, and detectives enhance each set of lessons.
Is the program the same every semester?
No. Each semester features several different themes and groups of letters, in order to balance the distribution of consonants and vowels. This means that Alpha-Maniacs who come for more than one session will have a unique experience every semester.
Are children expected to be reading at the end of Alpha-Mania?
No. Alpha-Mania is a building block for good reading habits in the future, but children are not expected to read fluently at the end of this level. The program is designed to encourage children to explore the alphabet and language, however, many students do master pre-reading skills through Alpha-Mania and can advance even further through Alpha-Mania Senior.
Can Alpha-Mania alert parents to potential reading challenges?
Yes. Our experienced instructors can alert parents to a child’s potential reading challenges based on observations of a child’s ability to recognize and manipulate elements of the five researched predictors of reading success. If the instructor thinks that there might be future challenges, he or she will discuss various options that the parents may want to consider. However, Alpha-Mania instructors are not trained clinicians and cannot provide any formal diagnosis.
What are the teachers’ specific qualifications?
Each Alpha-Mania instructor is a certified teacher with B.Ed or M.Ed certification and experience in early childhood education.
What is the difference between Alpha-Mania & Camp Alpha-Mania?
Alpha-Mania classes occur once a week during lunch time throughout the school year, offered on weekdays and weekends. Camp Alpha-Mania occurs over week-long, half-day sessions during the Winter, March & Summer Breaks.
Can I stay with my child during the program?
No. Alpha-Mania is a drop-off program designed to encourage independence and foster positive classroom habits.
What does an Alpha-Mania lesson involve?
All Alpha-Mania lessons are comprised of the following key interactive components:
In addition to these unique elements, Alpha-Mania classes include crafts, movement activities and stories selected to engage students in the dynamic theme of the day.
What is the program's cost?
Click here to view the schedule, pricing and enrol online
How can I register?
Click here to view the schedule and enrol online or call us at 416.925.1225
Is Alpha-Mania available for license?
Alpha-Mania is available by licensing agreement to educational institutions, daycares, preschools and other educators. Click here to learn about Licensing Opportunities