Class Descriptions



This cornerstone class of The Guthrie School provides developmentally appropriate reading instruction to students from beginning readers up to students preparing for high school testing and advanced placement. We use beautiful, large textbook anthologies filled with many genres of literature as well as carefully selected novels. Classwork is teacher guided, and reinforced with homework that accompanies the texts. Various genres are studied at each grade level. The class covers reading fluency, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension including analysis of literary elements appropriate to each grade level. For example, author’s purpose, point of view, and perspective are taught in the correct developmental order from grades 3-5. Our students and families report to us that this class has proved pivotal in their child’s growth and success in school.


This class goes hand-in-hand with our language arts/reading classes and forms the basis for studying the crafts of writing and public speaking. All types of writing are included: persuasive letters and essays, personal narratives, poetry pieces, advertisements, fictional stories, and research writings pertaining to a specific topic. Students present their work orally in front of the class in order to develop confidence and ease in speaking publicly. Each student is coached in voice quality, projection, enunciation, expression, eye contact, and content of their presentation.


A variety of curricula are utilized including standards-based Singapore Math, Scott-Foresman, Glencoe, and Envisions to facilitate individualized instruction. The class covers preparation for testing, core-curriculum, and extra practice. In addition, curriculum is utilized which aligns to Texas State Standards for problem solving practice in a format that complements tests administered by Texas public schools. The program combines a strong problem solving foundation with the necessary practice in computational skills needed for high achievement. We believe that developing confidence in one’s mathematical ability at an early age is critical to success in the middle and high school years. It is always best to be ahead in math.

Critical Thinking and ISEE/SAT Classes

  • The highly popular Critical Thinking classes have three levels: lower, middle, and upper, and are designed specifically for students who want to improve their logical and spatial thinking abilities. The curriculum is aligned with area Gifted and Talented programs, and offers an opportunity for students to extend their learning by practicing less concrete skills. Examples of materials used include logic puzzles and games, analogies, problem solving, spatial reasoning, figure manipulation, and intensive higher-level vocabulary work.
  • ISEE and SAT classes are designed to help students maximize potential on higher-level standardized achievement tests such as the ISEE, SSAT, PSAT, SAT, and ACT. These classes are specifically designed to maximize the student’s learning and practice time so that they focus on the areas of testing for which they need the most improvement.

Vocabulary Building

This group class focuses intensively on vocabulary development and usage. Students will learn about base words, prefixes, suffixes, denotation, connotation, etc. Students not only learn new words, but also how to use and recognize new words. This class is an excellent complement to our reading and writing program.

Private Lessons

A private lesson is 1:1 instruction with an instructor. The class will be individualized to the student’s specific and personal needs and ability level. Private lessons can be scheduled with a specific teacher and are subject to that teacher’s availability.

Shared Private Lessons

A shared private lesson is a 1:2 teacher to student ratio. The class is individualized for those student’s specific and personal needs and ability levels. We must approve the students admitted to the shared-private so that the students are on a similar level. Shared privates can be scheduled with a specific teacher and are subject to availability.

Semi-Private Lessons

A semi-private lesson is a closed group with no more than a 1:4 teacher to student ratio. We must approve the students admitted to the semi-private group so that the group is all on a similar level. The curriculum will be determined by the specific needs of the entire group. No students will be allowed to join a semi-private class without approval of the enrichment director.

Group Lessons

Our group lessons are teacher led with a maximum of 1:10 teacher to student ratio. Students in the group are working at the same level and have to opportunity to benefit from peer modeling, discussion, group work, and personal attention.