Showing posts from December, 2012

Happy New Year!

I'm excited to start filling all the blank pages!  I feel like a lot of things are going to come in to alignment as we move forward.  Happy New Year! 

Literacy Assessment for Students with Complex Needs

As our approach to literacy learning shifts around the students that I have on my caseload I am finding a need to take a different approach to literacy assessment.  Gone are the days where I can just say where they are in the Edmark Reading program or write general statements in regards to how they have engaged in literacy experiences.  When you make the end goal letter by letter generative reading and writing it changes things.  This is a work in progress and I'm trying to develop a system where literacy skills are assessed at the beginning of the year and each of the three reporting periods.  Each of these assessments would then be used to guide our literacy programming for that student for the upcoming term.  Emergent-Transitional-Conventional Reading Rubric Kathy Strauler Literacy Rubric (2007) This rubric allows for getting baseline information as to where students are at on the emergent to conventional reading skills continuum.  The process involves you engaging the studen…

Using the Nonverbal Approach to Promote Literacy

Link: I came across this Power Point presentation a few weeks back and have since found a couple of research studies on the "Nonverbal Approach to Reading (NRA)".  When I attended the "Literacy and AAC" course put on by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver in May, they spoke of the goal of reading instruction being that of "reading silently (in your head) with comprehension".  Seems logical but for students who do not talk what does this mean?  From everything that I've read what it means is that we need to be explicit about teaching them to read silently in there head.  We need to actually talk to them in the teaching process about what they are hearing in their heads while reading.   I'm excited to begin trying this NRA method with a few of my students after Christmas.  I am using a modified approach to Patricia Cunningham's "Systematic Sequential Phonics They Use: For Beginning Rea…

A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." (Aristotle)

Interactive to Independent Literacy: A Model for Designing Literacy Goals for Children with Atypical Communication

Article Link: I knew immediately that this article was to like this article when I read the quote that it opened with: "Researchers and professionals need to work actively to reverse the forces at work in our culture that lead to the ostracism of children who are different."  Over the past year and a half, my views about literacy instruction for the students that I have on my caseload have changed quite a bit.  I have been fortunate enough to take workshops and/or courses form Linda Burkhart (PODD Communication), Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver (Literacy in AAC Course) and Caroline Musslewhite (Literacy Workshop and Communication Circle Workshop).  I have also participated, along with two different teachers from the school I work at, in the Literacy for All project last year and this year. It is not that I didn't believe in literacy instruction for "my" students so much as I was thinking of liter…

Shifting Gears

I'm not going to lie.  Trying to navigate having "my" students in three different schools in the first months of this year has been tough.  There have been times where I've wanted to throw up my hands and move them all back in to the self-contained world we used to have that was so much easier to manage.  Although I believe in this in theory, there have been times when I've questioned if we can actually make it work in practice. Those are two different things.

But those are just fleeting moments as most of the time I can see the advantage and/or potential to each of them to the programming they have now in comparison to the programming we had before.  Ultimately, this is moving towards truly personalized programming for these students. 

Which brings me to my thought on shifting gears.  For a while now a lot of the focus of this blog has been on the concept of inclusion and some of the philosophies that sit behind it.  As Simon Sinek says "people don't …