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TAESE Access to Literacy Workshop Wichita, KS March 2, 2010 I Dont Have Enough Help to Do This!: Using Natural Supports to Teach Literacy in Inclusive.

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Presentation on theme: "TAESE Access to Literacy Workshop Wichita, KS March 2, 2010 I Dont Have Enough Help to Do This!: Using Natural Supports to Teach Literacy in Inclusive."— Presentation transcript:

1 TAESE Access to Literacy Workshop Wichita, KS March 2, 2010 I Dont Have Enough Help to Do This!: Using Natural Supports to Teach Literacy in Inclusive K-12 Classrooms June Downing, Ph.D. Professor Emerita California State University, Northridge

2 The Need for A Shift in Thinking From a Take Care of and Protect Way of Thinking (Separatist) To an Inclusive and Supportive Approach (Belonging)

3 Students with Severe Disabilities Do Not Need to Earn their Right to Be In General Education Classrooms All Students Have the Right to Access the Core Curriculum and Experience Everything That All Students Typically Experience There are no Prerequisites for this Right---Just Breathing Its OK if Students Learn Different Amounts at Different Levels and Different Speed

4 Inclusive Education: What are We Really Talking About? Equal membership of all students Shared ownership of all students Necessary support for all students Positive & rich learning environment for allstudents Expectations for all students to learn

5 Natural Supports A Comprehensive Literacy Program for All Students at a Particular Grade Level Environmental Arrangements –Access to Various Media in the Classroom –Small Group and Paired Instruction –Access to Communication Devices Recognizing Literacy Learning Opportunities Across the School Day School Staff Classmates

6 Communication Devices in Support of Literacy Every Time a Message is Sent, Reading and Writing Can Occur

7 Natural Adult Supports General Educator Administrator Librarian Parent Volunteer Student Teacher Secretaries Cafeteria Workers Bus Drivers

8 A Common Response to Including Students with Severe Disabilities Hire a 1:1 Paraprofessional (the velcro aide)

9 Cautions Regarding the Use of Paraprofessionals Students with severe disabilities most often receive direct instruction from a paraprofessional Paraprofessionals are often the least trained and educated member of the team Pairing a paraprofessional with a student can lead to physical and social isolation from the classroom teacher and peers

10 More Efficient Use of Paraprofessionals Assign to a classroom and to a general educator, not to a specific student Have paraprofessionals help a student only as much as absolutely needed and then back away Allow paraprofessionals to monitor independent work of students to let general educator get to know skill level of student with severe disabilities Teach paraprofessionals to run small groups Have paraprofessionals (and all adults) encourage interactions between students

11 Direct Instruction Most students with challenging disabilities will need direct and systematic instruction to acquire skills However, such instruction does not always need to come from an adult

12 Dont Forget the Peers!! Peers can be role models Peers can assist Peers can teach Peers can be conversational partners Peers can brainstorm how to best include Peers can bring in supplies to use Peers can set up equipment

13 Co-Written Work with Peers Student with severe disabilities selects the topic using pictures or objects and a peer writes the story or poem Student with severe disabilities uses pictures or facial expressions to select the mood of the written piece that a peer writes Student with severe disabilities identifies individual vocabulary words that a peer incorporates into sentences

14 The Importance of Material Adaptations Literacy materials must be adapted to meet cognitive, physical, and sensory needs Literacy materials must also reflect the chronological age of the student as well as cultural preferences Whenever possible literacy materials should reflect interests of individual students

15 What Administrators Can Do to Support Allow time for the paraprofessionals and teachers to plan Hire paraprofessionals to support the class and the teachers Evaluate paraprofessionals based on facilitating student interactions (not hovering) Encourage student to student supports Maintain high expectations for teachers and all students

16 Without Administrative Guidance, Support and Encouragement….. Everyone Can Just Do Their Own Thing

17 Resources Allor, J.H., Mathes, P.G., Champlin, T., & Cheatham, J.P. (2009). Research- based techniques for teaching early reading skills to students with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, Browder, D.M., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Courtade, G., Gibbs, S.L., & Flowers, C. (2008). Evaluation of the effectiveness of an early literacy program for students with significant developmental disabilities using group randomized trial research. Exceptional Children, 75, Browder, D.M., Wakeman, S.Y., Spooner, F., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., & Algozzine, B. (2006). Research on reading instruction for individuals with significant cognitive disabilities. Exceptional Children, 72, The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. Copeland, S.R., & Keefe, E. (2007). Effective literacy instruction for students with moderate or severe disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Downing, J.E. (2005). Teaching literacy to students with significant disabilities: Strategies for the K-12 inclusive classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Kliewer, C. (2007). Seeing all kids as readers. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Kluth, P. (2008). A land we can share: Teaching literacy to students with autism. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.


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