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Anna M. Swenson Braille Literacy Consultant

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Presentation on theme: "Anna M. Swenson Braille Literacy Consultant"— Presentation transcript:

1 Anna M. Swenson Braille Literacy Consultant

2 To contract or not to contract? 2 That was the question that launched the ABC* Braille Study. Alphabetic Braille and Contracted Braille

3 The Braille Study Research focus: Are there differences in the children’s reading & writing performance based on whether they were initially taught in contracted or uncontracted braille? Longitudinal study, Children w/o other disabilities in grades pre-k through 4 Half of teachers started students with contracted braille, half with uncontracted. (Teachers’ choice) Team of researchers Qualitative data: interviews, observations, classroom environment; social interaction Quantitative data: time for instruction, reading assessments, writing analysis, videos of hand movements … 3

4 The National Reading Panel & the Reading First Initiative Reading First AreaABC Braille Study Assessment Phonemic AwarenessTPRI ( Texas Primary Reading Inventory) Phonics (Decoding / Spelling) TPRI; Brigance (Spelling) Johns Basic Reading Inventory (BRI) FluencyJohns BRI VocabularyBrigance ComprehensionJohns BRI

5 Quiz Yourself! 5

6 ABC Braille Study Quiz Question 1: The majority of the young braille readers in the study were good spellers. Question 2: Children who learned uncontracted braille first were better spellers than those who started with contracted braille. Question 3: Students made very few braille errors (e.g., reversals) when reading aloud. 6

7 Quiz continued... Question 4: Students who knew more contractions read faster. Question 5: Most kindergarten and first grade braille readers demonstrated age appropriate skills in phonemic awareness and phonics. 7

8 Quiz continued... Question 6: Students who learned more contractions earlier in instruction had higher scores in the areas of vocabulary, decoding, and comprehension than those who started with uncontracted braille and learned contractions more slowly. Question 7: The majority of the study’s participants, none of whom had a disability other than their visual impairment, performed as well as their sighted peers on tests of vocabulary and reading comprehension. 8

9 Major Findings Emerson, Holbrook, & D’Andrea, (2009). Acquisition of literacy skills by young children who are blind: Results from the ABC Braille Study “Students [with no additional disabilities] who were introduced to more contractions earlier in instruction performed better on reading measures, such as vocabulary, decoding, and comprehension.” “Students who are blind, regardless of whether they started with contracted or uncontracted braille, are falling behind their sighted peers and not acquiring reading skills at the rate they should.” 9

10 10 Implications for Real-Life Teaching: One Teacher’s Interpretation

11 1. Implications for Teaching the Braille Code 11 “… it seems that the introduction of contractions early in a student’s reading process is associated with higher literacy performance later in the student’s career.” (Emerson, Holbrook, & D’Andrea, 2009)

12 Options Begin with uncontracted braille: Alphabet first Materials in uncontracted / customized braille Introduce contractions as rapidly as possible Begin with fully contracted braille:  High frequency contracted words (e.g., “go”, “like”, “do”), familiar names, & motivating words  Alphabet  Fully contracted braille materials 12

13 Other ABC Findings & Recommendations Related to Braille Erin, J.N. & Wright, T.S. (2011) Learning to write in braille: An analysis of writing samples from participants in the ABC Braille Study. Teach reading with two hands from the beginning Teach correct fingering on the brailler from the beginning Instill the habit of checking work Future research question: Does the use of technology increase the quantity and quality of students’ written output? 13

14 2. Implications for the Role of the TVI in Teaching Reading or … Whose job is it to teach reading? Can we separate the braille code from the teaching of reading for children who are learning braille? (Holbrook, 2008) We are ALL teachers of reading.

15 3. Implications for Assessment 15 Know where our students are performing in key areas of literacy: Braille Code Knowledge Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, & Spelling Fluency Vocabulary & Comprehension Writing

16 Assessment Guidelines Assess general literacy areas, in addition to braille- specific skills. Partner with the classroom (or other) teacher for general ed assessments. Use a broad range of assessments. Collect data to show progress over time. Involve students in monitoring their own progress 16

17 Progress Monitoring Accurate and rapid recognition of the letters of the alphabet is a strong predictor of future reading achievement. (Adams, 1990) 17

18 Broad-ranging Assessments 18

19 Leveled Trade Books Wide variety of topics and genres Sequenced by difficulty according to a leveling system Less controlled, more natural vocabulary Books in one level read in any order Used for instruction in guided reading groups APH: braille overlays, website 19 APH Early Braille Trade Books

20 20 Assessing Reading Level in the Early Grades: A Comparison Chart

21 4. Implications for Literacy Instruction “A point to be taken from these data is that for any young student who is blind, instruction needs to focus on reading processes, regardless of the specifics of how the braille is introduced.” (Emerson, Holbrook, & D’Andrea, 2009) 21 Work on ALL key reading processes from the beginning: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, & Comprehension

22 Word Study Includes Letter / contraction recognition Phonemic awareness Phonics (Decoding & Spelling) Part of a TOTAL reading program – NOT a prerequisite for fluency, vocabulary development, & comprehension Relate word study to the materials the child is reading 22

23 Yippy-Day-Yippy-Doo! Reading level E, Reading Recovery Level 7-8 (grade 1, Nov-Dec) APH Early Braille Trade Books, Sunshine Kit 2 I run down the road. Yippy-day-yippy-doo! I run down the road, and my shadow runs, too. … The sun goes away. Yippy-day-yippy-doo! The sun goes away, and my shadow goes, too. 23

24 Using Yippy-Day for Phonemic Awareness Activities 24 Mippy-May-Mippy- Moo! SHIPPY-SHAY-SHIPPY- SHOO! ZIPPY-ZAY-ZIPPY- Z00!

25 Using Yippy-Day to Teach Phonics Skills Common letter / sound clusters (phonograms, rimes, or word families): _ ing, _ide, _ope, _op, _all, _own … Long vowel silent e pattern: ride, slide, bike, rope … Two sounds of “ow”, as in “down” and “shadow” 25

26 Teaching Contractions, Phonics, & Spelling with the Word PlayHouse (APH) Consonant substitution Vowel substitution Rhyming words Phonics rules Introduction of contractions 26

27 Flash Strips slide ride bike hide 27

28 Using Yippy-Day to Teach Contractions Yippy-Day Contractions & Punctuation Marks and (8), the (14), day (10), to (2) ing (3), ow (12), sh (8), st (5) italic sign, capital sign, comma, exclamation mark, hyphen, period 28 Teach contractions at different levels: Targeted and practiced for mastery Discussed, but not mastered Told, but not discussed.

29 Fluency “ Teachers of students with visual impairments should continue to monitor their students’ reading fluency as one useful benchmark of progress in reading.” (Emerson, Holbrook, & D’Andrea, 2009) 29 "Children do not need to know all the letters or sounds, or even very many words, before beginning to read text. " (Pinnell & Fountas, 1998)

30 Fluency and the Braille Code More symbols to master More similar and reversed characters Multiple meanings for individual characters Lack of redundancy BRAILLE TICKLES MY FINGERS! 30

31 Connected Text Teacher-Made Story The Slide Book Page 1: go Ana Page 2: go Ana go Page 3: go go Ana go go Andrew Page 4: go Ana go go go 31

32 Fluency means … reading accurately reading at a normal rate noticing punctuation marks using expression understanding what you read 32

33 Promoting Fluency Demonstrate what fluent reading sounds like. Model appropriate rate, phrasing, and expression. Expect students to reread books until achieving fluency. Help students develop more efficient hand and finger movements during rereading. Record students reading, and have them critique their own fluency. (student rubric) Monitor oral reading fluency regularly (e.g., through an IRI), and keep data to show progress over time. Monitor silent reading fluency regularly once children are independent readers. Always make sure comprehension is a part of fluency 33

34 Vocabulary & Comprehension “Across the years of the study, 24 of 32 students in Grade 1 were reading below grade level, 18 of 30 students in Grade 2 were reading below grade level, and about half the students in Grades 3 and 4 were reading below grade level. … this consistently poor performance in reading across the grades works against the findings from the kindergarten and Grade 1 TPRI*, which showed that these young children had generally acquired the basic mechanics of reading.” (Emerson, Holbrook, & D’Andrea, 2009) (*Texas Primary Reading Inventory) 34

35 Concept Development: Hands-on at Home Depot! 35

36 Linking Concepts to Literacy: Max’s Home Depot Book 36 Square tile Square of carpet Light switch Outlet and plug Screws and nails (big & little) Chain Tape measure Nuts and bolts (big & little) Piece of wood

37 37 Read Aloud … and Use Bloom’s Taxonomy

38 Vocabulary: “Bumping into Spicy Tasty Words that Catch Your Tongue” (Bauman, J., Ware, D., Edwards, E., 2007) Promote curiosity about words in & out of school, in books and in conversations – “Word Detective” Increase our use of interesting words when we talk and write with our students Motivation: Recognize the power of emotional connections with words Keep track of interesting new words with the student – in a note taker or computer file, on tape, etc.

39 Monitor Students’ Reading Both classroom reading and take-home Assist with book selection, and preview contractions, vocabulary, & concepts Teach students strategies to monitor their own comprehension Check for understanding on a regular basis If not done in the classroom, assess comprehension regularly using an informal reading inventory to show progress over time. 39

40 Basic Comprehension Checklist Before Reading Read the title Ask about the pictures Predict what the book might be about During Reading Reread a part if it doesn’t make sense Make a Mind Movie after each paragraph or page Make personal connections After Reading Retell the story in your own words and/or Summarize the most important events/facts Check your predictions. Were you right?

41 “Talk to Your Book” Reading Strategies Folder P = Prediction C = Connection I = Inference Wow! DU = Don’t Understand = Difficult Word


43 Parting Words Barclay, L., Herlich, S.A., & Sacks, S.Z. (2010) Effective teaching strategies: Case studies from the Alphabetic Braille and Contracted Braille Study. “Both teachers knew that they needed to look at the whole picture of braille literacy, providing reading and writing instruction that was integrated with the aspects of high-quality literacy instruction, emphasizing motivation and comprehension in tandem with learning the code of reading." 43

44 Answers to True/False Questions, Slides True 2. False 3. True 4. False 5. True 6. True 7. False 44

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