2001 Conference Proceedings

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Why Johnny CAN read! The Principles for Teaching Reading and Writing By Pairing Text and Pictures

Jean M. Slater,MS
Speech/Language Pathologist
351 Badger Lane
Guffey, CO 80820
Fax: 719-479-2254

Teaching literacy skills by pairing pictures and print is becoming widely used. Educators are experiencing first-hand how well children learn when graphics are added to text. However, sometimes school district administrators, parents and even regular education staff question the how’s and why’s of using the picture-plus-text adaptation. This presentation will give educators the information they need to take back to their home districts. They will learn the best practices in teaching reading and writing skills when pictures are paired with text, see many examples of materials that have been used by students, and learn the facts--backed by research--about reading improvement in students with moderate to severe disabilities. Everyone will receive a packet of this information.

With all the focus on literacy with individuals with significant delays, teachers are learning about technology available to use with those students. They are learning about materials and applications they can make or buy to increase the literacy levels of their students. Products which use pictures or graphics to support text to teach reading and writing are gaining in use and popularity. Educators are using these products to improve literacy skills in students with significant delays in cognitive, speech/language, and learning. Attendees to this conference and others, are learning how to use the software in demonstrations and hands-on labs. They hear presenters tell about the application of the software with students, and they come away with wonderful ideas and materials that they can take back to their home schools.

However, as the sophistication level of educators rises in this field, and as school districts strive to meet standards and retain accountability, some people are asking the “hard” questions about benefits and general use protocols. What has been missing from the presentations and the information given to educators, however, is the rationale for modifying academic materials using the pictures-plus-text software programs. This presentation will provide that information.

The educators attending this session will receive information they can take back to their school districts explaining how and why the strategy will be used with students. They will be able to talk with parents and administrators about how the adaptations will increase student participation, skill development, and success. They will have information backed by research that will validate the use of pictures and text as a means to teach word-identification and comprehension of printed materials.

Attendees will receive a packet of information that can be used in informal or formal presentations to parents, administrators, and staff. Included in this packet will be research summaries, objectives that will be addressed, and examples of specific materials that can be used to address those objectives

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