2004 Conference Proceedings

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Bob Keller
Don Johnston Incorporated
26799 W Commerce Drive
Volo, IL 60073
Phone: 847-740-0749, ext 550
Fax: 847-740-7326
Email: bkeller@donjohnston.com

Participants will:

Providing all students, regardless of their reading ability, with as many varied reading experiences as possible nurtures and develops reading ability. For students with significant; disabilities, the process of learning to read rarely progresses rapidly and typically requires systematic, intensive interventions to see progress toward early reading to occur at all. Students with significant; disabilities need to have books that offer the right level of support and participation so they can move systematically through the beginning reading process. The Beginning Literacy Framework, created by experts in the field of literacy and interventions for students with multiple disabilities, Karen Erickson, Ph.D., Caroline Musselwhite, CCC-SLP, Ed.D. and Ruth Ziolkowski, OTR/L, MBA, creates a foundation to accomplish the systematic, intensive intervention students with significant; disabilities need to move through the beginning literacy process.

The Framework helps educators evaluate, modify and create appropriate text that can be presented both electronically and in print to provide the right level of challenges for individual students. In addition it provides performance indicators to assess student progress throughout the beginning literacy process to determine when a student should be advancing to a new level in the framework. The three levels within the Beginning Literacy Framework include Emergent Literacy, for students just being introduced to reading, Transitional Literacy, for students who can read and understand familiar texts, and Conventional Literacy, for students who can independently decode and understand unfamiliar text at their level.

In this hands-on lab you will create multimedia stories and literacy activities using the principles of The Beginning Literacy Framework and the multimedia authoring tool BuildAbility(r). You will learn how to meet the diverse learning needs of students with significant; disabilities by creating materials that follow researched guidelines for careful placement of text, sounds, speech and appropriate graphics.

Because each struggling student processes information so differently, it is most important to have tools that support this diversity. Using multimedia, teachers provide a tool for both building and demonstrating curriculum knowledge. Multiple auditory features, such as music, recorded voice, synthesized computer speech and familiar sounds, help students bring meaning to any message that is read or demonstrated. Visual messages can be conveyed through Drawmation(tm) drawings, imported illustrations, pictures, photos and videos. Using the Beginning Literacy Framework, teachers can create multimedia presentations that build vocabulary, create stories that scaffold students through different phases of beginning literacy acquisition using age-appropriate books that combine the visual and auditory features that would most benefit an individual student.

As students have more and more positive experiences with the curriculum, they will become motivated in many areas of learning. Research shows that when we meet students where they are, but give them the tools they need to reach their potential independent level of performance, they will make that stretch and find their barriers to learning almost invisible. The power of creating activities to match the unique needs of individual students is that it provides students with the opportunity to work independently to build and demonstrate knowledge, show their creativity and expression.

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