2006 Conference General Sessions

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Presenter #1

Scott Marfilius

Assistive Technology Consultant

855 W. County Line Rd.

Bayside WI 53217

Day Phone: 414-379-7779

Email: marfilius@wi.rr.com


Presenter #2

Mary Farrell

Fairleigh Dickerson University

1000 River Road

Teaned NJ 07666

Day Phone: 201-692-2000

Email: mary_farrell@fdu.edu


A Technology Toolkit for Reading and Writing Balancing Research and Practical Application in the Classroom There is a substantial, cumulative body of research on reading based on scientific methodology that is now available. A synthesis of instructional research is found in The Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read. The Report of the National Reading Panel was delivered in late 2000. The Panel identified over 100,000 research studies conducted since 1966. We have a converging body of research that has identified five essential elements of effective early reading instruction: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Text Comprehension. This session will look at a technology toolkit that will assist you in delivering effective reading instruction to all students. We’ll also take a look at writing as a complex task that involves Complex activity that involves the blending of: Pine motor coordination, (Graphomotor), Attention, Language, Memory and Higher—order thinking. We will take a look at an electronic toolkit that will assist your students who struggle with the writing process. Strategies and suggestions will cover io tech to high tech and incorporate many tools you already have access to or that may be easily attained.  See how technology can benefit students who struggle with the reading and writing process. Participants will also receive and extensive resource list and materials in an electronic format.

When we took back at traditional views of literacy readiness we see that the general thought has been that literacy is learned in a predetermined and sequential manner. There is also the thought that literacy learning requires the mastering of certain pre-requisite skills. We are now expanding the definition of what literacy means. Students read and interpret not just words on a page, but also the icons or graphics on a computer screen and images that are on the television. Think of an activity that’s utilizing the internet. Individuals must be able to navigate multiple sign systems such as; Read print Interpret diagrams Draw Talk Listen and write as part of one learning activity at the same time we need to teach individuals that Literacy helps us inform, persuade, and express our feelings. Currently literacy is looking at the interaction between reading, writing, speaking/communication and listening. These components are interactive upon each other and the benefit each other!

When we look at the components separately, take reading for example, we know how good readers read words. They attend to almost all the words and letters. They recode print into sound when decoding. They can recognize most words immediately and automatically without using context. Good readers also use a variety of strategies when they come across words they do not know. These readers will search a mental bank for similar letter patterns and sounds associated with them. They will then put together letters that usually go together in chunking the word to assist with the pronunciation. Many of these readers will also reread the sentence to cross check with content. But what happens when the reading process breaks down? If the process starts to break down many of these readers get trapped into a literacy failure cycle. This cycle from “A Better Classroom”, 1998 points out that it’s circular in nature and could possible follow this pattern: First attempt at reading Failure frustration Avoidance Lack of Practice No Improvement Loss of motivation, Loss of Self Esteem It is evident that no one instructional strategy works for all individuals. Students have different backgrounds, skills, interest, and learning preferences. By using a balance approach you can address all aspects of successful reading and writing. During this session we will look at four basic components of balanced instruction: Read Comprehension, word study, self selected reading and writing. There is technology available that aids us in providing instruction in these four areas. By utilizing technology we can further customize or individualize certain key components that will aid students who are struggling with reading and writing.

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