Literacy Blog

Before Module Reflection Questions:

 

  1. To me, early literacy involves developing the skills to read, write, and communicate. For younger children, these skills evolve as they practice turning pages in a book, orientating books correctly, sequencing favorite stories, and filling in the blanks to favorite books. Many children also begin to deliberately “write” by scribbling strings of similar marks and dictating these words.
  2. I do not believe that early literacy only involves books. I believe teachers can promote and encourage early literacy skills by having print all around the classroom. For example, have the children’s names written on cubbies, have center areas and toys labeled in various languages, have a diverse selection of books available, writing down the children’s responses in artwork and discussion, reading and following along with an index finger, singing rhyming songs and name songs, providing pencils, crayons, drawing tools, etc.
  3. I believe early literacy and language skills begin in infancy. Children begin babbling, recognizing caregiver’s voices, inflection, and songs. Many children also respond to caregivers questions or verbalize their wants and needs by gestures, babbles, motions, etc.
  4. I believe that children develop early literacy abilities through interactions and an environment that promotes these skills such as daycares, preschools, and their home environment. By narrating, communicating, and reading with children, I believe these skills will continue to flourish.

 

After Module Reflection Questions:

 

  1. This module has further emphasized the importance of early literacy to me and I did learn more in-depth about the domains of early literacy.
  2. I will continue to create a print-rich classroom and incorporate more fingerplays and songs that acknowledge phonological awareness and bring attention to syllables. I will also provide even more materials in the classroom for literacy play such as dry-erase letter stencils, a variety of drawing tools, and letter puzzles and matching games.

Third Blog

A social story may be needed to assist a child in achieving a goal, target behavior, or task. Typically, social stories assist students/children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Communication Disorder, or Intellectual Disability (King, Social Stories). As a toddler/preschool teacher, I feel social stories would greatly benefit current and future students of mine. A hypothetical scenario for a social story might be the topic/behavior of pushing. Next, I would gather the information to write the social story such as the student’s language level and functional behavioral analysis, and I would begin writing rough drafts. In this pretend-scenario, the student is highly verbal and pushing occurs in moments where there is not enough personal space (i.e. lining up, circle time meetings, lunch tables).  Therefore, I would title the story, “My Space Bubble.” I would then encourage the child’s interaction with the story by having them decorate the title and pages through bubble art. I feel like this will help make a positive connection as I’ve done “Bubble” units in my classrooms before and most of the children have greatly enjoyed exploring bubbles. “My Space Bubble” rough draft would read as follows:

Page 1: I sit with my friends on the fuzzy carpet.

Page 2: My friends sit on their mats.

Page 3: My mat is purple.

Page 4: My friends have different colored mats.

Page 5: My friends might sit close to me.

Page 6: I use my hands to hold my purple “squish” ball.

Page 7: There is lots of space on the fuzzy carpet.

Page 8: I have a space bubble. I sit with my friends on the fuzzy carpet.

I would revise this story as needed and include photographs of the student joining the class on the fuzzy carpet during meetings/discussions, and sitting on their purple mat, and holding the purple “squish” ball. After reviewing the social story with parents, teachers, caregivers, I would then introduce the book to the child and read it many times, decreasing the time as the behavior/goal continues improving and until it becomes accomplished.

 

Citation:

King, Alison, Ph.D. Creating Social Stories. Nd. Powerpoint.

Second Blog

In an early childhood special education classroom, some areas of primary focus include self-care and social-emotional skills. The SETT framework would assist the special education teacher in observing the student’s strengths and areas of concern as well as their environments, specific tasks, and needed tools. Once the IEP team members have been identified and all important information regarding the student and SETT framework has been established, the team can identify assistive technology that may help the child maintain, improve, or increase a function that relates to a specific task. For example, a student may need support with self-care, such as hand-washing. Augmentative and alternative communication would be utilized to assist the child in reaching a goal to, hypothetically, successfully complete and comprehend the handwashing sequence before eating each meal (breakfast, lunch, and snack) at their school for all 3 meals and for 4 out of 5 days of the school week. Based on the IEP and SETT framework information and an AAC assessment, the team might have been able to identify that this child is a visual learner who may benefit from an aided form of AAC, such as, graphic communication systems in the form of a picture handwashing schedule attached to a bracelet. This bracelet would include pictures and words of each step of the handwashing process such as walking to the sink, lifting the faucet, pumping soap onto hands, rubbing hands together for the duration of the “Happy Birthday” song, rinsing hands under water, turning the faucet down/off, drying hands on a paper towel, throwing away the paper towel, and sitting down at the table. Of course, these steps can be simplified and are made specifically for the child. The teacher would read aloud each step on the visual bracelet, using their index finger to “read along” and once the child masters each step of the task, the teacher can ask more open-ended questions about the handwashing sequence such as, “What do we do after we sing “Happy Birthday,” or “What do we do after we turn the faucet off?” The SETT framework is very beneficial in an early childhood special education classroom. It allows the IEP team to identify the challenges and strengths of the student and determine if assistive technology is needed to further the child’s ability to perform tasks as well as assist in outlining measurable goals for the student.

Citations:

Virginia Department of Education. November 2008. Assistive Technology: A Framework for Consideration and Assessment. Retrieved from: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/iep_instruct_svcs/assistive_technology/framework_assistive_technology.pdf. Web.

King, Alison, Ph.D. June 17, 2019. Augmentative Communication Strategies: Manual Signs, Picture Communication, and Speech-Generating Devices. Powerpoint.

King, Alison, Ph.D. Nd. SETT Framework. Powerpoint.

Blog 1

First Blog: Rachel Griffin

One of our daily activities in my toddler classroom is to pick our “jobs.” Some of these jobs include door holder, clipboard helper, sunscreen helper, watering plants, etc. For each job, I have provided a written label and picture to assist in describing the function of that job. For example, there is a job labeled as “meal helper” and a picture of the children setting plates and utensils on our classroom table. Each child also has a picture of themselves with Velcro to attach/remove to the job board daily. I will continue to provide aided forms of augmentative communication such as these picture symbols to assist in our daily schedule, routines, and transitions. Next, I will be creating a picture schedule with a pocket folder and will include pictures of the children in our class during our daily activities such as playing on the playground, cleaning up, circle time, nap time, etc. to display in the classroom. I will add a large schedule marker that I can adjust on the schedule as we go along the day. I am also looking forward to adding further, aided augmentative communication picture symbols in our calming area of the classroom where the children can point and later practice bringing teachers picture cards that display various emotions such as frustrated, sad, happy, sleepy, etc. The children can point to the emotion that they are feeling and as we build upon this skill we can add picture cards that illustrate wants/needs such as, “I need a hug” or “I need space,” or “I need a nap/water/food/etc.”  that the children can bring or point to, to communicate with their teachers.

Two changes made to IDEA in 2004 include the start of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center and the definition of universal design. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, NIMAC must ensure that textbooks and other print materials must be free of charge and accessible to students with disabilities in schools that include blindness and other print, reading, visual disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2006). Universal Design is also included in changes made to IDEA in 2004 which discusses its research-based curriculum that meets the various and individual needs of all students in the classroom by adapting and modifying lesson plans, curriculum, and teaching strategies (ASHA). I am fascinated by UDL and excited to learn more as I find it very important to include various learning styles in my lesson plans and activities. For example, I have many children in my class that are tactile learners, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc. I always work to include these learning styles in our daily circle times, for example, providing props for the children to hold that relate to our stories, utilizing a visual felt story-board, including music and movement, and providing opportunities to discuss thoughts/feelings and ask questions during class discussions.

Sources and Citations:

Assistive Technology and the Law & AT- AAC. Powerpoint. Dr. King. Heather Coleman. June 2015.

U.S. Department of Education- Office of Special Education Programs- NIMAS. Idea Partnership. IDEA Regulations. 4 October 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.ideapartnership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=849&oseppage=1. Web.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Universal Design for Learning. Nd. Retrieved from: https://www.asha.org/SLP/schools/Universal-Design-for-Learning/. Web.

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