We don’t think the intelligence issue matters when it comes to literacy.
All children can learn to read and write, become people who matter to the people around them
and use reading and writing in ways that can improve their lives. We presume competence to learn.
We need to teach, whether or not the kids can show us what they know, we need to teach.”
​-Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver,
Edmonton, July 2015


 

 

Presumed Competence

In the video, The Cost of Underestimating the Potential of Individual Students, Dr. Caroline Musslewhite discusses why it is important to not underestimate the potential of individual students, particularly students with significant disabilities.

Learning Guide: The Cost of Underestimating the Potential of Individual Students PDF
Length: 1 minute 41 seconds

competence3


Good literacy instruction is good for all students235

Many of the studies and literature surveys have a similar message that has been repeated over the last four decades- even when taking into consideration many of the recent technical advances, nothing replaces sound early literacy instruction. Regular participation in reading and writing activities plays a central role in supporting typical children’s understandings about print.

The principles of planning for effective instruction are equally applicable to both students who are typical learners and students with significant disabilities. Research in emergent literacy shows that students with significant disabilities including those with complex communication needs, benefit from the same type of literacy activities used with typically developing children but may require more time and opportunity.

Designing meaningful and effective instruction for students with significant disabilities requires intentional planning that considers the strengths and needs of individual learners and takes into account best practices that work for all learners. To learn more about effective instructional practice, including information, strategies and references, visit Learning for All at http://www.learningforallab.ca.


Literacy for All: In conversation with Dr. Caroline Musselwhite

Through a collaboration between Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium and Alberta Education, 11 video clips and related learning guides were created based on a conversation with Dr. Musselwhite. These resources provide an opportunity to enhance and support teacher practice in the area of communication and literacy instruction for students with significant disabilities.

good literacy instruction is good for all studentsIn this video, Dr. Caroline Musselwhite discusses why good literacy instruction is good for all students, including students with significant disabilities.

Learning Guide: Good Literacy Instruction is Good for All Students PDF
Video length: 2 minutes 8 seconds

importance of repetition and variety in learningIn this video, Dr. Caroline Musselwhite discusses the importance of meaningful repetition in learning, particularly for students with significant disabilities.

Learning Guide: Importance of Repetition and Variety in Learning PDF
Length: 1 minute 11 seconds

engaging older studentsIn this video, Dr. Caroline Musselwhite discusses what it means to be age-respectful when working with older students and how this can create richer opportunities for them to participate and learn.

Learning Guide: Engaging Older Students PDF
Length: 1 minute 12 seconds


why literacy4


Meaningful, purposeful communication

“Meaningful, purposeful communication is at the heart of learning to read and write. Students who learn that they can use reading and writing to investigate areas of interest, share their ideas, thoughts, and feelings, or interact with new people understand that the primary purpose of literacy is communication.”
(Quick-Guides to Inclusion, page 184)

Kathy, could you write text to support this graphic?


Using the program of studies as a starting point of instruction

 


Literacy instruction

Answer the questions in the first box for EACH of the students in the class.  If you responded NO to any of these questions, you’ll implement the Daily Emergent Interventions.  If you answered YES to all of the questions, you’ll implement the Daily Conventional Interventions as displayed below.

does the student

 

Important! Answering ‘yes’ to all of the above questions doesn’t mean that is student is at a conventional literacy level but it does mean that they are ready to move to the conventional set of interventions.

If you have a class of students at both the Emergent and Conventional levels, use the combination of interventions as described below:

Combined emergent and conventional interventions: ​

  • ​Shared Reading
  • Alphabet & Phonological Awareness During Word Identification and Decoding
  • Predictable Chart Writing
  • Independent Reading
  • Independent Writing
  • Guided Reading (Conventional Only)
  • Writing Instruction (Conventional Only)