This last week of school has revealed some great edu-wins for emergent literacy and students with significant disabilities. I had some proud educator moments...
First of all, I was very excited to be invited to a school to begin planning for next year for their students in segregated classrooms with regard to emergent literacy. We talked about having a common timetable so they could have fluid groupings in between classes. I mean, we do this for our "regular" classes, so why not in these classrooms? The idea was met with some enthusiasm and one quite reluctant teacher even joined in the conversation. It was great to see these folks collaborating to ensure our most vulnerable students get to take part in the curriculum and have full access to the a literacy program!
Then, I was so pleasantly surprised when I got to read some IPPs from another school. Not only did they have excellent literacy goals (thank you Karen Erickson: to see IPP ideas, click on the link), but there were some good reviews with strategies and real life examples for individual students! I definitely got all teary-eyed when there were NO behavior goals and ONLY literacy goals. They had done some excellent work with the components of the program we had demonstrated. Now to spread the IPP word...
Finally, a group of us have been part of a Literacy for All community of practice, and as part of this program, we are planning a project to promote literacy for all in our district. We landed on an Emergent Literacy 101 for administrators so they could learn what a good literacy program would look like in their contained classrooms. Currently, administrators may know what to look for if they have worked with students with significant disabilities in their former teaching years, but many do not really know what to look for when observing these classrooms. Our goal is to provide them with the tools to adequately observe programming for students in contained classrooms. When this was presented to various principal groups, it was well received. Principals were interested in acquiring these tools for their schools. We can't wait to share with them!
One other bit of information- A group of 5 consultants (including myself) are heading down to Camp ALEC in Michigan in August to learn even more about working with students with significant disabilities. We look forward to bringing more ideas to share with teachers and administrators as we strive to see ALL students having access to a strong literacy program. Can't wait to share my learning here as well.
What a way to end a school year! I can't wait for schools to get back as we continue this work.
Have a great summer everyone!