Beginning with Braille: Challenges and Choices

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Beginning with Braille: Challenges and Choices. Anna M. Swenson Braille Literacy Consultant annaswenson@cox.net NFB Braille Symposium September 29, 2012. Collaboration. Road Map . The ABC Braille Study and its implications Choices: Emergent literacy for Braille readers - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Beginning with Braille: Challenges and Choices

Beginning with Braille: Challenges and ChoicesAnna M. SwensonBraille Literacy Consultantannaswenson@cox.net NFB Braille SymposiumSeptember 29, 201212This text has been extracted from a graphic organizer

ChallengesDiversityEmergent LiteracyCurriculumInclusion

ChoicesAssessmentGoalsSettingStrategiesLearning Activities

OutcomesMotivationEngagementLearningECC proficiency Collaboration3Graphic: three gears, one small, one medium, and one large are interlocked with arrows around them showing the direction of rotation. The small gear is labeled Student and Family. The medium gear is labeled Teacher of the Visually Impaired. The large gear is labeled Support Staff, Gen. Ed. Teacher and Others. 3Road Map The ABC Braille Study and its implicationsChoices:Emergent literacy for Braille readersFormal literacy learning: Incorporating Braille instruction into the standard curriculumQuestions and discussion4To contract or not to contract?5

That was the question that launched the ABC* Braille Study.Alphabetic Braille and Contracted Braille

5the (contracted) or the (uncontracted). The aforementioned text appears in SimBraille on the slideThe Braille StudyResearch focus: Are there differences in the childrens reading & writing performance based on whether they were initially taught in contracted or uncontracted Braille?Longitudinal study, 2002-2007Children w/o other disabilities in grades pre-k through 4Half of teachers started students with contracted Braille, half with uncontracted. (Teachers choice)Team of researchers both qualitative & quantitative data6ABC9/18/20126Major Findings Emerson, Holbrook, & DAndrea, (2009). Acquisition of literacy skills by young children who are blind: Results from the ABC Braille StudyStudents [with no additional disabilities] who were introduced to more contractions earlier in instruction performed better on reading measures, such as vocabulary, decoding, and comprehension. Students who are blind, regardless of whether they started with contracted or uncontracted Braille, are falling behind their sighted peers and not acquiring reading skills at the rate they should.79/18/201278Implications for Real-Life Teaching: One Teachers Interpretation8This text has been extracted from a graphic organizer.Implications1. Teaching the Braille Code2. The Role of the TVI in Teaching Reading3. Assessment4. Literacy InstructionEarly Emergent LiteracyFor Preschoolers and Older Students with Additional Learning Challenges99Linking Concepts to Literacy: Maxs Home Depot Book

10Square tileSquare of carpetLight switchOutlet and plugScrews and nails (big & little)ChainTape measureNuts and bolts (big & little)Piece of wood

Photo: Max's Home Depot Book10Interactive Read-Alouds11

This text has been extracted from a graphic organizer. MotivationBook LanguageVocabularyHigher Level ThinkingConcepts11Maximum Meaningful Hands-on Braille Time**Demystify Braille for the other members of the IEP teamModel, model, modelEncourage early literacy behaviors: pretend reading, scribbling, sounds 121213Braille Illustrations (Lamb, 1996)

9/18/201213Photo:Road, bus, parent, & childThe following appears in SimBraille on the slide. The combination of Braille characters creates an image that could be interpreted to be a parent and child waiting for the bus which is coming down the road.

---- forforforforforfor -------

for like A Suggested Approach to Teaching Braille14STEP 1 (Controlled, contracted text) PRESCHOOLTactile sight words, including easy contractionsFamiliar names and motivating wordsSTEP 2 PRESCHOOL into KINDERGARTENLetters of the alphabetNumbersBeginning decoding skills (CVC words) STEP 3 (Uncontrolled, fully contracted text) KINDERGARTEN ONContractions taught as they appear in reading materialsMore complex decoding skills9/18/201214This text has been extracted from a graphic organizer.STEP 1 (Controlled, contracted text) PRESCHOOLTactile sight words, including easy contractionsFamiliar names and motivating wordsSTEP 2PRESCHOOL into KINDERGARTENLetters of the alphabetNumbersBeginning decoding skills (CVC words)STEP 3 (Uncontrolled, fully contracted text) KINDERGARTEN ONContractions taught as they appear in reading materialsMore complex decoding skillsMotivating Words 15

15Photo: This student activity shows two words (spider and ant) in three formats. On the left the words appear in contracted SimBraille, in the middle the words appear in print, on the right is a picture representation of the word.Its a Race! Reading Connected Text16

16The following story appears in contracted SimBraille and print on the slide.go ant go spidergo go antgo spider gogo ant and spider go go goWhat about the dots of the Braille cell?Sadie and I talked about how the Y has a head, a body and feet. Then she said, but it doesn't have a belly. I loved that, and of course I went on about what a smart observation that was!17

17Photo 1: a full cell with the dot numbersPhoto 2: a y in SimBrailleBenefits of Braille Instruction for Non-Traditional LearnersOral language, vocabulary, communication skills developmentFunctional uses, e.g. Labeling belongings or items used in pre-vocational tasksDevelopment of independent work skillsSocialization: e.g., games / sharing booksGeneral knowledge of gen. ed curriculumStepping stone to formal academic instruction1818I-M-ABLE (Dr. Diane Wormsley)Individualized Meaning-centered Approach to Braille Literacy EducationStudent-centered: Totally individualized and highly motivatingAppropriate for wide range of learnersKey words of interest to the learner = basis for instruction (i.e., phonics, spelling, reading connected text all taught with key words)Whole to part approach: Language of TouchContractions taught from the beginningResources: Book and articles

1919Literacy Learning in the Early Primary GradesIncorporating Braille instruction into the standard curriculum

2020The Balancing ActINCLUSION INDIVIDUAL INSTRUCTIONTalk about booksShare writingParticipate in reading groupLearn classroom behaviors necessary to function as part of a group, including independent work habitsDevelop social skillsWork on the Braille code within the context of reading instructionPreview classroom activities, e.g., book for reading groupAddress goals and objectives related to the Expanded Core Curriculum21

21Image: tightrope walkerConsiderations What is the childs performance level in each area of literacy? (based on Gen ed and Braille-specific assessments)Am I providing sufficient service time to allow flexibility in when I choose to work with the child individually? Would a greater amount of pull-out now make more inclusion possible later on?Based on on-going data collection, should I consider changing the balance?2222FIVE TIPS FOR FACILITATING INCLUSION23231. Prioritize positive collaboration with classroom teachersThe ownership challengeStep back (19 Ways)Reassure teachers about visual assignmentsSet high expectations from the beginning (video)Be sensitive to the multiple demands on classroom teachers time and plan contacts strategicallyContribute to the learning of other children in the classAssess and evaluate the students progress togetherListen to classroom teachers concerns24

24Image: two people shaking hands3. Take advantage of instructional materials that facilitate inclusionWord PlayHouseEarly Braille Trade Bookshttp://tech.aph.org/ebt/ 25

Photo 1: Word PlayHousePhoto 2: Early Braille Trade Books254. Promote independent work habitsBeware of learned helplessnessStep backStart during individual instructionPreview assignmentsTeach organizational skills

2626Temporary (Invented) Spelling27

27Photo: Student Braille work sampleThe text below appears in SimBraille and print on the slide and is identical to the Braille in the work sample photo.I wgld more tth5. Advocate for technologyExpand childrens access to a wide variety of devicesSolve the Computer Lab dilemmaLet our students join the 21st century!

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28Continuing the discussion How can we provide TVIs with the background in literacy instruction they need to teach children who are learning to read in Braille? In response to the results of the ABC Braille Study, how can we improve literacy outcomes for our Braille readers? What factors contribute to successful inclusion for students who read Braille?How do we encourage parents to become involved in their childrens concept development and literacy learning? (including learning Braille)How can we get technology into the hands of our younger learners? What is the optimum balance between paper-based and paperless Braille devices for beginning Braille students?How do we meet the literacy needs of potential Braille students who are non-traditional learners?2929

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