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Showing posts from May, 2012

Change... Again...

The days where all of my students and the learning assistants that work with them are under the same roof are now numbered.  Things are beginning to wind down for the year and we are in full swing in regards to thinking about and planning for next year.  The k-12 students that have served within the walls of the elementary school that our program is housed in will be going to age-appropriate schools this fall.  That means my eight students will be in three different schools come September.  Three of them will remain where they are, two will go to Junior High school and the remaining three are off to High School.  I will continue to coordinate the programs in a bit different capacity then what I have been doing - although it will not be that much of a change as my job has been changing a lot during this school year already.

The elementary students under my umbrella joined elementary classrooms either last year or this and I know provide mostly indirect services to them.  These students…

Literacy for All Pilot Project Update

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Way back at the beginning of the year, I posted about the "Literacy for All" pilot project that our school was going to a part of for the 2011-12 school year.  The project involved bringing educators from across the province of Alberta together to examine literacy learning for students with significant disabilities. In this past year we have met face to face, met online, participated in a online community, and used and examined the resources "MeVille to WeVille" and "Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four Blocks Way".  The project was built upon the premise that ALL students can learn literacy.  Being part of this project has given me the opportunity to further explore what it means when we say that we are going to teach literacy skills to students with significant disabilities and ultimately culminated in a desire to learn more.  It is evident that there is much that we can do by way of teaching literacy to students in this population a…

Today's Quote...

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"Teaching is, at its core, a moral profession.  Helping students become connected, passion-driven learners is a moral issue.  Most of us went into education to change the world, to help kids, to make a difference, and somewhere along the way, many of us lost sight of that moral purpose.  
We all have a choice: A choice to be powerful or pitiful. A choice to allow ourselves to become victims or activists. A choice to take a stand on behalf of the children we serve.  
The world is at your fingertips. Figure out your personal vision for change in your school or classroom. Learn how to leverage the wisdom of the crowd. Build alliance. Find your tribe, your community.  Then do something powerful to promote change.  Sit down with other educators and share what you learn.  Be a transparent learner. Be an example you want your students to become.  Show them what a learner does to make the world a better place.
Choose to be powerful." 
Source: "The Connected Educator: L…

I've Been Tagged

Nicole over at the blog "The Autism Teacher" tagged me in a post.  I'm honored.  So I will continue the chain...

Tell 7 things about myselfTag 7 blogs I love and Hope those bloggers continue passing on the "cyber-accolades" Seven Things About Myself I have a 13 year old son named Mikey - whom also happens to be on my caseload at work :).I was lifeguard through highschool and university.  It was a great summer job.I have never traveled anywhere outside of Canada and the US.I am the second of 4 children in my family and the only girl in the bunch.I currently live only a half hour from the town that I grew up in.I think I have the best job in the whole world.I should be asleep as I'm going to be tired at work tomorrow.Seven Blogs I Love Differentiation DailyLisa Jo Rudy on Authentic InclusionClimbing Every MountainKARE GiversEnding Disability SegregationKit TisdalePrinciple Greg Miller

Literacy in Augmentative and Alternative Communication

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This past week I traveled to Toronto for a "Literacy in AAC" course that was delivered by Karen Erikson and David Koppenhaver (the authors of the book "Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four-Blocks Way").  The focus of the course was on developing literacy skills in students who have complex communication needs. 
I do believe in literacy learning for all students but this course challenged me to further redefine what "literacy learning" is for the students that I teach.  I have been moving towards an understanding of generative reading and writing over the past couple of years but coming to understand that and actually having a plan of action around how to make that happen are two different things.  I came out of this course feeling like there is now an action plan and that plan is rooted in ensuring that the students that I am responsible for have a comprehensive literacy program that includes interactions related to each of the four b…

COACH3: Choosing Outcomes & Accommodations for Children: A Guide to Educatoinal Planning for Students with Disabilities

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Planning for the 2012-13 school year is in full swing as we are looking to move all of the students that I have on my caseload to their age appropriate schools this fall.  I will continue to oversee their programs at each of the three schools.  There is still a lot in the air around what things will look like exactly (we have ideas but because they are new we will need to be flexible and responsive to situations and students).

One of the shifts we are trying to make is for the starting point to be what the individualized goals are for these students and then to build their individual programs, including where each aspect of those programs will be delivered, based on that.  This is really the way it should be done but somehow we have gotten caught up in putting them in to a program based on a diagnosis or perception and then building a program that ensures they fit in to the program as it exists.  It was never intentional. I think we just sometimes get stuck in things because they see…