Teaching the Use of Inner Voice in Reading

Teaching the Use of Inner Voice in Reading

Reading silently WITH comprehension is the goal of all reading instruction. Every literacy learner and every literacy teacher is aiming towards this goal. Many students go through a process at school where they learn first to read “out loud” and then move to using their inner voice.  But for students with complex communication needs (CCN), using their inner voice needs to start a lot earlier.  For some students with CCN this is obvious – if a student has little or no speech then developing an inner voice is seen as essential by all.  However, we also need to remember that…

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Implementation of iPads for AAC in a Specialist School

Implementation of iPads for AAC in a Specialist School

I recently had an article published in Perspectives on AAC that I wanted to share here as I thought it could be useful for others who are on the same journey.  You can access the original article at http://sig12perspectives.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2322984. And to give you a visual to go with the article – the video below has footage of some of the students from this classroom and their fabulous teacher, Fiona. Communication is Conversation from AssistiveWare on Vimeo. Citation: Farrall, J. (2015). Implementation of iPads for AAC in a specialist school. Perspectives in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 24(2), 51 – 59. This…

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Writing in Our Classrooms

Writing in Our Classrooms

Chloe re-writing a favourite book from Tar Heel Reader   Writing is a complex task, involving ideas, language, words, spelling and transcribing or selecting letters. We need to teach all of these skills – and eventually students need to be able to do all of these, within the one task, to become writers. Tristan’s writing Overall guidelines Do you have time scheduled for an independent writing block every day? Are your students using a pencil or alternative pencil that allows them to focus on the cognitive aspects of writing e.g. alphabet board, flip chart, keyboard, eye gaze system, iPad and…

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Shared Reading: Focus on Interaction

Shared Reading: Focus on Interaction

Shared reading is a collaborative learning activity that emulates and builds on the bedtime book experiences that many children and parents have together. The focus during shared reading is on the interaction. Shared reading is appropriate for any emergent reader, no matter their age and can be done individually or in small groups. Focus on Interaction Shared reading allows adults to model vocabulary and language, relating to both the book and to the individual’s life. It is a great activity for teaching an individual how to interact around books and about the structure and rules of conversation. It is also…

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Leading to Literacy

Leading to Literacy

I was very privileged to be invited to do a plenary presentation at the Queensland Association of Special Education Leaders‘ annual conference.   Below is the presentation I gave on “Leading to Literacy” where I got to talk about the fabulous Willans Hill School and the four years of our journey implementing balanced literacy instruction with all students in the school.  I always feel very lucky to work with such a wonderful group of students and staff. PS  The fabulous principal at Willans Hill, Chris Lennon, has recently announced her retirement plans.  We’ll really miss her – but I’m hoping…

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Working with Letters, Sounds and Words in our Classrooms

Working with Letters, Sounds and Words in our Classrooms

Working with letters, sounds and words are important components of literacy instruction in our classrooms. Emergent students need explicit and incidental instruction around the alphabet and sounds, to improve their alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness.  Conventional students need to learn how words work. Below is a checklist I use with teachers in working through the letters, sounds and words literacy block in their classrooms. For emergent students In this block, emergent students need to build two skills: Alphabet knowledge Phonological awareness Are you: Providing them with alphabet books? Focusing on the whole alphabet or at least on two letters a…

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Self-Selected Reading in Our Classrooms

Self-Selected Reading in Our Classrooms

Self-selected reading is often seen as the easiest literacy block.  However, to develop a student’s love of reading requires careful resource curation and an awareness of their interests and preferences.  Below is a checklist I use with teachers in working through the self-selected reading block in their classroom. The two main guiding rules are: It isn’t self-selected if you don’t choose it yourself You can’t get good at it if it is too difficult Overall guidelines Do you have 20 or more books per student in your classroom? Do you have a mix of fiction and non-fiction? Do students have…

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Literacy Through Curriculum: Using the Australian Curriculum as a Springboard for Literacy

Literacy Through Curriculum: Using the Australian Curriculum as a Springboard for Literacy

It’s the final day of #AGOSCI2015 – I’m always sad when a fabulous conference ends!  But I love all the great ideas and tips I’ve learned that I get to go back and try!  And AGOSCI is always so practical – which is one of the reasons it’s one of my favourite conferences My last presentation for this year’s AGOSCI Conference was with Lorna Fenech. Lorna is the Deputy Principal at Adelaide West Special Education Centre and a very skilled teacher.  Lorna and students at Adelaide West are also featured in one of the Illustrations of Personal Learning on the…

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AAC and Literacy in Partnership to Develop Language

AAC and Literacy in Partnership to Develop Language

Today I was lucky enough to present at the AGOSCI 2015 National Conference with the amazing Helen Tainsh on using literacy and AAC intervention to develop language. Helen works in both early intervention at the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre and in private practice, where she supports a number of students in mainstream schools.  Currently, I’m working mostly with special schools implementing whole school literacy and AAC programs.  Despite the different work settings that we find ourselves in, both Helen and I are finding the literacy and AAC go so well together in developing skills in literacy and AAC – and…

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Self-Selected Reading: Books for Every Reader

Self-Selected Reading: Books for Every Reader

The AGOSCI Conference continued today.  My first presentation for the day was with the fabulous Sally Clendon on the topic of Self-Selected Reading.  As promised, the handout for the presentation is shared here. Self Selected Reading from Jane Farrall  And thanks to the wonderful teachers and students featured in the photos in this handout, particularly the staff and students from Willans Hill. Share this: Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Email Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedInEmail

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