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PowerPoint Presentation from April 2009 





Literacy Ecological Inventory:

Determine how often literacy skills are used across environments and content areas.


Embedding Literacy Activities Across the Classroom Day

Activities developed by teacher to embed literacy throughout various activities and content areas.






Activities for teaching vocabulary:






Miss Alaineous   by: Debra Frasier


What a fun book about vocabulary. Check it out of your local library to share with your students. Think of the many different activities you could use with them, maybe have your own vocabulary parade!

Start-to-Finish books


The Start-to-Finish books are a wonderful resource for struggling readers. These books are age appropriate narrative chapter books written at two readability levels. Each title comes with the paperback book, CD and software for reading the computer book and completing a variety of activities (e.g., cloze quizzes, fluency practice). Key vocabulary cards and pictures are included, as well as suggested vocabulary activities in the teachers' edition.

Many titles are available for checkout from the T/TAC Library.

They are available for purchase from Don Johnston.


Graphic Organizers for Vocabulary


There are a variety of graphic organizers available to help students develop their vocabulary. All of them can be adapted to meet your needs. You can create electronic versions, add visuals, put different components on index cards (e.g., the four parts of the Word Bank graphic organizer can written on the front and back of an index card). Check out these resources:


The Frayer Model: www.tantasqua.org/superintendent/Profdevelopment/etfrayermodel.html

Word Bank graphic organizer: http://graphicorganizers.com


Vocabulary web site


Need a fun place for online vocabulary games and activities? Check out this site!




Word Wall, pocket words, drill sandwich


The word wall is a location on the wall in the classroom that displays important words such as vocabulary words. An individual, portable word wall can be created with a file folder. Words can be glued, taped or attached with hook and loop material. Visuals can also be used for words.


Word wall information:





Pocket words provide students with the opportunity to develop accuracy and automaticity while honoring their working memory.  Cut a 3X5 index card into four equal pieces.  Write a new word on each card (words that come directly from the content the student is reading).  The student reviews his/her words and then places them in his/her pocket.  Other people in the classroom and school can ask the student to read pocket words to them.  This provides multiple repetitions for the student to master each word.


The drill sandwich is based on managing working memory also. Identify seven knowns and three unknowns for a studen (e.g., vocabulary words, spelling words, math facts).- Write each known and unknown on an index card. Students read and review the cards until the unknowns become knowns. This can take one to several days. After the unknowns become knowns, remove three of the earlier knowns and add three new unknowns.










Vocabulary Assessment:  Adapted from:  Copeland and Keefe,Effective Literacy Instruction for Students with Moderate or Severe Disabilities (2007), p. 98-99.

         Ask the student to point, gesture, or eye gaze to indicate the target vocabulary word. You can ask the student to choose from a choice of two or more words. It is important to make sure you vary the position of the target word and the distracters.

          Give the student the definition of the target vocabulary word and ask him or her to identify the correct word from a choice of two or more, using pointing, gesturing, or eye gazing.

          Ask the student to physically match the target word to the definition.

          Ask the student to indicate yes or no when asked the definition of a vocabulary word or whether a vocabulary word is the correct choice in a sentence.

          Read a sentence with the target vocabulary word missing. Ask the student to select the appropriate word from a choice of two or more using pointing, gesturing, or eye gazing.




Incite Learning series from Don Johnston


http://www.donjohnston.com/products/incite/index.html  A collection of short films to enhance your language arts and history curriculum.  Students are able to visualize history as it happens on screen. 


Tar Heel Reader



UNC-Charlotte Adapted Text

http://education.uncc.edu/access/adaptedbooks.htm  In order to open and print texts you must have Writing With Symbols 2000 (Mayer Johnson)


50 Wordless Books


Start to Finish Books (see above) 




Gretchen Hanser's "Writing with Alternative Pencils" is available for purchase:

 Purchasing information


Who Should Use the Alternative Pencils?

(retrieved from http://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/resources/available-for-purchase-1/available-for-purchase/ on 4/3/09)

"These alternative pencils are ideal to use with ALL students, including those who have very little experience with print to those students who can write recognizable words. 

For very beginning writers who may not know what print is, no prerequisites are needed for them to be able to scribble, explore and experiment with an alternative pencil. 

  • Students do not need to know how to use an alternative pencil.
  • Students do not need to have cause/effect.
  • Students do not need to have reliable motor skills or good switch use.
  • Students do not need to know their letters.
  • Students do not need to be able to spell or read words.

Similar to typically developing children, through meaningful interactions, models, and ongoing opportunities, our students learn about writing and pencils by using them to write."


Case Studies including video clips of students

Jake:  http://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/projects/deaf-blind-model-classroom/jakes-story

Matthew:  http://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/projects/deaf-blind-model-classroom/matthews-story





Graphic organizers



Graphic organizers help students master all content areas faster and more quickly. There are graphic organizers for reading, science, writing, math and for general use. 




Animoto web site:




Create short videos (up to 30 seconds) for free using your own photos.  How can this website help students with their writing?  Could it also be helpful for learning content information?




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