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Literacy for Children with Disabilities and Literacy T hrough P lay. Kayla Wiseman and Hayley Leckner. What is Literacy?. Literacy is much more than reading and writing: It is the ability to access information and to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas to others. Emergent Literacy:

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Literacy for children with disabilities and literacy t hrough p lay

Literacy for Children with Disabilities and Literacy Through Play

Kayla Wiseman and Hayley Leckner


What is literacy
What is Literacy?

  • Literacy is much more than reading and writing:

    • It is the ability to access information and to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas to others.

  • Emergent Literacy:

    • Acquisition of literacy skills that begins at birth, and is influenced by experiences that encourage literacy.


Reading and writing for students with disabilities
Reading and Writing for Students with Disabilities

  • Read with pictures, tactile cues, objects, and tactile materials.

  • When writing, students can use object symbols, sequencing, teacher writing, pictures, scribbling, and computer activities.


Barriers to literacy and communication that need to be broken
Barriers to Literacy and Communication that need to be Broken

  • Low expectations

  • Limited opportunities

  • Limited time

  • Limited life experiences

  • The age factor

  • Negative attitudes


Ways to encourage literacy
Ways to Encourage Literacy Broken

  • Build off of their interests.

  • Have the students share with others.

  • Have students read and write about their everyday experiences:

    • Have the students write for a variety of reasons everyday.

    • Ask questions to influence children to reflect, think, and talk about their writing.


Experience book
Experience Book Broken

  • An experience book is a collection of activities a student experience:

    • Made of real objects.

    • Sharing memories with others.

  • This helps their literacy skills in Braille and tactile symbols.


Achieving literacy
Achieving Literacy Broken

  • Students must read.

  • Reading material must be meaningful.

  • Must be communication to achieve meaningfulness.

  • There must be experience to achieve communication.

  • There must be opportunity to achieve experience.

  • There must be care and understanding to achieve opportunity.


Levels of play
Levels of Play Broken

1. Chaotic, out of control play

2. Simplistic, repetitive play

3. High level, complex, sustained play


Traits of non productive play
Traits of Non-Productive Play Broken

  • Children’s voices are loud and high-pitched.

  • Some risk-taking behaviors.

  • Disagreements leading toward hurt feelings or physical actions.

  • The noise and physical activity has crossed the line to chaotic or out of control play.

  • Play is repetitive or one-dimensional.


Traits of beneficial play
Traits of Beneficial Play Broken

  • Children are highly engaged for a long time.

  • Few behavior problems arise.

  • Noise level is at a reasonable volume.

  • Teachers are called upon for specific needs.

  • Teachers are called upon to “look!” and provide feedback, then the play continues.

  • Creative use of materials is seen in play.

  • Children are role-playing.


Benefits to make believe play
Benefits to Make-Believe Play Broken

  • Teaches to separate thoughts from actions. (Self-regulation)

  • Prepares for abstract and creative thinking (leads toward becoming better writers, readers, and mathematicians).

  • Helps teach children to make choices and follow through on their plans (Self-regulation).


What is my role as the teacher
What is My Role as the Teacher? Broken

  • Help get play started and know when to enter and exit play.

  • Sustain play with open-ended questions.

  • Coach children in play strategies.

  • Incorporate standards and goals into play.

  • Add representation to play:

    • By providing writing tools and scaffolding children

    • By documenting play with drawing, writing, or photographs.



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