Literacy assessments part 2 significant disabilities
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Literacy Assessments (Part 2): Significant Disabilities. Presented by: Nanette Olivier, Literacy Goal Office Louisiana Department of Education and Dr. Caroline Musselwhite, Consultant AAC Intervention. October 27, 2010. Webinar Goal &Objectives. GOAL

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Literacy Assessments (Part 2): Significant Disabilities

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Literacy Assessments (Part 2):Significant Disabilities

Presented by:

Nanette Olivier, Literacy Goal Office

Louisiana Department of Education


Dr. Caroline Musselwhite, Consultant

AAC Intervention

October 27, 2010

Webinar Goal &Objectives


  • Provide guidance to schools on literacy assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.


  • Briefly recap assessment requirements (described in Part 1) for Louisiana students with significant cognitive disabilities, including specific issues pertaining to students in grades K-3.

  • Review the use of 3 assessment tools for these students.

    • Intervention Planning Tool

    • Early Literacy Checklist

    • Developmental Spelling

  • Provide information on resources available to support the assessments.

DIBELS Assessment

  • 9/2/10 memo from Dr. Kerry Laster to LEAs regarding guidance for LA students with significant disabilities in grades K-3

    • Administer DIBELS using standard procedures

    • Administer DIBELS using alternate procedures

    • Use an alternate literacy assessment tool

  • Question

    If a student with a significant cognitive disability is in a grade other than K-3, and the district administers a literacy assessment, must that student be administered a literacy assessment as well?

  • Answer

    Yes. And if the district literacy assessment will not yield useful information for a student with a significant cognitive disability, then the procedures discussed in this webinar can be used.

Who are these students?

  • Students with significant and often complex disabilities

  • Intellectual, communication, sensory, social/behavioral and motor impairments

  • For students in grades 3-11, participate in LAA1

  • Have typically been left out of the “literacy loop”

    The school-wide literacy plan must include the needs of these students!

Who is responsible for implementation of assessments for students with significant disabilities?

  • Reading coach

  • Special education teacher

  • Certified interventionist

  • Speech pathologist

  • Pupil appraisal

  • Technical assistance providers (e.g., AT Center)

    This must be a certified/licensed person!

Access Guide (Significant Disabilities) Website

Quality Indicators for Literacy Access#1: Assessment

  • Standardized test materials

  • Alternate procedures for standard tests

  • Alternate tests and materials

  • Data-based recommendations

  • IEP team provided with clearly documented recommendations

  • Alternate method for writing (as needed)

Quality Indicators of Literacy: Assessment Matrix

Intervention Planning ToolErickson - STFLS Teacher Guide

Where to Find It?

Located on the Teacher

Materials CD in every

Purple STFLS kit

Start to Finish Literacy StartersDonnelly, Erickson, Musselwhite, Stemach

Literacy Starters3 story typesEnrichmentTransitionalConventional

Intervention Planning ToolErickson - STFLS Teacher Guide

Background: support for Start-to-Finish Literacy Starters (STFLS)

Profile: helps teachers determine students reading profile

Prescriptive Assessment: supports in developing a plan to move students along the continuum toward conventional literacy

Intervention Planning ToolErickson - STFLS Teacher Guide

Continuum included for:

Concepts About Print . . . Independent Reading

Alphabet Principle . . . Word Identification

Oral Language. . . Comprehension

Phonological Awareness. . . Phonemic Awareness /


Intervention Planning ToolExample


Review Reader Profile descriptions

Check each box that describes what the reader is doing NOW

Look at each profile from L - R; Find the column farthest to the

right with 2 or more checks; Circle appropriate quarter marker.

4) Look at interventions in selected column and those to right

to guide intervention planning for this reader

Intervention Planning ToolConcepts About Print . . . Independent Reading


• Left to right columns

• Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 under each column

• Review & update Reader Profile each quarter

• Use a different color pen each quarter, to track progress

SampleInterventions:Concepts About PrintTransitional

SampleInterventions:AlphabeticPrinciple -Word IDConventional

SampleInterventions:Oral Language - Comprehension Emergent

SampleInterventions:Phonological Awareness -PhonicsTransitional


More support,


Vocabulary Cards

Erickson - STFLS Teacher GuideLots More Support!!

Vocabulary Cards

Erickson - STFLS Teacher GuideLots More Support!!

Even more support . . . Always Activities

Always Activities

Always Activities

Early Literacy Checklists
Musselwhite & King-DeBaun

Range of Checklists, including:

•Checklist of Emergent Literacy Skills

(50 items)

Early Literacy Checklist (2 pp)

Story Listening Observation

Story Enjoyment Observation

Oral/Device Reading Observation

Story Comprehension / Play

General Story Comprehension

Early Literacy Checklists
Musselwhite & King-DeBaun

Where to find the checklists?

Shop on your own bookshelf first!!

Early Literacy Engagement Progress Monitoring ChecklistKing-DeBaun, 2006

• Observation by teacher, parent, therapist

• Permits 5 observations across 1 - 3 years

• Some checklists are designed for students

with the most significant cognitive delays

• Very straightforward observation codes

(look for Progress Monitoring)

Early Literacy ChecklistKing-DeBaun, 20062-page ChecklistPlus Manual

Early Literacy ChecklistSample Items & Rubric

Early Literacy ChecklistKing-DeBaun, 200632-page Manual

Early Literacy Checklist ManualSample Item + Goal + Ideas

Early Literacy Checklist ManualSample Item + Goal + Ideas

Developmental Spelling Test

  • Helps us understand what students know about the letter / sound system

  • Useful for charting progress across time

  • Supports targeting instruction by learning what students know, and what is confusing to them

Gentry’s Developmental Spelling Stages

  • PRECOMMUNICATIVE SPELLING is the “babbling” stage of spelling. Children use letters for writing words but the letters are strung together randomly. The letters in precommunicative spelling do not correspond to sounds. Examples: OPSPS = eagle; RTAT = eighty.

  • SEMIPHONETIC SPELLERS know that letters represent sounds. They perceive and represent reliable sounds with letters in a type of telegraphic writing. Spellings are often abbreviated representing initial and/or final sound. Examples: E = eagle; a = eighty.

  • PHONETIC SPELLERS spell words like they sound. The speller perceives and represents all of the phonemes in a word, though spellings may be unconventional. Examples: EGL = eagle; ATE = eighty.

  • TRANSITIONAL SPELLERS think about how words appear visually; a visual memory of spelling patterns is apparent. Spellings exhibit conventions of English orthography like vowels in every syllable, e-marker and vowel digraph patterns, correctly spelled inflectional endings, and frequent English letter sequences. Examples: EGIL = eagle; EIGHTEE = eighty.

  • CONVENTIONAL SPELLERS develop over years of word study and writing. Correct spelling can be categorized by instruction levels. For example, correct spelling for a corpus…words that can be spelled by the average fourth grader would be fourth grade level correct spelling. Place the word in this category if is listed correctly.

‘Monster Test’



Dr. J. Richard Gentry

Professor of Elementary Education and Reading

Developmental Spelling


Note: give the pretest, even if they can’t do it!!!


  • Access Guide (Significant Disabilities)

    • Flowchart

    • Assessment Tools Chart

    • Intervention Planning Tool (links from Assessment Tools Chart)

    • Early Literacy Checklist (links from Assessment Tools Chart)

    • Monster Test (Assessing Developmental Spelling)

  • SIG Notes (Literacy Assessment Requirements)

  • Nanette Olivier ([email protected])

Literacy Support for Students with Significant Disabilities

Action Step Recommendations from the Louisiana Department of Education for School Year 2010-2011

Target audience: reading specialists, literacy coaches, special education teachers, principals

For information, contact: [email protected]

Action Plan

Outcome: Each student with a significant disability must be provided a literacy assessment in alignment with district practices at the student’s grade level.

Where to begin:

  • Talk to Literacy Coach for your school?

  • Check with your school or AT Center for an alternate literacy assessment available for check out, or order one for next year?

  • Secure a Literacy Starters set, and review the Teacher Resources for the Intervention Planning Tool, Vocabulary Cards, and Always Activities?

  • Locate a copy of the Early Literacy Checklist?

  • Other ideas?

Next Steps

  • Archived webinars (check Literacy tool bar under Literacy Webinars for further information)

    • Literacy Assessment Webinar: Part 1

    • Literacy Assessment Webinar: Part 2

  • 2011 Preschool and Kindergarten Conference

  • 1/27/11 and 1/28/11 workshops

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