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Beyond the Braille Code = = = Teaching Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies to Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired. Anna M. Swenson Braille Literacy Consultant annaswenson@cox.net. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Interest Level: 4-6 Reading Level: 4.1.

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Beyond the Braille Code = = =Teaching Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategiesto Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Anna M. Swenson

Braille Literacy Consultant

annaswenson@cox.net

because of winn dixie by kate dicamillo
Because of Winn-Dixieby Kate DiCamillo
  • Interest Level: 4-6
  • Reading Level: 4.1
cast of characters
Cast of Characters
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Opal
  • The Preacher (Father)
  • Otis (Pet Store)
  • Miss Franny Block (Library)
  • Amanda Wilkinson
  • Gloria Dump
  • Sweetie Pie (age 5)
  • Dunlap & Stevie Dewberry (Twins)
results of the abc braille study
Results of the ABC Braille Study
  • “Students who were introduced to more contractions earlier in instruction performed better on reading measures, such as vocabulary, decoding, and comprehension.” Emerson, R.W., Holbrook, M.C., & D'Andrea, F.M. (2009). Acquisition of literacy skills by young children who are blind: Results from the ABC Braille Study. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 103, 610-624.
  • By the end of the study, only half the students were reading on grade level. Comprehension & vocabulary were major areas of deficit.
  • Conclusion: The issue is not contractions, but rather the need for high quality instruction in the full range of reading processes.
whose job is it to teach reading
Whose job is it to teach reading?

Can we separate the braille code from the teaching of reading for young children who are learning braille?

WE ARE ALL TEACHERS OF READING

today s focus
Today’s Focus
  • Vocabulary & comprehension
  • Case study of a braille reader
  • Middle elementary (grades 2-5)
  • Strategies that work in conjunction with general education instruction.
resources and references see electronic handout
Resources and References(See electronic handout.)
  • Beck, L., McKeown, M., and Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. New York: The Guilford Press.
  • Fountas, C. and Pinnell, G.S. (2006). Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading, K-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • The Reading Teacher: Journal of the International Reading Association
key principles in effective reading instruction fountas pinnell 2006
Key Principles in Effective Reading Instruction (Fountas & Pinnell, 2006)
  • Read-alouds
  • Continuous text
  • High quality reading materials
  • Variety of texts
  • Large quantity of reading material
  • Choice
aph early braille trade books sunshine kits 1 and 2 tech aph org ebt
APH Early Braille Trade BooksSunshine Kits 1 and 2 tech.aph.org/ebt
  • Sets of early reading books from The Wright Group (Sunshine Series)
  • Labels for contracted and uncontracted braille
  • On-line book info: reading level, summary, contractions, punctuation marks, instructional activities
  • On-line data collection for individual students.
sources of free high quality braille books
Sources of Free High Quality Braille Books
  • Seedlings “Book Angel Program” www.seedlings.org
  • National Braille Press “Read Books! Program” www.nbp.org
  • **Braille Institute (Los Angeles) “Special Collection” 1-800-272-4553 www.brailleinstitute.org
what about context
What About Context?
  • Winn Dixie … came over to where me and the preacher were sitting and cocked his head, like he was saying, “What in the world are you two doing out of bed …?”
  • “I became aware of a very peculiar smell, a very strong smell.”
three tiers of words beck mckeown kucan 2002
Three Tiers of Words(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)
  • TIER 1: Basic words (e.g., come, mouse, happy, sun)
  • TIER 3: Content area words (e.g., sarcophagus, meteorite, inflation)
  • TIER 2: High frequency words understood by mature readers and found in a variety of reading material. (e.g., gullible, cunning, hideous, chaotic)
choosing tier 2 words for study beck mckeown kucan 2002
Choosing Tier 2 Words for Study(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)

Considerations:

  • Importance & utility
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Instructional potential
because of winn dixie kate dicamillo
Because of Winn-DixieKate DiCamillo

That night, there was a real bad thunder storm. But what woke me up wasn't the thunder and lightning. It was Winn-Dixie, whining and butting his head against my bedroom door. … He just kept beating his head against the door and whining and whimpering … he was shaking and trembling so hard that it scared me. … But the preacher was still confused. He just stood there, and Winn-Dixie came barreling right toward him like he was a bowling ball and the preacher was the only pin left standing …

The preacher lay on the ground rubbing his nose. Finally, he sat up. He said, "Opal, I believe Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms."

introducing tier 2 words
Introducing Tier 2 Words
  • How about dictionary definitions?
  • Student-friendly explanations
    • Typical use
    • Everyday language
examples
Examples
  • Disrupt (dictionary): break up; split
  • Disrupt: to make it difficult for something to continue easily or peacefully
  • Capable (dictionary): having power and ability; efficient; competent
  • Capable 1: able to do one or more things well
  • Capable 2: describes someone who is able to do one or more things well
bumping into spicy tasty words that catch your tongue b auman j ware d edwards e 2007
“Bumping into Spicy Tasty Words that Catch Your Tongue” (Bauman, J., Ware, D., Edwards, E. , 2007)
  • Motivation: Recognize the power of emotional connections with words
  • Promote curiosity about words in & out of school, in books & in conversations – “Word Detective”
  • Increase our use of interesting words when we talk and write with our students
jen s words five by friday
Jen’s Words: “Five by Friday”
  • Word detective
  • BrailleNote file: “New and Interesting Words”.
    • Brief daily discussions
    • Definitions in her own words
  • Personal words on spelling list
new interesting words
“New & Interesting Words”
  • Clench: grab on something hard
  • Compassionate: nice and kind to people
  • Essential: really important
  • Flabbergasted: really surprised
  • Hideous: gross and ugly
  • Muzzle: a dog nose
word web template
Word Web Template
  • Source (where I heard or read the word):
  • Definition in my own words:
  • Sentence:
  • Synonyms:
  • Antonyms:
  • Other forms of the word:
activities assessments
Activities / Assessments

whimper melancholy barrel butt exception

  • Word associations
    • What word goes with being allowed to stay up late once in awhile? Why?
  • Have you ever …?
    • When would someone butt someone else?
  • Applause, Applause!
    • How would you like to be described as melancholy?
  • Idea completion
    • Jen barreled down the hallway because …

(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)

vocab recap
Vocab Recap
  • Direct Instruction > Context Clues
  • Focus on Tier 2 words
  • Use student-friendly definitions
  • Motivate students to become “word detectives”
  • Engage students in a variety of activities that help them think deeply about words
focus on meaning
Focus on Meaning
  • “Reading is the construction of meaning. Comprehending is not a product of reading; it is the process.” (Pinnell & Scharer, 2003)
  • "The act of comprehending a text occurs before, during, and after reading. “ (Fountas & Pinnell, 2006)
systems of strategic actions to sustain processing fountas pinnell 2006
Systems of Strategic Actions to Sustain Processing(Fountas & Pinnell, 2006)
  • Solving Words (Decoding)
  • Monitoring and Correcting (at both word and text levels)
  • Maintaining Fluency
  • Summarizing (Literal Comprehension)
basic comprehension checklist
Basic Comprehension Checklist
  • Before Reading
    • Read the title
    • Ask about the pictures
    • Predict what the story might be about
  • During Reading
    • Reread a part if it doesn’t make sense
    • Make a Mind Movie after each paragraph or page
    • Make personal connections
  • After Reading
    • Reread the book until it is fluent
    • Retell the story in your own words and/or
    • Summarize the most important events/facts
    • Check your predictions. Were you right?
storyboard elements of fiction
Storyboard: Elements of Fiction
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Problem
  • Events
  • Resolution
systems of strategic actions for expanding thinking fountas pinnell 2006
Systems of Strategic Actions for Expanding Thinking(Fountas & Pinnell, 2006)
  • Predicting
  • Making Connections
  • Inferring
  • Synthesizing
  • Analyzing
  • Critiquing
story graph because of winn dixie barton sawyer 2003
Story Graph: Because of Winn-Dixie(Barton & Sawyer, 2003)
  • Why didn’t the author just end with the party? Why did she add the thunderstorm?
  • How has Opal changed from the beginning of the party to the end? (Inference)
talk to your book reading strategies folder
“Talk to Your Book”Reading Strategies Folder
  • P = Prediction
  • C = Connection
  • I = Inference
  • Wow!
  • DU = Don’t Understand
  • = Difficult Word
assessing comprehension
Assessing Comprehension
  • Anecdotal notes
  • Rubrics
  • Tests / Quizzes
  • Informal Reading Inventories
  • Written responses
iep goal reading comprehension
IEP Goal: Reading Comprehension

Jen will demonstrate comprehension of fiction passages or texts by responding in one or more of the following ways: retelling, answering questions, summarizing, making connections, predicting, or inferring.

Criterion: receives a rating of “3” or greater on a comprehension rubric for at least two books per quarter.

Documentation: Anecdotal Records; Rubric Chart

rubric levels of understanding
Rubric: Levels of Understanding

4: Independent understanding, including higher level thinking (90-100%)

3: Solid understanding, with some support required for higher level thinking (70-90%)

2: Emerging understanding, with support required for both literal and higher level thinking (50-70%)

1: Minimal understanding, even with support (less than 50%)

anecdotal notes
Anecdotal Notes
  • Because of Winn-Dixie(Rating: 3)
    • Good recall of events when reading silently
    • Predicted Preacher would remarry like Jimmy Fargo’s dad (text-to-text connection)
    • With support, understood how title related to major theme of book.
informal reading inventories
Informal Reading Inventories
  • Purpose
  • Graded word lists (words in isolation)
  • Graded passages for oral and/or silent reading
  • Data collection
    • Miscues
    • Reading Rate
    • Comprehension
    • Anecdotal observations
  • Scoring Guides: Independent, Instructional, Frustration levels
jen s iri comprehension highest level attained before frustration grade level comprehension
Jen’s IRI Comprehension (Highest level attained before frustration)** = Grade level comprehension
reading response unedited
Reading Response (unedited)

In the book called Winn-Dixie Opal didn’t have a mother because she drank to much alcohol such as beer and whine. She was really obsessed about drinking. Then she ran away. When Opal’s mother ran away the Preacher Opal’s dad was very melancholy. Opal also was feeling doleful when her mother left. Opal and the Preacher are hoping Opal’s mother will come back. The Preacher told Opal ten things about her mother. She wrote them down on a piece of paper that way she can think of her mother. I predict at the end of Winn-Dixie Opal’s mother will come back.

a final word on comprehension
A Final Word on Comprehension

"I regard meaning as the 'given' in all reading—the source of anticipation, the guide to being on track, and the outcome and reward of the effort.“ (Marie Clay)