reading at table.jpgIntroduction to Literacy for All

“A community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern for something they do and a commitment to learn how to do it better by interacting and collaborating regularly.”


The Literacy for All communities of practice highlighted on this site have been coordinated and supported through the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC) as part of the Alberta Regional Professional Learning Consortia. This work was done in collaboration with Alberta Education.

The overall goal of the Literacy for All communities of practice was to enhance teacher capacity to meet the literacy and communication needs of students with significant disabilities.


The focus of the first year (2011---2012) was grades 1 to 6. Participants used the literacy resources MEville to WEville and Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four-Blocks Way and met regularly to share their experience and build their knowledge.

In the second year (2012--2103), grades 1 to 6 participants went deeper and explored how the philosophy and the strategies from The Daily 5: Fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades and The CAFE Book: Engaging all students in daily literacy assessment and instruction could be adapted for students with significant disabilities.

The third year (2013--2014) of the project is currently running with a focus on identifying and reviewing literacy resources for grades 7 to 12 students with significant disabilities. Participants will collaborate in an online environment from September 2013 to June 2014. Please visit this community of practice at http://literacyforall7-12.wikispaces.com


Participating Schools

Teachers from the following schools participated in this project Year 1 (June 2011 to June 2012).
Teachers from the following schools are participating in this project Year 2 (September 2012 to June 2013).
Teachers from the following schools are participating in this project Year 3 (October 2013 to June 2014).


Picture4.jpgYear 1 Focus (2011 - 2012)

Questions explored:
- Are the literacy resources MEVille to WEVille and “Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four-Blocks Way” appropriate for the Alberta context?
- How can an online community of practice contribute to enhancing teacher capacity?
- What knowledge and skills do teachers need to better meet the literacy needs of students with significant disabilities?

Goals:
- Create a provincial community of practice to analyze the effectiveness and appropriateness of the MEville to WEville literacy resource in the Alberta context.
- Support and build teacher understanding of literacy and communication strategies for Grade 1-6 students with significant disabilities.
- Build the capacity of participating teachers to better meet the diverse learning needs of students with significant disabilities.

Expectations of participating teachers:
  • Participate in a two-day orientation workshop.
  • Implement 90+ minutes per week literacy instruction using the MEville to WEville resources and Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four-Blocks Way.
  • Participate in two workshop days; one in September and one in June.
  • Participate in three one-hour webinars throughout the school year.
  • Participate in ten monthly one-hour online meetings throughout the school year.
  • Access and contribute to online workspace (i.e., Moodle) at least once a month.
  • Respond to three online surveys (pre- mid- and post project).
  • Share success stories.

Data was collected from participants through online surveys, face-to-face meetings, and online discussions. Photos, videos and artifacts of students' literacy activities were also collected.
*See success stories .


Picture5.jpgYear 2 Focus (2012 - 2013)

Questions explored:
- How can the philosophies and activities from “The Daily 5: Fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades” and “The CAFE Book: Engaging all students in daily literacy assessment and instruction” be adapted for students with significant disabilities?
- How can an online community of practice contribute to enhancing teacher capacity?
- What knowledge and skills do teachers need to better meet the literacy needs of students with significant disabilities?

Goals:
- Create a provincial community of practice to explore how the philosophy and acitivites from The Daily 5: Fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades and The CAFE Book: Engaging all students in daily literacy assessment and instruction can be adapted to meet the learning needs of students with significant disabilities.
- Support and build teacher understanding of literacy and communication strategies for grade 1-6 students with significant disabilities.
- Build the capacity of participating teachers to better meet the diverse learning needs of students with significant disabilities

Expectations of participating teachers:

Data was collected from participants through online surveys, face-to-face meetings, and online discussions. Photos, videos and artifacts of students' literacy activities were also collected.

*See success stories .

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Year 3 Focus (2013 - 2014)

Question explored:
  • What would high quality literacy instruction look like for junior and senior high school students with significant disabilities?

Goals:
  • Identify resources and strategies to support the literacy learning of junior/senior high students with significant disabilities.
  • Support and build teacher understanding of literacy and communication strategies for grades 7-12 students with significant disabilities.
  • Build the capacity of participating teachers to better meet the diverse learning needs of students with significant disabilities.

Expectations of participating teachers:
  • Participate in a two-day face-to-face orientation session in October.
  • Use new resources and strategies in your classroom and reflecting on their effectiveness
  • Participate in four one-hour online meetings/webinars throughout the school year to share experiences, learn new strategies and network with other participants
  • Contribute to discussion and the development of content on a dedicated project website.
  • Respond to two online surveys and share experiences about students’ experiences with identified resources.
  • Participate in a one-day follow-up session in June 2014 to share success stories.

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MEville to WEville
by AbleNet


Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four Blocks Way
by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver.





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