Technology For Vocabulary Development, Reading Comprehension, and Word Identification
For more information on inclusion. click here
Students define unknown vocabulary words and decode unknown words in their reading using a Quicktionary Reading Pen and Franklin Spell Checker. Students also create reading comprehension questions that will be incorporated into a classroom Web site game.
(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the following activities/standards will appear in the video clips used.)
World Wide Web Source:
U.S. Office of Special Education
Programs. This is a good Web site for additional information on co-teaching.
Gateway Solo Laptop Computer.
Epson LCD Projector EMP-5500. Seiko
Vaughn, S., Shey-Schumm, J., & Arguelles, M.E., (1997, Nov/Dec). “The ABCDE's of co-teaching.” The Council for Exceptional Children.
Bauwens, J., & Hourcade. J.J. (1995). Cooperative teaching: Rebuilding the schoolhouse for all students. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.
Dieker, L.A., & Barnett. C.A. (1996). “Effective co-teaching.” Teaching Exceptional Children, 29 (1), 5-7.
Wilson Hawbaker, B., Balong, M., Buckwalter, S., & Runyon, S. (2001, Mar/Apr). “Building a strong BASE of support for all students through co-planning.” The Council for Exceptional Children.
Story Structure Design -
Baumann, J., Jones, L., & Seifert-Kessel, N. (1993, November). “Using think alouds to enhance children's comprehension monitoring abilities.” The Reading Teacher, 47 (3).
Baumann, J., Hooten, H., & White, P. (1999, September). “Teaching comprehension through literature: A teacher - research project to develop fifth graders' reading strategies and motivation.” The Reading Teacher, 53 (1).
Cunningham, P. & Allington, R. (1999). Classrooms that work: They can all read and write, Longman.
Macon, J.M., Bewell, D., & Vogt, M. (1991) Responses to literature. Neward, De: International Reading Association.
Beck, I. L., McKeown, M.G. Hamlton, R. L., & Kucan, L. (1997). Questioning the author. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Bromley, K., Irwin-De Vitis, L., & Modlo, M. (1995). Graphic Organizers. Scholastic Professional Books
Levy, N. & Rosenberg, M. “Strategies for improving the written expression of students with learning disabilities.” LD Forum, 16 (1).
Vocabulary Baseball Design -
Our vocabulary baseball was our design. We consulted the following resources:
Nickelsen, L., (1998).Voluminous vocabulary. Scholastic Professional Books.
Robb, L., (1996). Reading strategies that work - Teaching your students to become better readers. Scholastic Professional Books.
A vocabulary test will be designed using the words the students defined.
Behavior will be assessed using a self-monitoring card on the students’ desks, which lists the baseball rules. Students will also be assessed on their word accuracy in reading.
Each student will be individually reading aloud the teacher-selected portions of the book. A running record will be done which identifies percent of word accuracy and analyzes word errors.
Steven Heller, Director of Sales at
WIZCOM Technologies Inc. (Quicktionary Pens), Encino, CA
Jilian Bond, Graduate Assistant in
Telecommunications/AV at the University of Northern Iowa
Courtlandt Butts, Telecommunications
Jabari Cain, Graduate Assistant in
Telecommunications/AV at the University of Northern Iowa
Garth Cornish, Information
Technology Specialist at Malcolm Price Laboratory School - University of Northern Iowa
Terri McDonald (Assistant
Professor), Instructional Technology Coordinator at Malcolm Price Laboratory School - University of
Emily Johnson, Field Experience
Student at Malcolm Price Laboratory School - University of Northern Iowa
Jared Smith, Work Study Student at
Malcolm Price Laboratory School - University of Northern Iowa
TIMELINE & COURSE
We used a baseball graphic to outline the main parts of the book. This was connected to a Power Point Slide (attachment 3), a bulletin board, and the students had a hard copy (attachment 2). Students’ comprehension increases with the use of story structures and graphic organizers. The students are able to see the story visually, anticipate the next major event to look for, and summarize the main points of the book. They are able to take this story structure and apply it to future books as a useful reading strategy. In addition, it is also integrated into the act of writing.
The use of teacher created Web video games provides a phenomenal source of motivation. The students thoroughly enjoy seeing their own questions and images transformed into a game-like review. They also enjoy accepting the personal challenge issued when they are invited to attempt the teacher-generated version that can be found on the class Web page.
To enhance the story structure of the book and various vocabulary strategies, PowerPoint presentations, including attention grabbing graphics and diagrams were included (attachment 3). These served as electronic bulletin boards, displaying graphic organizers, in which information could be easily added.
The Quicktionary Pen was chosen to be used for word identification and vocabulary development. It is a portable assistive reading technology that quickly scans words and reads them aloud. It has the entire dictionary in a device which is a little bigger than a pen and it then reads the definitions to you. Headphones and a volume control are also included as well as versatility for left handed learners. This is assistive technology that all students with reading difficulties need. No longer do they need to skip unknown words or spend so much time figuring out words, which ultimately impedes their comprehension. They can get immediate feedback with the Quicktionary Pen. This is cutting edge for a whole new world of technology.
Talking Franklin Spell Checkers were
chosen because of their versatility. They can be used in many ways for students and teachers. Its voice
capabilities make it uniquely different than a typical spell checker. First of all, it identifies correct
spellings of words according to their phonetic sounds (something a dictionary can’t do). It also has the
following additional capabilities: reads aloud unknown words from your reading that you type in (no longer
do you need to skip unknown words); reads aloud the dictionary definitions and lists the parts of speech;
features a thesaurus and Grammar Guide; utilizes five learning games that can be individualized with
spelling lists; and contains a calculator. The Franklin Spell Checker can do many things that computers
cannot. They are portable and can be used with work assignments at a student’s desk. The speaking
capabilities make it easier to find the correct spellings of words as well as unknown words that a student
is reading. One spell checker also shows students how to write in cursive! The spell checkers also include
spelling games that can be individualized for students’ personal words. All elementary students at
Malcolm Price Laboratory School have access to spell checkers, and students with disabilities have
personal spell checkers at their desks.
Craig and Kim have been co-teaching for almost two years. They plan weekly for about 20 minutes. Sharing each others strengths and resources has made them stronger teachers. Together they can brainstorm and teach whole group, small group, and individual lessons to the students in the regular classroom. All the needs of the students can be met in this way. Everyone benefits - students of all ability levels and the teachers. Two heads are better than one and create a motivating, cooperative environment.
For further information on co-teaching read the article by Cook, L. & Friend, M. (1995). Co-teaching: Guidelines for creating effective practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 28 (3), 2-16 or view the Web site www.powerof2.org sponsored by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs.
as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components
(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks. Not all of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.)
Learning, Teacher Knowledge, and Teacher Behavior are the three elements that stand out the most because of the co-teaching model being used. Learning includes Active Involvement, Direct Experience, Compelling Situation, Enjoyable Setting, and Frequent Feedback. All of these components happen in a collaborative setting. When you plan with another teacher, your ideas are expanded and your capabilities become stronger. You are able to incorporate someone else’s ideas and in the process build a more dynamic unit. By brainstorming ideas together we were able to come up with fun stuff: everyone wearing baseball uniforms, whistles to wear, and baseball treats at intermission. The students enjoyed this and so did the teachers. Two teachers in the classroom naturally provide more Frequent Feedback and Active Involvement. While one teacher is speaking, the other teacher can be monitoring the students. Proximity control is expanded because the teachers are in different parts of the room. The students get their questions answered faster and are given more personal attention.
Teacher Knowledge and Teacher Behavior are a vital outgrowth of co-teaching. Elementary teachers are expected to be experts in many different areas. It is impossible to continually acquire that much professional growth. Co-teaching can provide professional growth in a daily, usable way. Each teacher shares his/her knowledge and demonstrates new ideas in each lesson and planning session. Regular education teachers can share their content knowledge while the special education teachers can share accommodations and modifications to make the learning accessible to everyone in the class. Both teachers can share their assessment of individual learner characteristics. Together the teachers can see all angles of the child and design appropriate interventions as a team.
Teacher Behavior, specifically Classroom Management, is exemplified in co-teaching. Utilizing the regular education teacher’s large group management skills and the special education teacher’s skills in monitoring behaviors, the students can be following directions and on task. You will see in these videotapes that the students are self-monitoring their behaviors. They each have the identified rules for the activity listed on a self-monitoring card with spaces to record appropriate behavior (runs) and inappropriate behavior (outs). Initially, the teachers direct the students to record their behavior, but students record behaviors whenever they catch themselves following the rules or not following the rules. The self-monitoring card provides a visual reminder of the expected behaviors for the class. It also encourages teachers to reinforce positive behavior and includes a way for teachers to redirect students back to task. If a reinforcing activity, such as a game, had been included in the lesson, a contingency to play could have been built in. For example, only students with two or less outs could play the game or be involved in the preferred activity. Counting the number of runs is not recommended. This only fosters competitiveness and an over reliance on recording the runs. Explain to the students at the beginning of the activity that it doesn’t make any difference how many runs you get; it’s the outs that you want to stay away from. Finally, by co-teaching teachers can model cooperation and how to complement each other. This form of respect carries over into the students.
In addition, some students may be a little more challenged to continuously remain focused. To address this, self-monitoring cards were given to all students for them to be able to monitor their ability to stay on task. If a student was found on task, a run was scored on his/her card. Conversely, if a student was found off task, an out was scored. These points were originally directed by the teacher and moved to student-tallied points.
There is one student in the classroom with diabetes that needs to be monitored throughout the day. She is independent in knowing when to test her blood sugar and when to eat a snack.
Overall, we adopt a constructivist approach to learning. Constructivism is the belief that learners construct their own knowledge from their experiences. Constructivism involves the active creation and modification of thoughts, ideas, and understandings as the result of experiences that occur within a socio-cultural context. Learner autonomy is the concept that learners are active participants in the learning process and ultimately responsible for their own learning. Within our lessons, we strive to reach a harmonious balance between constructivism and learner autonomy. This was demonstrated by the creation of Web-based videogames based from student authored comprehension questions. The students were extremely involved in the formation of the content review. They rise to the challenge of being able to “quiz” each other’s understanding of the readings.
Evolution of the Activity:
As this unit developed, our goal was to address all three portions of our mission. We truly believe that this lesson addresses the first mission, being that it provides examples of excellent and innovative teaching practices. The 4th grade students had an active role in creating some of the questions generated within the review. University students also take an active role in the construction of the Web pages. The second mission is addressed when university students can witness and participate, first hand, in the design and implementation of units that successfully integrate technology within them. The third mission is accomplished by extending these examples to the global community. Through providing in-services, presenting these practices at conferences, and participating in activities such as this one, information is passed on to teachers on a wide scale. Also, with the review games being available on our classroom Web page, several classrooms have visited and commented about its contents.
activity format adapted from National Educational Technology
Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology