“We learned that ALL students can learn literacy skills through comprehensive literacy instruction in inclusive classrooms when we use the right supports and modifications,” wrote one teacher.
“The kids are really responding well and the lessons are so well laid out,” writes another Individual Support Program Teacher. “I am feeling very optimistic and I think this resource will prove to be a great addition to my classroom.”
Two years ago Alberta began their the Literacy for All project, whose goal was to:
“enhance teacher capacity to meet the literacy and communication needs of Grade 1-6 students with significant disabilities.”
The deployment of MEville to WEville — a research based literacy and communication curriculum for students with moderate to severe disabilities — was a big part of the initiative. Designed to build a classroom community that promotes a sense of belonging, each of the three units — Me, My Family, My School — offers students literacy and face-to-face communication teaching about themselves, their home life, and their school community. For older learners at an emerging literacy level, there is a version of MEville to WEville incorporating the Literacy Starters supported books for older readers as core texts.
Over 20 schools across the province are participating and Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC) is coordinating and supporting the project.
“OK guy, you have 15 minutes of free time. Chose your activity.”
“Will you help me write a story?”
Are you serious? Could I be more proud?
Students who couldn’t identify what they saw in a picture a few months ago, can now gather information, share and organize it and turn it into a coherent story. With characters. And action. And a title!”
–Alberta teacher in Literacy for All project using MEville to WEville.
With stories like these, it is not surprising Alberta Education is extending and expanding the Literacy for All project this year.
Alberta also implemented a project that addressed mathematics teaching for students with mild to severe disabilities using the Equals curriculum also from Ablenet. Stay tune for a Wiki sharing their learnings from this project.
Along with the great blogs out of BC about their SOLO project, the Literacy for All Wiki suggests that the trend to share strategies that work on-line is no fad.
The Literacy for All Wiki has implementation ideas, success stories, adaptations of the Four Block literacy model (that MEville to WEville is based on), assessment strategies and more.
To take a look at MEville to WEville for early grades or the version with Literacy Starters for middle to high school aged students, contact a Bridges consultant to arrange for a demonstration or loan.
All of the boys (gr. 4-5) participating in the program had great difficulty expressing emotion at the onset. Thanks to the (MEville to WEville) unit on how we feel, they are all now able to give words to their emotions and have found strategies to deal with them!
MEville to WEville helped my students:
- Build confidence,
- Bridge the gap between literacy in the home and literacy at school.
- Recognize, read and utilize high frequency sight words
- Progress in language acquisition skills
- Grow emotionally and socially.
By using the pictures as their writing utensil, the students were able to independently put down their thoughts. They were writing. And once they realized this, they had instant confidence. Soon they could work in pairs and prompt each other. Could we BE more excited?!!!
Due to the success of the program we intend to expand it next year to include 3 more students with high needs… It has been a great success here and I would recommend it to all.