These sites, or Communities of Practice for Teachers of Students with Significant Disabilities, are rich with resources, and real stories of how classrooms across the Alberta implemented their initiatives for teaching literacy and math to students with complex disabilities. If you’re a teacher, parent or researcher both of these sites deliver unique practical, real-world insights into teaching curriculum for students who are AAC users, switch users, are on the autism spectrum and/or live with a variety of developmental delays, cognitive impairments and physical challenges.
At the heart of both of these initiatives are adapted curricular resources from Ablenet — Equals on the math side, MeVille to WeVille on the Literacy side. The Literacy for All project also made significant use of Literacy for All Reading and Writing the Four Blocks Way, The Daily 5: Fostering literacy independence in the elementary grades and the software Clicker 6 among other resources.
You’ll want to set aside some quality time to peruse all the materials that can be found here. Under the What We Learned area (numeracy, literacy) there are presentations from classroom teachers organized under themes: Classroom Snapshots, Shifts in Instructional Practice, Increasing Accessibility among others.
There are instructional videos specific to the project — like the Bridges webinars on Equals, adapting guided reading and other four blocks strategies to special needs students. And there are a series of succinct video conversations with the internationally recognized assistive technology and teaching thought leader, Dr. Caroline Musselwhite, including Good Literacy Instruction is Good for All Students, Choosing Words for the Classroom Word Wall, Importance of Repetition and Variety in Learning and others.
But you’ll also want to bookmark for quick reference the Other Resource area on both the math and literacy side. There’s a lot to print, peruse and be inspired by from Principals of Instructional Planning to resources and guides for Creating and Adapting Books.
And, they’re still gathering more info and ideas to update and share in the future.
Kudos and thanks to the frontline educators and administrative leaders of these projects. Not only have you done great work in your classrooms but thank you so much for going to the extra effort to share your learning with everyone.