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SEA IWB Learning Communities come to an end

Thursday, 7 June 2012

SEA IWB Learning Communities come to an end

21st century literate learners - Visual literacy to promote Critical thinking

Our final Learning Community (LC) ended on a high note focusing on literacy, specifically visual literacy. The power of pictures to teach, make predictions and inferences, and draw conclusions and summaries, were highlighted throughout this session. Using the Luke and Freebody Four Resources Model to emphasize the important elements of being literate in the 21st century, along with “High Yield Instructional Practices” that focused on i) Good Questions ii) Accountable Student Talk iii) Critical Thinking, helped to shape this very interactive session. Carefully chosen pictures and scaffolding questions help to derive relevant information from visuals.

The Critical Thinking Consortium's
Investigating Images unit

Teachers worked through a number of pictures, aided by appropriately placed/timed questions, gradual revealing of the picture, and gradual presentation of facts. The richness of the discussion that resulted paired with the questions that were raised allowed for a much deeper understanding of ‘what was happening in the picture’ rather than just simply taking a quick glance.

Functional literacy - DD exceptionality focus

The DD teachers looked at functional literacy with visual supports. Again with the support of Sue Macvicar-Stewart, Low Incidence Coordinator, teachers were presented with developmentally appropriate ways to teach functional literacy – from the concrete to the visual to the abstract. Teachers were also shown numerous ways to help their students express themselves, as independently as possible, using various assistive technology programs and equipment, such as Clicker 5, Read and Write Gold (Picture Dictionary), Boardmaker, and the Ladibug Document Camera.

Reading Comprehension & Social Language for ASD students
The ASD teachers focused on reading comprehension and social language. Many students with ASD have a narrow and deep information base, meaning they know lots of information but only on a few topics. This really limits their literacy ability- from vocabulary to social interaction. Various strategies were demonstrated that discussed visual ways to teach vocabulary, for example using visual dictionaries, word associations or connotations, and contingent words or analogies. Other visual ideas were presented which further helped support reading comprehension and social conversation. Monica Rivera, Speech and Language Pathologist with the ASD team, provided invaluable resources and support for this session.

Promethean Bus visits a success

The AT Team and Promethean shared the learning technology with the TDSB Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Monday evening at 5050 Yonge Street.

TDSB staff, students and the Special Education Advisory Council enjoyed visits with the Assistive Technology Team and Promethean Interactive Whiteboard members as part of the Promethean bus tour this past week. The bus parked outside of Head Office (5050 Yonge Street) on Monday.  TDSB schools, whose IWB group claim have been approved for the upcoming school year 2012-2013,  were invited to visit the bus at Cosburn M.S. and Glamorgan P.S. in the east on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Promethean bus and AT team visited TDSB West at George R Gauld P.S.

See next week's blog entry for photos and video of the "TDSB AT Spring Tour 2012" event.

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