Special Education Co-hosts Family Disability Resource Day
The 3rd Annual Family Disability Resource Day was held on Saturday, October 13 from 10 am to 2 pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kalamazoo, MI. This was a co-sponsored event with the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies and Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Dr. Luchara Wallace coordinated the event. Workshops included: early childhood development featuring the KidBuilders curriculum; the Michigan Merit Curriculum and the differences between the certificate of completion and diploma; self-advocacy in higher education and the workplace; and the connection between health, nutrition, and exercise for individuals with disabilities. Following the workshops, a resource fair was held during lunch. Lunch was sponsored by Park Street Market and the People's Food Co-op. WMU SCEC (Student Council for Exceptional Children) provided child/respite care for participants who needed it. This was a free community event and will remains so because of the wonderful partnerships with community organizations, local businesses, student groups, and the university.
Posted October 31
Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic have expanded services and programs
The Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic has expanded services and programs to include the following fall 2012 programs:
Preschool Story Times
Monday/Wednesday morning sessions are for children who are 3-5 years old from campus and community preschool/childcare centers.
Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday workshops have been developed to offer support to undergraduate students who are applying to intern in the fall of 2013. This is in collaboration with the Office of Field Placements in the CoEHD.
This Thursday evening service is for K-8th grade students to increase their knowledge and expertise in reading, writing, and critical literacy skills with various kinds of texts.
Parent/Family Life Education sessions
Thursday evening sessions are available for the parents and families of the K-8th grade students who are receiving literacy instruction. This is in collaboration with FCS and the family life and education graduate program.
Family Literacy sessions
Thursday evening sessions are for the parents and families of the K-8th grade students who are receiving literacy instruction. This is in collaboration with the LS and the literacy studies graduate program.
Common Read Book Discussion Groups
These Tuesday/Thursday morning and afternoon sessions are for students who are enrolled in some of the FYE 2100 sections. This is in collaboration with FYE instructors in the CoEHD.
These Monday evening service is for students in 1st-8th grade who are interested in additional learning opportunities that supports and increases their confidence and interest in reading and writing.
CELCIS Literacy and Discussion Groups
This Thursday morning session is for students who are enrolled in an ESL 0110 section. For students who are learning the English language, the book encourages exposure to the language through speaking, listening and writing.
The Reading Center is committed to the development of purposeful collaborative relationships within the college, university and community.
Posted October 26
Faculty Member Presents at State ESL Conference
Selena Protacio gave two presentations at the 2012 MITESOL Conference in October in Livonia, MI. Protacio, along with three colleagues from Michigan State University, presented their research on a team-training professional development model involving content-area teachers and ESL specialists from two urban schools in Michigan. Protacio then had a solo presentation wherein she discussed the results of her mixed-methods research on ELL reading motivation and provided classroom implications based on this study.
Posted October 23
University/District Partnership to Investigate Use of Virtual Reality to Help Teachers Improve Student Achievement
Western Michigan University in partnership with Constantine Public Schools, Lawton Public Schools, Mattawan Public Schools, Otsego Public Schools, Parchment Public Schools, Paw Paw Public Schools, and Vicksburg Public Schools have been awarded a grant from the Competition for Innovative National Study on Teacher Practice. Special education's Dr. Elizabeth Whitten will investigate the use of virtual reality to change teacher practice and student achievement. Ten sites across the country will participate in a national research project led by the University of Central Florida using TeachLivETM, a computer simulated classroom based in mixed-reality technology to develop teacher practice. Western Michigan University was chosen because of their innovative use of classroom simulation for teacher development. Their work is at the cutting edge of teacher education. At Western Michigan University the use of the TeachLivE™ simulator, helps practicing teachers retool their skills. The simulator is a mixed-reality teaching environment that supports teacher practice in pedagogy and content. In the TeachLivE™ Lab, pre-service and in-service teachers walk into a simulated middle-school classroom where the room is real but the students are digital avatars, allowing teachers to practice their skills on virtual children instead of actual students. The focus of the research study is on practicing teachers and their personalized professional development and how the virtual environment could be used to change teacher behaviors to positively impact student learning.
Posted October 22
New Faculty Member has Article Published
Selena Protacio, the newest faculty member in literacy studies, has published an article in the September issue of The Reading Teacher, entitled “Reading motivation: A focus on English learners.” In this article, Protacio used data from her interview study with six English Language Learners (ELLs) from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds to provide teachers with ideas about what factors to consider when trying to motivate ELLs to read in English.
Posted October 15
Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Clinic Found Haven in Waldo Library
Dr. Joe Reish, dean of WMU Libraries, welcomed the McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic graduate students and their tutees. With no classes scheduled in the old Sangren Hall in August, the summer Reading Clinic needed to be housed in a space allowing tutoring privacy and lots of books--- Waldo Library to the rescue!
With the gracious and academic hospitality afforded the McGinnis reading Clinic by Waldo Library, graduate students earning their master's degree in Literacy Studies tutored students. The Literacy Studies master's degree leads to an endorsement as Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach. The tutees are from area schools and school districts as far away as Nevada and not so far away Ann Arbor.
Graduate students assess, evaluate, and instruct their tutees to meet their literacy needs and offer a multitude of reading as tutees engage in inquiry projects of their interests for reading, writing, and illustrating. All graduate students were under the supervision and teaching of a Literacy Studies professor. With a host of books and open spaces for tutoring, tutors and tutees settle in for two hours three days a week for summer reading, writing, and computer word-processing in the comfort and ease of Waldo Library.
Posted October 3
Special Education Unit Attends Cast Institute
Six members of WMU's Special Education unit attended a 3-day training in August at the CAST Institute in Wakefield, MA that focused on two key questions: (1) How can educators minimize learning barriers and maximize learning opportunities for all students?, and (2) How can educators design lessons and curriculum units to address the wide range of learners in today's classrooms? Sarah Summy, Shaila Rao, Kristal Ehrhardt, Luchara Wallace, Dan Morgan, and Elizabeth Whitten will now be working to integrate the core principles and practices of Universal Design for Learning in the unit's undergraduate and graduate programs to enhance students' ability to meet the challenges of teaching diverse learners in inclusive, standards-based classrooms.
Posted September 10
The Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic is pleased to announce the following summer 2012 programs:
These programs and partnerships demonstrate the commitment of the College of Education and Human Development to developing collaborative relationships in the community. The reading center will provide instruction thanks to the expertise and knowledge of literacy coaches/specialists, graduate students and undergraduate students from the literacy studies program.
Following the CoEHD's move this fall, the reading center will be positioned to expand services and programs. New initiatives will include workshops to support portfolio development of undergraduate students, book clubs for middle school and high school students, story times for pre-school students and opportunities for lesson planning and teaching material preparation for students involved in practicum and internship experiences.
Posted June 6
Faculty Member Supports Chicago Public Schools with Common Core State Standards in Literacy
Susan V. Piazza, Associate Professor of Literacy Studies, was invited to facilitate week-long curriculum development sessions with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in the month of May. CPS is the third largest district in the U.S. with approximately 675 schools. 60 of the 675 schools participated in an Early Adopter Initiative to begin implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts. Teachers engaged in a year-long collaboration to develop instructional units, performance assessments, and scoring tools.
Piazza worked with each grade K - 5 for six days along with several other teacher educators from across the U.S. The instructional units and formative assessments will support increased academic expectations, while maintaining authentic learning experiences. The CCSS require that students reach for higher levels of critical reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and visually representing with complex informational and narrative texts. Literacy professionals are thrilled, for the most part, that the new CCSS provides an endorsement for critical reading and writing across the curriculum. Piazza will continue to work with CPS on an as-needed basis in the future.
It was a tremendous opportunity to be part of CPS's well-organized systems-based approach to CCSS implementation. The work is not easy and there is still 90% of the district that will engage in curriculum development next year. Kudos and accolades to Jennifer Cheatham, Chief Instruction Officer and her leadership team in the Department of Literacy for tackling this work in earnest. Given the many social, cultural, linguistic, and economic challenges facing Chicago Public Schools, there is a commitment to support CPS teachers as professionals in the process of increasing academic rigor in ways that are sensitive to the diverse needs of a large urban community. Piazza will continue to work with CPS on an as-needed basis in the future.
Posted June 5
RTI: Success authored by Elizabeth Whitten, Kelli J. Esteves, Alice Woodrow and published by Free Spirit Publishing has sold over 15,000 copies. Recently in 2011, Free Spirit sold the international rights to Cheneliére Éducation to translate the book into French. The book will be sold in the Quebec market.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is an instructional method that enables educators to assess and meet the needs of struggling students before they have fallen too far behind. RTI: Success provides answers to frequent questions such as: What are the three tiers of intervention? How do screening and progress monitoring work? Is there funding available to support RTI? RTI Success answers these and other questions while providing educators with practical tools to simplify the process. The book includes guidelines for implementing RTI in schools and provides hundreds of pragmatic, research-based instructional strategies for classroom teachers to target specific skill deficits in their students. Vignettes and school profiles demonstrate RTI techniques in diverse settings, and reproducible forms streamline assessment and documentation procedures.
Posted January 18
Dr. Luchara Wallace, Assistant Professor in Special Education and Literacy Studies has a new article in press in the Journal of Disability Policy Studies.
Gross, J. S., Wallace, L. S., Blue-Banning, M., Summers, J. A., & Turnbull, A. P. (In Press). Examining the Experiences and Decisions of Parents/Guardians Participant Directing the Supports and Services of
Adults with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (SIDD). Journal of Disability Policy Studies.
Posted January 5