Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reading, Writing, Languaging

I know languaging isn't a word, but maybe it should be. As a literacy coach, I thought of reading and writing as processes and assisting students to be successful included assessing and observing these processes in action. I was never a big DIBELS fan, mostly because of how the tool was used, not because of the tool itself. I observed DIBELS being administered to waves of students and discrete DIBELS-like tasks used as learning targets for RtI. Troubling to say the least. I found using running records and writing samples to be superior to DIBELS for creating meaningful instruction. I admit that as a speech therapist I struggled with identifying therapy targets based on standardized assessment tools. I also think I over-relied on programs and worksheets. I didn't really have much of a clue about curriculum or instructional models such as workshop. Now I do. I've spent many years observing the positive impact that quality literacy instruction, where process is emphasized over tiny tasks, has on students with language learning difficulties. My hope is that I can meld my experience and knowledge as both a literacy coach and speech therapist to point therapy toward pertinent curricular objectives rather than discrete assessment tasks that may or may not impact a child's languaging process or academic achievement. Wow, that's quite a mouthful. It is easy to get preachy in June. I wonder if I'll feel the same way come December.

This Tagxedo was created with text from Wallach's July 2011 LSHSS article,
 Peeling the Onion of Auditory Processing Disorder: A Language/Curricular-
Based Perspective.
Peeling the onion refers to the idea that we need to be
 cautious about focusing on outer layers, such as discrete assessment tasks,
rather than examining curricular performance, which is at the core.

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