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Plenary from the Special Education Principal's Association of New Zealand (SEPANZ) conference 2011.
This presentation will outline the rationale and principles underlying the balanced literacy approach. This approach ensures that schools provide children with daily opportunities to engage in four key areas of literacy learning: guided reading for vocabulary and language comprehension skills, word instruction for phonics and sight word skills, self-directed reading for learning to choose books and read for pleasure, and writing instruction for targeting written language skills. All of these are critical for children with disabilities to develop conventional reading and writing skills. Specific strategies and adaptations will be outlined. Multi-level activities, which can be implemented with all students in a classroom, will be highlighted, as will ideas for older students who are beginning readers. The authors will discuss their recent experiences with school-wide model literacy programs. All students, regardless of their abilities, have the right to an opportunity to learn to read and write. This presentation will demonstrate how you and your school can make that happen.