Promoting Language and Literacy Among Young Students with Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood Classrooms

Welcome aboard NCIP's tour of two exemplary early childhood classrooms which honor every child's need to communicate and make meaning in his or her life. One classroom houses an integrated preschool program (ages three to six) in Brockton, Massachusetts. Here, teacher Barbara Smith works with 14 children, eight of whom are typically developing and six of whom have disabilities. The second classroom, in Wade County, North Carolina, is taught by Susan Merkell and houses a self-contained program for children with developmental disabilities in kindergarten through second grade. We chose these particular classrooms for our tour because they shared the fundamental goal of providing students with developmental disabilities full access to rich language and literacy experiences. When you visit each classroom you will witness four key elements of effective practice:

You will also see how Barbara and Susan employ a broad range of high and low technology tools to operationalize these elements. So take a seat, our first stop will be the Visitor's Center where we will clarify these terms and elaborate on the elements of effective practice mentioned above.

This tour was developed in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities Studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Special thanks to David Koppenhaver, Amy Staples, and Karen Erickson for their extensive contributions to this project.

Tour Begins this way

Tour Begins

Link to Early Childhood Workshop: The Art and Writing Connection

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)  in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities (CLD)  at Duke University.   NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by CLD, NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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