Bullimbal School uses a balanced literacy approach to literacy teaching in all classrooms, based on information outlined in “Research-Based Practices for Creating Access to the General Curriculum in Reading and Literacy for Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities” Erickson, Hanser, Hatch and Sanders (2009).
We recognise that for conventional readers and writers to read and write at the next level, that they need to build their knowledge of words and how they work.
Specifically we recognise that there are two important skills:
- Word recognition
- Word decoding and recoding
For word recognition, students need to read and decode and write words frequently so that they become sight words. The word wall is a tool we use specifically in this area.
For word decoding and recoding students need to learn how to combine letters and their sounds to read and write words that are not in their sight vocabulary. Making Words is a program we use to develop these skills, supplemented with activities such as word sorts and “guess the covered word”.