Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Sharing Experience Stories with Peers

By Linda Hagood

Background

This video was made in an inclusive preschool class for deaf/ hard of hearing children and their typically developing hearing peers. Alex was the only deafblind student in the class. He had a profound bilateral hearing loss combined with cerebral visual impairment and Dwayne's Syndrome that impacted his vision. His deafblindness was related to three separate incidents of meningitis that occurred at an early age. He had cochlear implants that were removed after the first occurrence of meningitis. He had been enrolled in a Signing Exact English program, in which every word and word ending was signed. His response to this exposure level was poor, due in part to his difficulty in visually following the rapid hand movements and lengthy communications  involved in Signed English. He developed a habit of turning away from his partner when they began signing, possibly because he was unable to process the rapid visual input. In my class, we began to reduce signed input to key words, expanding his communication by adding one or two signs, and he started to observe the signed models more closely.

"Do Book Fridays":  Experience Journals

The activity in the video is from our Friday Circle Time. On "Do Book Fridays" the students each brought a page from an Experience Journal (we called it the "Do Book') which they had created during center time on Thursday, using photos of activities they had participated in during the week.  They shared the "story" with their peers, one at a time, and each peer had a question card (Who, When, Where, What do, etc) that they used to prompt questions about the activity. On this Friday, Alex had missed school the previous day, so did not have a current page to share with the group. I thought he could use a picture he had shared in the past, and was surprised when he said the picture I used was "finished" and gestured to the table where he usually created his Do Book page. I sent him to the table to create a page to share with the paraeducator, and he happily returned to show the group his updated journal entry. I wanted to share this video because it was an example of the importance of including peers in the sharing of the experience story.

Video of Experience Journal

Editor's Note:  A section of the video has been muted because of excessive background noise and an audio description is coming soon.

Download the transcript.

 

Reflections on Instruction

Linda Hagood shares her reflections on the lesson.

Reflections on Alex instruction

 

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