By: Carmen Willings
It is important to document print reading rates to evaluate reading efficiency and academic achievement in order to determine the appropriateness of print as the primary literacy medium. The TVI should document whether the student is completing tasks efficiently through print, making academic progress within a reasonable time compared to sighted peers. The students reading should be assessed using the reading media of choice and using low vision devices.
Although ongoing short passage assessments are helpful, they don’t indicate if visual fatigue is a concern for the student. For this reason it is important to evaluate the student’s reading when reading lengthier passages and/or collaborate with classroom teachers to evaluate how a student performs when taking longer assessments. If a student experiences fatigue by the end of the day, it may be helpful to evaluate the student in the morning and compare to the reading level at the end of the day.
The student’s overall academic achievement should be considered as well as how the student has performed on state competency tests, and other standardized achievement tests. The magnitude of the gap between the student’s reading and the student’s sighted peers should be considered when determining appropriate reading media. Some possible solutions identified on p. 262 of Foundations of Low Vision: Clinical and Functional Perspectives by AFB, could include one of the following:
There are many reading rate charts that are available by searching the internet. Fountas & Pinnell, a commonly reading assessment tool used in schools identifies the following expected Oral Reading Rates (Words per Minute) at grade and instructional levels:
These averages appear slightly higher than other reading charts and reflect rates of students with unimpaired vision. The following describes the typical oral and silent reading rates for students without visual impairments found in Foundations of Low Vision: Clinical and Functional Perspectives by Corn and Koenig.
In general, to measure a student’s oral reading rate and to get the number of words read per minute, record the number of seconds the student needs to read the passage. Divide the number of words in the passage by the number of seconds needed to read each selection, then multiply the quotient by 60 to determine words per minute. Alternatively, divide the number of words in the passage by the number of minutes spent reading to determine the words per minute.
It is very common for students with visual impairments to have a slower reading rate but the team should look at whether the student is making adequate progress from year to year and whether they can compete with sighted peers.
Basic Reading Inventory ("Johns") is a popular informal reading inventory. Large Print and Braille reading lists and reading passages are now available from APH. It helps determine a student's instructional, independent, and frustration reading levels & listening levels based on speed, accuracy, and comprehension. This tool helps determine the most effective literacy modalities for students with visual impairments.
A great resource on conducting Learning Media Assessments is the Texas School for the Blind (TSBVI) Learning Media Assessment.
Functional Vision & Learning Media Assessment (FVLMA) is an assessment tool, available from APH, that helps practitioners gather, store, track, and analyze information regarding students' functional vision and appropriate learning media.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings