Welcome to OPEPP​
Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation

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Parapros are crucial to reading instruction, and this module has given you a foundational understanding of what goes into the reading process. Pulling together insights from all of the other units, this unit helps you think about how you—individually or with an instructional team—can design effective reading lessons.

Instructional design is a complex topic, however, and the unit just scratches the surface. Because of its challenges, designing lessons is often beyond the scope of what educator teams have time and capacity to undertake. Instead, they often rely on core reading programs and other commercially available products to do the heavy lifting of instructional design. Especially when these teams routinely evaluate the effectiveness of the lessons they’re using, they can skip the lesson-design part of instruction. Even so, knowing how lessons are constructed and how to modify and adapt them to teach to the edges enables team members to become critical consumers of these commercial reading programs and related products.

The Introductory Scenario

asked you to brainstorm strategies for helping Edward improve his phonemic awareness. Read the information on visual phonics below and then follow the instructions.

Wireless technology helping kids at learning


Visual Phonics

Phonics teaches students the relationship between the sounds of language (phonemes) and the letters on the page (graphemes). But, for students with difficulty hearing or deafness, making this association presents unique challenges. One system of visual phonics incorporates 46 hand cues that correspond to each of the 46 phonemes in the English language. Visual phonics was designed to help students with hearing loss or deafness learn the relationship between these 46 phonemes and the graphemes representing them.

Instructions. Consider the questions below. Record your work in a journal and, if working together with your instructional team, discuss your findings.

  1. How might you design a lesson on phonics so that it can include supports related to phonemic awareness for students, like Edward, who face challenges in learning those prerequisite skills?
  2. In the Introductory Challenge, the focus has been on using UDL to help a student with deafness. How might the principles of UDL also help you design or adapt lessons for (a) a seven-year-old English learner who has just recently arrived in the United States, (b) a third-grade student with no oral language who uses a communication board, and (c) a Kindergarten student who is already reading high school level textbooks?

Module: Helping Students Read (Clone)

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