Read, Play, and Learn!® works beautifully in inclusive and special education preschool and kindergarten classrooms because it was designed to do just that.
Toni Linder, the curriculums author, has more than 30 years of experience with children with special needs and pioneered the field of transdiciplinary play-based assessment (TPBA) and intervention (TPBI) for children with developmental disabilities. Read, Play, and Learn!® (subtitled The Transdisciplinary Play-Based Curriculum) is an extension of her and her colleagues' decades of work teaching children with special needs. (See below for details on using Read, Play, and Learn!® in conjuction with TPBA and TPBI.)
The activities in each storybook module are appropriate and enagaging for children with a chronological age of 36 years and a developmental age of 16 years.
Read, Play, and Learn!® uses a levels of learning framework to help teachers teach children with a wide range of abilities and individual learning objectives using the same storybooks and classroom activities.
The concept of a multilevel curriculum (one in which children with individually appropriate learning outcomes participate in the same classroom activities) is a well-researched teaching strategy. But what really makes Read, Play, and Learn!® stand out from other preschool and kindergarten curricula is how well it helps teachers learn to identify childrens individual levels and adapt activities so that children progress across developmental domains.
Young children typically fall into one (or straddle two) of the three levels of learning explained in detail in the Teachers Guide: sensorimotor, functional, and symbolic. Suggestions, ideas, and specific modifications for children at each of the three levels accompany the activities in each classroom center outlined in the storybook modules. One the key goals of the classroom activities is to encourage childrens progress to the next level.
The Teachers Guide shows teachers how to observe childrens play and identify which levels individual children are fall into. Using levels provides a really practical way for teachers to get to know the children in the class and organize and modify activities so that children of all abilities develop across domains and progress to the next level of learning.
Peer Review by OTs, PTS, and SLPs
All of the activities included in the 16 storybook modules were developed with the substantial input of and peer-reviewed by a group of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, as well as experts in both general and special education. The activity modifications and adaptations were designed so that teachers and aides can very effectively incorporate therapeutic interventions for children with special needs as part of all classroom activities.
Children with Visual, Hearing, and Motor Impairments
Children with visual, hearing, and motor impairments especially benefit from Read, Play, and Learn!® because it's an experience-enriched curriculum. The Teachers Guide shows teachers how to build these children's skills experientially, capitalize on their exisiting strengths, identify how individual children prefer to communicate, reinforce their emerging literacy skills, and structure the classroom environment.
Using Read, Play, and Learn!® with TPBA and TPBI
Read, Play, and Learn!® can be used in conjunction with other assessment and intervention approaches, but the model is designed specifically to build on the same theoretical and philosophical foundations as Trandisciplinary Play-Based Assessment (TPBA) and Transdisciplinary Play-Based Intervention (TPBI), which were specifically designed for use with infants and children through age 6 who have mild to severe disabilities. See Related Products for information on using all three tools in the same classroom.