Tag Archives: Deafness

Oklahoma Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing conference

Hello readers!

I know we have not updated in a while – the semester has become incredibly busy! I am just posting to let everyone know of a great conference opportunity this weekend, which only has 9 seats still available. University of Tulsa and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma have partnered to put on the Oklahoma Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing conference (OTDHH) all day this Saturday in Chickasha, Oklahoma. The conference begins at 8 am at USAO’s campus and concludes at 3:30, and registration is only $30.

The presenters are Dr. Laurene Simms and Susanne Scott of Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center. They are experts in bilingual education using both spoken English and American Sign Language in classrooms that serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

This is a great opportunity for Oklahoma educators who work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to hear from nationally renowned experts in Deaf Education on how to implement bilingual and bimodal teaching strategies in the Deaf Education classroom! We hope to see many of you there!

Learn About TU: Student Teaching!

Hello readers! We at TU are excited to be starting a new semester. We hope everyone is feeling refreshed after winter break! There are a lot of upcoming events we are excited about – the continuation of our reading clinic in February, the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) conference in St. Louis, and the International Reading Association (IRA) conference, where professor Jessica Scott will become the official president for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group, just to name a few! You will be sure to hear about them in the coming months.

But in the interest of getting prepared for a new semester, here is another installment of Learn About TU! Because we have three seniors doing their student teaching at the moment, let’s take a few minutes to learn about the student teaching experience.

Deaf Education majors graduate with the potential to earn an N-12 teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Because of this wide range of grade levels, student teaching is typically divided into two experiences, one lasting 7 weeks and the other lasting 8 weeks.

For one placement, we strongly encourage students to stay at the Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing bilingual school only four hours from TU’s campus. Students are typically placed in either elementary, middle, or high school. Our student teachers also get to stay in the KSD dorms, which gives them an amazing opportunity to interact with students outside of the classroom and improve their ASL skills. As part of the agreement for staying in the dorms, student teachers will also typically work at an after school program – this may include academic tutoring, coaching, supervising clubs, and so forth. One of the Deaf Education professors will visit KSD campus towards the end of the internship to observe lessons and give feedback.

The second placement is typically within the Tulsa Public Schools, either in a self-contained elementary, middle or high school classroom, or placement with an itinerant teacher.

Students completing their student teaching get a wide array of invaluable experiences that will prepare them for teaching, including planning and teaching units and lessons, assessing students, implementing behavior management plans, observing experienced teachers at work, observing Individualized Education Plan meetings, coaching or sponsoring clubs, attending faculty workshops and development opportunities, and much more! All of our student teachers are in their second semester of their senior year.

If you have any questions about the student teaching experience, or about the Deaf Education program in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our faculty!

End of semester catch-up

Wow, it has been a long time since this blog was updated – over a month! Sorry for the delay, the semester really got away from us here at TU. Jessica (the main updater on this blog) has been writing her dissertation this semester alongside teaching responsibilities, so we haven’t updated as much as we would have liked. So, here we are once again to tell you a little bit about our semester here!

First of all, our students have been active at the TU sporting events – members of DeafTU, our university club, have been signing the national anthem at all of our football home games. Pictured below are senior Deaf Ed majors Shawna and Erin, and sophomore Deaf Ed major Karen, just after the opener!

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Speaking of sports, Jessica Scott was voted Most Valuable Professor for the second year in a row – this year from the Women’s Soccer team! Thank you, ladies!

Ok, next up is the reading clinic. As many of you know, we got our grant to help fund the reading clinic this fall, and things have been going very well! We having 6 students being tutored this semester, and have been able to order scores of new books, assessments, games and other materials to use. And to follow up with even better news, 12 students have enrolled in Literacy and the Deaf Child in the spring – which means 12 students will get tutoring, and perhaps even more if the previously trained tutors sign up to work in the spring as well! A visitor from the Oklahoma State Regents, through which the grant was procured, was very successful, and we were encouraged to apply again for the grant next year. Wonderful news!

We’ve also had some visitors  to TU this semester! We already told you about Dr. Kim Wolbers and her work with SIWI – Strategic Interactive Writing Instruction. Her former doctoral student, and current professor at UConn,

Dr. Hannah Dostal teaches us about SIWI!
Dr. Hannah Dostal teaches us about SIWI!

Dr. Hannah Dostal came to Tulsa as well to give a hands-on workshop for teachers and students on how to implement SIWI in the classroom. We are so lucky to have had such wonderful visitors!

DeafTU also hosted our first ASL Live Lab this semester – we had a Halloween party for the Tulsa Deaf Community and ASL students from both TU and TCC. There was candy, games, costumes, and lots of wonderful conversation. Thanks to everyone who came out – and a reminder that TCC will be hosting their own Live Lab this Friday night – a Thanksgiving party! We hope many of our students will support TCC the way they supported our Halloween party!

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Students exploring the flavor, look, and feel of apples!

Finally, this will have its own update later on, but Dr. Baker’s Language Development class had the pleasure of completing Language Experience Activity lessons with the elementary schoolers at Wright! Her TU students created lessons on pumpkins and apples, and the children had the opportunity to explore, feel, taste, and build vocabulary around these delicious fall foods! A student or two will be writing about this experience soon, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures!

Tonya, a Deaf Education junior, ready for her Language Experience Activity!
Tonya, a Deaf Education junior, ready for her Language Experience Activity!
Two language students in the midst of their Language Experience Activity on pumpkins!
Two language students in the midst of their Language Experience Activity on pumpkins!

Happy end of fall semester everyone!!

Learn About TU: Travel to Gallaudet

Welcome to our second installment in the Learn About TU for potential Deaf Education majors! Today we will be talking about a unique experience available for our senior level Deaf Education majors: Travel to Gallaudet!

By the time they are seniors, our Deaf Education students have done a lot to inform their understanding of Deaf Education and their ASL skills. They have taken ASL levels 1-4, almost all of the Deaf Education teaching methods classes (including Introduction to Deaf Education, Language Development with Deaf Students, Literacy Development with Deaf Students, and Methods of Teaching the Deaf, among others!), and many courses with the school of education.

So what better way to continue to improve ASL skills and teaching knowledge than with a trip to Gallaudet, the only liberal arts college for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students? Our students travel with a faculty member or two to the university, usually sometime in November. We try to schedule this trip around presentations from the Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) research group, which is NSF-funded. Students also get the opportunity to meet professors in the Gallaudet Education department, and possibly even visit classes at the university! The whole trip lasts around 5 or 6 days, and is really an invaluable opportunity for our majors.

The course is worth one credit, but the experience of being on an all-Deaf campus is worth much more! This year we have three seniors visiting Gallaudet in November, and we can’t wait to hear about their experiences!

Have more questions about Travel to Gallaudet, or the TU Deaf Education program in general? Please contact our faculty!

Learn About TU: Practicum Experiences

This post will be the first in a series of installments that we will hope will be helpful to our readers out there who are current or future students who want to learn more about particular aspects of our Deaf Education program here at University of Tulsa. Today we will start with an invaluable experience: Practicum,

All schools of education require students to complete a certain number of practicum hours in order to graduate. We are certainly no exception, although the way the Deaf Ed program does practicum is a little unique.

Starting in their junior year, students will be engaged in three different practicum courses, one per semester. One of those will be in an elementary setting, another will be in a secondary setting, and the third may vary from person to person, depending on their interests. Most (but not all!) of our practicum students are placed in the Tulsa Public School District, in one of the public schools that has a Deaf Ed program. As a practicum student, you will observe and support the teacher doing lessons, but also create your own bulletin board (or other visual display), teach your own lesson, and possibly tutor a student.

But that’s not all! In our program we feel that teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing need to really get to know the Deaf Community – so every practicum experience has Deaf Community experience built in! We hope this will support our students’ understanding of ASL, as well as of Deaf culture before they enter the classroom as teachers.

Many of our students visit Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing residential school, for a two week intensive practicum after the end of junior year as their third practicum site. But other students take on local practicums with itinerant teachers, early intervention programs, or ASL teachers. It is our goal that all these experiences will give our students all the skills they need to be successful teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the future!

The Gift of Reading (or TU’s First Deaf Ed Reading Clinic)

Below read a guest blog post from the parent of one of the children who participated in the first ever TU Free Reading Clinic for DHH Students!

When Anna was selected for TU’s first Deaf Ed Reading Clinic, my initial reaction was relief. As the mother of a Deaf+ child, I am constantly searching for help:  help with language, help with schooling, help with her grades. All of that would improve if her reading skills improved, and here was a FREE program!photo 3[1]

As a girl who has spent several days of every week of her life in some sort of therapy, Anna may not have been excited about her first session … but that quickly changed when she realized that it was all about books. And these are fabulous books – colorful books, funny books, talkative books, even one with absolutely no words! Image

The 10-week clinic included evaluations in the first and last sessions to not only assess the effectiveness of the program, but also to help the tutors plan their lessons. While every session including reading, there was also writing, sentence building, grammar lessons on ASL vs. English, some doll play once our tutor learned about Anna’s obsession with all things Barbie, and an Easter egg huntImage with fun sentences hidden inside each egg. They didn’t just sit at desks; they stood, they taped words to walls, they played, and they laughed, oh yes, they most definitely laughed.

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Thank you, Erin Hoefer, for planning engaging activities and lessons, and for building that all-so-important rapport with my child. Thank you, Jessica Scott, for choosing excellent books that are enjoyable and have a learning purpose built into each one, and for supervising these terrific students. But mostly, thank you for creating this amazing program and for writing a grant which will hopefully ensure its continuance next year. Anna is more excited about reading than ever, and when the grant gets approved, we’ll be waiting right outside the Chapman Center.

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