SAN ANTONIO (July 16, 2009) – Special education classrooms often include a mix of students who are verbal and nonverbal, and meeting the communication needs of all these students can be a challenge.  To provide teachers with a language arts program designed to reach both populations, PCI Education introduces the Environmental Print Series.  PCI Education, the number one provider of resources for students with special needs, developed the comprehensive, standards-based curriculum that combines language arts instruction with signs students see in their everyday environment.

The Environmental Print Series teaches students to identify and explain the meaning of 48 signs found in the community.  The language arts program integrates forms of environmental print, such as road signs and indoor signs, into story lines about adolescent characters.  The books and activity sheets in the Environmental Print Series use symbol-supported text to help nonreaders easily understand the stories, and improve their literacy skills.  The series also includes a wide variety of manipulatives, which allow students to demonstrate comprehension and content mastery. 

"Since PCI Education was founded 18 years ago, it has always been my dream to help students with moderate to significant disabilities participate in reading and language arts with age-appropriate materials," said Janie Haugen-McLane, founder of PCI Education and developer of the Environmental Print Series.  "Environmental Print Series is the realization of that dream."

Intended for use in classrooms for students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities, the Environmental Print Series offers 16 full-color books in two levels to support differentiated instruction.  Both levels use the same illustrations to tell the story, but Level A has only one line of text per page, while Level B has two lines per page.  Based on their abilities, students are organized into two groups, one reading the Level A book and the other reading the Level B book.  Teachers then use the two levels to differentiate instruction while using the same scripted lessons and manipulatives provided in the program.

All questions from the Environmental Print Series can be answered both verbally and nonverbally.  The program includes Response Cards, which allow nonverbal students to display a picture answer to many of the questions.  In addition, a Responder Mat is included so that students can easily indicate "yes", "no", or "I don’t know" to all yes/no questions.  The Responder Mat offers visual images for each of the three answers, enabling students to gaze at, or touch, their response.

Level One of the Environmental Print Series provides lessons and activities for a complete school year.  Each book is supported by ten fully scripted lesson plans that cover language arts standards while teaching three common signs, or other forms of environmental print.  The lessons focus first on learning the signs in their environmental context through the books, and then on teaching the signs individually using a variety of manipulatives.  As students learn the signs, subsequent lessons emphasize story comprehension.  The final lesson for each book focuses on assessment and progress monitoring.

Level One of the Environmental Print Series will be available August 2009, and is priced at $599.95 per program.

For more information on the Environmental Print Series, visit www.pcieducation.com/ep.

About PCI Education
PCI Education offers more than 7,500 instructional materials for a wide range of students with special needs, including learning differences as well intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, mental retardation and Down’s syndrome.  In addition, the company’s products are used in English language learner and adult literacy classes, and to help students performing below grade level.  Based in San Antonio, PCI Education has been helping educators lead students to success in school, at home and in the community since 1991.  For more information, visit www.pcieducation.com or phone 800-594-4263.

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For more information:
–Nicole Horne, PCI Education, 800-594-4263, ext. 126, nhorne@pcieducation.com
–Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc., 608-839-9800, emily@cblohm.com

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