About Us

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Meet the Team

We, Lisa and Laurie of Medicine Hat, Alberta, are the developers of Literacy Lane. We offer over 45 years of combined school and classroom based experience. 


Lisa has worked in and out of the classroom as an Early Literacy Intervention Assistant with individuals and small groups of children to support language, literacy, and learning for more than 17 years. She has also provided rehabilitative services to children with mental, physical, emotional, and/or other developmental impairments. 


Laurie, initially received her Bachelor Degree in Education, specializing in Language and Learning Disabilities. She then obtained her Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Pathology and has been a practicing school and pre-school based Speech and Language Pathologist for more than 28 years. 

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Literacy Lane

A trip down Literacy Lane offers a solution to support children through a variety of effective, research-inspired activities.  


The bold, brightly coloured activities in Literacy Lane are designed to appeal to children ranging from three to eight years of age, but may be easily modified for both older and younger children.  


Although Literacy Lane is specifically developed for children with language and developmental delays, it is sure to benefit all children.  Inclusive education is at the heart of our program. By offering alternative educational activities through heavy work and movement, children are provided with a purposeful break from the classroom. 

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"Play is the Work of Children"

“Play is the work of children” (Jean Piaget).  


Our mission is to create a fun and interactive learning environment that adheres to evidence-based practices.  We wanted to create a seemingly simple product that offers a plethora of "Branching Out" Expansion Activities to target language, reading, math, sensory regulation, and executive function in a highly motivating environment.  


Literacy Lane offers an opportunity for children to practice early foundational academic skills while walking, crawling, or hopping along a nature inspired trail.  




What Makes Literacy Lane Unique?

We, Lisa and Laurie, the developers of Literacy Lane, are passionate about children and literacy. We have seen the needs of children and classrooms continually change and wanted to create a product that is rich in academic content with much versatility. The end result- a product like NO other on the market!


Other tools use movement to support sensory integration, but we go beyond to intentionally target literacy,  language, math and executive function skills through movement in a reinforcing, fun environment.


A trip down Literacy Lane offers support to children through a variety of effective, research-based activities. Literacy Lane was developed specifically for children with language and developmental delays (including children with Autism (ASD), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS/FAE), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and behaviour disorders) as well as English Language Learners.


By offering alternative activities through movement, children are afforded a highly educational break from the classroom and potential sensory “overload."

Targeted Skills

Literacy Skills

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Literacy Lane activities are carefully and intentionally developed to dovetail with the information outlined by the American National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) and by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network to offer activities relevant to alphabet knowledge, phonemic awareness, and language development (i.e., vocabulary and grammar).  


Literacy Lane activities are carefully and intentionally developed to dovetail with the information outlined by the American National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) and by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network to offer activities relevant to alphabet knowledge, phonemic awareness, and language development (i.e., vocabulary and grammar).  


Numerous opportunities within the Lane focus on the following emergent  literacy skills: 


Phonological Awareness:

  • Rhyming
  • Reading Sight Words
  • Blending
  • Segmenting

Alphabet Knowledge:

  • Sound/Symbol Association
  • Letter Identification

Language Skills

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Language, by definition, is a communicative system that gives people the means to share knowledge, opinions, and feelings. Communication (listening and speaking) lays the foundation for later developed reading, writing, and comprehension skills. 


Literacy Lane offers opportunities for adults to connect with children individually or in small groups to build relationships through extended conversations. Common themes and vocabulary are used to spark special interests the child may have. Language skills are fundamental to literacy. 


The following skills are targeted to support both literacy and oral language acquisition:


Oral Language:

  • Vocabulary Extensions
  • Concept Development
  • Comparing/Contrasting
  • Grammar (pronouns, verb tenses)
  • Categorization
  • Recognition of Words, Numbers, Shapes and Colours

Math Skills

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Like literacy, early skills in mathematics are a strong indicator for later academic success. In consideration of The National Academy of Science's guidelines in Eager to Learn: Educating our Preschoolers, Literacy Lane's objectives go beyond reciting numbers from 1-10 and simple counting. 


Literacy Lane addresses the following early math skills using fun, motivating activities:


Number Recognition

  • Counting (i.e., number sense)

Understanding Concepts Related to:  

  • Shapes
  • Patterns and Predicting
  • Size 
  • Time/Sequence
  • Quantity 
  • Spatial 
  • Estimating
  • Comparison

Movement

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Movement, a universal classroom strategy, is a key component of Literacy Lane. Movement has been reported to benefit all children to help them gain control over their behavior (i.e., self-regulation), to improve their ability to engage in learning and to aid in the retention of information.  


Literacy Lane provides physical exercise and a variety of "heavy work" movements throughout the Lane. Heavy work is known to support all children to help them become more organized, calm, alert, and regulated.  


The following movements are incorporated in Literacy Lane:


  • Marching
  • Bear Crawling
  • Hopping
  • Jumping
  • Balancing
  • Crab Crawling
  • Wall pushes
  • Push Ups

Executive Function Skills

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Researchers from the Center on the Developing Child through the Harvard Institute describe Executive Function (EF) as "being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears." They compare these skills to "having an air traffic control system at a busy airport to manage the arrivals and departures of dozens of planes on multiple runways. In the brain, this air traffic control mechanism is called executive functioning, a group of skills that helps us to focus on multiple streams of information at the same time, and revise plans as necessary." https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/inbrief-executive-function-skills-for-life-and-learning/.  


Many activities throughout the Lane target the following executive functions: 


  • Working Memory
  • Inhibition
  • Turn Taking
  • Impulse Control 
  • Select Attention
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Flexible Thinking
  • Self-Monitoring

Reinforcing Play Based Learning

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Reinforcement

Dr. Martha Burns, a leading Neuroscientist, suggests that best learning and retention occur when children are motivated.  “Increase excitement in a classroom and you increase dopamine levels of your students.”  Dr. Burns adds, “Dopamine can be addictive…[let’s get]…students addicted to learning." (Dr. Burn's blog: http://www.scilearn.com/blog/dopamine-learning-brains-reward-center-teach-educators)