5 Strategies for Helping Dyslexic Students in the Classroom
Dyslexia in children is often hard to spot, let this help.
Time spent on special education is an important part of a child’s development — especially for dyslexic students in the classroom. As a teacher, supporting the development of a child with dyslexia is a great opportunity. However, it can be a difficult task and it is important to remember that it is not a lack of intelligence or lack of intention from which a student with dyslexia suffers.
Students with dyslexia learn differently. Their brains are not able to store information as effectively as non-dyslexic students, which often makes learning slow, difficult, and sometimes even impossible.
However, under the watchful eye of an attentive teacher — with tried and tested strategies — dyslexic learners can learn and achieve above-average results.
Here are 5 strategies to help dyslexic students in the classroom:
If you are an educator and have students with dyslexia in your class, make sure you take the time to learn the signs and strategies that can positively benefit the student. Here are our favorite strategies for positively impacted the student with dyslexia in your classroom:
1. Multisensory Education
Multisensory activities help children with dyslexia to assimilate and process information, maintain this information and use their senses, such as touching and moving, but also sight and hearing to actively learn better.
They are useful not only for dyslexic students but also for all other pupils. Participation in hands-on games and activities stimulates and encourages students to participate even more.
Some examples of multisensory classroom activities are:
- Use physical materials such as glue, sand, paste, LEGOs or beads for writing and spelling words.
- Physical spelling exercises such as hop-scotch or rope-jumping — children write words by jumping in every square or line. Have students work in pairs, taking turns dictating and writing words.
- Scavenger hunts for letters and words — have students divide into teams and give them words to track down. Write letters on sheets of paper and hide them in the classroom. The students must team-up to find the letters that make up the word and then glue them together on a poster board.
2. Use Technology and Support Tools
The use of technology and support tools for dyslexic students can be both hands-on and fun and give the student an easier and more entertaining way of learning. Here are some tools to check out for your dyslexic students in the classroom:
Pocket Spell Checker
A student with dyslexia writes a word how he or she thinks it’s spelled — often phonetically — and a spelling checker makes unaggressive corrections. This helps the dyslexic child develop confidence in writing and spelling and keeps the correct spelling in their mind.
This digital tool helps the reader by enlarging and highlighting the part of the text where it is positioned. This helps dyslexic students navigate the passage or worksheet and makes it easier for them to keep their place, especially when they experience word “skipping” — the sea of text around them is less distracting.
Colorful, enlarged keyboards make typing more fun and focused for students with dyslexia. Some keyboards have features that provide shortcuts to play, pause, stop, or scroll through sounds, which is useful because dyslexic children often use digital reading programs while reading and writing.
If you purchase assistive technology for a student with dyslexia, you should consider buying several such programs for other students. This reduces the feeling of isolation or otherness that a child with dyslexia may feel and prevents jealousy among other students.
3. Useful Syllabus Arrangements
Use cloze procedure.
Give the dyslexic students information sheets that cover the lesson, but leave blanks for the students with dyslexia to fill in important keywords.
The student can then, like everyone else, take notes without stress and try to copy everything before it is removed from the board. This helps them to concentrate and remember important information.
Give ample time for homework.
If it takes a whole day to do your homework, give it on Friday so that the kid with dyslexia has the whole weekend to complete it.
You can also inform parents about the monthly homework schedule so they can discuss certain topics with their dyslexic children at home.
Grade based on effort
Students with dyslexia may be less qualified than their peers in spelling and grammar. However, if their thought process and creativity is enhanced and it is clear that they have made an effort, this is commendable.
Mark the most crucial spelling mistakes with a green pen — nothing shouts “YOU’RE WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!” more than demotivating red pens!
4. Set Aside Time for Educational Games
The beauty of games for dyslexic students is that they can be beneficial to all students, so they can be easily integrated into lessons throughout the school year — nothing will bother them less than playing games!
There are hundreds of educational applications and games for kids with dyslexia. High-Speed Training and Dyslexic.com offer a wide range of applications. They’re great places to play digital or physical games in the classroom:
Nessy.com — Nessy offers a wide range of computer games that help students understand the sounds of words, an area where dyslexia is particularly difficult. The colorful cartoon style is exciting and fun for children.
Dyslexiagames.com — The workbooks offered here are full of puzzles, 3D drawings, and reading exercises for children.
5. Touch Base with Dyslexic Childrens’ Parents
It is important to regularly be in contact with and have meetings with the parents of your dyslexic students to discuss the on-goings and strategies you’ve used in the classroom. Not only that, but it is good to talk about the progress the children are making in both the classroom and at home. The child’s parents are able to keep you up-to-date on which methods of learning they’ve been successful with at home.
In the end, there are no two cases of dyslexia that are the same. A one-size-fits-all-approach to taking care of your dyslexic students will not benefit you or your student’s future. By info-sharing and tracking progress, parents and teachers can cooperate to find the best learning procedures for each individual dyslexic kid so that it positively aids learning.
Take Time to Learn Strategies for Helping Dyslexic Students in the Classroom
A good educator is able to teach for a selection of bright students. A great teacher is able to be inclusive in his/her teaching for all — even the dyslexic students in the classroom. Remember, equality in education is a right for all!
P.S. — This article was originally written in support of Bali Dyslexia Foundation. Please consider supporting the cause.
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** This article was originally published at www.adamcheshier.com **