Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tips 6-10 To Help You & Your Students With Dyslexia

Today I'll be sharing 5 more "tips" to help you and your kiddos with dyslexia out.  In fact, as I've mentioned in the past, many (if not all!) of these little hints can apply to ALL of your students, not just ones with dyslexia.  In case you want to brush up on some "back story" and read my two previous posts, you can click on over to my first recent entry: What's It Like Being Dyslexic to watch 2 videos and read some pointers, and then hop on over to Tips 1-5 To Help You & Your Students With Dyslexia

If you're all caught up and ready to roll with tips 6-10, here we go!  (And, just like before, some of these tips and hints are pretty common sense and cut and dry.  Also, if you have anything to add or any ways to expand on these, please do share with myself and other readers through the "comments" section at the bottom!)  Now, let's begin:

Number Six: Re-establish Self Confidence.
Okay, here's the deal with number six.  I truly believe there is a fine line between authentic, genuine praise and "fake teacher praise".  AND, on top of that (yes, I do know it's not grammatically correct to start a sentence with "and", but I was going for the rambly, "on a mission", mean it, sentence starter there...) I truly believe students can tell the difference!  So, instead of simply dishing out the "fake teacher praise", provide your students with the opportunities to succeed.  Believe it or not, you spend more time with your students than even their parents do; therefore, you should know them well!  Figure out what they're good at, how they can successfully complete tasks, etc. etc., and use that information to allow them to succeed and feel good about it!

Don't forget, though, to also give praise for small achievements, too.  Just make sure it's genuine! :)  I love to write my kiddos small notes on their desks or whisper in their ears-- that way the praise is personal and simply between the student and myself...not the whole class (because I will tell  you, too, that many of my dyslexic students have been a tad shy and sometimes even embarrassed at being called out in class, even if it was for a compliment!). 

Number Seven:  Do not expect a dyslexic student to copy from a board or book.  Give a printout.
This one kind of reminds me of tip number one-- not asking students with dyslexia to read out loud.  Let's face it...we can't ALWAYS have printouts ready.  There are SO many times my class writes little notes or facts in our journals "on the fly".  So, instead of never asking students with dyslexia to copy from the board, simply limit it when you can, and when you can't, well then help them learn how to SUCCESSFULLY copy from the board or document camera! 

What does that entail, you ask?  Well, I can't seem to find where I once read this, but color coding notes really helps.  Most (if not all) of your dyslexic students are going to be visual learners, so use that to your advantage!

Write every other line of your notes on the board
in a different color dry erase marker. 
Be sure to change lines at the end of sentences, too.
This not only helps students visually discriminate
where they are and what they need to write, but
it can help with their processing, too!
Neat and easy!

Also, don't forget what I mentioned in tip number 4-- even if you're not the most artistic teacher in the world, little visual doodles and pictures REALLY help!  You draw them next to your notes, and the class can draw them next to theirs.  By the middle of the year, your students will be coming up with their OWN "doodles" to represent each fact or piece of curriculum, which is AMAZING, because now they're not only copying information, they're making connections which will help them retain the information. (Hello, Bloom's!)

Number Eight:  Accept homework or written assignments created on a computer or word processor.
In 2nd grade, we really don't have any written homework, nor do we have any long, hand-written class assignments.  So, I can't really tell you much about this one, however, it does seem pretty straight forward!  :)

Number Nine:  Dyslexics have weak auditory memories.
Do not expect anything you say to be remembered.  Don't let this hurt your feelings or lead you to believe that you're not a good teacher.  It's simply that students with
dyslexia lack a little bit when it comes to listening, most likely because of their STRONG visual skills (as I mentioned before).  Refer back to tip number seven, above, for facts, info, and tricks about writing and drawing to help your dyslexic kiddos!

Number Ten:  Give the opportunity to answer questions orally, rather than in writing, to demonstrate understanding and ideas.
This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Many dyslexic students are EXTREMELY bright, they simply struggle getting their ideas out.  Don't make it harder by requiring pencil and paper.  Help your students by allowing other forms of answering assignments.  For more ideas, see tip number four from my previous post!

Whew!  Ten "tips" down, and ten to go.  Sorry for the lame-o Microsoft Word visuals today.  I know they're not nearly as neat or "pin"able as the graphics from my Tips 1-5...but I was just a little tired today...

I'll be back soon with more posts.  In the meantime, I'd love to know what YOU know!  Leave me a comment, if you'd like, with any other new tip or trick you use in your classroom!  Ta-Ta for now.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Oh, and don't forget to enter in my Free Glasses Giveaway!  It's ending TOMORROW!

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