Useful, quick tips for teaching dyslexic learners

1. Praise Gives Power; Criticism Kills

A dyslexic person needs to have confidence to learn and overcome their difficulties. Because they have experienced failure, deep down they don’t believe they are capable of learning.

Re-establish self-confidence.
Provide the opportunity to succeed.
Give praise for small achievements.

Dyslexics need constant praise and support. You worked hard! You did well! WOW! That's really good!

2.  Don’t ask a dyslexic to read aloud

Words are likely to be misread or skipped, causing embarrassment.

3. Don’t punish a dyslexic for forgetting things like books or sports kit

Offer positive strategies such as having one place to put things away.

4. Don’t call a dyslexic lazy

Dyslexics have to work harder to produce a smaller amount.

Dyslexics have difficulty staying focused when reading, writing or listening.

5. Expect less written work

A dyslexic may be verbally bright but struggle to put ideas into writing.

Allow a dyslexic more time for reading, listening and understanding.

6. Prepare a printout of homework and stick it in their book

Provide numbered steps, e.g. 1. Do this. 2. Do that etc.

7. Do not expect a dyslexic to copy text from a board or book

Give a printout. Suggest they highlight key areas and draw thumbnail pictures in the margin to represent the most important points.

Do not expect a dyslexic to copy text from a board or book

8. Accept homework created on a computer

Physical handwriting is torture for most dyslexics. Word processors make life much easier. Allow them to use the Spell checker and help with grammar and punctuation so that you can see the quality of the content.

9. Discuss an activity to make sure it is understood

Visualising the activity or linking it to a funny action may help dyslexics remember.

10. Give the opportunity to answer questions orally

Dyslexics can often demonstrate their understanding with a spoken answer but are unable with to put those ideas in writing.

All credit to  the Nessy website for these useful tips.  You can find further information and support for Teachers, Parents/Carers and students on this site.

Struggling to read a web page? Try Ivona mini reader

ivona

Many students have difficulty reading text. If they are using a computer they can have support to do this using Ivona MiniReader.

Ivona MiniReader is a free simple text reader which adds a floating toolbar on the screen and can read out text from almost any program – Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, web pages etc.. MiniReader can use the free Scottish voice Heather and Stuart and most other voices on your computer.

This should be in the Applications Folder on all school computers: PCs, Thin Clients, laptops and netbooks.  If it is not, please log a call with ITServiceDesk@eastlothian.gov.uk to request it. It can be installed remotely.

Remind students to bring in headphones!

A new font is available for dyslexic learners

OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles.

OpenDyslexic is created to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to indicate direction. You are able to quickly figure out which part of the letter is down which aids in recognising the correct letter, and sometimes helps to keep your brain from rotating them around. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent confusion through flipping and swapping.

This font has been installed remotely on all school computers.  It should appear in the long list of fonts offered in Word.  Please contact the IT Service Desk (ITServiceDesk@eastlothian.gov.uk) if you do not have it installed and you would  like to try it out.  Any other questions, please contact Shirley Lawson (slawson@eastlothian.gov.uk)

 

 

W i d e r s p a c i n g can help dyslexic pupils

Spreading the letters of words a bit farther apart helps dyslexic kids read more quickly and make fewer mistakes as they read, a new study shows.   ( Read the full report here )

While the strategy isn’t a cure for dyslexia, which causes the brain to process information differently, researchers say it may help some children with the condition to read more easily, a key to helping them become better readers and learners overall.

Therapists agree that one of the best long-term remedies for the reading difficulties of dyslexia is practice. But because reading is so frustrating for these children, practice is often a tough sell.

“The consequence is that children with dyslexia read very, very little. We give the comparison that a child with dyslexia reads in a year what a normal reader reads in two days,” says researcher Johannes C. Ziegler, PhD, director of research in the cognitive psychology laboratory at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France.

East Lothian teachers can access more information and useful resources to support pupils with dyslexia  at the Additional Support Needs Info Hub. (http://asnhub.www.edubuzz.org  –  Google Apps log in required).

Free audio books for pupils with additional support needs

Calibre audio library provides a free service of books (downloadable MP3 or cassette format) for any pupil who has a disability which affects their reading (e.g. dyslexia).    Schools can find out more and apply for membership on the website www.calibre.org.uk  This is a fantastic resource that should not be missed!

Books for All Scotland event

Stirling Management Centre, 18 March 2011

Learning and Teaching Scotland, in partnership with CALL Scotland are hosting this learning day.

The purposes of the conference are:

·         to support teachers, early years practitioners and senior managers to improve access to the curriculum for pupils with print disabilities who need print to be in accessible alternative formats.

·         to give strategic managers and practitioners the chance to learn about these developments and discuss how to implement them in their own context to ensure best value

·         to encourage individuals in their authorities to share their learning with colleagues to sustain and expand work in this area.

Significant developments have taken place to make it easier for pupils and teachers to find existing accessible resources, to use them with pupils, to make them if they don’t already exist and to share them under new copyright arrangements. These developments will help authorities and schools to meet their equality and accessibility responsibilities.

LTS plans to involve colleagues from Scottish Government, HMIE, CALL Scotland, SQA, CLA, RNIB and publishers as well as managers and practitioners. This partnership event is aimed at both educational practitioners and strategic personnel.

 To reserve a place at this event please contact Anne Marie Lamont at a.lamont@LTScotland.org.uk.

Review of Teacher Education with reference to learners with difficulties

Graham Donaldson launched the report of his Review of Teacher Education last week, which he was asked to undertake by the Scottish Government. Here is a link to the Press release.

The following extracts are of particular interest:

1. Teachers should be confident in understanding and addressing the consequences of various barriers to children’s learning and their needs for additional support.

To address the serious weaknesses in literacy and numeracy, for example, all teachers need an understanding of how children, including those with additional support needs such as dyslexia, acquire and continue to develop vital skills in these fundamentals of learning throughout their schooling.”(page 19)

2. All new teachers in Scotland should be aware of the key challenges we collectively face, such as improving standards of literacy and numeracy and doing more to overcome the effects of disadvantage and deprivation on educational outcomes, and contribute personally to addressing these.

In addition to developing their subject and pedagogical knowledge and skills, therefore, all new teachers should be confident in their ability to: teach the essential skills of literacy and numeracy; address additional support needs (particularly dyslexia and autistic spectrum disorders). (page 36)

3. it is important to be explicit about the core knowledge, skills and competences that all teachers will continually refresh and improve as they move through their career and consistent in addressing them… currently they could include the following: supporting learners, including the latest legislative and research-based advice on meeting the needs of all learners including those with additional support needs such as dyslexia or autism (page 67)

The Scottish Government intends to discuss the recommendations with key partners including Dyslexia Scotland, local authorities, Schools and universities, before the Government responds.

CPD about dyslexia and inclusion

Several Support for Learning teachers comleted the course Hidden Dyslexia this year and most found it very helpful. The providers, CPDBytes, is now offering a 70% Discount on all its courses if you register before 15th December.

For example
    * Hidden Dyslexia, normally £100 now only £30
    * Inclusion: Introduction for Teachers reduced from £150 to only £45
    * Inclusion courses for Teaching/Learning Assistants reduced from £100 to only £30
    * Barriers to Learning usually £50 now only £15
    * Disability and Dyslexia Awareness for Post 16 Educators reduced from £100 to only £30

How it works;

1. Browse all of our courses on our website http://cpdbytes.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=79b9667153aaee41587daf08f&id=d01c72eec0&e=4f83e55fee
2. Choose the course or courses you want to do.
3. Reserve your course by clicking register now and entering your details.
4. The offer is open only until 15 December 2010 at 12 noon!
5. After that date we will invoice you for your selected course(s) – with your discount applied.
6. Once the payment is completed you will receive an enrollment key by e-mail within 5 days.

7. You will have up to 6 months to complete your course.

Please e-mail alasdair@cpdbytes.com if you have any queries.