Are There Any Group Activities That Benefit Dyslexic Students? [Premium]

Are There Any Group Activities That Benefit Dyslexic Students? [Premium]

Like non-dyslexic students, there can be a wide variations that exist between how students enjoy group activities. In general, extroverts love group activities, while introverts less so. But there are benefits from the selection of some activities that especially benefit dyslexic students. CREATE A POSITIVE CLASSROOM CULTURE FOR DIFFERENT LEARNERS First of all, it’s helpful to have a classroom culture that allows flexibility in learning and accepting of differences. Students can be encouraged to take a different approach while solving problems and demonstrating knowledge. A discussion about differences in learning at the beginning of the year can make students who know they learn differently, feel more welcome. Some teachers may also model their openness to solving problems or learning a different way. Offering students options […]

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Teaching Geometry to Dyslexic Students [Premium]

Teaching Geometry to Dyslexic Students [Premium]

“Henry Winkler… got his diploma in the mail only after taking the same geometry class eight times in a row over the course of four years, during the summers and regular school semesters, and finally passing with a D-.” — Alia Wong, “The MisEducation of the Fonz”, Atlantic Monthly It’s surprisingly hard to find research publications on teaching geometry to dyslexic students. One reason, suggested by Kay and Yeo in their book Dyslexia and Maths, is that numerical difficulties are more common among dyslexic students than geometric ones. They cite one study of 92 students followed over four years in which 50% failed to meet standards in Number Work, compared to 27% who missed for “Measure, Shape and Space.” That being said, because geometry is […]

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What is ‘Explicit’ Instruction and Why Does It Help with Dyslexia? [Premium]

What is ‘Explicit’ Instruction and Why Does It Help with Dyslexia? [Premium]

If you look at almost any evidence-based guidelines for students with dyslexia, you’ll see the word ‘explicit’ in how instruction is delivered. Merriam’s Dictionary defines explicit as: “fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity; leaving no question as to meaning or intent.” WHY IS EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION FOR DYSLEXIC STUDENTS? Remember that people with dyslexia tend to store information in explicit or declarative memory – with episodic memory areas being especially active. Activities that non-dyslexic people seem to acquire more effortlessly – like recognizing printed words, writing by hand, or retrieving math facts – are difficult if not impossible to learn without explicit instruction. For example, many non-dyslexic people may learn grammatical structure just through encountering different sentences when they are reading; dyslexic students, […]

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Should I Help with Homework? [Premium]

Should I Help with Homework? [Premium]

“His mother had read everything to him and in medical school his wife was reading aloud all books and references…there was some opposition to his continuance in medical school on the part of the dean and one other faculty member, but the opposition subsided… After his graduation a report came from a distant medical school hospital stating that this man was the best intern they had had for some time. He passed his American boards in internal medicine and became the head of a group practice clinic in a large city…” — Lloyd Thompson, Reading Disability Should you help with homework? The answer is YES. There is a qualifier on that – you should help but only to the point that you’re helping your student […]

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What I Know Now About Learning a Foreign Language [Premium]

What I Know Now About Learning a Foreign Language [Premium]

  When I came across a remarkable article titled, “Dyslexia and Learning a Foreign Language: A Personal Experience,” I knew that I wanted to talk to the author. Charlann had the unique perspective of being both dyslexic and a speech language pathologist. She dodged the college level foreign language requirement by getting a bachelor’s degree in speech and theater and master’s degree in speech language pathology. “I no longer tell the truth about how long I have studied French because people cannot comprehend how I could have studied (for seven years) and…still struggle so severely with spoken and written language. I could not fluently retrieve basic structures or pronunciation patterns to communicate my thoughts in classroom discussions, so I tended to speak in sentence fragments […]

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You Think in Words; I Think in Pictures [Premium]

You Think in Words; I Think in Pictures [Premium]

“…when I was a kid, my mother had often asked my father, ‘What are you thinking?’ He’d shrug and say, ‘Nothing’ — a response that irritated her to no end. (‘How can he be thinking about nothing?’ she’d ask me.) I’ve always been on Team Dad; I spend a lot of time thoughtless, just living life. At the same time, whenever I speak, ideas condense out of the mental cloud. It was happening even then, as I talked with my friend: I was articulating thoughts that had been unspecified yet present in my mind. My head isn’t entirely word-free; like many people, I occasionally talk to myself in an inner monologue. (Remember the milk! Ten more reps!) On the whole, though, silence reigns. Blankness, too: […]

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Question: How to Help with Reversals [Premium]

Question: How to Help with Reversals [Premium]

Question: My middle grade student still has trouble with reversals. What can I do to help? Answer: Reversals can occur in different contexts, so understanding the different causes can help determine the best solutions. PERSISTENT LETTER REVERSALS Reversals can be a normal developmental finding up until the age of seven years. After that, severe difficulties with letter reversals may require intensive training or even therapy. Letter Recognition Persistent letter recognition problems are usually helped by a variety of multisensory sensory and mnemonic approaches. Programs like Zoophonics combine little memory associations and character drawings to help improve letter recognition. Hand visual mnemonics may help some children to distinguish between the letters b and d, as shown in the bed image: See more: Usually older students develop […]

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What’s the Connection between Auditory Processing and Dyslexia? [Premium]

What’s the Connection between Auditory Processing and Dyslexia? [Premium]

It’s not uncommon when we speak to groups about dyslexia that someone asks why we are mentioning auditory processing when they (mistakenly) believe dyslexia is only about reading. In fact, there is substantial research literature about dyslexia and auditory processing difficulties – sometimes the problems can present with difficulty in learning phonemes, but other times it may affect sensitivity to auditory distractions, trouble listening to rapid or foreign speakers, and problems hearing in the presence of background noise. People who are dyslexic themselves or live with people who are dyslexic may know all about this. It’s a good example of how simplistic definitions can confuse rather than help. There’s been extensive work about auditory processing differences found in dyslexic vs. non dyslexic groups. The figure […]

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How to Survive and Thrive at Parent-Teacher Conferences [Premium]

How to Survive and Thrive at Parent-Teacher Conferences [Premium]

Some teachers find parent-teacher conferences the most stressful part of their job so it’s best to keep that in mind before you head off to the meeting. I remember we had “good” meetings and “bad”. The good ones seemed so easy – sit back and be presented with student work and positive comments. But there were also hard ones, frustrating ones, and depressing ones. People react to conflicts and crises in different ways – so that there can be psychological minefields for everyone involved in parent-teacher conferences – the parents, the teachers, and the students…and it all seems to go by so fast. BRING SOMEONE If you’re a single parent, bring someone with you – whether it’s a friend, fellow classroom parent, or relative. If […]

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Dyslexia and Math: Knowing Why [Premium]

Dyslexia and Math: Knowing Why [Premium]

It’s been estimated that almost half of dyslexic individuals will also be dyscalculic (Wilson et al., 2014), but dyscalculia is less likely to be assessed or formally identified in school, leaving students to flounder on their own.   WHY IS DYSLEXIA COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH MATH LD? Experts still debate why there is such significant overlap, but at least one recent study found that spatial difficulties were especially associated with students with dyscalculia or those with both dyslexia and dyscalculia. Besides spatial factors, difficulties in sequencing, trouble with symbols, working memory overload, and rote math fact retrieval are all difficulties commonly seen among dyslexic students and those with dyscalculia. What is not particularly common among dyslexic students is difficulty with math reasoning – in fact for […]

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The Power of the List [Premium]

The Power of the List [Premium]

For many of us, hearing about a new technology, app, or software can result in mixed feelings. We may have hope about better organizing and simplifying our lives, but also have reasonable worry about a difficult learning curve, a complicated interface, or any number of problems that can prevent us from reaping the benefits of whatever thing we are hoping might help. Enter – the simple list. If you have a weak short term or working memory, but great long-term memory and you don’t like reading lots of extra text, then lists may be the perfect productivity tool for you. Putting something down on a list can offload your working memory, but also have the benefits of reinforcing the big picture, while never losing sight […]

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