Teachers know how crucial it is to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all types of learners. What’s even more crucial is when they identify why the student may be struggling, and how during this initial interaction it is crucial to point out the positives of the student’s work. This is key because it disarms a student, who may already have stress from knowing he is struggling. It is a reminder to all that the student is already on the path to success, he or she just needs an adjustment in how the information is presented.
Give Students a Reason to Feel Proud
Boosting a student’s self-confidence first will give her a higher sense of worth and ability before you shift the approach to help her make the corrections she needs.
Some learners have Dyslexia — issues with visual understanding of words when reading, or issues of language processing and correct use of sounds. This initial issue is one that needs to be bridged by the teacher, so a student can continue on with the objectives of the assignment. These students are counting on the teacher to help them fully realize their potential.
Signs to Spot
Students with Dyslexia will show signs well before they fall behind in their work. You’ll notice them confusing letter sounds when they read aloud. Some students will write words or letters out of order.
Frustration leads to acting out and distractibility. If a student struggles at the input level of an assignment, they’ll have more reason to shut down and not try to move past the barriers.
Keeping a close watch on the initial output of these students will help in determining ways to change your approach with them.
So many classrooms depend on the printed word. If reading is a struggle, whether it’s comprehension due to a hindrance in understanding word order or struggling to recognize words due to incorrect sound cues, then it’s time to change how a student reads.
- Can the student have the passage and questions read to them?
- Is there a way for the student to be separated from the rest of the class to a quiet space for enhanced focusing?
- Can the student be allowed more time to complete the assignment?
- Before writing responses, can students be given the opportunity to speak their thoughts, brainstorm, draw, or use visual aids to help them understand what they read and how to respond to the question at hand?
Prepare your classroom with these readily available alternatives, so that any assignment or lesson can quickly be adjusted for the student with Dyslexia. If it is a constant part of the classroom experience, students who need to use these methods won’t see them as punitive, but rather additional learning tools.
Students with Dyslexia are ready to succeed, they just need the right conditions and attention to help them reach beyond the limitations put upon them by this condition.
What are some of the best methods you have used when teaching students with Dyslexia?