Friday, 20 March 2015

Supporting children with reading and writing difficulties week 6


  • Allow for extra time
  • bigger font size - 14 Ariel
  • Allow computer
  • Define words
  • Teach spelling of subject specific vocab
  • Don't double side pages - dyslexic learners often miss the verso side of the page
  • Don't take off marks for spelling, especially if it is not the competency being measured
  • When evaluating spelling allow for modified marking - eg if they get 20 words to learn, tell dyslexic child to write the ones they think they know and their mark is how many they got correct vs how many they attempted.
  • Read questions aloud unless evaluating reading
  • Use visuals to support input as well as manual-kinaesthetic 
  • Evaluate one aspect of the writing eg spelling, grammar, punctuation...
  • Write the correct answer for spelling. Circle correct words
  • Provide students with multiplication tables for maths
  • Provide a summary of the lesson rather than get them to write it. Get them to highlight key words (for example ) so that they are not passive.
  • Evaluate orally rather than in writing
  • Discuss a mistake as a positive thing eg over-generalisation can talk about the rules and the exceptions
  • Celebrate progress.
  • Text -to - speech conversion
  • Record questions
  • History - allow for use of computer, vocabulary, define words, bigger fonts, they may reverse dates - don't penalise them for that, allow for use of mind maps
  • Maths - have multiplication tables next to them, display four basic operations, evaluate reasoning and result separately, simplify instructions, allow use of computer/calculator

Technology Aids Reading

  • Programs may have been superseded by something more useful
  • Text to speech; annotation tools (on and offline); change visual appearance of text (colour, contrast, font, letter spacing, smaller window?); organisational tools for collating information from multiple text sources
  • Text to speech - AT bar (text to speech, magnify text, take images, use dictionary); 
  • Change visual appearance of text - eg change background/text colour; 
  • Annotation - eg increasing letter spacing. Voice Dream includes this.
  • Size of Windows - a guide for lines, text in columns. Try what works with individual students. 
  • Organisational tools - Evernote, Trello (project management tool, allows different people in a team to log in, assign tasks to different people), reminders
  • Give responsibility to students to choose apps that work for them

Aids for Writing

  • Pre-writing - graphic organisers, mind maps etc. Kidsperartion. Pre-planning is VERY important for children with dyslexia. We have a tendency to rush the pre-writing stage and it is important that this doesn't happen with dyslexic learners.
  • Writing - text expander - shortcut so that don't have to type whole word - Phrase Express, Let Me Type; Live scribe digital pen audio records the writing (for notetaking); Ginger spell checker - takes into account context; Speech to text tools - use with caution with younger children because of the frustrations involved in training the software, also has difficulty with accents, hard to speak in the same way that you write so might add cognitive demands rather than reduce them

Aids for Memory

  • Can we increase our memory? Science isn't clear
  • Software to increase memory span - some evidence that can increase specific skill you are training but unsure how generalised this skill is
  • If we know that auditory memory is vulnerable, support it with our other senses eg images, videos, manipulating objects
  • Overlearning things - once introduced word, then get them to do more active retrieval, repetition of word over time (Word Generation)
  • Chunking - instructions are in chunks so that they can be remembered (eg digit span test)
  • Front-load key information - say action verb in instruction early on; give visual back-up
  • Think of a signal the child can give that they don't understand that won't be obvious to other children
  • Record instructions

Aids for Organisation

  • People with dyslexia may also have problems with things in time and space
  • Can be seen as a motivational thing rather than related to dyslexia
  • Scaffold some planning strategies
  • Orientation in time (timetabling, planning) - eg timetable using symbols and pictures to aid memory
  • Timetables in multiple places
  • Timetables that make sense for the student = collaborative effort
  • Give students content before hand so they can plan
  • When setting homework allow some time in class so misunderstandings can be clarified

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