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Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by psalm23, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. ...if you were to give 5 tips to help teachers provide a dyslexia friendly classroom what would they be? What indicators of dyslexia would you suggest? Are you as SENCO able to get a dyslexia diagnosis for children? I keep getting told that they have a Specific learning difficulty and that having a diagnosis will not help - to some extent I agree.Who makes that diagnosis for you?
    We are in notice to improve, SEN not being an issue , our aegnda is full this academic year so can't allocate time to help staff ...I am aware however that many of our SEN children have SpLD and teachers would benefit from little tips rather than me tipping them over the edge with something else to do. Thanks for any help.
  2. 1. Abandon any idea of dyslexia being a medical condition albeit one with different variants in different children.
    2. In the light of 1 don't get anyone in to 'diagnose' it, there's no point. The cut-off point between common or garden reading difficulties and so-called dyslexia is arbitrary.
    3. Assess each child to find out what their specific reading difficulties are - do they have problems with consonant blends, vowels, fluency, meaning? Then devise activities that will support their weak areas.
    4. I would say get the parents to get their children's vision and hearing tested, but current standard screening tests don't always pick up problems.
    5. Get training in synthetic phonics for all teachers, or, if that's not possible, bring in someone to teach synthetic phonics to the strugglers.
  3. I agree with everything that elsiepiddock says! (which might surprise some people[​IMG] )
    In addition, I would say that every classroom should have a nice big copy of debbiehep's alphabetic code chart on the wall so that children can make informed choices for spelling phonemes and that, if you must have 'key words' on the walls, make sure that the multisyllable ones are broken into syll' a' bles, as children find this much easier to read. They will, of course, have been guided through reading all key words, by decoding and blending, when they are first introduced.
    Debbie's chart here:
  4. Thanks for replies, any more?
  5. Make the learning multi sensory. For all learners if you hear, see, taste,touch and smell something you will remember it better. Many dyslexics are visual people, words don't always stick but pictures may. OK I know it's not practical to invvolve all five senses but as many as you can.

    If you don't believe me try this.
    Wait until the afternoon and ask someone what the first, seccond and fifth question a student asked this morning.
    The chances are they won't remember - unless it was particularly unusual, or they will remember one and not the others.
    Then ask them what they ate for dinner last night, and if they were watching something on TV ask them what it was. If they were having a conversation ask them what about. They can probably tell you the plot of the TV show and what they were eating.
    Logically what students ask should be more important top a teacher and is more recent, but what you have experienced while eating sticks because of the involvement of more senses.

    Depending on the age of the students gapped handouts are better than either handouts alone or taking notes alone.
  6. I don't think the idea of a 'diagnosis' (you've got it or you haven't) is all that helpful but personally I don't think it's great to pretend it doesn't exist either. Dyslexic young people can find it a relief to understand why their brains don't seem to work in the same way as the majority of their peers, and to try out new ways of learning that work better for them. I found The Rose Report helpful for an overview of the latest research and definition. If it's at all possible I would try to assess a young person with a view to seeing where their particular strengths and weaknesses lie and so teach to those, eg doing a spelling miscue analysis can show you specifically what sort of spelling mistakes they tend to make. It's a starting point.

    Realising I'm saying helpful a lot!

    For the classroom teacher I'd say some basics might be:
    include as many activities as you can that play to pupil's strengths (multisensory v helpful, oral work, group work, studybuddy etc)
    be creative where tasks might expose dyslexic's weaknesses ie don't ever ask pupils to copy from the board/read out loud (unless they volunteer)
    if there's no educational reason for a particular outcome to be done as written paragraphs, use other means like posters, presentations, drama, voice on a dictaphone, diagram, timeline, spider gram, so on
    be aware of potential problems with short term memory so break task instructions down, provide a prompt sheet
    differentiate homework so everyone can succeed at their level

    Some good tips in the Good Practice section here www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/files/DFS%20pack%20English.pdf
  7. sorry none of my layout came through on the post!
  8. Some good advice has been given.

    Always change the background colour on your whiteboard (avoid black text on white)

    If possible, give them a photocopy sheet (coloured if poss) of any board work they need to copy etc. iPads great for this if you have them- just take a photo of the board and they have it next to them.

    Have high expectations.

    Write down exactly what the homework is on the top of the sheet.

    Mindmaps useful (tony buzan)

    Check out vision therapy if sch are really looking to 'push on' in this area (I've blogged about this previously). Makes a tremendous difference.

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