Monday, January 11, 2010


In this dyslexia blog article here are some hints and tips about copying from the blackboard :

Many teachers ask children especially at the secondary level to copy information from the blackboard or whiteboard. They may also ask students to copy out pages from their textbooks etc. into their exercise books.

For a child who is dyslexic or has dysgraphia this can be a nightmare.In the first place they may have a problem reading from a shiny white board. In additon your child will get tired from the physical process of writing so much. Also they will have to exert lots of energy in concentrating on following the text . A copying task involves looking up at the board ,reading and then holding the information in their head and then writing it in their exercise books. All of this can be very tiring for a dyslexic person.

Initially they may be able to keep up with the task but later they will get tired and then they can easily lose their place and make mistakes.

They may miss out words, sentences or even big chunks of the information so that as a result the piece of writing may have lost it meaning and does not make sense. Their writing may worsen and become illegible.

Most often children will complain that there weren’t given enough time to complete the task as the teacher erased the writing from the blackboard quickly..

To be honest in the days of computer technology I think copying form the blackboard is a fruitless task for all children – it just wastes time . Wouldn’t it be better to give a handout ?? Teachers could check if the students have understood and read the information by asking the children questions or getting them to make a summary of the main points. A gap filling exercise would be another alternative.

Tips for parents

After such a task dyslexic students may come home frustrated and tired so parents need to be patient with them !!.Don’t make them do a lot of homework or writing in the evening if they are already tired.

If they have to copy from a book .Make a photocopy of the page and enlarge the writing.Cover the writing with a blank piece of paper so they can find their place easily.

Get your child to write for 10 minutes and then let them have a break .

Talk to your teacher and ask them to reduce copying tasks .Ask if the teacher can provide a handout as an alternative to copying from the board. Ask them for a “copying buddy”.

Hints for teachers

Make sure that dyslexic children can see the board easily by sitting dyslexic children at the front of the class.

Remember that all the children may write at different speeds so leave the writing on the blackboard long enough so that all children can finish copying !!!

Put homework tasks on the board early in the lesson not at the end - so that students won't have to rush to copy the homework down..

Use different coloured chalks for each line.

Number the lines so children can easily find their place.

Make sure the writing is clear and well spaced.

Copying buddy :Allow another student who is better at writing to make an extra copy using carbon paper which can then be given to the student who is having difficulties.

Provide the student with a copy of the text from the board so that he or she can fill in missing parts of his own notes.

Provide a partially completed outline so the student can fill in the details under major headings. As a variety, provide the details and have student fill in headings while listening.

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