Sunday, February 14, 2010

School Projects and Assignments

This dyslexia blog article gives some tips and hints about helping your child with a school project :

Completing a school project can be quite a challenge for many students, in particular those with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.They may have problems organizing themselves and getting the project done on schedule, plus they may struggle with writing and editing.On the positive side they may have a lot of creativity and inventiveness that they can put to good use in their project.

First of all make sure your child starts a project as soon as the teacher gives them out.

Work out with your child how long the project will take to complete and make a timetable which your child should keep to .

Remember that you will need to allow more time for your child to complete the project.

Your child will get more tired easily so it is best if they do a little bit of the project over several days rather than trying to complete it all at once.

Together read the instructions given by the teacher carefully.

After talk about the project and brain storm ideas for the project. Discuss what your child needs to find out and where they will obtain the information from.

Consider how they will present their project. Possible options include posters / booklets or brochures / a report/ powerpoint or an oral presentation.Some options may be easier for dyslexia students to do depending on their particular strengths – For example, a powerpoint presentation may be a better option because it involves writing short bullet points rather than lots of long sentences.If your child is good at art work then they may prefer to do a poster.

Make sure your child keeps on the subject of the topic ie if it is about trees don’t start talking about flowers in the project.

After selecting a Project topic do some online and library research. You may need to teach them how to do online searching.For a useful information about this go to
Remind them to keep a record of books and websites they looked at to find information.

After this initial research your child may need to change his/ her project if they can not find enough information on the topic. Likewise if there is too much information they will have to narrow down the subject.

They will need to make an outline of the project before they starting writing - this is a kind of skeleton which will ensure your child keeps on track of the topic. The outline should include sub-headings. Make sure this outline sticks to the rules given by the teacher.For those at secondary and high school the outline should include a table of contents, introduction, conclusion and a bibligraphy.

Your child could use a graphic organizer to help students sort out their ideas. A graphic organizer is usually a one-page form with blank areas for the student to fill in with related ideas and information. Graphic organisers are good for visual learners.
You could use a 5 W’s chart ( who / what / when / where / and why to stimulate ideas.See this site for some examples :

There are all different types of graphic organisers; including mind maps .A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas or tasks linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.

Make a draft copy of the project based on the outline or mind map.For dyslexic children it would be best to do this on a computer as later it will be easier to amend.

Edit the project twice – once for content ( check that your child has covered the project requirements etc ) – secondly for grammar and spelling.If your child has used a computer then they can make use of spell check. It is also a good idea if a family member can do a final check for errors.

Collect all the materials required to start the project eg pictures, stationary etc .

The final stage is to consider how your child is going to display and present his/ her project. They should make sure their project looks neat and is eyecatching.Pictures mounted with a border can look impressive.Titles should be in larger writing .Pictures should be glued in carefully.

For a good powerpoint presentation about helping kids with projects see :

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