Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Periodic Table of Elements

A dyslexic student who has had problems learning their alphabet and times tables could also experience difficulties later on in chemistry with learning and memorizing the periodic table of the elements.

Hints on how to learn the periodic table :

Use Visual aides

The Periodic Table of the Elements in Pictures :

This is a great downloadable pdf file of the Periodic Table with clear illustrations. Suitable for all ages . The pictures make it more memorable to learn.


A mnemonic is a useful way to remember a list of facts.

The mnemonic listed below is a phrase, consisting of words made using the symbols of the first nine elements in the periodic table.

Happy Henry Likes Beer But Could Not Obtain Food
1. H - hydrogen
2. He - helium
3. Li - lithium
4. Be - beryllium
5. B - boron
6. C - carbon
7. N - nitrogen
8. O - oxygen
9. F - fluorine

Make up silly sentences to learn the symbols and indivıdual elements: eg


Naughty Alex threw the sodium into the bath and it exploded

See You Tube for one good example :

“How to learn first 20 elements in periodic table (from Ming) “

Please see my other previous articles on mnemonics for more examples ...

Use music to learn the elements for example :

Boing Boing Video "Meet The Elements," an animated music video from They Might Be Giants. Available on You Tube .

This animated song is about the periodic table of elements

Use Games

FunBrain Periodic Table Game

A fun way for young students to learn the periodic table . Includes learning by symbol or by name.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Study Skills for FE and HE students

Study skills for dyslexic students is a useful site that has been developed by the University of Sheffield.

It was designed by a former dyslexia tutor. The website provides information on writing,reading and referencing. As well as being easy to get around,the tutorials are supported with audio speech. This free resource is suitable for both further and higher education students.

Transition to Secondary School

The transition from primary school to secondary school can prove a difficult time for dyslexia students .

Very often their achievement and attainment can drop while they adjust to new teachers and different course requirements.

The difficulties they face in secondary schools include:

• teachers who do not know about how dyslexia affects the individual.
• lots of subject teachers and a need to remember more names.
• timetable – trying to remember which subject, which teacher and on what day.
• more books and equipment – what is needed each day.
• lots of homework – what to do for each day and has it been copied correctly.
• new terminology in new subjects – information overload.
• fewer opportunities for reinforcement.
• an increase in written recording across the curriculum – concerns about spelling etc.

Helpful Hints

Make sure that every night your child checks their timetable and packs their bag for the next day.

Make plenty of copies of the timetable.One should be kept in the childs school bag , some kept at home . Put up the timetable in a prominent place.

You could make a Visual Timetable as this can be easier to read :
Colour the weekly timetable with a different colour for each subject.
Also you could have pictures to help your child remember the subjects.

Get your child to use different coloured folders to put their books or worksheets in for each subject. This will help them organise and find their work quickly. You can colour the weekly timetable to match the folders.

Set up five box files, labelled for each day of the week. The coloured folder is put in the box file for the day when it is next require (e.g. Monday).

Encourage your child to start the homework as soon as it is given.

Teach your child memory skills inc mnemonics and mind-mapping.

Make sure your child has a notebook to write important messages in .

Don’t forget to praise your child when he completes homework on time and remembers messages sent from school. !!

Primary Resources have some visual timetable pictures you can copy - see under classroom display resources .

Dyslexia Scotland has developed some good information about secondary school subjects eg Dyslexia and science subjects.

Friday, December 17, 2010

International Dyslexia Contacts Database

GeoDysCo - Geodata Dyslexia Contacts Website

The GeoDysCo website is a worldwide contacts database with Geomaps which lists individuals and organisations which work in the field of dyslexia.

This has been established by Ian Smythe who runs the World Dyslexia National Foundation ( UK) website.

NB :This site includes information on dyslexia in several foreign languages : Polish, Greek, Brasilian etc.

If you, or your organisation want to be listed then go to to the wdnf website for full details about how to add your name .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Small Changes CAN make a big difference !!

The Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand recently asked their members to give three quick ideas on small and effective changes that could be easily implemented in schools; but which can that make a big difference to dyslexic children.

Here are some of the suggestions made:

"Three things that make the biggest difference:
1. recognition that there is something different - and open discussion (no longer hiding it)
2. acceptance and tolerance of dyslexia and developing pride in talents and skills
3. Understanding dyslexia is the cause of our difficulty (and our abilities) but not an excuse.

Teachers acknowledging that many strategies to help students with dyslexia can be used for all students.

Trialing different ideas in classrooms and feeding back on results to benefit all staff.

A video showing teachers what it is like to walk in the shoes of a dyslexic student.

Talking about famous people who are dyslexic.

All school tests printed in comic sans, larger font and on light blue paper.

Spread a test over a number of pages rather than crammed onto one page. Allow room for sketching rather than just the written word or even better, take the test orally.

Ensure font, size and spacing is not only good for dyslexics but is used consistently- also probably good for all students

Using a highlighter on every second line of text on printouts to keep the lines straighter for dyspraxia as well as dyslexia.

One instruction at a time.

Rhyming games (to help the child make the connections between words, helps with spelling too.

Children work with buddies for topic work so only one has to write ideas, recordings, answers etc. Dyslexic children can participate fully without their writing holding them back.

A support group for dyslexic boys year 7 to year 13, with the older boys mentoring the younger ones – empowering them, improving their self-esteem and providing an outlet for their creativity.

Working with clay to help children understand words and their spelling.

Organizing lots of experiences outside the classroom, remembering that every activity helps associate vocabulary with a real life experience. "

We all have good intentions, but often in our busy lives, it seems difficult to make changes to what we do .... however, if only we could stop and try to make 1 or 2 initial alterations to our approach to teaching, then this would be an excellent starting point .... from small acorns big trees grow !!

Anyone else got some practical , common-sense ideas for teachers or parents ?? Like to share some of them with us ?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December was first started in 1981.

The Day aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Dyslexia is a hidden disability which unfortunately often goes unnoticed by teachers and parents alike.

When we think of disabilities we usually think of those people who are in a wheel chair or who are blind or deaf. We tend to forget about those people who have learning disabilities ,such as dyslexia.


The e-campus is due to open in Februay 2011.

All information about dyslexia will be offered FREE for two main user groups: Teacher trainers/teachers, and Education policy advisers‏.

DYSLEXIA INTERNATIONAL is a non-governmental organization which has operational relations with UNESCO.

What are the free resources that the Dyslexia International e-Campus will provide?

• an academy of online learning courses for teachers
• a film library
• a directory to sites offering quality resources
• a book room, recommended reading
• a press room, latest research and other news
• a map room showing Dyslexia Associations Work World Wide
• an arena for global video conferencing

What will be the main focus of the e-Campus?

Initially the main feature of the e-Campus will be the Dyslexia International first, free, quality online learning course for teachers, designed for ministries of education and education authorities to try out within their national education systems. The first versions, supported by the Belgian French community ministry of education are in French and English .

What languages will be used?

Initially, the e-Campus will be conducted in English and French. The e-Campus Library will carry reports in good teaching practice in Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish-speaking parts of the world, as well as in English and French.