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 ?


No comments: