… from Ancient Greek δυσ- (dus-) expressing the idea of difficulty, and λέξις (léxis, “diction”, “word”). Dyslexia is a term used to describe a reading and spelling difficulty which affects an estimated 3-17% of the population to some degree, and likely has both genetic and environmental neurological causes. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate/fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
Strategies for learning
Multisensory LearningMultisensory activities help dyslexic children absorb and process information in a retainable manner and involve using senses like touch and movement alongside sight and hearing. Examples of multi sensory activities for the classroom include:
- Writing words and sentences with tactile materials,e.g. glitter glue, sand, pasta, LEGO, or beads.
- Physical activities to practice spelling, e.g.hopscotch or jump-rope – the children spell out words when they jump to each square or over the rope. Students work in pairs and take turns to dictate words and spell them.
- Scavenger hunts for letters and words – split students into teams and give them a word. Next, write letters onto notes and hide them around the classroom.The teams must find the letters to construct the assigned word and then glue them together on a poster by cutting out the letters
Assistive tools and techniques
- pocket spell checkers
- line readers
- Cloze procedure
- Green pen and positivity in corrections
The great thing about games designed for dyslexic students is that any learner can benefit from them, so you can easily incorporate them into lessons for the whole class. Nothing will excite your students more than playing games! There are hundreds of educational apps and games for dyslexic learners available. High Speed Trainingand Dyslexic.com have a selection of apps which are available. Some excellent places that provide digital or physical games for the classroom include:
- Nessy.com – Nessy offers a range of PC games that help learners understand the sounds that make up words – an area where dyslexics particularly struggle. Their colourful, cartoony style is appealing and engaging to kids.
- Dyslexiagames.com – The workbooks available here are full of puzzles, 3D drawings, and reading activities, tailored to dyslexic learners’ strength: visual thinking.
- Simplex Spelling – If you have iPads in your classroom,the apps in the Simplex Spelling series are an excellent choice. They help build up students’ understanding of phonics and how words are constructed. The series placed 3rd in the 2012 Best App Ever Awards – Best Elementary Student App.