Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dyslexia: What to Look For

Here is a nice - short but important - article on signs of dyslexia:  Watch Out for These Red Flags  These "red flags" help alert us to the need for further intervention and possible referral for full diagnostic testing. 
For example, most PK-K students love engaging in nursery rhymes and rhyming games.  A child who does not "get it" and enjoy this may be at risk. 
At the elementary level, most people think that letter reversals or letters out of sequence in spelling may be a sign.  Although this is true,  think of it as a sound awareness issue - what is the sound difference between the /b/ and /d/ sounds, and what is the order of these sounds?
In middle school, is the student aware of common prefixes and suffixes, and can they chunk them to figure out unfamiliar words in science and social studies?
And don't forget that - even at the high school level -we still have to be on the alert to signs that may point to dyslexia.  A review of a student's history may point to a reading disability even though it has not been diagnosed earlier. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Accommodations for Students with Dyslexia

I am always on the lookout for lists of classroom accommodations - this one from is helpful At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Dyslexia
I especially like "Provide sentence starters that show how to begin a written response." Many of my students just don't know how to begin a written response, or how to organize even a short response. However, they actually know the material.  It can be frustrating for them. In addition, they often cannot articulate that they just don't know how to start.  For challenging responses, I will provide a sentence starter for the beginning, middle, and end of the response.  This is good classroom modeling - not enabling.  The idea is to gradually teach the student to develop the independence to formulate the sentences on their own. The next accommodation on the list, "Show examples of work that is correct to serve as a model" will help you teach that independence.