Difficulty or difference?
A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide,
where countless hundreds of starfish, having been
washed up, were stranded and doomed to perish. A
man watched as the boy picked up individual
creatures and took them back into the water. "I can
see you're being very kind," said the watching man,
"But there are too many of them; it can't possibly
make any difference." Returning from the water's
edge, the boy said, "It will for that one."
What do we already know?
Grandma’s shopping basket
How is your short term
Name one fact that you know
about Dyslexia ?
Tell each other about your
favourite film or programme
do not use words with an s or
an e in.....
To appreciate what some students may
experience when faced with writing and
How did that feel?
What feelings and emotions where you
What difficulties did you face?
to it all
I couldn’t do it... I need
time to plan
We assume that students use phonics and sound to read words.
Some students read using pattern and shapes.
This is one of our learning objectives for the session: Have a go!
What strategies did you use to decode the pattern?
As we learn to read we do this automatically and quickly
but dyslexics may be very slow.
To appreciate what some students may experience
when faced with writing and reading.
To consider definitions of dyslexia
To discuss ways we can support these students in
lessons (and in life).
‘ A specific learning difference for any given level of
ability, which may cause unexpected difficulties in the
acquisition of certain skills.’
Imagine a school that acknowledges that all children learn in a different
We all try really hard to deliver a curriculum to our students
BUT how do we measure (assess) intelligence ?
Exams, coursework... Written!!!!!
Specific Learning Difficulty SpLD
It’s only difficult because the
student learns in different ways...
Difficulty implies something is ‘wrong’
with the learner and is often linked to
the responsibility of the SENCO yet
these are mainstream students?
Many schools are removing dyslexics
from their RON.
‘I only had 15 minutes so I wrote down the words that I remembered.
If I put them in sentences I would forget and panic. Now can I just tell
I was then told about devastation in south America,
storm chasers, climate change and tsunami,
gravitational pull in orbit and more.... !!!!
Is it common?
Figures vary widely on how the percentage of people
who have dyslexia.
The figures vary from 4-5% to up to 10% and above.
One of the difficulties with being more precise about
this is the wide definitions of dyslexia which exist and
the wide range of
symptoms that can be classified as ‘dyslexic’.
Some learners are told that they have
What’s going on the brain when we read
Dyslexic learners are usually as good as their peers in many things
and are fine until, for example, they have to write it down!
Problems seem to occur in 4 main areas:
-Auditory sequential memory
Remembering what you hear, and selecting from that information
- Visual sequential memory
Remembering what you see, in the order and holding it.
- Processing information
Retrieving, sequencing and presenting information.
Hearing sounds in words, break down words.
Students have a tendency to be weaker or STRONGER in one or more of the areas than
So how can we help?
Multi sensory learning:
Remember the 3rd section of the brain for making associations
(thinking outside the box!) tends to be strong in dyslexic learners...
Have a go!
A personal visualisation that is a multi sensory experience.
Take yourself back to arriving this morning. The carpark. Visualise that
walk but really be conscious of the sensory experiences that you are
A 5 – 10 min moment.
Pick a scenario / learning task and consider how you could help the
student to make it a sensory experience.
In subject groups:
Using a lesson plan that you have
brought with you find areas that on
reflection may have been a bit
tricky for a dyslexic learner... And a
couple of strategies that you could
add to support your dyslexic
The LA sees provision and placement for pupils with dyslexia difficulties as
lying along a continuum. The continuum of provision ranges from:
Wave 1: Attendance at a local mainstream school with quality first teaching of literacy
skills – to include differentiated teaching of literacy as needed. Teacher aware.
Wave 2: Small group support as part of the primary framework e.g. Early Literacy
Support, Additional Literacy Support, Further Literacy Support etc.
School Action IEP
Wave 3: Specialist programmes delivered either individually or in small groups ( part of
an IEP/Provision Map) .
We would expect IEP targets to be monitored and reviewed, by the school and
parents, in line with the SEN Code of Practice.
School Action +
A moment of relief and just pure pleasure for some!
Voice recognition Packages
So how can we help?
Know who the Dyslexic students are.
Help them find the key words in the learning objectives.
Write them for them on a piece of paper that they can have in front of them (or on post its).
(Make this multi sensory by ripping them up into separate words and asking them to select
from the words during the lesson).
Write down new key words for them. Encourage them to tell you what they mean.. How do
they know that... What else do they know about that word/ fact.. How do they know that?
Analyse what the word looks like.
Make the words visual. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CpZAH6elIc&feature=related
Visual: Find pictures or draw or symbols that will help them remember..
A to-do list
Use different colours. Write different words in different colours. Encourage them to do this as
Picture stories: Draw it.. Story boards
So how can we help?
Go and get photocopies.. Or ask for a print out of the power point page.
Find out if the students can demonstrate their understanding in ways other than writing!
Encourage mind mapping (who what where when why how)
If a lot is being said (introduced!) in the lesson, write down the key points in the order that they
are presented and give these to the students.
Read questions out and ask them to identify the key words.. Do a flow chart with them.. Stage
by stage of what the question is asking for....
Memory games: Get eye contact and no distraction and ask them to recount a key element of
the lesson so far.
Use Kim’s memory game for revision.
So how can we help?
Time: A lot of Dyslexic students cannot tell the time. Give them time checks to stop panicking
or drifting off!
Dyslexics have to concentrate VERY hard. After 10 – 15 mins that may begin to fidget/ tap/ glaze
over/ chat etc... They have burnt out. They need a brain break! Look out for this and:
Provide paper for doodling.
Look at pictures
Ask them to tell you about something in the lesson that you know that they will know...
Write a word from the lesson on the desk using finger.
You write an invisible letter on their hand and they make the link to the lesson.
Then refocus with praise.. So you were ..... That’s great because...
What do you need to do now?..... How can you do this?... (Confidence and ownership) Then
Blast I better ask!
Write in planners the key words of the objective as a memory jogger when they get home or
start of next lesson.
Task Management Boards:
Pre teach key words and new words (stages)
Find a word... Word families..
Where have you heard this word before?
Split words into colours: photosynthesis
What’s missing from this sentence?
Consequences for sequencing... E.g. A practical activity or
experiment or planning
Predict the word
Words on cards.. Point to the correct word.
Mini flipcharts (or mats) on tables.. Topic specific... Visual...
Word bank books... At the back of their work book?? Subject specific
Chinese whispers for key words
Paired/ row/ table/ team work... Pass the book around.. Or students
nominate roles.. i.e. Scribe.. Drawer.. Timer..
Match it cards
‘’I start.. You finish ‘’
or ‘’ I finish you start..’’
Discuss in pairs 4 key points from this
What strategies can you use with your
Please give us feedback.
What strategies are you able to use?
What strategies would you like to use?
What prevents this happening?
What strategies are the students using?
Dyslexia Friendly School
What do we do at the Roseland?:
DSI more than a year, we retest.
- CATS scores.. Verbal to non verbal Approx 20
- Not necessarily reading age
- Info from staff : needs imbedding
-Wave sheets : needs embedding
- Dyslexia Groups, RWI, study skills groups etc..
-Readers, exam concessions, visiting exams officers for
-Encourage the students to be independent.. Learn
-Encourage students to talk and share strategies...
Over to you folks!!!!!
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