Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How To Teach … Dyslexia Awareness

How To Teach … Dyslexia Awareness
Our Guardian Teacher Network has resources this week to help teachers raise awareness of dyslexia in the classroom.
One in ten people in the UK are dyslexic, which works out at around three students in each classroom. A report by the Driver Youth Trust reveals that more than half of the teachers they surveyed received no specific training on dyslexia.
As it's Dyslexia Awareness Week (14-20 October), the Guardian Teacher Network has pulled together some enlightening teaching resources to help teachers create dyslexia-friendly classrooms and schools. The theme of this year's week is Beyond Words, with the aim of throwing a spotlight on other difficulties dyslexic students face beyond reading and writing, from poor short-term memory to maths difficulties to trouble organising their work – as well as to draw attention to the positive side of dyslexia.
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has shared some really useful resources. A great start is the Dyslexia Awareness Week resource pack, which is full of interesting facts about dyslexia, classroom games to help pupils better understand the issues and activities that can be done across the whole school in assembly.
This Dyslexia Awareness Week 2013 classroom presentation can be used in an assembly or classroom to give children an introduction to dyslexia, to help them understand what it is, plus explore some of the symptoms as well as questions to help debunk some of the myths about it.
The BDA's indications of dyslexia in primary school resource is a handy list of traits, experiences and difficulties that dyslexic pupils often encounter. A child with a number of points on this document may well be dyslexic and need further support and help. Also see indications of dyslexia in secondary school. Early identification is key to ensuring that a dyslexic pupil is spotted and helped, so if you are the teacher or parent of pre-school-aged children then download pre-school hints and tips for identifying dyslexia.
These thought-provoking Dyslexia Awareness Week posters will be great to put up at school this week and beyond – highlighting the Beyond Words theme. Find a poster looking at problems with directions and maps, difficulties with telling the time and maths issues. For larger versions of any of these posters email media@bdadyslexia.org.uk.
Find out more about the BDA's training courses for teachers and parents. The BDA also runs a dyslexia helpline on 0845 251 9002.
There is a special screening of the film The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia in London this week on 17 October, including a Q&A with director James Redford and the chief executive of the British Dyslexia Association, Kate Saunders. Visit www.princecharlescinema.com to book. The film aims to clear up misconceptions about dyslexia and highlight the unique rewards of diagnosing it.
Thank you so much to Matt Grant, a special educational needs teacher who blogs at www.humansnotrobots.co.uk, who is on a mission to help schools become more dyslexia-friendly. This short presentation on dyslexic-type difficulties is a deeply engaging introduction for any teacher interested in creating dyslexia-friendly classrooms. The presentation explains how dyslexia is part of a whole family of specific learning difficulties and can be revealed in classroom behaviour, psychological testing (which usually reveals right brain thinking and thinking in words) and even in biology (in genetic differences in brain structure). Particularly useful is Matt's list of the cluster of possible behaviours that can be seen in the classroom that might indicate dyslexic-type difficulties and a fascinating insight into what directional confusion actually looks like.
Also find Dyslexia maths, gifts and tips CPD, a PowerPoint Matt designed to aid the theoretical understanding of dyslexia in schools and its impact on literacy. This accompanying booklet is full of tried and tested tips and ideas.
The strategy bank is a gift for learners who present with dyslexic-type tendencies. This dyslexia-friendly marking guide is invaluable if you are marking the written work of key stage 3/4 students with dyslexic tendencies who are working around English NC level 2-4 – also worth sharing beyond the English department. For those interested in going further, here's another informative presentation on Irelen Syndrome, also known as visual dyslexia.
The right software can help some dyslexic students to take control of their own learning. Thanks to Texthelp for sharing some interesting resources on its Read&Write Gold assistive technology, which has made a huge impact on the lives of many dyslexic children and adults. Find a guide to Read&Write Gold and how to get started. You can also check out some basics on using assistive technology or read Beverley Poskitt's experience as a dyslexic trainer.
Also check out the Dyslexia Research Trust, a charity investigating new and effective approaches to reading problems including how diet and nutrition affect behaviour.
The University of Southampton has created this great resource for dyslexic teacher trainees or qualified teachers. You may also be interested in reading about the career of Mark Sherin, a teacher who didn't discover he was dyslexic until he undertook specialist dyslexia training to support students. He now manages the Lyndhurst Dyslexia Centre, which runs courses for teachers.
Join the Guardian Teacher Network community for free access to teaching resources and an opportunity to share your own as well as read and comment on blogs. There are also thousands of teaching, leadership and support jobs on the site. Visit http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/schools.

Source : http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/15/dyslexia-awareness-teaching-resources


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