Article by Jacki Reinert, Psy.D.
2017 Dyslexia Day
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Time: 9:30 – 2:00 pm
Place: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
Details –Click here
Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary
and Secondary School pamphlet was just published by the US Department of
Education, Office of Civil Rights. It’s available at the following link
From Emily Gibbons at The Literacy Nest
FYI- This is an opinion post based on working with dyslexic children for 16 years and speaking with hundreds of teachers who work with them.
Weekly spelling tests are great for kids with excellent rote memory. You get your words on Monday, you practice all week, cram on Thursday night and test on Friday. The cycle starts all over the next Monday. We don’t create successful spellers in this cycle. And if you have dyslexia, you need a structured approach to phonics and spelling that focuses on one pattern, rule or skill at a time. Too many lists go home that teach TOO MANY RULES. It’s difficult to teach spelling skills for mastery when there are too many skills within one list.
This is another rite of passage in many classrooms as is the weekly spelling test. Kids need practical strategies that will help them build flexibility and fluency with their math facts. Rote memorization of facts is a source of stress for many children with dyslexia. Anyone under stress knows one thing: learning will not happen with fear. Give tools, practice things like skip counting and looking for patterns in multiples, instead.
When I was a classroom teacher, I was guilty of giving out the Monday packet to be completed and turned in by Friday. There is a great debate going on about giving homework at all. Cutting the quantity for a dyslexia child is leveling the playing field when you consider the amount of time and mental energy it takes to get through a single homework assignment, especially after a long school day. For older students, cutting quantity might be easy to do when you have been assigned a report. But the pathway to get there can be reformed with assistive technologies.
Let’s be clear. SSR is NOT the same as structured independent reading time within a literacy block. SSR is futile if a child is reading a book that is too challenging or abandoning books every day. No one wants to see a struggling reader left out to pasture in a manner of words. Teachers need to assist children with appropriate book choice and then check in with them through mini conferences or use of a sticky note or reading log. This should happen more frequently for dyslexia readers. Dyslexic readers should have access to audio books as much as possible.
I see this happening a lot with dyslexia kids. Listen, they know they have a hard time with spelling. Circling a bunch of spelling errors in red or purple or marking them down will not help them improve. I will say, however, as an O.G. teacher that holding kids with dyslexia accountable for the lessons that have had explicit phonics instruction is a good thing. We teach for mastery in O.G. If my student has mastered the FLOSS Rule, then I will expect them to try their best to apply that rule in their writing. The key is to have accountability in spelling in small doses, not overwhelmingly long lists of rules.”
This is a great overview by Dr. Tim Odegard, the new Chair of Excellence
in Dyslexic Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
It’s a thoughtful overview of dyslexia in less than 10 minutes.
This fall, my friend Sara and I taught a community education class on Dyslexia and received many positive comments from those that attended, so we decided to do it again.
Here are the details:
Dyslexia – Knowledge, Awareness, and Empowerment
Dyslexia is a learning challenge facing many children. Come learn about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. The main objective of the class is to discover tools and attitudes that will empower students with learning struggles. This is a great survey course for parents and instructors.
Classes are Monday evenings at Ordean East Community School on Feb 22th, 29th and March 7th from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Click here to sign up.
I will also be hosting a community education session:
Struggling Learners – What a Parent Should Consider
Is this year hard for your child? How can you help your child be more successful at
school? Homework takes hours and we’re still in elementary school, should it be this
hard? We’ll talk about reasons why kids struggle, how to help and how work with his/her
This class is Tuesday, Feb 9th at Lincoln Park Middle School from 6:30-8:30pm.
From Jill M. Ham, Ed.S. Educational Consultant and Dyslexia Expert from Children’s Dyslexia Center of Georgia
Jill list many of the symptoms that might indicate you want to learn more about dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing), and/or dyscalculia (math).
#1 Issue: CAN read fluently due to memorizing SIGHT WORDS, but cannot decode unfamiliar words, spell correctly, or write complete sentences with punctuation.
• Reading is slow and choppy, not fluent, but reader can re-tell story
• Reading is fast and fluent, but can not recall the information read
• Struggles with attaching the correct sound to the correct letter
• Will say the individual sounds r-a-t but can not tell you the word at the end of sounding it out
• Will say the letter name instead of the sound when trying to sound out a word
• Can not remember the same words on the next page when reading a book that repeats
• Cannot decode unfamiliar words that they have not memorized
• Skips words when reading
• Omits words when reading
• Inserts words that look visually similar, for example instead of reading HOSE it would be HORSE or HOUSE
• Avoids reading and will always check to see how many pages are in the book first
• Eye Sight is Fine, but Vision Therapy May Be Recommended
• Handwriting is tiny, small, large, and changes size
• Writing takes a very long time to due and very laborious
• Always struggled with writing letters in a fluid motion, many children draw their letters with circles and sticks
• Has a hard time copying notes from the classroom teacher or white board
• Phonetically Spells words (missing vowels or silent letters)
• Struggled or still struggles writing the alphabet without hesitations (hesitations occur when the writer pauses or has to stop and think which letter or how to form the letter)
• Will inverse letters when writing (writing letters from the bottom to top, instead of top down)
• Will reverse letters: d, b, p, q, z and many times write a j for g and a g for j
• Struggled or still struggles with remembering the difference between: b, d, p and sometimes m and w or n and u and we typically see the j and z reversed
• Will capitalize the B and D when writing so they do not reverse the lowercase b and d
• Will write uppercase letters mixed in with lower case letters
• Will write above and below the line without using the correct pencil grip
Working & Long Term Memory
• Executive Functioning Deficits
• Struggles with Working & Long Term Memory
• Hard time breaking task or multiple steps into parts
• Takes a long time to learn new concepts
• Learning vocabulary words and commutative information is extremely challenging
• Learns better with visual (concrete information) and hands on
• Struggles with memorizing addition and subtraction facts
• Struggles with word problems in math
• Struggles with memorizing and recalling multiplication facts
• Struggles with multiple step math problems
• Very creative in arts, music, dance, drama, but has a hard time staying focused
• Does not understand the concept of time and struggles telling time
• Struggles with money and counting money
• Struggles with going backwards and forwards on the number line
Homework & Sensory
• May Exhibit Signs of ADD or ADHD
• Low Self-Esteem and Very Self Conscious
• Fidgets, rocks, moves or tries to avoid when given a reading, spelling or writing task
• Homework and studying takes HOURS and MELT DOWNS occur
• Parent is re-teaching information daily/nightly
• May teach new information and 30 minutes later the child does not remember the information presented
Struggling Students: What a Parent Should Consider
Tuesday – April 28, 2015
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Denfeld High School
Why has this year been so hard for my child at school? This class will include an overview of some warning signs of dyslexia (difficulty reading) and dysgraphia (difficulty writing), current research, assessment, ideas on how to help, and some of the advantages of this type of thinking. Class is offered through Duluth Community Education. Registration fee is $15.00. To register contact Janis Kramer 218.336.8760 x2 or instructor Deb Dwyer @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-340-7393
Michael Sledd writes “The 8 Skills Students Must have for the Future” on Edudemic.com. The original article is from Pearson’s 2014, “The Learning Curve”. These are the strengths of many of the children I work with. As they work so hard on some foundational skills it’s important to remind them that their area of strengths are valued. —