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DYSLEXIA VICTORIA ONLINE

FOURTEEN STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS HOW TO SPELL & READ and

#209 2555 DINGWALL ST. DUNCAN BRITISH COLUMBIA V9L 2Y8 www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com PH: 250.715.3034 FAX: 250.715.3028 Email: khope@dyslexiavictoria.ca

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FOURTEEN STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL & READINTRODUCTIONDyslexic students have great difficulty learning to spell and read because they look at and learn information differently than other children in a classroom. They are right brain dominant thinkers which means they look at all things from the big picture and then the parts. They also need to see whole or complete concrete images of what they are studying; especially the meanings of words. Abstract words however cannot be experienced with the senses and need to be related to concrete images for Dyslexics so they can understand, retain and spell them. Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses. For example: brown rough dog A person can see a brown dog, stroke him and feel his rough fur and hear him bark. Abstract words refer to concepts or feelings. We cannot see, touch, hear or taste them: honour contented love "Honour" is a concept, "contented" is a feeling, and "love" can be a feeling, a concept or an action. Another type of abstract word that is very frustrating for Dyslexics are Dolch or service words. They are joining words in a sentence and mean nothing unless they are used in context in a sentence. Examples: from and in then When Dyslexics learn these words they are best done with very visual sentences to help them remember them which we will explain later. Another issue for Dyslexics when learning to spell and read is seeing words as a whole image rather than broken into phonemes through phonics programs. Dyslexics often have phonemic awareness problems which is difficulty hearing sounds in words. Saying the individual letters C A T does not bring up any images, only sounds. Saying the word CAT however brings up an image of a cat something real and concrete which can be imagined or experienced through sight, touch, and sound when they are meowing or purring.

Dyslexia Victoria Online 2009-2011

14 STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL

www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

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"WORDS ARE LIKE FOOTPRINTS" One of my favourite examples of how to understand how the right brain recognizes and gives meaning to whole image symbols is the idea of foot prints. On their own foot prints mean nothing other than an impression in the ground. But for primitive man, foot prints represented a real animal he could hunt and eat or one that would "hunt" and "eat" him! By identifying which animal this footprint symbol was connected to he could process this information, give a name to it, verbalize it to his hunting group and then decide to run to it or away from it. Letters on their own represent nothing other than sounds. As part of a "whole" word image/symbol the combined letters will be a name that can be connected to something a rightbrain thinker has experienced and can imagine like what animal made a particular footprint.

We focus on teaching a Dyslexic student spelling and reading with whole concrete teaching methods to learn and remember concrete, abstract and Dolch words. The following 14 step process incorporates these concepts and others that can work extremely well with these students. Most teachers and parents will notice that many of the steps are typical teaching methods used in many classrooms, especially in kindergarten and the first two grades. They are very appropriate however for Dyslexics all through the grades, college and life. Please note that these steps can be used altogether, separately or a combination to best suit the student. This is further explained on the last page of this manual.

Dyslexia Victoria Online 2009-2011

14 STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL

www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

Page 4 of 20

FOURTEEN STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL & READ TABLE OF CONTENTS

STEP 1: STEP 2: STEP 3: STEP 4: STEP 5: STEP 6: STEP 7: STEP 8: STEP 9: STEP 10: STEP 11: STEP 12: STEP 13: STEP 14:

READ ALOUD TO THE STUDENT A SHORT STORY OR PASSAGE TO FIND NEW SPELLING WORDS HIGHLIGHT KEY WORDS IN THE STORY WITH A COLORED HIGHLIGHTER GENERAL DISCUSSION TO GET STUDENTS FAMILIAR WITH THE TOPIC MEANING OF NEW WORDS: PANDA, CHINA, COARSE, WATERPROOF, SHOOTS USE PICTURES OF REAL WORLD OBJECTS AND PRINT THE WORD BELOW THE PICTURE PRACTICING COPYING THE SPELLING WORDS USING THE WORDS YOU DREW IN THE PREVIOUS STEP,BOX THEM TYPE THE NEW WORDS ON THE COMPUTER HAVE THE CHILD MAKE UP SENTENCES USING THE NEW WORDS GIVE THE STUDENT A DICTATION INCLUDING THE NEW WORDS DO PRACTICE SPELLING TESTS USING THE FIVE SPELLING WORDS OR MORE HAVE THE STUDENT FIND THE NEW WORDS IN A JUMBLED LIST RETEST AT ONE WEEK AND ONE MONTH. OTHER STUDY SUGGESTIONS *OTHER SPELLING ISSUES AND TEACHING SOLUTIONS *FINAL THOUGHTS

Dyslexia Victoria Online 2009-2011

14 STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL

www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

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READ ALOUD TO THE STUDENT A SHORT STORY OR PASSAGE TO FIND NEW SPELLING WORDS.Find a short story or passage that is appropriate for the students reading level and preferably a subject that interests them. If possible the text should be simple in appearance such as a Comic sans, Verdana or Calibri font and big such as 14 or 16 point. Examples below are in 16 point.

Comic Sans

Verdana

Calibri

~I am now typing in a Times New Roman font which uses seriphs ( lines added to the end of the lines of a letter) is too busy to read for Dyslexics and I am using a 12 point font which is too small. ~

E in Times New Roman versus E in CalibriRead it to them first. Point to each word as you read so the student doesnt just listen to what you read and not look at the individual words. It is important that the student knows to follow your finger as you point to each word so that is the only image they are looking at when you say the word while reading.

Dyslexics can have incredible photographic memories. Some Dyslexics who are strong auditorily can retain what you read out loud to them and connect those words to the total image of the words and pictures on the page. Then with these visual cues, repeat the words on the page for you giving you the impression they are reading. This becomes a terrific asset for them in the long run but needs to be managed carefully when they are young. An example of this amazing memory capability is my daughter Genevieve. When she was in grade two her teacher showed me how she could not read a single word when attempting new material. Then he had her read from a story her reading group had read together a few days before. She seemed to be able to read the entire story. Her teacher realized that Genevieve listened to the other children read while looking at the pages of the story with pictures and was committing it all to memory. When she appeared to be reading she was actually using the images of pictures and words on each page as a memory cue to remember the text.

Dyslexia Victoria Online 2009-2011

14 STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL

www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

Page 6 of 20

After you have read the passage have the student read it. If the student hesitates, tries to sound out the words, guesses or reads any of the words incorrectly, say the entire word for them, without sounding out the parts, and have them repeat the word. This includes words they miss altogether. It would be helpful if the students spelling lists from school could be included in these stories. There is an example on the next page printed in 16 Calibri font. Spelling list words are highlighted which is also Step Two in the Fourteen Steps.

The Giant Panda Giant pandas live in China. They look like teddy bears with their large heads and chubby furry bodies. They are easy to recognize with their black-and-white coloring. Their fur looks soft, but it is actually stiff and coarse. The thick fur is waterproof and keeps the panda warm in cold weather and dry in the rain. Giant pandas can spend twelve to sixteen hours a day eating! They feed mainly on bamboo, which grows in the forests where they live. They prefer to eat the tender shoots and leaves. But they will eat the thick large stems too. The panda uses its strong teeth to strip away the stems outer covering to eat the soft insides.

Dyslexia Victoria Online 2009-2011

14 STEPS TO TEACH DYSLEXICS TO SPELL

www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com

Page 7 of 20

OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR READING SELECTIONS:You could have the student make up a story instead about an experience they had or imagined using their weekly spelling list and write it down for them. Help them put it in a logical order with proper sentences and punctuation. There is a teaching methodology called Language Experience Approach that has been around since the 1960s that uses a childs experience and writing them down that is very effective helping a Dyslexic child to connect with written language. Two books that you might find useful: Language Experience Activities (2nd edition) Roach Van Allen What I think about, I can talk about; what I can say , I can write or someone can write for me; what I can write, I can read; and I can read what other people write for me to read. (Allen, 1976) Using the Language Experience Approach with English Language Learners: Strategies for Engaging Students and Developing Literacy Denise D. Nessel (Editor), Carol N. Dixon (Editor) This article outlines how this approach could be used in the classroom or home school settingin a practical manner The Language Experience Approach to Reading: Recurring Questions and Their Answers Barbara Mallon and Roberta Bergl