Of all the things I teach, I find reading comprehension the hardest. The retrieval type questions are OK, as are the technique ones, but teaching things like inference is quite tricky. I’ve found a workaround by teaching it from the opposite direction – giving the children a piece to read where the characters are shaking or crying and asking how they can tell the character is sad, scared, etc.
It’s really hard to find good resources to help though. There are books with lots of practise questions, but if you don’t know how to answer them then no matter how many questions you attempt, you still won’t be able to.
At last I have found a solution. It’s a series of books called Teaching Comprehension Strategies from Prim-Ed. They take the various types of questions: summarising, predicting, concluding etc and explain step by step how to answer each type. Each question type is split into three stages. On the first page are some multiple choices with an explanation for each choice as to why that answer is good, unlikely, perfect or impossible. Next up are a few questions with hints on where to look and how to work out the answers. To finish are questions to answer independently with no clues.
As a bonus, the books aimed at younger readers are not at all babyish, so I can use them with my struggling readers without them feeling demotivated at reading things aimed at “babies”.
Related post: Beast Quest Comprehension
I came across this on Twitter today and really enjoyed it so I thought I would share it.
“We’re all about “out of the box” thinking. Sometimes when faced with a problem, the problem isn’t the issue itself but the way we are going about it. Take writing with dyslexia for example. So much of learning support for Dyslexia is about getting you to get the letters right, get your grammar right, and put the comma in the right place. This is of course important, but is it the right starting block for dealing with the issue? Or is it better to build someones confidence by simply getting them to enjoy the process first? For someone with dyslexia writing can be extremely stressful and can often take the pleasure out of writing. When a situation is visited multiple times and each time results in stress and upset, the brain begins to associate the task with those feelings. This creates a sort of 3D memory in our minds to the point that even just the thought of revisiting reading and writing becomes traumatic and bring us out in a cold sweat. With it go the feelings of doubt and low self-esteem, and as we all know; this itself is damaging……”
via 3 cool ways to write with #dyslexia that you probably didn’t know! | TOTKO.
Follow the link above to find out what the 3 cool ways are.
This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week, so it seemed a good time for a reminder of some of the posts I have written about the subject, and for some suggestions of other interesting pieces to read.
Something simple that everybody can do to help those with dyslexia is to make their documents dyslexia-friendly, and my post of a few months ago gave several hints and tips to make documents easier for people with dyslexia to read.
Reading and spelling are two things that those with dyslexia find difficult, and I have given some suggestions for helping children with these in my blog posts a multisensory approach to reading” and a multisensory approach to spelling.
I have come across some useful articles on other sites too, and I recommend that you check these out:
What it’s like to be dyslexic
How to teach your dyslexic child to read
Teaching dyslexic children: signs, observations and advice
Supporting students with dyslexia
My final recommendation is for a dictionary – but not just an ordinary dictionary though. When you use the ACE Spelling Dictionary, you look up the words by how they sound as if they are spelt, and the dictionary gives you the word as it is really spelt. Brilliant!
If you think you have dyslexia, or you are worried that your child does, then help is available. For advice about where to turn next you can visit the British Dyslexia Association or Dyslexia Action.
If you live in north Birmingham and would like to talk about private tuition for you or your child, then get in touch.
On the first day of my summer holidays I headed off to Shropshire for a Dyslang event, having decided that anything that combines my two big interests – languages and dyslexia – had to be worth giving up a day of my holidays for.
It was about the problems faced with teaching multi-lingual individuals who have dyslexia. Difficulties in even diagnosing dyslexia can arise because of the influences of the individual’s first language (for example they may use a different script, their language may be read from right to left, there may be sounds in English that don’t exist in their first language). I don’t want to write a whole post about Dyslang because they have a website which will tell you all you want to know about they do – you’ll find it at www.dyslang.eu.
What I do want to do is to tell people that there are 12 e-learning modules on their website which are completely free – all you have to do is register. Free CPD – what more could you ask for?
The other thing I want to do in this post is to share a fascinating nugget of information that I discovered on the course:
Our brains function differently depending on our first language and culture! The brains of people whose first language is English have a phoneme-grapheme correspondence function, but because not all of our words are phonetic their brains also have a word recognition function. The brains of people whose first language is a phonetic one, such as Italian or Spanish, have only the phoneme-grapheme recognition – because they don’t have any non-phonetic words, they don’t need to recognise words that don’t follow the pattern, so the word recognition function just doesn’t exist. Amazing!
This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on so many variables, for example how often you are having a private tutor and how much time your child is practising for in between sessions. It also depends on the individual child – some naturally progress more quickly than others, some may pick up a particular point after just one session, others may need to revisit it several times before they are able to achieve it independently. In general children who have dyslexia or dyscalculia will progress more slowly. However, within the first few sessions you should notice an increase in your child’s confidence, which will obviously help them to make better progress.
Click here for one child’s amazing success story.