Sometimes, the traditional approach to learning that is often implemented in the classroom—listening to a constant stream of instructions while trying to stay focused—can be confusing and a little frustrating for students with dyslexia. It is for this reason that a few modifications might be useful in order to increase classroom success for dyslexic children.
When presenting a dyslexic child with an assignment or specific task, it is important that you take a multi-sensory approach in as many ways as you can.
For one, if the assignment details are in front of the class, on a blackboard or SMART board, then it is crucial that you leave it up for as long as is necessary for dyslexic students to copy it down and understand what it is they are being asked to do.
Assignments should be separated and presented with the use of different colours and important text should be highlighted and underlined with bright markers, while homework assignments should be written down every morning, in the same spot, if possible.
Sometimes, organisation can be difficult for dyslexic children. With tasks provided throughout the day, have the order written down at the front of the class, or give each student a sheet which outlines various tasks they are expected to complete throughout the day. Always remind them of various assignments and stress that they may take as long as they need to complete each one.
Distribute coloured sheets of paper to students, and refrain from using plain white paper. The use of coloured paper will reduce the glare, allowing students to concentrate more effectively.
For homework assignments, assign each dyslexic student with a “phone partner”—a classmate who they may call for assistance or help with each specific assignment.
Try to avoid seating dyslexic students at the back of the classroom or next to troublesome or distracting students. For children with dyslexia, it is important that they are able to remain focused and concentrate on tasks without disruption.
Allow students to really focus and improve on a single task at any one time. For instance, if you have assigned a spelling task to each student, it may be necessary to highlight an error regarding spelling, but grammatical errors should not be highlighted. It is important not to fluster dyslexic children or put them down.
It is especially important that you keep the communication in class open and free. If a student finds a specific assignment difficult or confusing, allow him to state this, and offer ways you might be able to make it easier.
Also, remind each student that they are free to use any technology which might be at their disposal. For example, the use of calculators, word processors and dictionaries should always be an option in class.