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May 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

What are the teaching competencies for teaching dyslexic students

I would suggest the following:

* Being patient and understanding (but perhaps not lowering expectations as far as picking up skills–just being more flexible about what skills that should be)
* Knowing how to tap the kids passions
* One on one reading after class (or some way to leverage tutors or tutoring services)
* Engaging parents to partner in the process (i.e. telling them how they can help in terms of expectations, understanding, and any purchases they should make–like problem-solving/critical thinking/puzzle books)
* Understanding dyslexic strengths. The Dyslexic Advantage does a good job of this and divides it into 4 learning strength areas–as well as tips that dyslexics used to get by. I think this is pretty key.
* Understanding the visual spacial learner & how they learn best
* Encouraging and motivating kids
* Encouraging the kids to develop their own learning strategies (as well as identifying strengths & weaknesses).
* Perhaps creating new assessment rubrics (i.e. for projects as well as how to think about grading someone who can’t spell–but can express ideas).

Our gifted and talented teacher used self-directed learning, project based learning, contest-based learning, and game-based learning almost exclusively. The projects, with the exception of one writing project, were group based. One game that was very popular was a Car Game a bit like monopoly, but that involved estimating price of cars and as I recall some bargaining. I also imagine the game Apples to Apples would be pretty good–for social and emotional development. Taboo might also prove to be helpful.

Note: contest-based learning I don’t think has a place in the literature. It just means she used the incentive of a contest she knew about (i.e. The Wall Street Game for the Stock Market or a contests run by non-profits or government agencies)

Here are some other tips for teaching dyslexic students:
There’s also a TED talk on teaching math to dyslexics–I haven’t had a chance to view it yet.

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