Book Title: 100 Ideas for Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia
Authors: Gavin Reid and Shannon Green
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
100 Ideas for Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia by Gavin Reid and Shannon Green is a wonderful resource for teachers and parents working with students with dyslexia. Dr. Gavin Reid is an Educational Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Educational Studies at the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. Shannon Green is a Orton-Gillingham Trainer and a co-founder of a remedial learning center in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
About the Book
This book is organized into skill sets, providing information on teaching strategies as well as specific tips for helping children with reading, spelling and writing. Additional sections provide suggestions for learning strategies.
Dyslexia, as with all learning disabilities, looks different in each child. Besides the classic symptoms of reading problems, some may have difficulties with organizing information and belonging, others with spelling or time management. The authors have provided concrete ideas for dealing with many different issues, allowing parents and teachers to focus on areas where students are struggling.
The book is divided into ten sections with the largest section focusing on reading and comprehension, obviously a weak area for most students with dyslexia. The sections of the book are:
- Teaching Strategies
- Reading and Comprehension
- Creative Writing
- Learning Strategies
- Planning for Learning
- Getting the Teaching Right
- Number Work and Mathematics
- Dyslexia Across the Curriculum
The first section of the book addresses teaching strategies to help you create lessons that are multi-sensory and incorporate simple changes into your teaching to assist students with dyslexia. For example, one tip addresses how fonts are "dyslexia-friendly." Another tip provides a checklist to look over when creating worksheets to make sure they are set up in an easy-to-use format.
The next three sections offer tips on introducing lessons to students specific to the subjects that cause the most difficulty. A number of the tips offer ideas on making lessons multi-sensory and interactive, such as using pictures to aid in reading comprehension. The fifth section offers ideas for improving learning strategies. The next two sections offer ideas for games to play with students to increase skills such as time management and building vocabulary.
Section Eight gives ideas on modifying teaching strategies, helping you to make small changes in how you present your material or grade papers to make the dyslexic student more successful and welcomed in your classroom. The last two sections of the book are subject-specific, including tips for math, languages, music, history, science and drama.
Simple Ideas to Make Big Changes
The suggestions in the book are easy to implement and don't require any special equipment, for example, the tip on board games provides ideas for teachers to create their own board games using heavy-duty or card stock paper. According to the authors customized games are better than store bought games because, "If the games are made by you they can easily be tailored to reinforce new learning or difficult concepts…"
Dyslexia impacts a student throughout his school years and beyond and in understanding this, the authors have supplied ideas that can be used for kindergarten students all the way through high school. There are many ideas easily adapted to different age groups.
As a teacher, you probably won't find 100 new ideas in this book, some of the ideas are pretty basic and you may have already instituted them into your daily activities. However, there are enough ideas that there is sure to be some you haven't thought of yet. Some ideas don't deal directly with dyslexia but help you better understand a child's learning style and the last tip in the book addresses the need to share knowledge about dyslexia and effective teaching methods to other teachers and to school administration, helping to create a school-wide understanding of how children with dyslexia learn best. Overall, this book offers many ways to make small, simple changes in your teaching style which will improve not only the learning of your students with dyslexia but all of the students you do and will teach. Implementing simple ideas in your daily teaching can make big changes in the lives of your students.