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10 Steps to Easier Learning Even If You Have LD or Dyslexia

January 28th, 2009

Here are 10 easy steps or suggestions for you to make learning easier for your student. These suggestions work whether you have learning problems such as LD, dyslexia, ADD, autism, or gifted. These ideas will help every student because they are based on sound principles of brain-based learning.

  1. Teach with associations e.g. Instead of underlining nouns once and verbs twice; underline nouns with a blue colored pencil and verbs with a red colored pencil. Or use smells to associate items e.g. presenting 6 new vocabulary words, use 6 smells, one for each word – lemon, orange, vanilla, cinnamon etc.
  2. Use concrete rewards.
  3. Teach study skills, with lots of practice.
  4. Give some tests orally.
  5. Test for knowledge, not attention span by shortening the length of tests, or giving one part at a time.
  6. Restructure your timed test e.g. Math timed tests; rather than needing to complete the whole page in 2 or 3 minutes, have the students chart their progress, so they are just competing against themselves and seeing their own progress. They could each have their own goal set up for passing. For instance, if one student got 10 problems correct in the 2 minutes, their goal might be 20 or 25 in two minutes. Another student may have completed 30 problems correctly in 2 minutes his goal might be 45 or 50 problems correct in 2 minutes. This will not only reduce the stress, but also increase the performance. Gradually, when moving from one type of timed test to another, you can gradually raise the goal for each student. Ultimately what we want is for students to know the math facts and be able to use them. Working with the math facts at a fast pace is a bonus.
  7. Allow extra credit for projects.
  8. Encourage questions from students so that they are not afraid to ask for clarification on assignments.
  9. Use discipline for teaching, not punishment.
  10. Stay calm, some students just try to get a rise out of the teacher.

There are learning games that help teach grammar and comprehension while having fun that are also helpful for LD, dyslexia, ADD, autism, or gifted students.

Hope this has been helpful.

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

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