Teaching Strategies to Help Children

Classroom Learning
Sep 10, 2020

Start with the Child

Dyslexic children often ‘fail’ in their studies and this can affect their motivation to learn. To get them back to learning, it is very important to first build rapport with them. This can be done by talking to and listening to them. The communication will help

  • you get to know the children in your class, their interests and oral ability;
  • the children to get to know you and;
  • build trust and confidence between you and the children.

How can dyslexic children learn better?

There are numerous programs, teaching aids and software packages that you can use with students. Tuition or remedial sessions should be multi-sensory with many variations involving looking, listening, speaking and touching. Every child is unique and it is good to observe which kind of learner type each child belongs to.

Visual Learner (Learning through seeing)

Auditory Learner (Learning through listening)

Kinesthetic Learner (Learning through action and touch)

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What are some teaching techniques for each learner type?

The following teaching techniques can be useful for different learner types. The more you know about the children in your class, the more you will be able to discover which technique works best for each child.

Visual Learners

  • Use pictures and multi-media materials.
  • Stick spelling words anywhere in view.
  • Look at pictures in a book before reading.
  • Play games such as ‘pairs’ to improve memory.
  • Draw mind maps.
  • Use different colours such as syllables in words.
  • Use good visual software programs.
  • Have an uncluttered work area.

Auditory Learners

  • Talk about the book to be read or the information to be learnt.
  • Make sure instructions are orally clear.
  • Get the student to record the information so it can be listened to again.
  • Use software that has good auditory input.

Kinesthetic Learners

  • Trace letters in sand or in the air.
  • Use concrete objects which can be handled such as wooden letters, numbers, etc.
  • Memorize facts while moving about.
  • Involve movement while teaching – (Example. the child can bounce/toss a ball/sandbag while memorizing tables).

Tips for Numbers Work

  • Talk about numbers such as TV channels, dates, house numbers, car number plates, etc.
  • Count when climbing stairs or skipping, etc.
  • Counting real coins.
  • Discuss about the time – day/night, early/late.
  • Sequence the days, months or birthdays.
  • Use board games, dominos, dice.
  • Discuss symbols and signs.

Tips for Written Work

  • Use lined paper.
  • Use spell checker.
  • Use a word bank.
  • Close procedure (handouts with blanks).
  • Always praise for content than criticizing or point out mistakes to give them a scope for improvement.

Tips for Reading

  • Limit reading demands.
  • Ensure appropriate reading level/material.
  • Paired reading.
  • Prepare a subject word list.
  • Listen to taped books.

The above techniques are not exhaustive. If one technique does not work, try another technique. It is only through trial and error that you will find the best technique suited for every dyslexic child in your class to learn and eventually, help them to succeed in their learning and studies.

How can Classroom Assistants help?

Classroom assistants are very important to the class teachers. They have a strong rapport with every pupil in the class due to their daily contacts with them. Below are some tips that classroom assistants can use to help them to motivate and encourage the pupils to learn better and perform well in their studies.

  • Break down instructions and tasks.
  • Keep a student on task.
  • Organize work materials.
  • Read or scribe.
  • Note down homework.
  • Help with practical tasks.

Additionally, classroom assistants may let the class teacher know if they come across any of the following.

  • Challenge(s) faced by the pupil
  • The pupil’s strengths
  • Is homework causing excessive stress to the pupil?
  • Is the pupil facing a problem with his or her peers?

Difficulties with processing information mean that lack of time is often a problem for a dyslexic child. He/she will feel a failure if work is consistently left incomplete. The individual support of a classroom assistant can allow a pupil to finish a task before moving on.

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Alamelu Harish

Alamelu Harish is a special educator, Ambassador for Eblity, Braingym Instructor, consultant, and Career Counsellor. She has worked as a special educator with Bethany High, Sarjapur, Bangalore for four years. Presently, she is taking online sessions for learning difficulty children and also trains and prepares students for NIOS.