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#mytop5 – How to help dyslexic children in your classroom

By January 26, 20146 Comments

In an attempt to share some of my ideas on teaching and learning and to help cement some of my thoughts in to something more concrete, I aim to write a top 5 list of ideas to help in the classroom each week on topics I’m thinking about at the moment. At the moment I’m thinking about different ways I can help dyslexic children, so here are my top 5 ideas. If you have others, would you mind sharing them in the comments?

  1. Build a literacy wall of key terms – it’s great for pushing up use of language and key terms but also great validation for dyslexic students
  2. Keep a dictionary in your classroom.
  3. Create a proof reading culture. Proof it or it’s not done. Celebrate finding mistakes positively.
  4. Make purposeful common error mistakes yourself when writing publicly on the board – ask students to correct – celebrate mistakes and learning from them.
  5. Build on strengths of dyslexic students and try to be creative – for example ask students to comic strip learning, either by hand or using technology such as Comic Life (£2.99) / Halftone (£0.69).




Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.


  • One other app that I’ve seen / used recently – Spell Better (there’s a free and paid version) – for the free. The app supports phonetic spelling correction and provides a grid of suggested next words.

  • We are going for dyslexia friendly schools status. Every class should have a help station with equipment that children can choose to help them compete the task and feel independent. Eg voice recorders so they don’t forget what they are writing, b/d mats, key words etc. all worksheets should be printed on cream paper it is less stress on the eyes.
    If putting writing in the board it should be broken into coloured chunks so the children can follow where they are up to more easily.
    The colour on the IWB should be set to cream not white.
    We have ask the experts in all classes so the children can ask their peers and are all valued.
    Clicker 6 is a great tool as it reads back the text so children can hear the mistakes and can correct.
    Homework is now set where the children can choose how to present it, eg a poster, letter, model etc.
    spellings are leant using a variety of methods eg rainbow writing, making a word search, creating using pipe cleaners, etc. the parents have made very positive comments about the changes.
    The children are given more opportunity to talk and they therefore have heard a thought which they can use even if they couldn’t think of one, this is through Kahpgan structures.
    Celebrate stuckness as it means we are learning.
    Hold a competition to celebrate dyslexia as a gift. This ensures all the children have an understanding of dyslexia and reduces any prejudice.

  • Penny says:

    Have you tried using Open Dyslexic font – free? Some of my dyslexic students last year found it easier to read, although between us we weren’t sure if that was just because it is ‘bigger’. Not using white backgrounds on screen helps – good idea above to set all boards to cream. Nice post + comments – thanks.

  • Jenny L says:

    thanks for these ideas. I am exploring all ways of using more audio to help my student. Audio books can be a godsend when you have 400 pages of Victor Hugo to wade through. However, perceptions need to change. My student is convinced he is cheating if he uses an audio book !!
    Thanks for thr cream colour tips.

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