This was a three day workshop hosted by Teachers College Reading and Writing Institute. I'm breaking up my learning into the three days. They were organized by: what is the latest research on dyslexia? how do we screen for dyslexia? how can we accommodate our students with dyslexia in reading workshops and other content area?
Day 1 Notes
First off, it was important to familiarize myself with dyslexia's definition. It is so much more - and an inaccurate stereotype - than students writing characters backwards.
Definition: A brain-based condition that makes it difficult to read. An unexpected difficulty in learning how to read.
Success dependent on: correct instruction specifically for dyslexia, self-motivation, and intellect. This graphic was fascinating to show the difference in a dyslexic's brain when it comes to forming language skills:
Dyslexic students are highly developed in articulation and word analysis, which is why they are so talented in group discussions about a guided read aloud. They are also great "fakers" - they will assume words, like filling in the blanks, for ones they do not recognize. This is because their brains cannot yet calculate word sounds; this is not using the whole text to form meaning. It is exhausting for them to read because their brains have to still manually decode words, instead of automatically recognizing the characters/words/ into meaning from memory.
So, this requires a few things first:
1) Self-regulation is critical at a young age. We discussed how learning executive functioning skills is necessary before moving forward with instruction.
2) Students with dyslexia will need much more repetition and take longer than other students to develop independent reading/fluency. The average age for independent readers is 2nd grade; for students with dyslexia, it could be much later depending on early intervention.
This image shows all of the steps needed before becoming an actual reader. Wow!
Day 2: Screening and Intervention
I'm not sure how lower school's process identifies and diagnoses dyslexia, but these were helpful screenshots and resources. Even in upper school, I'm thinking about how we could screen a new student showing difficulty in decoding text for possible dyslexia. Many of these strategies help students who are behind, even if not dyslexic.
Image Below: When you see intervention programs, they often have 1-2, but rarely all 3. Non-existing program that gets all 3.
Free screener: DIBELS 8th edition is free. TOWRE sight reading screening is best for older students.
David Kilpatrick The Past Test . org - phonemic awareness screener
Digital Reading: reading comprehension is better on paper, but digital text reading is teachable. Digital reading needs instruction, key difference.
Intervention Strategy for Grades 3+ : Get into morphology!
This was a key takeaway from this workshop. Morphological awareness makes bigger difference in spelling for students with dyslexia. (new study) It gives them a different learning strategy to retain spelling rules. Example: the word "two" must have the "w" because it relates to the words "twice" and "twins".
This was a resource I may invest in: https://louiseselbydyslexia.com/morph-mastery/ She has an excellent video on her page that shows morphology of onion, as an example. It's fascinating.
Teaching Tip: Start using a "writing record" for spelling patterns. Options for intervention times include pull-out instruction with learning specialist, cycles of small groups, 1-1 rapid review during independent work time, or co-creating decodable books with tricky spelling patterns.
Use coaching techniques (image 2) during small group work.
Day 3: Differentiation
Tactile learning is very helpful for dyslexic students. They learn best when info is coming in through multi-senses. It reinforces learning by helping them access, process, and retrieve.
Types of Accommodations:
How is it Presented:
Give kids opportunities to access materials in way they don't have to read standard print.
The text used in these screen shots are dyslexic-friendly. You can find dyslex-friendly fonts everywhere. Here's one example. Using these fonts says, "I see you. I'm here for you."
Anchor Chart with visuals
Repeat instructions (teaching point) same way each time, at least five times
How can they respond:
Ways to get kids to respond - does it always need to be in writing?
Example: Speech to text, point to responses, self-record
What is the class setting:
Aka - Physical areas students are testing, working, learning
Ex: whole group, then small group. Reduce stimuli.
Have you tried a sound wall, in a