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Tips for Teaching Dyslexic Students: Increase Your Student's Reading Skills With Direct Instruction

written by: Barbara • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 7/12/2012

What we know is that students with dyslexia have difficulty with reading and spelling. What we continue to struggle with is how to create effective instruction to address their reading and spelling needs. Teachers who use direct instruction can create lesson plans that help students master both.

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    Direction Instruction in Reading and Spelling

    The Direct Instruction (DI) model has been around long before NCLB and IDEA became the mandates of special education accountability for students with special needs. It is a model that is uses a structured curriculum in developing reading and spelling programs where teachers use direct instruction to provide clear and concise lesson objectives in the classroom.

    A typical lesson with well designed learning objectives could contain the following structured lesson planning:

    Global Warming and Temperature Changes

    Teacher: In today's lesson objective, we will look at global warming and temperature changes in the following geographical areas:

    • United States
    • China
    • South America
    • Iraq

    Teacher to students: Repeat the lesson objective.

    Students: We will look at global warming and temperature changes in the United States, China, South America and Iraq.

    Teacher: (Pulls out map of global warming in each of the designated geographical areas and points out the areas to students). To students: This area is the United States, here is China; right down here is South America; and over here is Iraq.

    Teacher to students: Mark where is the United States? Mark comes up and points to the United States. Julie, point to Iraq to which Julie goes to the board and points to Iraq. Students identify all geographical areas before the teacher moves on to another lesson objective.

    Teacher: The United States has experienced the highest global warming and temperature changes of all of the geographical areas.

    Teacher to students: Repeat which area has the highest global warming and temperature changes.

    Students: United States

    The lesson plan runs and reads like a well designed acting script. The teacher has his/her lines that are scripted in simplistic wording to address the reading and spelling levels of students. Students with dyslexia can practice their auditory skills of reading and associate sentence content with sentence meaning.

    The teacher can create a spelling list of important words in the lesson outcome and have students define each word. At the end of the week, the teacher can give students a spelling test to measure recall and a match the word test to measure whether students understand the words and what they mean. Spelling words could include: global, warming, temperature, changes, geographical, United States, China, Iraq and South America.

    By providing students with the ability to associate global warming and temperature changes with specific geographical areas, students are able to process individual words and sentence context and learn about real life science concepts in the process.