In the classroom

Female teacher in a classroom of primary school pupils

Identifying children who may have dyslexia

  • The child’s attainment in reading, reading comprehension, spelling, writing and numeracy may fall behind their peers’
  • They may struggle to remember and/or follow verbal instructions
  • They may have difficulty working independently and staying on track with tasks
  • They may need more repetition/consolidation before new learning is secure
  • There may be a discrepancy between their verbal skills and their written skills

Ten tips for creating a dyslexia-friendly classroom

  1. Speak slowly, giving time to process the information
  • Speak in simple sentences
  • Use signal words – ‘I need you to remember …’
  • Allow thinking time before requiring an answer
  1. Provide visual support
  • Symbols
  • Pictures
  • Diagrams
  • Mind maps
  1. Avoid rote-learning
  • Teach reasoning skills
  • Use memory hooks like pictures or stories
  1. Consider seating
  • Seat near the teacher
  • Use buddies to support with reading or writing
  • Ensure clear sight of the white board
  1. Break tasks into manageable chunks
  • Use a visual task card
  • Check in with the learner regularly
  1. Allow additional time to complete tasks
  • Pre-teach texts or topic content
  • Think about homework tasks too
  • Be realistic about expectations
  1. Teach planning and organisation skills
  • Use mind maps
  • Explicitly teach paragraph structures
  • Use writing frames and graphic organisers
  1. Make use of desk-top aids and assistive technology
  • Alphabet strips
  • Word banks
  • Addition and multiplication grids
  • iPads or laptops for extended writing
  • Touch-typing training [link to courses > children]
  • Text-to-speech or speech-to-text software
  1. Mark for content
  • Focus on content rather than spelling
  • Mark spelling in line with current phonic/sight word knowledge
  1. Support self-esteem
  • Encourage and celebrate strengths in other curricular and non-curricular areas
  • Watch for signs of anxiety and fatigue
  • Set realistic targets