Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Step Number One: Decorate with Intent
Don't get me wrong, decorating your classroom is so much fun and I am not here to tell you to not decorate. However, decorating your classroom with intent is step number one towards making your classroom Dyslexia friendly. What do I mean by decorate with intent?
Make sure everything you put up in your classroom has a purpose. Especially on the walls. Use this space to help your students. Place posters strategically at eye level and don't crowd the space.
Make sure your alphabet banner has pictures that represent the sounds the letters make. This will help remind your students of the sound symbol connection. For example, a picture of an x-ray does not represent the sound that the letter x makes. Instead, use a picture of a box or fox. You can find an alphabet banner for your classroom here.
Hang posters for students to reference during class. Especially for writing and spelling. I like to hang posters of the various spelling rules and generalizations. You can find a set of posters for spelling rules here. Posters for syllable types here. Syllable Division posters here. Simple Suffixes posters here. Advanced suffixes posters here. Prefixes posters here. Letter-Sound correspondence posters here.
Make your word wall intentional. Instead create a sound wall or a phonics wall. You can find an editable one here. Create intentional bulletin boards. This red words one was a popular bulletin board in my classroom.
Step Two: Incorporate Flexible Seating
Offer flexible seating options in your classroom. Stand up desks, rubber bouncy bands on chairs, and exercise balls are all great options!
Step Three: Allow Movement Opportunities
Think of parts of your lesson that you can get your students up and moving! Are you practicing spelling words? Have them get out of their seats and sky write the letters as you spell words as a class. Are you working on shapes? Use tape on the floor to create them. What other ways can you think of to get students out of their seats?
Step Four: Re-Evaluate your Classroom Library
You may want to add some phonetic readers to your classroom library. This will allow your students with Dyslexia to read controlled texts on their own during silent reading time. It will also give them a sense of confidence, knowing that they will be able to find a book that they can read. I like this set for younger readers. These decodable chapter books for middle elementary.
You may also want to add read aloud about kids with Dyslexia. Such as The Alphabet War.
Step 5: Meet Your Students Where They Are
1:5 students have Dyslexia. That means, YES they are in YOUR classroom. Be that teacher that is understanding when it comes to their struggles. Build trust with your students and let them know that they can count on you to help them. The student that is acting out may be doing so because he or she is confused or the task is too difficult for them. This may mean that you might have to alter your lesson. Meet your students where they are and you will see their amazing progress! Don't forget to spiral back and provide consistent review in order to prevent regression that is common not only for kiddos with Dyslexia, but all learners.
I hope these 5 Steps help you get started on making your classroom Dyslexia friendly! As Always, thank you so much for all that you do for your students! Click here for an Orton-Gillingham Classroom Decor Pack to help you get started making your classroom Dyslexia friendly!
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