WHEN TEACHING READING:

  1. Make reading aloud in class a voluntary activity.
  2. Provide opportunities for choral reading.
  3. Allow parents, aides, etc., to read lessons to students who have difficulty with decoding.
  4. Directly teach specific skills. (i.e. main ideas vs. details, inferences etc.)
  5. Investigate Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexics. (textbooks on tape)
  6. Build comprehension in reading by talking and visualizing what was read. (verbalization and visualization)
  7. Have a student journal or verbalize into a tape what they read to have the opportunity to re-hear and build upon comprehension.
  8. When doing book reports, make sure the student is able to read a majority of the page. They should be able to ready several sentences without any decoding or phonic errors. Otherwise, their comprehension will be affected by their inability to read the material.
  9. Have them read for short periods of time. (20 minutes versus one hour)
  10. Some students who have a visual processing weakness would benefit using a marker or reading window.
  11. Highlighters work for emphasizing main ideas, etc.
  12. To block off certain areas and help a student with visual distractions use the white tapes you can purchase from photocopy centers.
  13. Be aware of students with weak comprehension skills who hide with excellent phonic skills.
  14. Reading a chapter aloud in class as a class IS NOT A GOOD USE OF TIME!
  15. If a teacher needs to read the chapter aloud in class, do not select students by rows but at random so that they will keep focused and those with special needs will not be noticed when you don’t call on them.
  16. Create a signal that can designate if a student feels uncomfortable to read out loud, or if a student desires to read aloud.
  17. Build interests a student by having students find articles in their areas of interests. Articles versus books are shorter.
  18. If a student is below grade level in reading, be aware that all textbooks in that level in every subject will be too difficult for this student.
  19. Check a student’s ability to comprehend by reading a story aloud and asking the student comprehension questions.

 

WHEN TEACHING SPELLING:

  1. Reduce spelling lists for learning disabled students.
  2. Use phonetically regular words.
  3. Only give spelling words that your student can read.
  4. Do not penalize Learning Disabled students for spelling/mechanical errors on tests and in class assignments.
  5. Use spelling words that a student uses within their creative writings or journals.
  6. Some students can actually spell better orally.
  7. Become aware that there is “spell check” and if a student can spell the word generally, or phonetically, survival skills in spelling is possible on the computer.
  8. A student with poor spelling skills should be encouraged to use the computer and build upon their keyboarding skills so that assignments can be done on the computer and they can hone their skills using spell check.
  9. Do not have other students correct spelling tests. This can be devastating to student’s who do poorly on them.
  10. Limit the number of words on a list.
  11. Have them learn the first 10-15 so that when they take spelling tests, no one will know that only the initial ones up to the designated number counts.
  12. If they are putting in hours of homework, do not have them complete their spelling workbooks.

 

WHEN TEACHING WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:

  1. Accept oral work.
  2. Accept illustrations and projects as a substitute.
  3. Accept the briefest form of an answer.
  4. Allow the use of word processors. (Alpha Smart, etc.)
  5. Shorten writing assignments.
  6. Allow students to dictate to a scribe/parent/tape.
  7. Explicitly teach each step in the writing process.
  8. Accept manuscripts or cursive.
  9. Allow pencil, white out, and erasable ink pens.
  10. Allow typing.
  11. Allow those with severe needs to verbalize their writing for another to type on the computer.
  12. Allow cartoons or picture stories.
  13. Teach topic sentences with three to four support sentences.
  14. Teach a student how to build upon a visual image of a character.
  15. Teach a student how to build upon the personality of a character.
  16. Teach a student how to place dialogue into a story.
  17. Build upon the role of adjectives and adverbs and how they expand a sentence.
  18. Have writing topics around areas of interests.
  19. Create books that can be laminated and typed.
  20. When teaching letter writing, have the students actually write to the President of the United States or a pen pal. (Generally they will be responded to)
  21. Create a diary or journal for the students to become free in expressing their feelings through writing.
  22. Encourage any writing of letters or notes to friends or yourself.
  23. When working together on writing skills, be encouraging of what you see as positive and good. Don’t just focus in on what needs correcting.

 

WHEN TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES:

  1. Make sure that the reading in the Social Studies textbook is at their reading level.
  2. If it isn’t, allow them to focus into what is important within their textbook by copying the pages of information and highlighting these sections by note taking in their reading ability on 5 x 8 cards.
  3. Do not have them read the chapter “Round Robin” style with the class… it is a misuse of time and no one is really paying attention.
  4. Have them study beginning at the back of the chapter to see what highlights questions focus into what areas.
  5. Copy pages and let the students highlight what is important.
  6. Teach note taking and short hand. Have them shorthand to take notes on 5 x 8 note cards.
  7. Make sure that they bullet point the definitions for all key terms.
  8. Make sure they know the key terms of each chapter.
  9. Have them say their key terms into a tape recorder and when they are bathing or in the car review them using the tape recorder.
  10. Highlight only what is necessary. Have them study only what is necessary initially, and build upon their studying of other facts.
  11. Teach them the language of test questions or essay questions.
  12. Color code highlighters for those with visual strengths. Yellow-facts, Blue-Names, Pink-Dates, etc.
  13. Teach pacing each study guide questions to doing two questions an evening.
  14. Make copies of key terms and have your students maximize their time studying by keeping a set in their cars or taped onto the bathroom mirror for studying convenience.
  15. Have the students work in small groups to answer questions and teach each other.
  16. Have students act out chapters with their own adaptations of what the chapters were teaching. (The more fun involved the greater the retention of what is taught)
  17. Map skills may be extremely difficult for students with visual spatial weaknesses.
  18. Make copies of the teacher notes for the student who has auditory weaknesses in a lecture type classroom.
  19. Teach students to find answers to their study guide questions using the index and glossary.
  20. Teach students how to comprehend the page of a social studies textbook. Invest in the time to show them pictures, timelines, colored words, bold words, italicized words, word sizes, and how they all relate to how the information is placed on the page.
  21. When reading science or social studies in the Junior High grades, make note cards of what the page says on 4 x 6 cards, review them, and then just study the cards.
  22. Never assume your student understands what he reads all the time, check your student by asking questions and reviewing their reading comprehension.
  23. Reading for answers will challenge him. Teach him how to look for key words and use his Index to find them more quickly.
  24. Have your student study from note cards taken in class or as they read the chapter versus studying straight and only from their Social Studies textbooks. They will take less time to study and be studying only what is significant.
  25. Allow your student to tape lecture material that would be complimenting their lessons. As the teacher lectures, make copies for the students who supply cassettes and have learning weaknesses.

 

WHEN TEACHING MATH:

  1. Use color to highlight something your student needs to remember. It’s a simple, fun and colorful way of visually connecting a problem to the concept.
  2. There are to be no timed math fact tests. Timed tests promote anxiety. This can obscure a student’s knowledge of the subject being tested. Timed tests involve much more than memory. It includes process, ability, memory, coordination, peer pressure, writing skills, visual-motor skills, etc.
  3. Teach little at a time, in clusters to mastery, before you run ahead with another concept.
  4. Teach your student how to read the math books. If the school uses Saxon math textbooks, the little parenthesis next to the problem is the lesson number in which the student can have the opportunity to re-look on their own.
  5. If a student can do 5 problems correctly, they know it! Many teachers give over 20 problems and the students can become less detailed in their work, which may not reflect a lack of knowledge of the problems.
  6. Do not lessen the problems for a student to do without their input. Perhaps they would feel embarrassed which could bring about other issues.
  7. In the morning, for points, grades etc… have one problem on the board for all the kids to complete. Have students begin the process to “monitor” to correct the classes work and provide each student their reinforcement. This can build upon a student’s long-term memory, and can be done during the morning business of roll, lunch orders, etc.
  8. Teach math concepts using stories.
  9. Allow students to use a calculator when they are tired to on computational work after proving that they know the concepts of the problems and what operations are necessary.
  10. Do not assume that a student understands a new concept. They may actually think they understand it, but always have them do one problem independently for you to be sure that they understand the concepts or steps of the process.
  11. Give them ample opportunity to review material before you go onto a new concept. Remember that Math is foundational and builds upon each foundation.
  12. Teach the language of Math. Words such as “from, and, with, equal, etc…”
  13. Teach songs for those with auditory strengths to learn steps or facts.
  14. Teach pictures stories with those with visual strengths to learn steps or concepts.

 

WHEN LECTURING TO YOUR STUDENTS:

  1. Clearly state and post visually the objective for the lesson.
  2. Pre-teach vocabulary and concepts. Use visual images and mnemonics.
  3. Provide students with an outline of information to be covered.
  4. Allow tape-recording when there is difficulty with writing/note taking.
  5. Use concrete examples.
  6. Present new information in small quantities.
  7. Write important points on the black/whiteboard, using pictures, overheads etc.
  8. Use direct teaching methods.
  9. Allow students to photocopy notes and transparencies.
  10. Provide on outline for the students to follow or fill in during lectures.
  11. Be aware that if your student has difficulty following oral directions, they will generally have difficulty with long lectures.
  12. Keep lectures short and to the point.

 

WHEN GIVING ASSIGNMENTS OR DIRECTIONS:

  1. Show students the end product, and explain procedures for getting there.
  2. Allow tape recording of assignments.
  3. List assignments in steps.
  4. Give only one or two directions at a time, and be specific. Ask students to put directions into their own words and repeat them back to you.
  5. Write all assignments and directions on the board.
  6. Provide step-by-step instructional sheets for projects.
  7. Break assignments and projects into small steps.

 

WHEN TESTING YOUR STUDENTS:

  1. Give tests orally if there are problems with reading or writing.
  2. Recognition is easier than recall. Give multiple choice or true/false tests when appropriate.
  3. Allow students to dictate answers if there is a problem with writing or spelling.
  4. Give shorter and more frequent tests.
  5. Reduce the number of items in matching tests. Reverse presentation. (i.e. a short list of answers on the right versus the left)
  6. Be aware of overall test readability.
  7. Be aware of the language of “directions” and a student’s comprehension of it. (i.e. summarize, select, what is the best choice, which answer is best, etc.)
  8. Discuss test formats in advance.
  9. Allow extra time for testing.
  10. Analyze errors. Give positive feedback and suggestions.
  11. Do not give timed tests.
  12. Reduce test anxiety by praying first.
  13. Do not fail a student who has learning difficulties and who you know has put hours into studying. How discouraging it is to get the same “F” as someone who didn’t even spend one minute studying. (Essay questions will allow for higher grading)
  14. Minimize classroom noise and background noise when taking a test. Do not put on music.
  15. Give credit for what is done correctly versus concentrating on what is done wrong.
  16. Do not demoralize a student with negative remarks on tests or any papers.
  17. Do not let other students correct any tests.
  18. Any test done with accommodations should never be done by anyone other than the teacher. Having parents’ grade breaks confidentiality.