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In the teaching - learning process objectives and contents

Proficient reading is an essential tool for learning a large part of the subject matter taught at school. A dyslexic child who finds the acquisition of these literacy skills difficult can also suffer a lot of anguish and trauma when they may feel mentally abused by their peers within the school environment, because they have a learning difficulty. Class teachers may be particularly confused by the student whose consistent underachievement seems due to what may look like carelessness or lack of effort.

Here are some recomandations

Some general recommendations for teachers of beginning readers and writers

  1. Make personalized books and stories with the student’s name and photos. Alternatively, have him or her dictate a story and draw pictures, which an adult can then transcribe and bind with a cover.

  2. Increase print awareness by asking your student to look for everything he/she can find with writing (i.e. McDonald’s sign, labels, and packages).

  3. Provide multisensory experiences for students related to each book that they read, such as using stories and coloring pages (available with a story teller guide).

  4. Choose rhyming books with high repetition of words and phrases.

  5. Dramatically pause to allow students to fill in the refrain as you are reading.

Recommendations to support reading comprehension and fluency for classroom materials

Before reading

  1. Preview the title, pictures, chapter names, and bold-faced words in order to make a prediction.

  2. Connect new information to previously learned information by talking about a personal experience related to the theme.

  3. Verbalize or write questions prior to reading the text.

  4. Discuss reading schemas for different types of textbooks (i.e. compare math and history). Highlight salient information that each genre addresses. Visual webs are useful for the student to preview and complete as they encounter key information.

  5. Pre-teach key vocabulary for a particular unit or chapter before introducing the text.

  6. Pre-teach themes or background information (i.e. historical context) for reading fiction.

  7. Explicitly teach “how to use” the table of contents, glossary, index, headings, sidebars, charts, captions, and review questions in a text book.

During reading

  1. Provide a set of textbooks for the student to take home and to highlight.

  2. Assign class readings a week ahead of time for students to preview. This will improve attention and comprehension.

  3. Provide audio recordings for the student to use while reading the text.

    • Books on tape and audio equipment may be obtained, free of charge, through the National Library Service.

    • A large range of books are already scanned and available for free through Bookshare.

  4. Give the student a choice of what to read within selected genres, topics, and themes. High interest reading facilitates comprehension and reading for pleasure. In addition to classroom learning, the “curriculum” should cultivate the students’ interests and strengths (both in and outside of the classroom). The Time on My Hands and Affinities checklists at All Kinds of Minds may be helpful in guiding the student to high-interest reading materials.

  5. Make texts at a variety of reading levels available so that students can read fluently but also be slightly challenged (the appropriate instructional level).

  6. Allow the student to use text-to-speech software for information on the computer.

    • This may be established by setting preferences on a Macintosh computer.

    • Text-to-speech software is available through a free trial over at CNET.

    • A scanner with OCR (optical character recognition) may be used to scan textbooks onto the computer.

  7. Model self-monitoring skills with the following questions: “Does what I’m reading make sense?” “What do I think will happen next?” “Are there any words that I don’t know?” “Can I figure out what the words mean from the sentences around them?”

  8. Encourage sub-vocalization of the text and self-monitoring questions.

  9. Model active engagement with the text through visualization of the scene (i.e. trying to make a “photograph” of the word in his/her mind’s eye while enhancing visual features), highlighting, note taking, or jotting down a question.

  10. Train students to silently read at various rates depending on the purpose; for example, skimming to find a particular term or to get the main idea or gist vs. reading more carefully for directions or comprehension of key concept.

  11. Encourage multiple readings of a text.

Supporting vocabulary while reading

  1. Log unfamiliar words in a personal dictionary that includes the sentence that contains the word, page number, a guess about the meaning, the pronunciation, a dictionary definition, and a new sentence using the word.

  2. Improve vocabulary for written and verbal expression by forming associations between words, paraphrasing, and elaborating on an idea.

  3. Teach prefixes, suffixes, and root words to students to improve spelling, decoding, and comprehension.

  4. Give ample opportunities to practice writing target words. The student might be asked to say them, or use them in sentences or a story.

  5. Look up unfamiliar words with an electronic speller that has speech output (such as the Franklin Speller) or a web-based dictionary. For example, provides the pronunciation and definition of a word.

After reading

  1. Verbalize or write the answers to the pre-reading questions and share the answers with a friend or family member.

  2. Compose an alternative ending for the story or write a sequel.

  3. Act out key scenes from a text or give “How To” demonstrations for kinesthetic learners.

  4. Challenge students to draw inferences from the text (i.e. "How do you think the main character feels?" "Do you think it will be harder to stop a heavier or lighter object traveling at the same velocity?")

Oral reading

  1. Increase reading fluency through a “reading apprenticeship” incorporating the following elements:

    1. Models of fluent reading.

    2. Repetition of the same passage, until reading is fluent.

    3. Dramatic readings (i.e. skits, poetry, and speeches).

    4. Regular tracking and graphing of reading rate and fluency.

  1. See Read Naturally for a systematic program that incorporates choral reading (reading at the same time as a fluent reader), repetitions, and tracking of reading fluency.

  2. For more information on reading apprenticeships, see The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension, by Timothy Rasinski.