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LEARNING STYLES AND ACCOMODATING VARIATIONS IN DYSLEXIA

02 Sep 2015

The human brain is a complex and fascinating organism about which little was known until about the past 15 years. School curriculum must be ‘brain-compatible’ or it cannot be learned. Since different kid’s brains function and learn differently it stands to reason that we must teach them differently. To make new learning happen, we must connect it to a pattern the brain already knows and recognizes. When we do this, the brain perceives the new learning in a ‘language’ it can easily understand. Equally important the learning environment must be comfortable.

 

The three styles of learning are auditory, visual and tactile-kinesthetic. Auditory learners are logical, analytical, sequential thinkers. They are comfortable with typical school tasks including analyzing sounds and numbers, following directions in order and just ‘doing the right thing’.

Visual and tactile-kinesthetic learners are global thinkers. They are not good with logical, analytical sequential tasks unless they see the “big picture”. They can learn to think logically, analytically, and sequentially, but they must do it working backwards from the whole to the parts. They must learn new material in context. Their thought patterns tend to be random; classrooms discussions lead them onto divergent thinking pathways, and they make unusual associations with the subject at hand. Conflicts with the students can be minimized by adjusting their environment. Once the environment is more compatible with your student’s learning styles, their ability to learn improves automatically and dramatically. Your ultimate goal is to provide a brain-compatible environment for all students.

 

 

Multisensory learning

Most people have a dominant learning style

 

AUDITORY LEARNERS

KINESTHETIC LEARNERS

VISUAL LEARNERS

20-30% of school age children remember what is heard

30-40% of school age children remember when they use their hands or whole body to learn

40% of school age children remember what is seen

Talk to themselves

Mouth words

Speeches/singing

Tell jokes

Prefer verbal instructions

Easily distracted by noise

Listen well

Like lectures

Enjoy rhythm and rhyme

Remember by listening

Recall conversations

Use talk well

Spell out loud

Auditory learners say” that rings a bell” “sounds great to me”

 

Like physical activity

Move a lot

Make and/alter things

Remember by doing

Like action words

Use gestures

Fidget

Like close proximity

Need to visit a place to remember it

 

 

 

Kinesthetic learners say “let’s tackle the issue”

“run that by me”

I’ll handle that”

Neat and tidy workplace

Like tidy work

Plan ahead

Like detail

Like to look good

Like simile and metaphor

Like pictorial lessons

Don’t listen well

Daydream often

Like overall view

Draw, scribble, doodle

Prefer images to words

Visual learners say “that looks right to me” “I can picture the scene” “I can see what you mean”

 

 

ADDRESSING DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES IN LESSONS

Auditory learners

Kinesthetic learners

 

Visual learners

 

explain

Be practical

Use pictures

Repeat

Discuss

Use tapes

Use poems

Tell stories

Use dialogues

Use drama

Read aloud

use three-dimensional

models

make things

use tactile experience

move about

write

use diagrams

use color coding

use highlighting

use handouts

do practical

demonstrations

 

 

Left brain and right brain functions

 

LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

 

RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS

 

Uses logic

 

Uses feelings

Detailed oriented

“big picture” oriented

Facts rule

Imagination rules

Words and language

Symbols and pictures

Present and past

Present and future

Maths and science

Philosophy and religion

Can comprehend

Can “get it” (i.e meaning)

Knowing

believing

knows objects name

Knows object function

Forms strategies

Presents possibilities

practical

impetuous

safe

Risk taking

 

We all use both sides of our brains. Most people are ‘left-brained’. Dyslexics are ‘right-brained’.

 

RIGHT-BRAINED LEARNING STRATEGIES:

 

Use:

  • Imagery
  • Music
  • Drawing
  • Visual-spatial patterns
  • Humor
  • Empathy
  • Intuition

 

 

Encourage sensory exploration and ‘hands on’ activities

Develop visualization skills

Encourage imagination

 

TEACHING TO COMPLEMENT LEARNING STYLES OF DYSLEXICS

When you want to remember what’s most important in helping global thinkers to become successful learners use the acronym WHOLISTIC:

Whole to part; hands-on learning, organize information visually; learning styles focus; immerse the senses; seek patterns and connections; technology assistance; integrate skills into context; concrete to abstract.

·         Never conduct an entire lesson in any one modality.

·         Incorporate visuals into every lesson

·         Provide appropriate background music while kids are working

·         Provide hands-on experiences

·         Offer a good balance between co-operative learning and independent work

·         Regularly give students time to reflect on what has been taught and learned

 

      SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH DYSLEXIA IN MAINSTREAM CLASSROOMS:

 

General:

Ø  Raise pupil’s self-esteem. Reward what can be achieved. This is the single most important factor in achievement according to pupils themselves

Ø  Use information supplied in the IEP if the pupil has one. The specialist will have assessed the pupil and prioritized what needs to be learnt

Ø  Give two instructions at a time. Ask pupils to repeat instructions to you. Repeat instructions until she/he can repeat them back

Ø  Allow more time for tasks such as getting out books, getting started, completing work. This includes practical

Reading:

v  Do not ask pupils to read aloud without preparation

v  Teach unfamiliar subject words

v  Help with study skills such as skimming, scanning, selecting key words

v  It helps if teachers’ handwriting is legible and worksheets are typed

Spelling:

v  Mark written work on content and encourage the use of a wide vocabulary

v  Correct only a few errors. Do not cover work in red ink

v  Teach the spelling of subject specific words. Do not overload pupils

v  Give all pupils a list of specific words to be stuck into their exercise books for reference

v  Have lists of subject specific words on display in teaching rooms

v  Allow the pupil to read work back to you if you cannot read it.

 

Written work:

v  Encourage legible handwriting but do not expect it to change

v  Do not ask for work to be written out again unless it is much worse than usual

v  Either give more time, or photocopy notes from another pupil or a ‘parallel’ book kept by a TA

v  Accept less written work

 

Assessment

 

Assess through oral responses

When setting long responses, use writing frames

 

Ways of assessing understanding without too much writing

 

Matching questions to answers

True/false statements

Sentence matching

Multiple choice

Labeling diagrams

Categorizing

Table/grid completion

Title-paragraph match

Choosing a précis

Sentence completion sequencing

 

If your Child has symptoms of Dyslexia, you can consult completely Online, Dr.Bina Nangia, a Renowned Dyslexia Specialist and a Special educator.

You can book and consult online with Dr.Bina Nangia at  www.ePsyClinic.com/common/counselors 

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Tags: #Dyslexia #Learning Disabilities