Sunday, 15 March 2015

Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing - Week 5

Multisensory Teaching Practice

Auditory Discovery

  • Children listen to the words and identify the common sound (fog, careful, sift, refill, funny, cliff, often, fight).

Visual Discovery

  • Give list of words - children circle the letter that makes the sound.
  • They don't need to read the word.
  • What is the name of the letter?


  • "Catch" each f by circling it, keeping pen on the paper in between.

Oral Kinaesthetic Discovery

  • Try to feel what is happening with our bodies when we say f.
  • Put hands on neck and feel the difference in sound between f and v.
  • When we pronounce f, the vocal chords are not moving
  • Tongue - explore movement with children. It can move in all directions. How does it move when we say f? Sh? Ss? When saying f, tongue is against your teeth.
  • Teeth and lips - pronounce f and s. What difference do you see? When you say f, lips are closed, can't see teeth.

Manual Kinaesthetic Discovery

  • Read words with fingers, not eyes.
  • Use cards with raised letters - can you read the word?


  • Cover eyes with blindfold.
  • Read words with fingers.
  • Use counters to count the number of syllables in a word.
  • Then put hand under jaw to count syllables. How many times did your jaw touch your hand?
  • Write the word with a line after each syllable.
  • For long words, use your thumb to split the word into syllables.

The Alphabet

  • Lay alphabet in the shape of a rainbow so that you can see all of the letters.


  • Blap is from planet Gizoom.
  • What sounds do you hear in the name Blap? Put a counter down for each sound.
  • Find words (real or imaginary) that end the same way as Blap.

Revision of Reading Cards

  • Review short and long sounds for vowels and the sounds for consonants/blends.
  • Say the clue word, children say the first sound they hear in the word.

Teaching Phonological Awareness and the Alphabetic Principle

  • Start with shorter words and move on to longer words.
  • Use the Blap "alien" to work through the assessment tasks.
  • Use counters/objects to help teach phonological awareness. Ideally, different colours - syllables, two shades of same colour to represent onset and rime and a colour for the phoneme.
  • Have wooden/ plastic alphabet for touch. Get children to write the letters. Start with upppercase because less confusion between letters.
  • Must make sure child has a thorough understanding of the alphabet.
  • Dyslexic children may not be able to tell you which letter comes before or after a target letter, although they are able to recite the alphabet.
  • Five minutes a day work on alphabet - use in a rainbow shape.
  • Ask them to lay letters out and put their hands on their mouth and throat so they can feel the movement.
  • Close eyes. What letter comes before another? If they get stuck, ask them to feel the letter.
  • Have a word in your head. Each child has one letter. They have to listen to each other the work out what the word is.
  • Auditory discovery of phoneme - series of words where the target phoneme is at the beginning, middle and end of the word.
  • Visual - circle the grapheme relating to the phoneme you are working on.
  • Write the word in the air, in sand trays etc.
  • Tracking - have the letter in different fonts/forms
  • Reading cards to use for revision. Important to reinforce the grapheme-phoneme correspondences.
  • Spelling cards - when teaching the spelling of phonemes always start with the more frequent graphemes (eg first f, then ff, then ph).
  • Children can review reading cards each day - say the clue word, say the phoneme, and then turn over the card to see if they are correct.

Multisensory Techniques

  • Working in structure - don't put child in a situation where they haven't seen the grapheme/ phoneme link in a multisensory link.
  • Give the children self-correction tools so that children can self-correct
  • Reading - grouping words into families - teach explicitly with colour coding
  • Reading - helping children separate longer words into smaller sections eg syllables.  Underline the phonemes, cross out the silent letters, separate the syllables.
  • Make a reading pack of irregular words
  • Spelling - teach cursive writing because each time the pen is lifted from he paper. the more chance of error for a dyslexic learner (American dnealian). 
  • How to teach regular/irregular words.
  • Regular - SOS (Simultaneous Oral Spelling) 
  • Irregular words - LSWC - Look Cover Write Check
  • Sentence dictation - allow child to read the text before you dictate it. Child says back sentence. Teacher dictates sentence, students write it. Pupils read what they have written. Find mistakes.
  • Tricks to remember spelling.


  • Try strategies with students to see what works with those students.
  • Use audio books to allow children to access content when you are not focussing on working on the text.
  • Be aware of font when creating worksheets etc. San serif fonts like Ariel, size 14 with letters a little more widely spaced can make things easier to read. Double spaced too.
  • When presenting a text to a child:
  1. Verbal preparation, preview difficult words in the text, what do they know about the topic?
  2. KWL - knowledge, what do I want to learn, what have I learned?
  3. When the child is reading - self-monitoring eg re-read sentences, look up words. Stop  - what did that just say? What words didn't they know?
  4. Active processing of the text - asking children to recall, get children to sequence chunks, students take on role of teacher and ask questions of a student or a peer.
  • Reading Rockets website, Reading Educator website.
  • What kind of text is it? Different strategies for different types. How is the text organised?
  • Visualisation, mind maps. Use visual imagery for comprehension. Is it useful for the child in front of you (not always useful)
  • Mind maps can be used to plan writing


  • Pre-writing stage - bring together background knowledge, make sure student knows exactly what is expected from the writing. Brainstorm, mind-maps, get the ideas down.
  • Karen Harris researcher
  • Organisation - structures.
  • Try to make writing task authentic
  • Think about audience - who am I addressing?
  • Drafting - then edit
  • Editing - part of the process. Make process explicit
  • MAPS - Meaning, agreement (grammatical), punctuation, spelling
  • Use writing strategically - do they need to demonstrate their knowledge via writing?

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