Friday, May 4, 2012

Strategies, Tools, Apps & More for Struggling Readers

Learning does not come easily for every student. Parents and teachers often look for specific strategies and resources to assist struggling readers and learners, especially those with AD/HD, dyslexia, or other issues. Here are just a few that you might consider for the challenged student(s) in your life:

1. Request or allow for course and book content to be available via audiotape, CD, or DVD.

2. Use a portable, hand-held spell checker (such as the Franklin Spelling Ace) for unknown words.

3. Use graph paper or Reading Focus Cards for math to promote accurate placeholder work.

4. Use interactive computer reading programs that require only a limited number of tasks at a time.

5. Underline or highlight important key words in a set of directions BEFORE beginning an assignment.

6. Fold a worksheet so that only a small amount of text, information, or problems is visible at one time. Using individualized tools can help with this as well.

7. Allow for moving to optional work areas with less distraction.

8. Allow for the experience of a variety of sensory learning techniques such as those from the use of a computer, tape recorder, projector, and manipulatives. The more senses you appeal to in the learning process, the more success the student will experience.

9. Use word processors or computers to complete written work, especially when writing is a struggle.

10. Allow for kneeling or standing at a desk (if needed), as long as it does not cause problems or distractions for others.

11. Allow for access to a copy of prepared notes, especially after a teaching session or discussion.

12. Arrange for a second set of textbooks at home so that materials are always at hand when needed.

13. Use very low-volume music (instrumental) or environmental sounds (seashore or other nature sounds) while doing independent work.

14. Allow for student to work cooperatively at times with others as part of a "buddy" system of support.

15. Use colored paper for all printed materials including worksheets, outlines, notes, etc. Experiment with pastels as well as bright shades. One particular color may produce the best results for an individual.

16. Consider the use of colored overlays or the Reading Focus Cards for focus and reading challenges because the white background of a page of text can be visually “offensive” to some readers/learners.

17. Try visiting math.com or www.khanacademy.org as well as other similar free websites for help with specific math and science challenges.

18. Reading Focus Cards can be used with iPads and other e-tablets (Model #002-Longer). They are also very good for use with Kindles, Nooks, and other e-readers (Model #001-Shorter). Recommendation: A non-scratch film should be used to protect tech devices’ screens with this application.

19. List of Android APPS for Special Needs (some pricey/some FREE) http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/special+education

20. List of iPad APPS for Special Needs http://helpforstrugglingreaders.blogspot.com/2012/03/basket-of-special-needs-apps.html

For more information:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers
314-892-3897

Clip art courtesy of: http://www.clipartguide.com/_search_terms/reading.html

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