Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easy Tips for “Too Much Text!”

Focus Strategies for ADHD, Dyslexia & Other Issues

Is your child overwhelmed each time a new written assignment is due? Do you have one or more students in your classroom who can’t seem to finish a math worksheet---or any worksheet, for that matter? Well, perhaps the issue is not a lack of motivation, but in the fact that there is just too much printed text or content for them to process. So, what should you do to help?

This was one of the problems mentioned most often at a very recent educational conference we attended here in St. Louis. Again and again, we offered some simple tips to parents and teachers wanting to help children FOCUS and READ with more success.

This week in our blog article, we thought it might be a good idea to provide just a few of the ideas offered to those at the conference. These tips can make work much more manageable, especially for children and teens with AD/HD or dyslexia who sometimes say, “There’s just too much text!” We hope you’ll find them simple yet helpful for your child or students who need help with focusing and for those times when there is “just too much text.”

Focus and Reading Tips for Too Much Content

1. Fold worksheet into sections so only content needing immediate attention is visible.
-Fold so that only 1 paragraph/question/portion of the worksheet can be viewed at a time.
-With math worksheets, fold paper into fourths (or even eighths) so that only 2 problems (or even 1 problem) can be seen.
-When the content section has been read, question answered, or problem(s) completed, re-fold for the next section or problem(s), etc. until all work in the assignment has been completed.

2. Cut worksheet into meaningful sections.
-Cut worksheet so each cut section contains only 1 paragraph or 1 question.
-Cut math worksheets so each part will contain only 2 problems (or 1, if needed).
-Then, in sequential order, staple all sections together at the upper, right-hand corner.
-As each section is read or completed, tear off that section and set it aside. The student will feel like he is making progress with each “tear-off” and the sense of being overwhelmed will melt.

3. Use simple tools to help break up the content into manageable parts.
-Use a ruler placed below each line of text that is to be read. This will place emphasis on the reading matter needing immediate attention. Move the ruler down the page as each line is read.
-Use a piece of colored paper or cardstock to place under lines of content about to be read, covering all text or problems yet to be given attention. This will provide emphasis on what needs immediate attention.
-Use graph paper to properly align math problems into correct place holder columns.
-Use a customized, cut card or the Reading Focus Cards to isolate 1 or 2 lines of text and block out a significant amount of surrounding text. For some math problems, turn the card 90 degrees to isolate place holder columns, allowing only the one column of numbers needing to be added, etc. at the moment.

For information on customizable reading tools: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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