My students are highly skilled in areas like math, sports, art, and logical reasoning. But they are all learning to overcome a neurological learning disability called dyslexia. Although they struggle with reading, writing, and spelling, their dyslexia actually helps them think outside of the box and find creative solutions to problems.
Highly curious, imaginative, and innovative are just a few words that describe children with dyslexia.
I see this every day as I work with small groups of 1st and 2nd graders. I use a multisensory teaching approach, which helps their minds hold on to the information better. These amazing kids will always have dyslexia, but with the right instruction, they will be able to overcome it and enrich the world in many ways.
Quite often, children with dyslexia have symptoms of ADHD, which makes it difficult for them to sit still and focus. My small-group lessons last about 50 minutes each day. Even though I incorporate movement and change activities quickly, it is still a very long time for such young students to stay focused. Because of the amount of material that must be covered in each lesson, we aren't able to get up and move around the room or take breaks very often.
My students find creative ways to adjust themselves in their chairs while still attempting to pay attention to the lesson.
About halfway through, they start sitting on their feet, twisting in their chairs, sliding down, or stretching out their legs. One student, in particular, falls out of his chair several times each week. He gets so fidgety that he leans on the table with his feet in the chair and tries to balance the chair on two legs. At that point, we get up and try an activity that allows for movement. Of course, this means that we might not finish every part of our lesson.
At a previous school, my students had the option to sit on wobble stools or ball chairs. I know from experience that kids are able to focus on learning once they are able to take their minds off their need to move around.
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