Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Floss Rule for Spelling and Reading



Do you use the Floss Rule? No, it isn’t for your teeth. The Floss Rule is an extremely helpful memory aid for spelling words with a double consonant ending. The FLoSS rule is one of the first spelling rules I teach to dyslexic students to help them understand when to double the final “f”, “l” and “s” consonants at the end of certain words. It is often taught in first and second grade.    
When a /f/, /l/ /s/ (or /z/) is heard after a short vowel at the end of a one-syllable word, it is spelled with a double “ff”, “ll”, “ss” or “zz”.    Feel free to download this free floss rule poster for your classroom.

I created 3 resources to aid beginning or struggling readers with this helpful rule. First, I created a set of decodable stories with matching close passages.



Then I created a fantastic  Word Work activity packet filled with lots of no prep and low prep  printable activities that will help with reading and spelling.





My struggling readers need lots of practice to gain fluency so I made the activity packet with lots of variety to keep their attention and keep them learning. This packet is a great Response to Intervention addition to your classroom. This packet includes lots of picture and word cards for a fun "write the room" activity.

Lastly, I made a great Smart Notebook Companion Activity Presentation which correlates to the printables so you can easily use them together.






Use the floss rule as another great opportunity to improve your student's literacy skills.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Visual Processing and Memory issues with Dyslexia




When people think of seeing they most often think about visual accuracy,as in 20/20 vision. But vision is much more than that. The brain is the main processor for the visual world. When students struggle with visual processing  they will often struggle with reading and reading comprehension. Not all children with visual processing issues have dyslexia and not all dyslexic student struggle with visual processing. However, some dyslexic childen do struggle with visual processing so it is helpful to know more about it.
Visual processing issues affect how a child learns as well as functional skills like kicking a ball or sorting socks. Children with visual dyslexia often struggle with 5 areas.
  • Visual discrimination issues:  These students often have trouble discriminating between 2 different shapes especially if they are similar. This may cause them to confuse letters like b and or p and q.
  • Visual sequencing issues: Students who struggle with sequencing may skip lines when reading or reverse or misread numbers or words. 
  • Long- or short-term visual memory issues:Students with visual memory problems commonly read the same words over and over again by "sounding them out." This is because they can not remember what the word looks like and this slows down reading fluency.
  • Visual figure-ground discrimination issues: Students with this issue often can not pull a shape or letter from its background this will cause them to have trouble finding a specific word or sentence on a page.
  • Visual-motor processing issues: Students with this problem often struggle with coordination because they have difficulty using the feedback from their eyes to coordinate body movements. They may struggle writing on lines or within the margins. and may have trouble copying  from books.

How to Help Children with these issues

Some simple activities you can do at home or in the classroom are to encourage students to do puzzles or work with books like Where's Waldo.



In addition, memory games are very helpful for students who struggle with visual memory. 
But try not  to do just object memory games. Students with visual memory problems or visual discrimination problems need to do word memory games.I created 3 games for Visual memory this winter. Click on the captions to access these fun and helpful games.


It is important to add the kinesthetic aspect when playing a memory match game. Have students close their eyes are try to visualize words and then "air write" those words. 
"Air "writing is helpful to visual memory


I also created a SMART Notebook activities to assist with visual memory and CVC words and a printable pack to help especially with students who have visual memory and visual discrimination struggles with CVC words.  You can purchase this helpful resource here.

Have students read across and then vertically
Line and loop is great for eye tracking and fine motor control



This is great for figure ground practice.

With practice kids who struggle with visual discrimination can improve their reading ability.
Please let me know if you have comments or questions and I would be happy to help.






Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter Fun Solving B and D Confusion







Winter is one of my most favorite times of year.This year  I was thinking of what I could do to incorporate winter activities and multi-sensory teaching. I mainly work with dyslexic students, who really benefit from hands-on learning, but I firmly believe all children benefit from incorporating as many senses as possible during learning experiences. This is especially true of beginning readers

I just finished a great winter-themed pack to help with b's and d's and I wanted to add other Christmas themed activities to go along with this pack.This year I decided to have the children decorate Christmas cookies with b's and d's.I squirted on the frosting and the kids built the letters with colored candies. This was great fine motor activity too.






While not quite as sweet as the real thing this gingerbread cookie sort is also great. Like all my resources it comes in color and black and white. Perfect for literacy centers.








We also built a red and green play dough bed for our kitty friend. This is a great way for kids to get a 3 dimensional image of these tricky letters.

Another activity I just love that combines reading, fine motor, and visual tracking is line and loop. Students start at the beginning of the line and loop the correct word, but never take their pencil or crayon off the paper. I have many of these types of activities in my new B and D reversal pack for winter.  All ready to print and use. I laminate mine so they can be used again and again.










Sand trays are fun and a great sensory activity. This is  a Christmas twist using red and green and the kiddos had a blast making b's and d's with this sparkly floral sand stuff.
Multi-sensory learning is fantastic. Why not try some of these activities with your students who struggle with B and D confusion.



B and D fluency is so important because if kids aren't able to tell the difference it really slows down their ability to read, That is why I made another fun pack of great Christmas activities to excite young learners.





In addition to the activities, I shared there are also fun mazes, word fluency practice, B and D line and loop, and B and D word match sentences. I also have included a phonemic awareness activity with b and d gifts for Santa's sleigh.  There is even a free winter b doesn't bump his belly poster. There are so many activities this pack will last you through the winter months. If you think these activities will help your students you can buy them here.