Today, I attended a session on Dyslexia and the Reading Brain. Nancy Young, our first presenter took a brain centred approach to help us understand what dyslexia looks like from a neurological standpoint. She stressed that we can not change instruction overnight, however it is important to be aware of the resources and tools you as a teacher can use to support reading with all your students.
Nancy provided us with methods of teaching and assessing reading and writing outside of the traditional classroom. She explained that in gym class students can be practicing their language learning/spelling. She showed us that students need to build on their language skills through all courses.
The second presentation was very personal and interactive. Our presenter has dyslexia and so do her children. She shared their personal struggles with school, but also social situations. Dyslexia can cause social anxiety for children because they can’t always participate in activities that involve reading. She gave us a few strategies to use to help support these students and make it more manageable. Her presentation was also interactive because she provided us with a sheet of paper written how dyslexic people see words. It was mind blowing to try to read that paper, and I couldn’t do it. This allowed me to have a more personal connection with someone who had dyslexia. Overall this PRO-D day gave us a glimpse into the reading brain, however I now see that reading is very complex. Like Nancy said, we need to work together to incorporate instruction that meets the needs of students.