One hundred ideas for teaching reading and spelling.
I used to be a teacher, first I taught infants reception to yr 2 in a small country school, then when the school amalgamated with 3 others I taught reception. After my sons were born I spent years teaching at different schools doing supply work. When my youngest son was about 8 it became obvious that he had problems learning so I became very interested in special needs and went to every course I could find, that might help.
Stephen was eventually diagnosed as having autistic spectrum disorders, a mixture of aspergers, dispraxia and dyslexia. I no longer wanted to teach full time but wanted to work at something that would fit round his needs, so when the education authority started looking for someone to teach a dyslexic boy I was the obvious choice. Soon I had enough pupils to fill the day. The children had various needs some dyslexic, some slow learners and all sorts in between. I would travel round to their schools trying to group them together to make a timetable for myself that would give them about an hour with each child or group of children. This I did for many years in different ways until I was diagnosed with arthritis in my knees and had them replaced so I had to retire. I always said that when I retired I would write about how to teach the same thing in a hundred ways, because that was essentially what I did all day. When I first started my one to one teaching, I would spend about an hour planning a one hour lesson because it is very intense. Children of this kind need to change activities frequently and as it is individual teaching every minute has to count, fortunately I got better at the planning and I was able to quickly learn how to devise effective lessons speedily.
Unfortunately there are a few problems firstly this sounds extremely dull so I’ve decided to add a few anecdotes to make it more palatable. Secondly a hundred seems a lot now! I think 30 would be easy but 100 I just don’t know and as I’m not a great one for planning and making notes I just don’t know anyway here goes.
Really the main thing about teaching special needs, is not what you teach, though of course a good systematic approach is best, but how you do it. Make the children relaxed, make it their area where they can say anything. And above all don’t test them on anything that you are pretty sure they will fail at. Make sure they succeed and succeed and succeed, even if steps are so small as to be minuscule.
As I taught reading, spelling and writing mainly, the subject of my how will mainly be reading and spelling, and I’ll try and pick different words to make it a little less restricted.