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HWRK Magazine: Issue 03 - Spring 2018

HWRK Magazine

BIG Read I ask a lot of

BIG Read I ask a lot of questions, I teach, question and rephrase, repeat. I throw them lots of lines to catch: make it funny, tell a story, make up a character, give the history and etymology of language. Give them the semantics, meaning. Give them the why, they are very hungry for this. I give them visuals. Dyslexia might be thought of as a sensory difficulty: eyes, ears, and touch are involved in processing, naturally this impacts on attention and arousal. If a student is looking sleepy, I include activities that involve movement. If they seem over-active, I might ask them to stand to learn or engage in a sorting activity that will help them to focus. I also ensure that, at times, the student is involved in something totally independent with no interference from myself, and this is important. The rest of the time, I’m like a detective, looking for clues: how does this child need to learn? I am a coach too: giving the child a belief in their ability, in their particular approach to learning and in their strengths. It’s very much about noticing the small parts that make the whole. In handwriting, I will focus on one join or letter shape and model it. I choose my favourite and so does the child – they begin to apply care and attention to all writing. I give lots of praise and encouragement and gradually the motivation starts to come from within. In the summer of 2016, we went to London for an exhibition on colour at the Natural History Museum. The exhibition, though slightly disappointing, did serve to crystallise some of my thoughts on the nature of dyslexia. My main takeaway was that insects, such as dragonflies have incredibly sophisticated, complex eye structures but very simple brains. In contrast, humans have fairly simple eye structures but highly complex brains, so complex that we are only just beginning to understand them. We see with our mind’s eye, not really with our eyes at all. 36 // HWRK MAGAZINE // Spring 2018 hwrkmagazine @hwrk_magazine

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