Kinesthetic Learning — Not Just for Dyslexic Learners
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
If a kindergartener writes his name in mirror image, is he dyslexic?
If a mid-year second grader still reverses her lowercase bs and ds, is she dyslexic?
Dyslexia is word that can be scary for parents and confusing for teachers. Dyslexia is more than writing letters backwards, and yet that is the main thing that most people associate with the term. In actuality, the definition is a language-based struggle that tends to be phonological in nature. It is unexpected when compared to the student's cognitive ability. As you may have guessed, the definition is actually longer than that but that’s how I have processed it.
This struggle with language can’t be due to lack of appropriate instruction. This is a fantastic list of different characteristics of dyslexia. Some of the listed characteristics include:
Trouble identifying or coming up with rhyming words
Trouble with counting syllables in words
Trouble with pulling words from memory
Misreading or omitting common short words
There are lots of strategies for helping students with dyslexia that can actually be used with the whole class, benefiting all students. One of the biggest ways is to make learning as kinesthetic and tactile as possible. Intentional movement will never hinder a child from learning something but not including movement could hurt certain children from obtaining a piece of information. Here are some of my students showing you how we use kinesthetic learning for a few of our definitions. Mobile users can access the kinesthetic reading video here.
Directionality is a developmental issue that a lot of kids struggle with. While this isn’t the only sign of dyslexia, it can be one of those red flags. Specifically teaching directionality can be useful for writing right to left, reading right to left, and letter reversals. Directionality also helps a child understand the difference between yesterday and tomorrow. Many students with directionality issues will simply say, “the other day” because they confuse yesterday and tomorrow. To help with directionality we sing this version of Beyonce’s 2006 hit song "Irreplaceable." Mobile users can access the reading direction song video here.
This post could be forever long because there is so much to say when you talk about the topic of dyslexia. I want to make sure that everyone knows that just because a child has dyslexia, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn it just means that they learn differently. I hope you will take a minute and read a little about dyslexia. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer them.
I can’t wait to see you next week.