Date
16 August 2020

Support participation and confidence

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Helpful classroom strategies in years 9–13’

Create a dyslexia-friendly classroom

Create a dyslexia-friendly classroom

Understand the needs of your learners and remove stressors so they can engage and be successful.

Use this checklist to identify how you can make your classroom more dyslexia-friendly.

Ask students what will help

Ask students what will help

Often the way material and information is presented can create barriers for students.

  • What font size, colour, and style works best for you?
  • What background colour do you prefer for paper handouts or slides?
  • How much white space on a page or slide helps you focus?
  • What style of visual is best to help you understand and keep your attention (graphics, photos, line drawings, cartoons)?
  • What other things will support your access, understanding, and attention?

Teacher, Sarah Sharpe provides further suggestions for creating neurodiverse friendly “soft” and “hard” copy resources.

Fonts for easy reading

Fonts for easy reading

Use font size that is at least 11 point. Keep plenty of white space on the page.

Easy to read fonts are sans serif, mono-spaced, and roman font types including: 

  • Helvetica
  • Courier
  • Arial
  • Verdana 
  • Computer Modern.

Italic fonts are more difficult to read.

 

Source: Good fonts for dyslexia (opens in a new tab/window)

Foster trust and confidence

Foster trust and confidence

Build practical supports and actions into the culture of your classroom.

  • Use your students’ cultures, interests, and strengths to create opportunities for them to take the lead.
  • Foster tuakana–teina relationships and create a class culture where students support each other.
  • Give ongoing prompts and positive feedback. Provide the students with strategies to help them when they get stuck.
  • Recognise and eliminate situations that students may find difficult or embarrassing, such as reading aloud to the class.
  • Recognise avoidance strategies and provide practical support and encouragement.
  • Act quickly on any concerns about a student’s wellbeing.
  • Give feedback on students’ success to their parents and whānau.

Support access and understanding with visuals

Support access and understanding with visuals

Use visual models to illustrate concepts and provide supports and prompts for learning.

Recognise student strengths

Recognise student strengths

Rapaaea Henderson has dyslexia. Te reo Māori is his first language and kapa haka, a strength for him, is a pathway for helping him to learn.

Note: Click on the closed-captions icon for English subtitles.

Next steps

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Dyslexia and learning

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