3 Visual Tools for the Dyslexic Student Blog Feature

By: Margo Ensz on January 12th, 2015

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3 Visual Tools for the Dyslexic Student

Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Featured Topics: Professional Development

Students with dyslexia are highly visual learners who benefit from multi-sensory learning environments. Because dyslexic students have a dominant right brain, it takes strategic effort and care to engage the left side of the brain. Engaging multiple sensory experiences into instruction will then engage multiple areas of the brain. This helps dyslexic students make connections, strenghthen their left brain, and better retain information. (source) Students with dyslexia tend to be more visual in learning, therefore, visual tools are vital to their sucess in grasping concepts and problem solving.

Here are three visual tools that can help students with dyslexia make connections, retain information, and deepen learning: 

1) Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers like the examples below help students to organize information in a way they understand and a way that, for example, a story's sequence makes sense to them. This story map is just one example of how teachers can use existing poster templates and charts to meet the needs of all learners. 

 

ORG029-Story_Map   Story_House_CPM

2) Anchor Charts

Often times dyslexic students may not retain a large amount of information or facts at one time, therefore providing anchor visuals "essentially helps them to link information in a way that they can picture as making sense." Mind maps and anchor charts can be used for all subjects to reinforce concepts for dyslexic students. For example, this template reinforces the sequence of place value. 

ORG049-Place_Value

3) Manipulatives 

Tangible manipulatives help students put individual parts into sequential order. The right-brained student needs to be trained in sequencing skills by using concrete materials and visual procedures such as the order of letters in words. Also, when completing algebra or math lessons, symbols may not be understood immediately, so these cutout shapes and manipulatives can be used to help teach basic math operations. As one educator put it, "Avoid rote learning like the plague." (source)  

      variquest_cutout_leaves_5-718434-edited  octobertrickactivity-variquest-1

Learn more about how VariQuest Visual Learning Tools can reach learners of all abilities by clicking below:

variquest sample kit

Other Resources

University of Melbourne: Dyslexic Students' Guide for Academics

Understanding Dyslexia Infographic

8 Classroom Accomodations for Dyslexic Students (That Benefit ALL Students)