Summary of Tips and Strategies for Meeting the Child with NVLD’s Needs in the Classroom. General Classroom Tips. Minimize the number of adults working with this student. Communicate and collaborate daily.
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Previewing and supplemental aids (such as study guides, outlines, and audiocassettes of the material to be covered in class.) allow this student to receive the maximum benefit from classroom instruction.
A positive attitude, enthusiasm for teaching, a sense of humor, and the willingness to make changes and adjustments in program are key components of a successful staff!
Reading Curriculum alternate testing procedures as needed. Timed assignments only produce stress. Allow closure before moving to the next activity.
This student should excel in reading programs which apply a guided, sequential, phonetic/linguistic approach to reading. Auditory cues will help this child learn new words.
A sequential approach is important. Make sure the student is allowed to move forward quickly once the required material is learned.
In the upper grades, provide outlines and notes of any material to be read. Allow this student to highlight these notes. Have the special education department purchase consumable texts for this student to mark in.
Allow extra time for reading assignments because of slow processing and visual-spatial difficulties. Don’t require long stretches of continuous reading. Visual fatigue can result. Strive to minimize the number and length of reading assignments.
Written Language Curriculum Teach and stress reading comprehension. Step-by-step guidance will be needed to help this student formulate answers to questions which are open-ended.
Written language calls on both right and left hemisphere functions. NLD is known to cause problems putting thoughts in writing.
An incapacity to cross information beween the left and right hemispheres of the brain contributes to difficulty putting creative thoughts into writing.
The student has inadequate resources to even begin a typical, grade-appropriate writing assignment. It may take him 10 minutes just to put his pencil to the paper.
Break down all written assignments and reports into the smallest possible component parts. Gradually work toward decreasing the mount of structure you provide.
The visual-spatial nature of math activities often confuses the student with NLD. Problems arise in the areas of spatial organization, visual relationships, graphomotor deficiencies, and failure to generalize.
A step-by-step, structured, sequential, approach will work best. Point out the similarities to this student that other students discover on their own. Don’t ask this student to study an example in the text before you have given him a detailed verbal description of the process being illustrated.
Math instruction should not rely soleyly on drawings, diagrams, charts, and other visual displays. When demonstrating a new concept, explain each step in its sequential order verbally to the student.
Separate the written aspect of math instruction from the actual learning process.
The most difficult area of math is undoubtably geometry. Multi-dimensional geometry is a real killer because of muddled plane integration. If possible, have the student skip geometry and continue with advanced algebra instruction instead.
Spelling errors are usually phonetically accurate. Misspelled words are easily recognizable.
Don’t ask this child to copy his spelling words from the chalkboard or to write them 10 times each. Repetitious writing won’t reinforce his knowledge of a word’s spelling.
This student may need parallel activities to practice spelling. Words presented visually should be supplemented with auditory prompting. Don’t rely on visually confusing spelling reinforcement activities such as Bingo and word hunts.
Once the child knows how to spell a word, excessive repetition isn’t necessary. Allow him to move on.
Although spelling instruction may prove redundant, let his child take spelling tests with his peers. Give him this chance to shine.
Organizational and Study Skills the correct sequence of letters. Instead of paper and pencil tasks, let him practice his spelling words orally, or on tape.
The student with NLD is usually highly capable of completing assignments that have been modified and adapted to his needs. But all too often, he doesn’t know how to get started, he loses or misplaces his work, or he gets too bogged down with details. His classroom must be set up to accommodate these areas of need.
Check to make sure the classroom environment isn’t too visually stimulating. An “open” classroom will probably prove to be too confusing.
Write the daily schedule on the board each day and try to always follow it. Allow extra time for transitions.