As Dyslexia Awareness Month comes to a close we are re-sharing a past Tuesday Teaching Tips blog featuring some of our FAVORITE books to help you learn more about supporting students with dyslexia.
Achieving literacy for all students IS an attainable goal, and knowledge is the starting point! So, whether you are a parent, teacher, interventionist, or student with dyslexia, it is our job to seek out information to advocate for our students, children, or ourselves. Please don't delay, and jump in with us as we learn all about dyslexia. You will find books that appeal to all ages and backgrounds.
Let's start with this gem of a book by Dr. Sally Shaywitz! This book contains the latest scientific data through the use of functional MRIs. It is informative, user-friendly, and scientifically sound. Every family with a child with a reading defecit should have a copy of this book. All educators should have a copy, too!
Another favorite piece to add to your collection is Jan Hasbrouk's Conquering Dyslexia, a favorite among many parents and teachers. This book demystifies dyslexia by sharing how MRI scans and other neuroscience tools have advanced our understanding in the last decade. Dr. Hasbrouck shares the instructional approaches that work best for children with dyslexia. This book provides parents with the most current information needed to advocate for their children and communicate with educators effectively.
You can also see Dr. Hasbrouck and Dr. Daryl Michel leading a FREE three-session online book study they did with AIM earlier this year on their new book Student-Focused Coaching.
A must read book for Parents! Did you know that many successful architects, actors, lawyers, physicians—even bestselling novelists—had difficulties learning to read and write as children? Most literature focuses on the struggles of a dyslexic learner, but not this one! This book does a great job of blending personal stories with the science of reading. The Dyslexic Advantage provides invaluable advice on how parents, educators, and individuals with dyslexia can recognize and use the strengths of the dyslexic mind. It will empower you and your child to understand the inherent strengths.
Next on the list is Reading for Life, which addresses some key questions: why are so many people still unable to read and write? Why are there still so many different methods for teaching literacy? Why do people still argue about it? With Lyn Stone's wit and wisdom, this book attempts to tackle the myths and misconceptions about literacy instruction.
We certainly cannot forget to highlight one of our favorites by Maryanne Wolf. This book highlights the reading brain in a rapidly changing world. How we retrieve information in today's world is much different than how it was done decades ago. Wolf examines the ability of the brain to adapt and evolve to these changes, given that the act of reading is somewhat new to the human brain- in evolutionary terms. She also discusses the journey of the reading brain throughout a child's life. During the early months of the pandemic, AIM worked with Dr. Wolf and other members of the Haskins Global Literacy Hub to develop an online Resource Library for educators and parents filled with access to literacy tools and resources vetted by literacy researchers. Dr. Wolf is featured in the introductory video to the library.
Drumroll, please... The next is a personal favorite here at AIM. Patricia Polacco is a beloved American author and illustrator with first-hand experience as a struggling reader. Polacco struggled with reading throughout her school years but found relief by expressing herself through art- a gift she attributes to her dyslexia. Polacco endured teasing and hid her disability until a school teacher recognized that she could not read and began to help her. Thank you, Patricia, for showing your vulnerabilities and being one of the first to bring light to this topic!
This realistic fiction book is about a middle school girl who has managed to keep her learning struggles hidden. Fish in a Tree is an excellent book for teaching empathy among peers or siblings with dyslexia, as it encourages others to understand the challenges of dyslexia. Fish in a Tree is often a Lower School Summer Reading assigned book for 4th and 5th graders at AIM Academy. The discussion guide we share with students and families for this summer work can be found here.
Special thank you to all the talented authors listed throughout this blog post. It is remarkable to think how far we have come and how much modern neurological research has helped. Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham would be proud to see that their instructional techniques stood the test of time and how their methodical approach has made its way into many classrooms today. We still have lots of work to do, so remember, help build your knowledge by reading one of our favorite books!
(This post contains Amazon links.)
- Tuesday Teaching Tips