Teaching Tips for Your Students with Dyslexia


Students with Dyslexia are sometimes the most challenging students to figure out! They seem brilliant at specific tasks but then never master the alphabet. They can recite facts about things that are so unbelievably high, but they can’t remember numbers past 20. Some of these students don’t appear to retain information daily, although we repeatedly go over directions and information. It can be exhausting, right? I often feel defeated because a few of my students aren’t learning and progressing as much as I want them to. Huge sigh!

Then, those state tests are dreadful in showing how many ways and how much time I have dedicated to getting these students reading and completing math. I know so many teachers share this pain! For myself, I turned my focus to finding strategies for teaching reading and math with struggling learners. And, I have chatted with some great like-minded teachers at ETTC and in the Fearless First Grade Teachers Group! Let me share some resources and strategies that we have all found that may help you work with your students with Dyslexia!


Indicators for Students with Dyslexia

Did you know that Dyslexia affects nearly 1 in 5 of all students? Although Dyslexia is considered by many to be associated only with reading, it is a language-based learning disability that impacts math, reading, spelling, social behavior, memory, oral language, and more! Students with Dyslexia may appear lazy or unmotivated when they may be working harder than everyone to complete short tasks. And, once they begin realizing they can’t keep up or the work is hard for them, their self-confidence significantly impacts their efforts. Here are some (not all) indicators that teachers and parents may notice in their students when questioning their capabilities:

  • difficulty with word order or word seeking when speaking
  • problems with listening and attending
  • can’t sequence directions to complete simple tasks

  • short term memory problems
  • working memory problems
  • phonological awareness/phonemic awareness/letters & sounds correspondence
  • Check out our Sound Wall, which is AMAZING for working with letters and sounds!
    I love this resource for students needing more assistance and VISUALS! With this resource, your students will have everything they need to
    • properly produce sounds
    • identify which sounds correspond to specific spelling patterns
    • read and write words that have those patterns in them.

  • lack of retention skills for letters, words, numbers, or confusing letters for numbers or shapes
  • word attack skill deficit, spelling deficits, can’t build words
  • number and letter reversals

Strategies and Accommodations for Students with Dyslexia

  • Have students sit closer to a teacher. Proximity allows for more assistance and repetition if needed on directions and step-by-step activities!

  • Use visuals paired with auditory directions. If students need to read first, then answer questions, have images of a child reading followed by a child answering questions.
  • Change response modes. If the activity requires students to write a math equation, students can show they understand the equation with counters!

  • Change modalities. Work that teachers may present to some students in a worksheet can be done on a computer or a tablet! If you typically read the stories, occasionally have the stories read aloud on YouTube. While students are listening, give them something to engage their hands!
  • Our Word Cards are a good activity for students to practice word building using a screen, thus simultaneously engaging their touch and sight!

Resources for Teaching Students with Dyslexia

  • Students need lots of repetition and visual cues for learning the alphabet! These Alphabet Watches are so dang cute and provide the visual cues, the hands-on, and the repetition that students with dyslexia need when learning the alphabet.

  • If you are looking for multiple activities and resources for your students struggling with the alphabet, click here for wearable crowns, worksheets, play-doh mats, alphabet dauber pages, booklets, and MORE! Our play-doh mats are perfect for mixing tactile, handwriting, and visuals all together!

  • Students with Dyslexia do their best when they’re given multisensory instruction. The colorful pages, the shapes, and counting cubes in our No Prep Centers turn learning numbers and letters into tactile engagement!

  • Give very clear directions! Start with basic skills and build up!
  • Review, review, review! Always try to connect prior knowledge with newly presented knowledge!
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Make spelling activities fun, engaging, meaningful, and filled with tons of practice. You will have immediate access to 60+ printables, tons of fun practice activities, and so much variety within our Editable Spelling!


More Tips & Tricks

  • Students with Dyslexia often have problems with organizing information and data. Our CORE BINDER is an all-in-one visual resource notebook that can be individualized for each student! This CORE BINDER is comprehensive with many math, ELA, and social-emotional tools (fillable content work mats and skill practice), visual aids, and resources (reference tools)!

  • Give EXTRA time for work completion! Writing tasks can be daunting for students with Dyslexia. As you look at worksheets, activities, and tests, estimate how you can either minimize the number of required written responses or give that needed time!

Work on visual processing skills such as doing puzzles or completing drawings in a step-by-step sequence. Check out our Directed Drawings:

  • Step-By-Step Drawing with 6 Steps Per Drawing
  • Space To Draw
  • Descriptive Sentence Writing
  • Write The Word
  • Correlating Phonics Or Grammar Activity
  • Correlating Vocabulary & Verbs
  • Story Writing
  • Put ART and color and hands-on all together to engage those senses and work on sight words in Poppin Sight Words Bubbles! A perfect activity that can be fun for all of your students!

  • We know learning is not a one-size-fits-all process, so teach your students the best way for them!

And Here is a Great Bonus Tip: If you aren’t quite sure about our Sound Wall resource yet, please read Making the Most of Your Sound Wall! This resource is manageable and user-friendly and naturally lends itself to student differentiation. It is a killer resource for all students but especially for students with Dyslexia! If you are a paid premium member, you can also find this resource BUNDLED within the premium website! Because this is a bundled resource within premium means it is not available to our free members. So be sure to become a premium member to gain access!


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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.