This student justifies the need for accommodations and proper teaching methods for dyslexic students in one sentence.
8th grade student: "Guess what Miss Laura?! I got an A on a math test for the first time since like 5th grade!"
Miss Laura: "That's so great! I knew you could do it!"
Student: "I just did what you told me to do!"
Student and Miss Laura: Unison high five and "boom!"
To further elaborate, this student utilized her extra time accommodation and went back to double check all her work. She was able to find small, mechanical math errors that had been her down fall on other math tests. Because she had this accommodation and had been taught how to catch her errors, she could then actually show her abilities on a test rather than fail. This student went on to say, “All my friends always get really good grades and this time I was able to be like, Yeah, I can get high grades too!”
Extra time is not a crutch for dyslexic students, nor does it make it unfair to other “normal” students. Accommodations for dyslexic are the stepstool they need to be on a level playing field. For some dyslexic students, it is almost impossible to show what they know without the extra time accommodation. It really is necessary.
Some dyslexic students also need the extra time accommodations because it takes them longer to read the test, which can then eat up their time to actually do the problems. Some need extra time because they process information a bit slower, and need to overcome that deficit. There are numerous reasons why a dyslexic student would need extra time on tests!
Many parents and teachers ask, “How much extra time is fair?” Here is my answer: Extra time is based on the particular student, but a good frame to start with is 1.5 times or 150%. If all students are given 1 hour to complete a test, a dyslexic student will need 1 hour and 30 minutes. This however, is not a full proof equation. If the student needs more time that 1.5x, then just straight up double it!
I encourage ALL teachers and administrators to take this to heart and really think about how accommodations can really help students show their true knowledge of the subject, and not just their speedy test taking skills. Let’s stop making it so difficult for students who need accommodations to get them.
If you want to learn more about what accommodations are best for dyslexic students, or how to get accommodations for your child, please feel free to email me Laura@DyslexiaPros.com
Thank you for reading,