A teacher has discovered an unusual method how to help students struggling with dylsexia.
At Riverside Middle School, teacher Gail Grossman leads a small group in front of a table filled with colored tiles. The tiles represent sounds, not letters. As students string them together, the result is jibberish. Grossman leads them to match three sounds to three different colored tiles, – n-i-sh.
Breaking down the words into sounds is easier for some children than others. The planned exercises are part of the Barton System, a program designed to help students with dyslexia.
As students change sounds and swap tiles, they are able to link sound groups to words and identify where changes happen.
Grossman began using the system in 2013 when level 1 was paid for by grant funding. She bought the next two levels with her own money, and after a successful experience has applied for an Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools classroom grant for the $600 purchase of levels four and five.
Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the overall population is affected by dyslexia, but up to 80 percent of people who struggle with reading are affected by dyslexia. 26 states, including Montana, do not have any legislation specific to dyslexia, which can be a problem in identifying students and getting them help early.