Give each subject its own colour! Do several copies: one for the locker, the homework journal, your study area. Put in the name of your teacher and classroom the first time you put in a subject. It could look like this.
Use your homework journal for homework and to pack your bag for the next day. Write in the names of the subjects in for each day. It will save time when taking down homework in class. For your files/notes/books. Try having a weekly clear out and organisation of locker and work area. Use colour folders and covers/colour tabs for your copies. Use the same colour for the subjects as in your timetable.
For example, English could be red, Maths yellow, Geography pink etc. And of course, most importantly have your MOBILE switched OFF when doing homework.
Rote learning (learning off-by-heart what you do not understand) is not recommended for students with dyslexia. It is better to learn with understanding or to see patterns. Use several senses rather than look over/read over notes to make the material your own. It is hard work but it helps. Use activities such talking, listening, debating, drawing, visualising, flashcards, lists of questions etc.
If you cannot take good notes, can you get photocopies or use revision books. This will allow you listen in class and understand what is being taught. There are websites that can be helpful. See end of this article. Put page numbers, date, subject and topic at the top of each page. When summarising the summary should be less than a quarter of text. Use lots of space, numbering, bullet points, headings, sub-headings & colour. Graphic Organisers and Mindmaps help organise your thinking, help when learning/memorising material and then help in structuring written answers. There are some examples of graphic organisers below.
Try to make time to read something everyday. It will develop reading stamina and speed. It is like training for a race. You cannot run a 5 K race immediately. You train for it over time. Active reading means asking yourself questions about the text before you start, then try to find the answers to those questions as you read. It will help keep your mind focussed. Then when you finish, check if you can now answer the questions.
See if a plastic colour overlay helps or use a ruler to keep your eyes focussed on the page. Maybe enlarged print (on computer or Kindle) may help. Digital copies of textbooks are available so you can read and hear the text at the same time. Factsheet 16 under downloads at www.dyslexiacourses.ie has details on how to access them. There is a scanning pen available now which reads aloud text as well as capturing text to file. See www.scanningpenshop.com.
Reading aloud or subvocalizing (saying the words quietly to yourself) can help you read more accurately particularly in exams.
Dictionary/notebook when reading will help develop vocabulary: Put a tab where each letter begins in the dictionary. Have an alphabet bookmark and choose a dictionary with large print. Collins Dictionaries have dictionaries where the alphabet is printed on each page.
Keep a vocabulary notebook for each subject
Develop mnemonics for spelling words you confuse
Make up three characters in great detail such as how they look, clothes, hobbies, family, school, jobs, friends, opinions etc. Collect pictures from magazines etc. to illustrate your characters. It makes it easier to compose a short story if you have people already in your head. Use your five senses when writing a description of a scene.
When answering questions think of 3 points to support your answer, then 2 references /quotes to back up each point.Use the question to start your answer. So if you are asked What the key causes of climate change? begin your answer The key causes of climate change are.. Write and don’t stop for spelling, check it afterwards otherwise it will interrupt your thinking.
Have checklists of points to prompt you to write more. For example when writing about a person in history, think about clothes, food, farming, houses, rulers, religion, schools, beliefs, death. Templates which show how to structure an answer help with planning. Examples are available with Inspiration Software. Here is an example.