Reading through Touching Method
Have you ever thought about discovering newer ways to read? One new way that is increasing in classrooms is reading through touch. Most children can see the word, but have trouble decoding the word; especially at an early age or if they have a disability. That is why at Novastar Prep, we encourage reading tutors to use ‘touch’ sensory to coach students, as it is an effective way to help in decoding information. Reading through touch needs the utilization of one of the five senses to educating students. This process of learning through touch is called kinesthetic learning.
A research has revealed that when a teacher uses clay, wooden sticks, or dough to make letters stand out, students are able to decode and read words in a better way, at a greater pace. Science and research have proven that when a teacher utilizes touch sensory during classroom lessons, students are able to grasp more of the information. And this is why kinesthetic learning is very helpful for dyslexic children. Dyslexia is a kind of a disorder in which children are not able to read or interpret words, letters, and symbols. But, with the kinesthetic learning approach, you don’t have to read the words that are in front of you, you rather have to feel the words with your fingers and also understand their meaning from within your heart. It is these learning approaches that make specially-abled people to think beyond their disabilities and learn the way others around them are learning.
That is why people and students who are blind find Braille very easy to decipher and understand. Braille is a form of written language for blind people, which was developed by Louis Braille, who was blind himself. It is at a later part of his life when he realized he too could read without seeing the words, by touching them [Multi-Sensory Activities for Teaching Reading-This Reading Mama. (2013, Jun. 9)]
I have an example to make all of you understand this concept better. It was during the summer months of 2015, when the director matched me with a new student who did not know the alphabet, was unable to read, and was in the second grade. The first thing that came to my mind to help this child develop was hands-on and touching lessons. During the first few months of tutoring sessions, I would show him a letter, and then I would ask him to make that letter either with clay, play dough, or wooden sticks from a jingo game. After a few months, he was able to recognize most of the letters, say most of the phonetic letters, and put the letters together in order to read and form a word.
Clay, wooden sticks, and play dough are one of the many tools that teachers can use in order to help students to read and interpret by touching. The colors of clay, wooden sticks, and play dough help lure students to do reading exercises and make them want to learn. It takes a village to help students learn to read, and develop themselves even if they are faced with a disability. A kinetic learner can use clay, wooden sticks, and play dough to start reading with greater confidence in a fun and interesting manner.