Davis Learning Strategies (DLS)

Various Learning Styles

Professor Howard Gardner's theories about multiple intelligences have highlighted that we do not all think in the same way. Ron Davis' bestselling book The Gift of Dyslexia and his latest book The Gift of Learning do not only explain why this is the case, but also provide an easy way to cater for all the different learning styles.

While phonics work well for verbal thinkers, the non-verbal thinkers do not alway fare so well using phonics. Our methods - the Davis Learning Strategies (DLS) - cater for all thinking and learning styles.

We give teachers confidence in dealing with learning difficulties in the classroom, as well as practical and effective tools for improving overall class performance. This has been shown to help morale and satisfaction at work, reducing stress and burn-out. The same can be said about parents home-schooling their children.

DLS report from New Zealand

This workshop is run as a two-day workshop in USA, but in Iceland we ran this as a four-day workshop, with considerable mentoring follow-up included. Recently we piloted a workshop, which was five days, where the content was amalgamated from The Gift of Dyslexia workshop and the DLS workshop (Teaching Made Easy). We are of the opinion that the five-day workshop is the most productive, because it gives a much deeper understanding of the principles we are working with. This will again allow the participant to really appreciate the immense value of the seemingly simple tools and strategies we provide in the two-day workshop.
Cost: For the two-day workshop, in UK: £390, in SA: R7,200, including mentoring for the first year.
This workshop can be done as an in-house training, in partnership with a school, where the school provides the venue and a set number of participants, and we provide the workshop at a significantly lower cost. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring this option.

A Calm Environment

Students deserve a classroom environment conducive to learning. Most of us assume that our students have mastered both the skill of paying attention and how to manage their own energy. This is not always the case, but both those skills can actually be taught to a whole class, creating a more satisfying learning environment for everyone.

DLS provides all students with practical tools to enhance learning. These tools also reduce disruption from other students, who have never mastered the skill of paying attention. When we combine these tools with highly effective heuristic*, multi-sensory^ learning practices in the classroom and at home, we can maximise learning potential, irrespective of any individual's preferred learning style.

Training Structure
Our two- to five-day training is designed to fit in with your work commitments as much as possible and can be tailored to meet your needs.

Davis Learning Strategies® provide teachers with: 

  • A set of learning strategies promoting self-regulating behaviors 
  • Visual-kinesthetic approaches matching children’s developmental levels 
  • Strategies challenging the needs of all learners within a classroom 
  • Strategies that complement any curriculum already in place 
  • Project-based learning for students Detailed instructions appropriate for Response to Intervention (RTI) needs 

Workshop Instruction: 

  • Theory supporting strategies and instruction with related research 
  • Video vignettes of implementing strategies 
  • Supervised experiential practice of strategies with follow-up discussion 
  • Verification of Attendance Certificate 

Teacher Workshop Kit Provided: 

  • Workshop Kit 3-Ring binder detailing all strategies and steps for implementation 
  • Supplies: Alphabet strip, letter recognition cards, Stop Signs in Reading chart, Webster’s New Children’s Dictionary, 2 koosh balls, 2 lbs. clay, clay cutter 
  • Soft-side brief case to hold above materials

The core Davis® Learning Strategies are:

  • Davis® Focusing Skills provide students with the self-directed ability to be focussed on the learning task at hand.
  • Davis® Symbol Mastery allows students to master the alphabet, punctuation marks and basic sight words with a simple, easy and fun multi-sensory alternative to pencil-paper activities and drill exercises.
  • Davis® Reading Exercises improve skills in word recognition and comprehension. They can be used alone or as a supplement to other reading programmes.

From A Grateful Educator

Dear DDAI,
The summer of 2010 was an awesome and life changing time for me when I participated in The Gift of Dyslexia Workshop and the Davis Learning Strategies Basic Workshop.
My home situation prevented me from continuing my study of the Davis Programs, but the little bit that I learned greatly maximized my teaching skills. I was able to use the Davis Learning Strategies with children in grades one through three, and more recently, in Kindergarten.
The first year after my training, I worked with third grade in a parochial school. The Davis Learning Strategies totally transformed my classroom, where children became more focused and self-directed. Our school administered a standardized reading test in the fall and the spring. The difference between the scores was amazing, and I can only attribute it to the fact that all the students had learned how to perceive correctly. Also, discipline problems were greatly reduced, and respectfully addressed. If a child was jumping and pushing in line, I could quietly ask, “What’s your energy dial on? Could you turn it down?” My favorite was when we were lined up at the entrance to Mass, and I would give the command, “Get focused.” The children would release, focus and walk into church like a row of angels! Kids, as well as adults, feel so much better when they are competent and in control!
I have retired from teaching, but started to volunteer in a Kindergarten classroom, which is overcrowded with many children who lack self control. I told the teacher, “I think I can help.” Then, I dusted off my Davis Learning Strategies notebook, got out the clay, and am delighted to be able to use this method to work with children who desperately need it.
Over my forty-year teaching career, I’ve participated in many wonderful “continuing education” classes and workshops, but the Davis training has been the best. It helped make me a better teacher and I helped students become better learners.
A. L. Retired Elementary School Teacher

No special needs referrals in two years

A recently published research study in America found dramatic change from using Davis Learning Strategies (DLS) in the classroom. DLS is a new method of teaching children how to learn, based on the Davis Dyslexia Correction Methods described in Ron Davis' bestselling book The Gift of Dyslexia. It takes only four days of training to make a teacher proficient in using DLS in the classroom.

In a pilot study started 1993, eventually including six Californian schools, DLS was shown to have a very encouraging effect. In three classrooms included in a study published in Reading Improvement Journal in 2001, referrals for special needs two years after the introduction of DLS were non-existent. Furthermore, numbers of gifted children in these classrooms were on average 20%, compared to US national average of 5%. This is a quadrupling (300% rise) in gifted referrals.

Two schools transformed through Davis

In recent years, two elementary (primary) schools beat all others in their respective regions by introducing Davis Learning Strategies. In the year 2006, Elbert Elementary school's third grade reading scores went straight from the worst to the best of all schools in the Pikes Peak district in Colorado, US, - immediately after 17 staff members were trained in using DLS. The second school to hit the headlines for using DLS is Walsh Elementary School. This is a small, underfunded school in rural Colorado, serving preschool through sixth grades. They introduced DLS in 2003, and four years later - against all odds - they had the highest reading scores in the state of Colorado, with 89% of the children scoring at or above grade level proficiency.

Benefits of Davis Learning Strategies in schools

Beyond the obvious benefits of reducing special needs referrals and improving overall achievement of the whole class, there are wider positive effects of introducing DLS in a classroom or a school.
Our firm belief is that DLS is an initiative that no school, local education authority or government can afford to ignore.

Benefits for students/parents: 
  • Studying becomes easier and exam results improve. 
  • The work environment in the classroom improves for all students as a result of better ADD/ADHD management. 
  • School improves in league tables, resulting in better prospects for all students. 
  • Provisions for gifted children are improved, and a practical inclusion strategy for gifted as well as learning-disabled children is put into practice - resulting in no segregation. 
  • More time and resources are available for other disabilities. 
  • Improved self management and self esteem, resulting in overall better quality of life for the family.

Benefits for teachers: 
  • Improved exam results and work environment. 
  • Better ADD/ADHD management. 
  • Valuable Continuous Professional Development.
  • Less burn-out and exhaustion.
  • More work satisfaction.

Benefits for school administration: 
  • Potential saving on budget, 
  • improved exam results and work environment, 
  • less burnout amongst staff, 
  • better morale for staff and students, ADD/ADHD management, improvement in league tables, 
  • more gifted children and better provisions for them, 
  • a practical inclusion strategy for learning-disabled - no segregation. 
  • More time and resources for other disabilities. 

Benefits for councils/LEAs/national education services: 
  • Potential saving on budget, 
  • improved exam results and work environment throughout, 
  • less burnout (less need for substitute teachers), 
  • better morale for staff and students, 
  • improved ADD/ADHD management, 
  • improvement in league tables, 
  • more gifted children and better provisions for them, 
  • a practical inclusion strategy for learning-disabled - no segregation. 
  • More time and resources for other disabilities. 
  • For society as a whole long term: Potential saving in social services and police/justice/prison services. 
  • Increase in innovation, productivity and growth.