• Syllable Division

    A Lion or a Poem: Dividing Vowel Team Words

    In dividing words with vowel teams in Orton Gillingham there are two types: Lion Words Lion Words. In Lion words there will be a reversal of vowel teams. For example, io as in lion, rather than oi as in oil. Another example is ia as in dial, rather than ai as in rain. When a student sees the reversal, it means, in most cases, the team will be divided (split up) and the first vowel will be long. ◊ In Lion Words, these are vowels that are together, but they are not vowel teams and you would never teach this concept before teaching vowel teams. ◊ Examples: Eon is e…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    Speech Pathology in OG

    Speech pathology is important in creating sounds, and this is important in Orton Gillingham because the method relies on teaching in a three-prong approach – auditory, kinesthetic and visual. For a learner with no speech issues, I think the most taught is that there is such a thing a voiced and unvoiced. Let them put their hand on their throat and feel the difference when saying “th” as the word mother versus the word thumb. Mother is voiced th, and thumb is unvoiced. Same th, but sounds differently when one is voiced and unvoiced. This can help feel the letters in the body, as well as hear the difference. If…

  • Syllable Division,  Tools,  Types of Syllables

    REVLOC Syllable Sorting Game

    If you want to do something with a student that feels like a game, sorting syllables is a fun way to get going. There aren’t many rules. I have attached a cutout to this post for download. You can print it, cut it out and get started. You can also make more syllables and keep going once your student has conquered these. First, put REVLOC and “other” lined across the top. If your student is only capable of Open and Closed then you can put the O and C at the top and add more to the line as the student gets more advanced. “Other” is for Latin Connectives, Prefixes…

  • Tools

    What’s In a Plan

    With so many kids having to learn from home these days, you may be wondering what a lesson plan in Orton Gillingham looks like. A lesson can be between 45 minutes to an hour. Lessons consist of Drills, Letter Formation, Concepts, Dictation, and Reading. Much more detail on a lesson to come… There is also something in Orton Gillingham called a Scope and Sequence – the order in which the letters and concepts are taught. In the class I took, they used the scope and sequence from a book called, Unlocking the Power of Print, by Dorothy Blosser Whitehead. The thing about lessons is that they build upon one another,…

  • Tools

    Jewels of Orton Gillingham

    I’ve talked about how to say letters and spell letters, and SOS method of spelling in Orton Gillingham. How do you start getting these lessons to the student? The answer starts with Drill Cards. All OG lessons start with drill cards. In Orton Gillingham the “Jewel Box” is an important tool. According to the class I took, the “Jewel Box” (or Jewel Case) got its name from children, and the name stuck. The Jewel Box is a box, mine is a box that would be considered a photo box (see photo above — that’s my actual Jewel Box), that holds card decks for lesson drills. These cards should be used…

  • Tips and Games

    Why does Orton Gillingham work? And, A Few Tips!

    Why does Orton Gillingham work? The Orton Gillingham method is used to teach reading, writing and spelling. It’s not a “fast” approach to learning – it’s a thorough approach. Orton Gillingham starts with the most basic part of language, the phoneme, the smallest unit of sound, and teaches all the sounds the letter makes – that’s right, many letters have more than one sound! (Think letter s – it says “s” as in moss or it can say “z” as in rose.) Orton Gillingham then builds on this to add blends, beginning sounds and ending sounds. Then moves into rules like FLOSS, Magic E, Hard/Soft C&G, and more. OG then…

  • Prefixes/Suffixes

    Prefixes: Enlivened Vocabulary

    A prefix is a vowel or a syllable placed at the beginning of a word to change the meaning of the word. English is a language made up of many other languages. Its three most common sources are Anglo-Saxon (less than 1%), Greek (11%) and Latin (55%)*. Words are made up of prefixes, suffixes and roots. Knowing the meanings of each will aid in decoding and spelling. ֎ Anglo-Saxon words with Germanic roots we use every day: Man, wife, child, brother, fight, love, drink, sleep, eat, house, to, for, but, and, in, on ֎ “Of almost 3,000 prefix words found in textbooks, grades 3-9, words beginning with un-, re-, in-(meaning…

  • Miscellaneous Rules

    The IE/EI Rule Yields Receipt

    There is a basic rule about IE/EI, but there are also many exceptions to the rule that make it difficult to learn and teach this concept. However, getting a basic understanding of the rule can level the field for spelling and reading. This rule is usually for 4th grade and above. First, the rule says (and many have already heard this): Use i before e except after c, when spelling long e (ē). ֎So, what does this mean? It means that the location of the c is very important to the concept. Because it says “after” c, but in reality the c comes first, before the ei. It is important…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    More Facts – Vowel Facts

    Facts About Vowels All single vowels have more than one sound: they all make a long sound, a short sound and a schwa sound. For example: baby = “ā,” apple = “ă,” bandage = “Ə” Short vowels are indicated with a breve – ă 60% of English words have short vowel sounds A vowel followed by a consonant (closed syllable) is usually short = VC. Examples: at, dog, bid, sat, mat, plat, slug ●Exceptions: a vowel followed by the letters r, l, w, or y is NOT short. Curb Call Cow Delay Magic E – the Magic E pattern is VCE. E at the end of the word usually makes…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    It’s a Fact — Consonants

    Today, I want to give you a few facts about consonants. 21 Consonants are: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z Consonants never say their name (except in words like x-ray). Most consonants have one sound. Five consonants have more than one sound: c, g, s, x, n The letter r does not say “er.” It sounds more like a barking dog – “rhhh.” The letter q is ALWAYS followed by a u in English words. They make the sound “kw” as in queen.  The letter x makes three sounds: “ks” as in Box “gz”…