• 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,…

  • 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…

  • Suffix Rules

    Illustrations of Suffix Rules, An Overview

    Continuing with Suffixes, today I will create an overview of suffix rules. The three suffix rules are: 1-1-1 Doubling Rule, E Drop Rule and the Y-Changing Rule. I will do an overview today, but go in depth in my next posts. 1-1-1 Doubling rule is: 1 syllable words ending in 1 consonant after 1 vowel, you double the final consonant before a vowel suffix. Why double? Because doubling the consonant after the vowel keeps the vowel short. E Drop Rule is: Words ending in e drop the e before adding a vowel suffix. Y Changing Rule is: Words ending in y change the y to i if there is a…

  • Consonants & Vowels,  Suffix Rules

    We Sailed and Jumped into a Twisted -ED (the suffix)

    Hearing letter sounds is a major key to learning to write and understand English. It can be confusing because many letters or letter combinations have more than one sound. Today I will go over one of the combinations – the suffix –ed. The suffix –ed is used to represent past tense; plenty of even smaller children may realize this. What a person may not have given attention to is that –ed makes three different sounds. A sentence to represent this  (and practice) is: He rented a boat, jumped in and sailed off. Hear it? Rented — /ed/  (said like the name, Ed) Jumped — /t/ (sounds like the sound of a “t”)…

  • Consonants & Vowels

    The Letter Q(u)

    You will never see, in the English language, the letter q without a u following it. The exception here is in proper names, like Q-tip, but that is the only exception. The rest of the time, qu is always together. For this reason, in Orton Gillingham, Qu is a consonant together and the sound it makes is “kw.” After I learned this, I started thinking of words and sure enough, qu is always together. Queen, quarter, quilt, quill, quiet, quite, quick, quit, question, quack, quality, quip, quintuplet, quagmire, squint, squat, squirt, squirrel … I could keep going but I’m sure you get the point. Review: Qu is always together, and…

  • Uncategorized

    Orton Gillingham for All

    I spent a year taking a course on the Orton Gillingham (OG) method of teaching reading and spelling. I took the class at The Schenck School, a school specifically for dyslexic children. My teacher was a dynamic woman named Rosalie Davis. She was hands down the best teacher I have ever encountered. Or, was it that what she was teaching was so enchanting? I think the answer is both. What makes OG a special method for teaching kids to read and spell is that it is multi-sensory. What that means is, students of OG are taught to see, hear and feel each element of the language. Students are required to see it…