As educators, our hearts break when we see children struggle with reading, comprehension, or vocabulary. Some of our students come from difficult socioeconomic backgrounds, have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, or simply received poor reading instruction in the past. Thankfully, there are a variety of instructional methods available that we can use to help our students become better readers. One of the most successful methods is the Orton-Gillingham (OG) Approach, designed to help students overcome reading difficulties.
What Is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?
The Orton-Gillingham Approach was first published in the 1930s. While intended primarily for spelling, reading, and writing, this method can be used for mathematics instruction as well. The unique method provides intensive intervention that is both sequential and cumulative—so your students who are struggling with fluency or comprehension will benefit from reading instruction that is broken down into smaller, more digestible skills involving specific sounds and letters. Success comes when those smaller skills are built on over time. The OG Approach can help many children—including those who are dyslexic—succeed in reading.
What Are the Benefits of Orton-Gillingham?
One of the primary benefits of this particular method of instruction is that it is multisensory—which provides direct learning by engaging the senses through kinesthetic, auditory, and visual techniques. This ensures that each individual student need is met with a comprehensive and varied method of instruction.
While instruction is intensive and direct, it is also flexible and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of each child—without anyone falling behind, or you feeling overwhelmed! If your students are reading at different levels, the OG Approach allows every student to learn the same skills at the pace and level that they need.
Finally, this type of program works well for individual learning, small group instruction, and entire classrooms. Whether you teach a large class, or tutor students one-on-one, programs that follow the Orton-Gillingham Approach can be tailored for any number of students.
What Are the Best Resources Available?
Children who struggle with reading often need intensive teacher-led instruction to succeed academically. EPS Instruction and Intervention has been a leader in the field of education for over 60 years, providing customized instruction that includes everything from screening and intervention to progress monitoring and reporting. One of their best-selling programs is SPIRE—an Orton-Gillingham based program designed to help the lowest performing readers achieve success. Available both in print and digital formats, the program features a spiraling curriculum that gives children an intense and structured method for improving the critical areas of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
While in-class instruction isn’t one-size-fits-all, there are programs available that can be tailored to help your on-level readers meet their goals, without your struggling students falling behind—and without adding additional work to your plate.