Orton-Gillingham in Small Groups: Engaging Students All the Time

I love using Orton-Gillingham in my small groups, but it can get boring every day, doing the same thing over and over. How can it become fun and engaging for all students?
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

I found that making the lessons more engaging sometimes helped take the mundane out of the lessons. Things like games and other hands-on activities help students get excited about learning and stay engaged. Here are some of my favorite multi-sensory methods to help my students as they learn to read and write.

Old School

No technology involved here! These next few ways are favorites of my students, and there is no technology involved at all!

Gel Bags and Shaving Cream

This is hands-down their absolute favorite! They are so simple to make. Just put some hair gel in a gallon size zippy bag and reinforce it with duct tape. I added glitter, but food coloring works great too. And hand sanitizer takes the logo write off the bag! Voila ~ instant fun!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.


And who can resist a little shaving cream fun? This is a great way for children to practice spelling words and get your desks and tables clean!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Dry Erase boards

Yes, they love to use those dry erase boards! You would think I had allowed them to teach the class. These are a few different ones I have. The more I switch it up, the more fun they have too!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Sand trays

I used some pencil cases to make these. I just added a small amount of sand for them to write in. Some students don't like the feel of the sand, so I got these great styluses for them to use. Pencil erasers work great too!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Sandpaper, Glitter Foam, and Plastic Canvas

I love putting these under the paper while the kids write. They can "feel" the bumpies as they write during our Simultaneous Oral Spelling (SOS). This is another simple all time favorite!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Games

Sometimes it's just fun to play games. It gets students to read and write words. I usually have one student read a word to another student who then has to spell that word. Play continues in that way, making sure they all get to read. But one thing I have really started doing to keep everyone engaged is that each child has to write the word called, no matter whose turn it is. Then they can check each other. No fooling around because everyone has a chance to play!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

Sliders

I made these out of paint samples, and the kids love these! They can slide the letter down the rime and read words. They are free and simple to make!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.

New School

Our world has really gone digital, and sometimes I allow my students some digital aspects to learning. It's tough with the littler ones, but I am learning some new methods. With my Chromebooks and iPads I can do some digital learning too.

On the Chromebooks I am able to use Google Classroom with my older students. I created a slide show for them to read the words. Each student could have a tailor made experience, each with their own list. Then I could monitor their reading since they couldn't copy off of each other. But this is only good for reading words.

With the iPad, I can use any drawing app. When I call out a word, students can use their fingers to write their words. This is my daughter's favorite way to review her OG spelling words. (Her teacher uses it for whole class.) She spells it on the iPad and then on paper too, all while doing SOS. Works great for everyone!
Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.


As you can see, I use a lot more ways that don't require technology. This is for several reasons. For one, technology doesn't always work like I planned. Another reason is because I really want these students to "feel" the words. Technology doesn't always allow for that. When using old school methods, that multi-sensory piece truly stays intact. 

There is nothing wrong with technology, but I prefer no technology for ease. What are some ways you incorporate multi-sensory methods in your lessons?

And if you would like to see more about how I use Orton-Gillingham in my interventions, check out these posts.

Orton-Gillingham in Small Groups:  Working Magic Daily
Orton-Gillingham in Small Groups:  Planning for Success
Orton-Gillingham in Small Groups:  The All Important Notebook

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Making Orton-Gillingham instruction fun can be a challenge, but these ideas will keep it fresh and fun for all of your students in small groups.


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