The impact of dyslexia on students in the classroom can be profound. However, they have the potential to excel when educators provide them with the support they need. Implementing evidence-proven teaching strategies allows students to sync learning with the distinct ways their brains process information, offering them a valuable opportunity to achieve academic success.
Orton-Gillingham and Dyslexia
In the 1930s, Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist, collaborated with educator and psychologist Anna Gillingham to formulate the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. This method was specifically designed for students showing signs of dyslexia. Their approach integrated direct, multi-sensory teaching techniques with a meticulously structured sequence of phonics lessons encompassing auditory, visual, and kinesthetic components.
While there is no cure for dyslexia, utilizing IDA-Accredited Orton-Gillingham programs, like IMSE Impact, has demonstrated efficacy in enhancing reading and writing proficiency for students with dyslexia. By employing multisensory tools to teach phonics sequentially, students can engage cognitively and develop increased confidence in their reading, writing, and language skills.
Orton-Gillingham Activities for Dyslexia
Orton-Gillingham activities are designed to support students with dyslexia by engaging multiple senses and providing structured, systematic instruction. Here are some practical activities that teachers can use when teaching students with dyslexia:
- Letter-Sound Association: Use interactive games and activities to reinforce the association between letters and their corresponding sounds. Encourage students to practice saying the sound of each letter.
- Phonemic Awareness Exercises: Engage students in activities that help them identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words. This can include segmentation (breaking words into sounds) and blending (combining sounds to form words).
- Multisensory Letter Writing: Have students write letters in a tray of sand, shaving cream, or on the carpet with their fingers. This tactile approach reinforces letter formation via multiple kinesthetic pathways.
- Sound-Blending Activities: Use alphabet cards or letter tiles to practice blending sounds together to form words. For example, blend /c/ /a/ /t/ to form “cat.”
- Word Building: Provide students with letter tiles or magnetic letters to create words. Encourage them to build and break down words to understand how they are constructed.
- Decodable Texts: Use decodable books that align with the current phonics concept(s) students are learning, as well as any previously taught concepts. This provides decoding practice students can independently and confidently accomplish.
Be sure to celebrate students’ progress and achievements to boost their confidence and motivation as you work through some of the above activities.
The understanding and proactive support of students with dyslexia are cornerstones of an inclusive learning environment that celebrates diversity and individual strengths. Educators hold the power to make a profound difference in the lives of students by providing tailored strategies, accommodations, and a supportive atmosphere that encourages their growth and development.
By embracing dyslexia awareness, we not only open doors to academic success but also nurture the self-esteem and confidence of all students. It is through our collective commitment to supporting students with dyslexia that we can truly transform their educational experiences, empowering them to overcome challenges and reach their full potential.
Be sure to check back for the rest of the series to be released this Dyslexia Awareness Month:
- Demystifying Dyslexia: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators Part 1 of 4
- Diagnosing Dyslexia Part 2 of Demystifying Dyslexia: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators
- Supporting Students with Dyslexia Part 3 of Demystifying Dyslexia: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators
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