Orton-Gillingham for General Education

Provide equitable literacy instruction in the general education classroom with Orton-Gillingham.

In today’s diverse classrooms, educators face the challenge of meeting the needs of students with varying reading abilities. Initially developed for individuals with dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham (OG) has gained recognition as an effective, structured, multi-sensory instructional method for all learners. 

With its structured and systematic approach, OG provides explicit instruction in foundational literacy skills, ensuring all students receive comprehensive and targeted support. The multi-sensory nature of OG engages students’ different learning modalities, promoting better understanding and retention of skills learned. OG’s emphasis on individualized and small-group instruction allows teachers to tailor lessons to meet the specific needs of each student but also fosters a personalized learning environment for the class as a whole. By incorporating OG into the gen ed classroom, educators can effectively address skill gaps, promote inclusivity, and empower all students to achieve literacy success.

What Does OG Look Like in the Gen Ed Classroom?

Orton-Gillingham is a research-based, individualized teaching approach emphasizing explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction. It targets the foundational skills of reading, writing, and spelling, helping students develop strong literacy foundations. In the general education classroom, OG can be integrated seamlessly within the existing curriculum to support the learning needs of all students.

OG in the gen ed classroom involves creating a structured and supportive learning environment. Teachers trained in OG employ multi-sensory techniques, breaking down language concepts into smaller parts and providing ample practice opportunities. They incorporate visual aids, manipulatives, auditory cues, and kinesthetic activities to engage students’ learning modalities. By doing so, educators can cater to diverse learners, address skill gaps, and foster a positive, inclusive classroom environment.

OG Activities for the Gen Ed Classroom:

  • Sound Blending: Sound blending activities help students develop phonemic awareness, an essential skill for reading and spelling. In this activity, students are given a set of individual phonemes or sounds and are guided to blend them together to form words. For example, the teacher may provide the sounds /b/, /a/, and /t/, and students blend them to create the word “bat.” This activity can be conducted as a whole class or small group exercise, encouraging active participation and reinforcing sound-symbol associations.
  • Word Dictation: Word dictation exercises are effective for building spelling and writing skills. Teachers provide a series of words, read aloud one at a time, and students write them down. This activity promotes the development of sound-symbol correspondence, orthographic knowledge, and enhances students’ spelling accuracy. It can be tailored to different proficiency levels by adjusting the complexity of the words or incorporating specific spelling patterns.
  • Sentence Building: Sentence-building activities support the development of grammar, syntax, and comprehension skills. Teachers provide students with individual words or phrases, and students work collaboratively to construct meaningful sentences. This activity encourages students to apply their knowledge of sentence structure, parts of speech, and vocabulary. It can be extended to include more complex sentence formation, such as compound or complex sentences, to challenge higher-level learners.

Searching for an Orton-Gillingham Approach for Your Gen Ed Classroom?

Implementing OG in the gen ed classroom requires specialized training for teachers. The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) offers comprehensive OG training programs for educators and equips teachers with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to implement OG techniques within the gen ed curriculum effectively. By investing in high-quality OG training, teachers can enhance their instructional practices and provide equitable literacy instruction to all their students.

Investing in the right OG training, such as the programs offered by IMSE, empowers gen ed teachers to implement this evidence-based approach effectively and significantly impact their student’s academic success. For more information on OG training available to all teachers, check out IMSE.com!