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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

5 Ways to Support Your Orton Gillingham Phonics Lessons

Are you using a structured phonics program like Orton Gillingham in your classroom to help support your students? Programs like these are fantastic for in class instruction and phonics intervention, but over the years I would often find myself wanting a bit more support to implement their strategies. This led to the creation of some supplementary materials that align well with Orton Gillingham phonics lessons, and really any primary phonics program! If you're looking for new and exciting ways to engage your students in phonics lessons, check out 5 of my favorite tools and activities!

Use these 5 activities to support your Orton Gillingham phonics lessons this year.

What is Orton Gillingham Phonics Program? 

Orton Gillingham phonics is an approach that's used for remedial reading instruction in primary classrooms and becoming part of the core instruction within the classroom too. It uses a multisensory phonics technique that's fantastic for helping our students truly grasp and understand phonics. 

No matter what specific phonics program you are using incorporating Orton Gillingham phonics activities in your lessons will help your students learn, practice, and understand key phonics concepts.
It's often used for intervention and is excellent support for students with dyslexia, but really all students can benefit from this approach. 

This program focuses on using auditory lessons, visual aids, and hands-on learning activities to target phonics in many different ways. Aside from Orton Gillingham though, there are many other structured phonics programs out there that use a similar teaching format. 

And the good news is that even if you aren't using this particular phonics program with your students, you can still use all of the activities in this post! 

These activities are designed to be fun and engaging for students, focusing on a multisensory teaching approach that allows children to use hands-on learning. No matter what phonics program your school uses, your students will LOVE these engaging phonics lessons. 

1. Blending Boards 

Whether you use Orton Gillingham phonics lessons or not, I think we can all agree that young students need lots of practice sounding out words and learning to blend letters to form CVC words. This is an activity that should happen daily in the primary classroom, especially for those students who need a little extra dedicated time for phonics intervention. 

Seasonal blending boards like these will help your students practice sounding out words and learning how to blend letters for form CVC words.
As with anything that is a daily practice, the key to keeping it fun for kiddos is to add some kind of element that switches it up! When it comes to practicing blending, I loved to do this by using seasonal blending boards that change from month to month. 

The idea behind these blending boards is that students will choose consonants and vowels from each box to create their own CVC word. Building and blending CVC words is a huge win for new readers as they develop confidence. The piece that makes these blending boards fun though is the seasonal clipart on each one! The pictures align with the time of year, whether it's school buses for August, turkeys for November, or snow globes for January! Students will love working on blending with these fun activity mats. 

2. Pound and Tap Cue Cards 

One of the strategies taught in the Orton Gillingham phonics lessons is to "pound and tap" out sounds as students read and write words. 

Pound and tap cue cards like these are a key strategy in the Orton Gillingham phonics techniques and can help your students practice saying each of the sounds of words.
If a child is left-handed, they use their right to pound and tap, and vice versa if they are right-handed. 

The idea behind this concept is to help children break down the words into individual sounds. 

Since we used this technique all the time in my classroom, I created some cue cards and anchor charts to help prompt and remind my students to do so. 

Every child got their own cue card for their desk. The card is personalized by skin tone and which hand they will use for the "pound and tap" technique. 

I liked to laminate the cards, and then tape them to the top corner of the desk that aligns with the hand they will use. 

These cue cards along with the anchor charts served as a great reminder to do this while both reading and writing too. 

3. B and D Reversal Posters & Desk Plates 

Using b and d reversal posters nd desk plates like these help remind your students how to form each of these letters.
As teachers in the primary classroom, we all know how easy it is for new readers to mix up lowercase b and d. In my experience, this is most common in grades kindergarten, first, and second, and can really trip those kiddos up as they try to sound out words! 

To help them get past this, I created some B and D Reversal Posters that serve as a quick and easy reminder.  These cute posters show a picture of a bed as a visual reminder. On the card, there is both a lowercase b and d to help students remember which is which. 

There is also an option that shows an additional picture for each letter to further prompt students. 

These can be printed in poster size for classroom d├ęcor, or printed in the smaller options and taped to students' desks as a reminder. Both options are great for mastering those tricky "b" and "d" lowercase letters! 

4. Phonics Flashcards 

This next phonics tool aligns with Orton Gillingham and my Recipe for Reading sequence. 

Use phonics flashcards like these to help your students learn individual letter sounds, digraphs, spelling patters, and more!
These phonics flashcards are great for teaching individual letter sounds, digraphs, spelling patterns, or "hunks and chunks". 

Anytime you're introducing new sounds to your students, these are a great way to streamline the process! 

This bundle includes 800 picture cards for each lesson included in the sequence from sets 1-3. Each card is marked by what sound they represent for easy organization. There is also a picture card key to show what sounds are targeted and to avoid confusion. 

I liked to print these on cardstock, laminate them, and store them in small photo boxes. These are quick and easy tool to use in your intervention groups in daily phonics practice lessons but are helpful for general classroom use too. 

5. Phonics Fluency Strips 

Finally, let's chat about another one of my favorite tools for phonics lessons! These phonics fluency strips help target specific sounds, provide fluency practice, and can quickly assess for progress. 

Phonics fluency strips like these will help your students learn targeted sounds and will help you quickly assess their progress.
They're especially helpful for checking in with newly learned phonics skills and applying previously learned skills during small groups. 

My favorite feature of these fluency strips though is how easy they are to use. Simply print and go, and students will be able to grab a list and start reading! 

This resource includes fluency strips for 42 different phonics sounds/rules. Each page has 4 identical lists that can quickly be cut apart and handed out to students. The phonics skill is listed at the top of the strip and then followed by 11 words for that sound. 

These are such great tools for small group intervention, can serve as an excellent small group warm up, and I also loved to tuck these into homework folders as well! They're a super simple way for teachers and parents to help children grow in reading fluency and practice a variety of sounds.

Using All of these Phonics Lessons Together 

If you asked me to pick a favorite from these activities, I really don't think I'd be able to so! In all honesty, I used all of these tools and activities on a regular basis in my classroom and with my intervention groups. Whether or not you use Orton Gillingham phonics lessons, these tools will have a big impact on how much progress your young readers make! 

Because of this, I created a bundle of all these resources. The bundle will help you add variety to your phonics lessons and ensure you're keeping these fun and engaging for your students. It includes all 5 of the resources discussed in this post, so you'll be able to help support your students all year long! 

Check out the bundle to simplify your lesson planning, support your structured phonics lessons, and make learning to read FUN for your students! 

Grab this Orton Gillingham BUNDLE to use each of these exciting and fun activities in your classroom today!

Save This Post 

This post has everything you need to enrich your phonics lessons whether you use Orton Gillingham or not! Make sure to pin this post on Pinterest to keep these engaging ideas at your fingertips. 

Looking for fun ways to help your students learn, practice, and master important phonics skills? These 5 activities are the perfect way to support your Orton Gillingham phonics lessons this year. Be sure to grab the Orton Gillingham bundle to start using these engaging activities in your classroom today! #tarynsuniquelearning #phonicsactivities #ortongillingham #ortongillinghamactivities

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