Getting Set Up

If you are just starting to help your struggling reader, it can be overwhelming. The biggest question is, "Where do I start?" The most important thing to remember is to get organized and have all your materials ready before you begin.

The most important addition to your lessons is a complete set of flashcards from the Teacher's Aids section. Flashcards are something you will want to review everyday with your student. Making your own set may be a bit of a project, but one that is necessary. There are some Orton Gillingham flashcards out there, but they are entirely in white. Each category should have its own color. This will help students differentiate between sounds when the spelling is the same. For example, the vowel team ea can be pronounced as long or short e. Different colors will help your students remember which sound of ea they are reading. When you are using the flashcards for blending, there will be no confusion on the pronunciation of ea.

Or, if a child is reading a sentence such as, "I read the book," it would be difficult to know whether to say a long or short vowel sound. By showing the correct color flashcard for the word read, he or she will know how to pronounce it.

Be sure not to be too ambitious in using the flashcards. You don't want to overwhelm your reader. Use the lesson plan template to help you determine which specific material to review each day.

If your child has received Orton Gillingham instruction in the past, he or she will be significantly ahead of those who have not.  Determine the weaknesses in your child's phonetic understanding before moving forward. Start with the Multiple Spellings. Print off these sheets for you to keep track of your child's answers. Use the flashcards to assess what phonograms he or she knows.  This will help you determine what you need to cover and what you can skip.

Lesson Plan Templates
Use the Lesson Plan Template from the Teacher's Aids section to plan each lesson.  The concepts you cover will be driven by your assessments. Each part of your lesson plan is explained on the Lesson Plan Explanation.  It is important to take notes throughout the lesson on what you will need to review.

For specific suggestions, watch the tutorial on setting up. (< 3 minutes)