A couple weeks ago, I sat through a week long training on Orton Gillingham Multi-Sensory approach to teaching reading. Have any of you tried this in your classrooms? Some of the ideas I loved and have started to implement in my classroom. One of the main ideas is to approach teaching reading through a variety of learning modalities. Even though most of my kids are very visual learners, it still helps them (A LOT) to strengthen their auditory and kinesthetic skills. I will talk more about how I am implementing this program in tomorrow's post. But for today, I wanted to talk about the different kinesthetic activities we will be utilizing.
While sitting in the training, the adults got a chance to be the kids and use sand to practice writing our letters in. This sand is pretty cool, because it has 2 colors (green and blue) and is 2 different gradients (1 is very fine while the other is very course). I won some of the sand in a raffle at the training and then bought these tortilla containers at the Dollar Tree to store it in. Looking back, I wish I bought a different color container (it came in a variety of colors), because the green sand is harder to see in the green container.
Another idea that was suggested was gel bags. While at the Dollar Tree, I picked up some clear hair gel. At first, I was thinking this would be a project I would do at home over the weekend…but then I thought, why not have my kids make their own gel bags. They had a blast with this! They each squeezed the gel into a Zip Loc bag,
chose their color of food coloring and glitter, and then mixed it around until it was a uniform color (I made sure the bags were tightly sealed first!).
Then, they chose their duct tape pattern, and I taped the tops shut. Our only problem was that I had each kid use a full thing of hair gel….next time, I would probably only use half of a container. The bags are a little too full, so the kids push down harder when writing on them (which leads to your bags popping too soon!).
We have used these a few times already to practice writing letters and numbers. I even used them with my mid-level math group to practice drawing touch points on numbers as we begin learning about addition. The kids seem to love the change of pace from worksheets and whiteboards. It is just another fun and easy way to diversify our learning activities. Check back in tomorrow for some info on how we are using the Orton Gillingham program in my classroom.