Yesterday, I posted about some of the kinesthetic materials we are using in our reading instruction (see that post here). I got these ideas from the Orton-Gillingham training I attended a few weeks ago. Like I said yesterday, the main idea that I latched onto, was the idea that this program addresses learners from an auditory, visual, and kinesthetic approach. Even though most of my kids are visual and kinesthetic learners, I love the idea of including the auditory piece to help my kids strengthen that modality. The training I went to was a 5-day training in how to use a Multi-Sensory approach to teach reading in a phonics based program. They incorporate review, how to teach new concepts, how to teach sight words, as well as some ideas on vocabulary/comprehension development.
We literally just started using this last week, so I am still pretty new to it. I used the assessments provided in the program to determine where my higher level students should begin. The assessment showed that this group knew a variety of phonics sounds (including a few vowels and digraphs), so we were able to jump right in and start working on learning new sounds. My lower group, however, is still working on learning letter names/sounds, so I am going to start at the very beginning with them. This program starts with teaching the letters c, o, a, d, and g because they all have similar letter formation, very different sounds, and look pretty different from one another as well. This program works on letter formation as well as phonics, which I like too for my beginners. Also, once they learn these first 5 letters, they can already write some basic words phonetically! I will post more on how this program is working with these guys, once we get through a couple letters.
Since my higher students were ready to jump right in, we started by learning some of the basic routines involved in this program. I love that these routines are built in because we all know how much our kids love structured activities In this program, they recommend incorporating a review 3 times a week as well as introducing one new sound or sound family per week. Last week, we started working on learning how the review is structured. The review is called a "3-part drill" and students review the sounds they already know through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities. I made this summary sheet to post so that eventually, I can put a kid in charge of this activity.
It starts with the visual part, where the kids see the letters and say the sound.
Next up is the auditory/kinesthetic part. This seems complicated when typing it out, but I promise, the kids caught on really quick. For this, the teacher says a sound (i.e. "buh" for b). Then the kids repeat the sound. Then, as they write the letter in their sand or gel, they say "b says buh." If there is more than 1 letter that makes that sound (i.e. both "c" and "k" make the "kuh" sound), then the kids would write/say all of the letters that make that sound (i.e. "c says kuh, k says kuh").
The last part is blending. The kids practice saying each sound separately in order and then blend the word together. This is fun for the kids too, because we talk about whether the word is a real word or a silly word.
This was easy to add into our morning because it only takes about 10 minutes. My kids take awhile to trickle in and get settled, so I have this group come in first and start working while the other kids put away their stuff, go to the bathroom, etc.
This is the tracking sheet I filled out based on my students' assessments. As you go through the program, you highlight the mastered sounds. This helps you keep your flash card decks up-to-date with only mastered sounds as well as helps remind you which sounds to review during the auditory/kinesthetic activity.
Have any of you used this program in your classroom? I am interested to hear your feelings/experiences on using it with kids with autism. I really like that it doesn't take up much time in your day, so I can still do all of my other guided reading activities and just fit this in as a part of my lesson or even incorporate it into aid run stations.