If a child cannot learn the way I teach, then I must teach the way he learns.
--Anna Gillingham, educator and psychologist

Monday, April 15, 2013

Highlights from the Orton-Gillingham Conference!

Karen Borland, head of Laughlin's academic department, recently attended The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators spring conference! “Orton-Gillingham Across the Lifespan: A Multi-Tiered Intervention” ran from March 15 – 16 in Providence, Rhode Island.  

Keynote speakers and workshops were centered around topics of dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham methodology, young reader development, and oral reading fluency strategies - to name a few. 

Here are some tidbits that Karen wanted to share with you:

Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge are the two best predictors of how well a child will learn to read. Phonemic awareness is a listening skill associated with skills such as rhyming words, hearing the beginning or the ending sounds in words, and counting the parts or syllables of words.  Letter knowledge is a visual skill and helps the student connect printed letters to the sounds heard in words. The earlier these two skills are developed the better chance the student will have at becoming a good reader.  

Did you know there are three types of memory? The three types include short-term memory, working memory, and long-term memory.  Working memory is a dynamic process which helps information move from short-term to long-term memory.  Memory is vital to developing early reading skills. 

Fluent reading should mirror spoken language. Fluent reading is both accurate and completed at an adequate speed.  It should have appropriate phrasing and intonation.  It is easier to comprehend material when reading is fluent.  

One of Karen’s personal highlights from the conference included meeting the author of The Sonday System®, which follows similar methodology to the Orton-Gillingham approach.  She enjoyed being with so many educators who are passionate about helping children who are struggling to read.  Karen also took away some specific skills and screening methods that can better identify and treat dyslexia. 

You can find out more about the Orton-Gillingham approach by visiting their website. If you have more specific questions about any other academic approaches that Laughlin uses, or are interested in any of the academic programs that we offer, feel free to contact Karen Borland at 412-741-4087!

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