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What’s In My OG Notebook?


Hi everyone! I have a long list of OG topics to blog about for this upcoming school year. About a week ago, I asked my Facebook page fans which topic they’d like to have me blog first. Out of over 100 comments, many were eager to see how I used my OG notebook, so we’ll start there. I found out there was also a need for some basics about what OG is, so I’ll create a post covering that soon. Polling my Facebook page fans gave me a pulse on what people really want to learn more about, so I really appreciated the responses to my question.

If you read my post called, “What’s In My OG Bag” last Fall, you may have figured out that I’m big on organization and efficiency. This is essential in any OG session, because each session is only about an hour. There really isn’t extra time to add in extras, other than lesson format. Things move at a pace that keeps the direct instruction front and center.

One of the ways I keep my kids organized is giving them a notebook and a binder. I’ll blog about the binder in another post. This is a picture of just a marble-stitched composition notebook.

The main purpose?
 My kids are keeping a record of EVERY lesson.

They take it out and use it every time I meet with them. Let’s talk about the parts.

    1. Front cover: I tape or glue a picture of C.O.P.S. This is a visual editing strategy we use when my students check their dictation sentences. When it’s time for the dictation portion of the lesson, they stand the notebook up as a visual reminder to use C.O.P.S.
    2. Inside front cover: I tape or glue a picture of the OG crab. There are little segments my students color in when they master a new phonogram, syllable type, or spelling generalization.   (Credits: Sadly no longer available from EPS Publishing, Success Stories 1 by Elizabeth Butcher and Nancy Simonetti.)
  1. First page: I tape or glue C.L.O.V.E.R. This is an acronym for the syllable types. You can download a free copy of it in my store by clicking here.
  2. The pages: After we finish the introduction of new material, My students glue or tape their word list into the notebook and date it. Fold it in half sideways, and it won’t stick out of the pages.
  3. Extras: Hand out post-it flags or tabs for students to keep track of the page you’re on. Glue letter size envelope or small manila envelope on the inside back cover to store word sorting cards, index cards, or a game.
  4. I include rules for spelling for specific lessons as well. (ie. When to use c or k when spelling a word)
At this point every student will:
  • Have a record of every word list in their notebook in order.
  • Use the words and sentences list to practice reading throughout the week.
  • Open up to any words from previous weeks during a lesson and use them for fluency practice, games, cursive practice, or review. Sometimes, while I’m putting materials away and transitioning into the next part of a lesson, I’ll ask my students to choose any 3 lists to read out loud to me. Not a minute is wasted while we move through a session.

For more information on the structure of a lesson, read, “What Does An Orton-Gillingham Lesson Plan Look Like?


I hope you found today’s post helpful.  Next time I’ll be posting about how I use my words and sentences lists. Do you use a notebook in a similar way? I’d love to hear about it. Please be sure to leave comments.

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  1. I am excited to find this blog and your Facebook page because I will be using OG with Sped students in my resource room. I would love to win your leveled sight word pack. Thanks.

  2. Our CC introduced us to OG at the end of the year and we thought it was great. I'd love to learn anything about it. I like the visuals of the crab and clover.

  3. Teaching vowel teams vs. dipthongs vs. vowel digraphs vs. all the exceptions. Is there a trick to make it easy for students? I don't feel like my students really get it.

  4. Thanks for explaining this so explicitly! It is really helpful to see what you do and how you do it. My small groups are 30 minutes. So this helps me to see what I can try to add to my groups!
    Curious Firsties

  5. I love OG! I a, truly grateful to have found your Facebook page and blog! I am going into my 3rd year of teaching special education and have used many OG strategies. This blog has opened up a whole new world! Thank you!!

  6. I love the COPS visual on the front of the notebook. That's one my daughter responds to well. All I have to say is "Don't forget your cops!" and she will immediately go back and make her corrections

  7. I think it's great to bounce ideas off of other teachers, especially OG instructors. There are so many interesting strategies out there to try. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. Thank you! OG is a powerful instructional method that will really help your struggling readers. I'm so glad you stopped my blog today! :))

  9. Hi Sue! In OG, we teach each one separately, then we do a lesson on spelling generalizations. For instance, we to use oi or oy in a word. We practice it for MASTERY, which means we use lots of multi-sensory techniques to make sure kids really get it. I'll keep this as a future topic to blog more about. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Thanks Em! In reality, when all is said and done the session is about 45-50 minutes. Some kids really can't sustain the full hour. I really like to make sure kids have time to READ with me or I read to them for a short time at the end. That's the ultimate goal! :))

  11. Hi Kim- I tutor privately, so sessions are an hour long. I recently sent an an email to my email subscribers for options when you are in small groups or don't have a full hour. One suggestion is to break the OG lesson plan up into chunks. free to email me at theliteracynest@gmail.com. I will also be blogging about it in the future.

  12. So glad I stumbled across your website. I have been a RTI teacher for 3 years without any curriculum and guide lines. I am so looking forward to trying to use OG in my groups next year. This has been what I have been developing on my own for the last few years.

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