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Hi everyone! I’m back with more tips and today I’m going to discuss how to diversify your Orton-Gillingham resources. When we open a 401k or a 403b to stash away for retirement, your financial advisor may recommend that you diversify where you invest your money, right? Well, when you become an Orton-Gillingham teacher, you want to do the same thing. Your training was a huge investment. You may have had to pay for it yourself, like me. Knowing what a huge investment it was both financially and professionally, finding the RIGHT resources is really important to you. Investing in anything means several things: time, training, money, maintenance, and even a little motivation. I was driven to learn as much as I could when I began learning about how to help kids with dyslexia. And now my investment has made it all worthwhile.
How To Diversify
When I say diversify, think of pulling from a variety of sources from your teaching toolkit to find what will work best for your students. Not any one resource may be enough. I create what I use with my own Orton-Gillingham students, but I’m always looking for more. You want to diversify in two areas:
- Find printable resources. Many Orton-Gillingham resources can be found in my store, but check catalogs you might see on sites like IDA or IMSLE.
- Seek digital resources: Find apps, and other online tools that will enhance the learning time or help you plan your lessons more successfully.
I will admit that I have been able to find the printable resources I need or just create them myself fairly easily. It’s been a work in progress for sure. If I can’t find what I like, I make it myself. One of my biggest sticking points even from the beginning of my training was finding appropriate reading passages to suit my OG lessons. What a pain that can be sometimes! Now after writing nearly 200 passages both in OG Leveled Readers Bundle and my Syllable Stories, they are finally at my fingertips.
Finding digital resources for enhancing my lessons or lesson planning was in a word: sparse. I didn’t feel like I had the time to add in ONE more thing to my OG lessons. And online lesson planning for OG? That sounded pretty unheard of until now. I came across the Whizzimo app through my fellow Orton-Gillingham teachers. I was given the opportunity to test it out and fill you all in about it.
Now I have a teensy disclaimer. I am about to give birth to my fourth child in just days. Feeling about as large as a small planet, I am going to give you an INTRO to Whizzimo, play around with it some more, invite you to join me on the journey, and then I will blog about it in future posts when I have have a chance to really delve deeper. Anyone who has read my blog knows how selective I am about the resources I post on here. I rarely do it. I’m what you call an OG purist. I love my classic OG and believe in it whole-heartedly. When I first opened the Whizzimo app, I instantly thought of it as a game changer and saw numerous possibilities to make it work for me as an Orton-Gillingham teacher. Whizzimo is just the thing I needed to diversify.
Whizzimo is a tool for teachers working with dyslexic students. They really wanted to streamline the way we plan out lessons, so they created an app, which can can download in the app store on your tablet. If you wish to you create an account, you will have access to hundreds of word lists, and lesson planning tools. I was instantly drawn to the word list creation. It’s challenging trying to come up with words to match the needs of your individual students sometimes! You may like one list, but it may have words that your student hasn’t been introduced to yet. That’s where Whizzimo comes in to help. It’s fully customizable, so you create your own online course workbooks to use with your students. I was recently teaching the ai/ay spelling generalization. Whizzimo has TONS of ready made course workbooks already on the app, so I can use one of theirs or I could create one of my own.
One of the tools I’m enjoying using is the letter tiles on the blackboard. This can be used a flashcard setting when reviewing letter/sound combinations and to practice spelling using the tiles. You can change the layout and view. The tiles can be dragged and dropped to spell words. This worked really well when using strategies like S.O.S. (simultaneous oral spelling) Whizzimo can be worked into your OG lesson using small components at various points without a great deal of planning.
Is Whizzimo something you’d like to try to help you diversify your OG resources? Simply go to www.whizzimo.com to create an account, or click on the Whizzimo button in the right sidebar of my blog. When you purchase an account, enter LitNest when you checkout for 10% off. I will playing around with it, creating and using more workbooks, and finding ways to seamlessly work Whizzimo into my OG lessons. I hope you’ll give it a try, too. Questions? Feel free to comment below.