Hey Orton-Gillingham teachers and tutors! Do you have this problem? Any store you walk in, you spot ordinary, household objects that you could use in your Orton-Gillingham lessons. My wheels are always turning. And if you’re like me, with small children at home, you do NOT have a lot of spare time. I need to find materials quickly and efficiently, in a variety of places.
Using the Orton-Gillingham approach means we are multisensory, prescriptive, and structured. But in my experience, OG teachers are creative, empathetic and flexible thinkers. If something isn’t working, we ditch and fix it…ASAP. We have our eyes on the prize. Through thoughtful, Orton-Gillingham lesson planning, we are building readers. Powerful stuff!
So you’re walking through Dollar Tree or Target and you need some pet food. At second glance, that pet food dish is looking like a pretty handy sorting tray. Or you’re at the grocery store shopping for a party. That chip and dip platter is looking like a great tool for long vowels. See how my brain works? (scary 🙂 ) If you love household hacks, this post is for you!
1. Balloon Clothespins
These are great for using with clip cards. And they last longer than the wooden clothespins because the spring is much stronger.
2. Pet food dishes/Veggie and Dip Platters
These work really well for word sorting activities. I used reusable dry erase tape to label the sections.
3. Tap Lights
In the first photo, I used some of my boys toy cars for tracing over the shapes of these felt letters found on a recent trip to Target. You could also use fingers for tracing.
I used tap lights as a classroom teacher for a fun way to review. We used them in a quiz show format. Players tapped the light on when they knew the answer. For Orton-Gillingham, you could use them for sound segmentation, counting syllables, or a review game for spelling generalizations. Kids could tap the light on for k or ck. Once again, I used dry erase tape because it’s removable and anything dry erase is like gold to me.
4. Travel Case For Baby Wipes
This is my most favorite hack of all. I found the case in the baby food aisle at the supermarket. On the left side is a piece of magnet paper that is self adhesive on the back. You can buy it on a roll and cut it to fit. On the right side, I hot glued some mini clothespins. You will need to use a lot of hot glue and press down hard to get them to stay. Then I added some velcro tape and more dry erase tape. This is PERFECT for O.G. tutors who travel, or for parents to create. I can intro a lesson on a new phonogram all in the case. The phonogram card clips on. I have magnetic letters ready for blending and spelling, and some pom poms with velcro stickers on the back for tapping and blending. The dry erase tape is a great place for dictation.
Notice the way you can add additional magnetic letters for practice blending and spelling practice. Swap out the a for an i or o. Swap out the t for a d or an m.