- Master’s degree in Reading / Literacy
- Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education
- Certified/Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
- Certified Dyslexia Therapist, International Dyslexia Association
- National Board Certified Teacher
- 30 years experience as a teacher in public elementary, middle, and high school.
- 9 years experience as an Orton-Gillingham tutor
- Personalized instruction designed specifically to address your child’s learning needs
- Research-based, multisensory approach that is engaging and effective for struggling readers and writers
- Emotionally sound approach that improves your child’s skills while building self-esteem. “Small successes lead to bigger successes.”
- Ongoing parent communication and regular progress reports
I offer a free initial consultation, where I meet with you (and your child, too, if you choose) to establish rapport and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs. At that time, you may decide to have me administer a reading assessment prior to setting up a tutoring plan.
An individualized diagnostic reading assessment provides specific information about your child’s ability in decoding (reading) and encoding (writing), reading fluency, and comprehension. It typically takes one to one-and-a-half hours to administer, and it provides a baseline for developing a prescriptive tutoring plan. The assessment may be split into two sessions for younger children.
A tutoring plan is established, to meet your child’s specific needs. A minimum of two sessions per week of one hour is required for dyslexia tutoring, in order to affect changes in the brain that are necessary to ensure long-term learning and retention. This intensity is integral to the O-G approach. I provide ongoing diagnosis and plan each lesson to meet your child’s specific needs. I do not just follow a “canned” sequence of pre-made lessons.
What is Orton-Gillingham?
Orton-Gillingham (O-G) is an approach to teaching reading that is the gold standard for tutoring struggling readers, especially dyslexics. It has the following features, which makes it effective, according to brain-based research:
- Diagnostic and Prescriptive. A trained O-G tutor is able to diagnose specific strengths and needs of a student and to design prescriptive lessons to meet those needs. This is ongoing, as tutoring sessions are not part of a program but, rather, custom designed each lesson, based on student progress and performance.
- Direct and explicit. Lesson material is directly taught and practiced. Nothing is just mentioned or assumed unless it has been previously taught and mastered.
- Language Based. O-G teaches systematic phonics and applied linguistics, teaching the components and structure of spoken and written language. Students begin by learning individual phonemes (sounds) written as phonograms (letters or letter combinations), that blend into syllables and words. Later, morphemes (prefixes, suffixes, and roots) are taught.
- Multi-sensory. O-G lessons utilize visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities.
- Structured and Sequential but Flexible. O-G is structured both in content and in format. Lessons follow a consistent sequence so that students interact with material using different senses. Reading, writing, and spelling are connected. Material is introduced from the simple to the complex, and learning is cumulative. It is flexible in that varied reinforcement and/ or reteaching is provided until mastery is achieved and concepts are taught in an order that makes the most sense for the individual student.
- Cognitive. Students learn generalizations and rules that govern language structure and spelling. Rules are applied to mastery. Students think, not guess.
- Emotionally sound. O-G builds on successes. Material is taught to mastery, previously taught concepts are continually reviewed, and connections are made to new concepts. These practices ensure a high degree of success and confidence, building self-esteem.
- Comprehension is inherent. O-G sessions always include reading of connected passages that include the lesson’s focus concept. Students are asked questions and may write or discuss answers. This reinforces the primary goal of reading – to understand. Pronouncing words is not enough; the reader must interact with text to create meaning. Comprehension is not only the primary goal; it is the essence of reading – it is what makes reading JOYFUL!
Shaping Readers offers online tutoring to meet the needs of our clients who have a long commute and hectic schedules or for those clients that do not have a local certified dyslexia therapist.
Having a trained and experienced Orton-Gillingham tutor is the best thing you can do for your struggling reader.
The decision of whether online tutoring is right for your child is made on a case-by-case basis and depends on several factors (i.e. child’s age). I have developed online protocols and procedures that allow me to incorporate all of the aspects of effective O-G instruction. This ensures that your child makes optimal gains online. A combination of online and in-person sessions may also be considered.
Because of the highly interactive and multisensory aspects of OG, the following is required in order for students to receive effective online OG tutoring:
- laptop or desktop with high-speed internet
- tablet with stylus for writing on a shared “virtual” whiteboard OR document camera
- headphones with microphone
Please contact me to discuss this option for your child, or feel free to reach out with questions or comments. Thank you!
- Providing diagnostic reading assessments to inform you of your child’s strengths and needs in reading and writing.
- 1-to-1 private tutoring in reading and/or writing (in person and online)
- Consultation for home schooling parents or other organizations
- Presentations on a variety of topics related to reading, writing, or dyslexia.