Updated: Jun 1
Smart Start Tutors uses a multisensory approach to teach students how to read. This approach was first pioneered by Dr. Samuel Orton and Dr. Anna Gillingham, the founders of Orton-Gillingham in the 1930s. The method is highly recognized and incorporated in teachings across the country.
What makes the method especially successful is it engages different parts of the brain through:
- Sight (visual)
- Sounds (auditory)
- Touch (tactile) and
- Movement (kinesthetic)
By activating different parts of the brain, teachers create a lasting experience to help students recall concepts. The key is to use two or more senses at a time, for example, tracing letters and saying them out loud. Teaching in this manner helps children become more confident readers, as they have multiple ways to access and learn the material.
The Benefits of a Multisensory Approach to Reading
Multisensory techniques are an effective teaching method. It is especially beneficial for struggling learners and those learning to read, particularly students with dyslexia. The benefits of a multisensory approach:
Engages multiple senses: visual, auditory, tactile (touch) and kinesthetic (movement)
Enhances memory and the ability to learn
Helps children retain more information
Good for all types of learning styles
Improves concentration and focus
Develops critical thinking
Useful for teaching any subject
Activates different parts of the brain
Effective for all types of learners, especially effective for dyslexic students
Improves communication and reading skills
Allows for more individualized lesson planning
Easy Multisensory Reading Activities
Kinesthetic Reading Activities
Scavenger hunts to find and spell words or letters
Stacking blocks for each rhyming word
Learn letters in sign language
Use facial expressions while reading
Add movements for letter sounds
Use nonsense words
Air write words and letters
Use a clothespin to sort rhyming words and letter sounds
Auditory Reading Activities
Read tongue twisters together
Say and find sight Words
Play "Guess Who" using sight words
Listen to Audiobooks (Read our recommended list)
Read text with lots of dialogue and act out voices
Read books in different voices (daddy, baby, grandma)
Practice sounds in front of a mirror
Use mnemonic devices for memorization
Tactile Reading Activities
Hide and Go Seek toys with letter sounds
Cut out letters from magazines or newspapers
Use puppets for kids to talk to using sight words, rhyming, etc.
Writing letters and words in sand
Writing letters or words using paint in a ziplock bag
Use playdoh or clay to make letters
Use phonics manipulatives
Play a game of memory with sight words or letters
Visual Reading Activities
Label items around your house for easy visual reference
Watch Education TV shows on PBS or YouTube
Download Reading Apps
Use Big Books
Have them draw a comic strip while listening to books to improve reading comprehension
Visit an art gallery and talk about the art
Use word magnets and letter tiles for building words and sentences
Hidden picture activities to find words or letters
Online Multisensory Reading Instruction
If your child is a struggling reader, you may be wondering how effective multisensory reading instruction can take place in an online setting. Although traditionally reading instruction has been conducted in person, online tutoring is on the rise and has been for quite some time now. There are some amazing tools that have been developed in the past decade that allow for multisensory, engaging and personalized reading instruction to take place online. At Smart Start, we use the Orton-Gillingham multisensory approach to reading instruction that keeps the student's interests, learning style and goals at the forefront of every lesson. What does this look like, you ask?
We utilize visual aids such as interactive websites, digital flashcards, and online reading programs that incorporate colorful and engaging visuals. These resources can reinforce letter recognition, sight word identification, and comprehension skills.
We leverage audio resources, including audiobooks, online story narrations, videos, music, and games in our sessions. Hearing fluent reading can enhance your child's auditory processing, listening comprehension, and fluency. Using music and games help to build connections in the brain so information is retained and can be built upon for future learning. This can help all areas of reading from phonemic awareness to comprehension skills.
We incorporate hands-on-activities into our online instruction. For example, we have students use manipulatives such as magnetic letters, tactile letter cards, and virtual manipulatives on interactive platforms to practice letter formation, spelling and word building.
Gesture and Movement:
We engage our students in body and movement during reading activities by using gestures to represent sounds, syllables, or sight words. This helps reinforce learning and memory.
Need More Support?
Online Reading Tutors for Students with Dyslexia
Our online tutoring sessions for students with dyslexia are Orton-Gillingham based and tailored to each individual student. With our online tutoring program, your child will receive the personalized attention and support they need to succeed.
We will work with your child to help them learn and understand the material at their own pace. We take into consideration their learning style and interests with each individualized plan.
Our staff has experience working with students of all ages who struggle with reading. Our online tutoring sessions are designed to make learning effective and fun, allowing your child to reach their maximum potential.
We believe every student has the ability to succeed. We have over 20 years of combined experience teaching students with dyslexia (Further reading: Common Signs of Dyslexia by Grade Level) and supporting a wide-range of learning abilities including ADD, ADHD, emerging readers, and developing readers.