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Finding the Right Resources

Tom Guyer, President of Winsor Learning


I recently came across an article in Language Magazine that brought a big smile to my face. The article, written by Orton-Gillingham expert Shantell Thaxton Berrett, outlines the importance of providing teachers with the resources they need to first identify and then deliver effective instruction to students with reading challenges – particularly dyslexia.

With 39 states now having passed dyslexia laws, this means new challenges for school districts all across the country. As the Language Magazine article points out, the first step giving school districts the tools they need to understand and diagnose dyslexia and other specific language disabilities is essential. Once that is accomplished, teachers need a curriculum that provides “explicit, systematic, sequential phonics instruction.”

This validates what we at Winsor Learning have known since we developed the Sonday System more than 20 years ago: That using an Orton Gillingham based curriculum is the single best approach to teach essential skills to students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

The Orton-Gillingham approach has been around since the 1930s, and has always been known as a highly effective instructional approach for students struggling with Dyslexia and other reading challenges. But it can be difficult to implement.

The Sonday System, developed by nationally renowned Orton-Gillingham expert Arlene Sonday, has simplified this complex approach into a streamlined, easy-to-implement multisensory curriculum that empowers teachers to get more students reading sooner — without the added time and cost of additional training.

Through years of classroom use, the Sonday System has been refined to include several unique design features that set it apart from other Orton-Gillingham curriculum options, including:

• 35 minute lesson plans that integrate easily into a typical classroom setting

• Use of a “spiraling” technique that re-teaches concepts to ensure repetition (research shows students with Dyslexia need to practice reading skills up to 10 times more often)

• Built-in mastery checks to ensure that students have a full grasp of necessary concepts

• Explicit instruction that requires minimal training, so that it can be taught by anyone

In more than 2500 school districts across the country, we have measurable results that demonstrate in concrete terms how well this approach works. If you are a teacher looking for a research-based program to help struggling readers, or an administrator looking for a proven curriculum that meets the requirements of the dyslexia laws in your state, I encourage you to contact us and learn more about the Sonday System.

Click here for more information about the Sonday System, its Orton Gillingham lesson plans, its cost-effective teacher training requirements and its simple, multisensory reading intervention strategies for students with dyslexia.