Teaching a New Concept: Direct Instruction

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The key component in Orton-Gillingham or any Structured LiteracyTM methodology is direct instruction. Instruction should be explicit, systematic, sequential, and multi-sensory. This begins with directly teaching students new concepts. There is a routine that is followed on a regular basis. Students are never guessing, but rather teachers are instructing students directly. Using your Blue Flip Chart, follow the steps for “Teaching A New Concept.” 

Here are some reminders: 

  • There are two parts to Teaching a New Concept: 
    1. The Multi-Sensory Experience where you make connections with students by teaching, modeling and practicing. 
    2. Application of the New Concept is where students put what they learned into writing words and sentences.  Word dictation can begin after students know the first four letters: m, a, l, o. Sentence dictation can begin after students know the first nine concepts: m, a, l, o, h, g, c, d, t. 
  • Follow the steps on the Blue Flip Chart. However, if you need more of an explanation of the steps, read the Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham Plus Teacher Training Manual under “Teaching a New Concept.” 
  • For general education, grade-appropriate new content is typically taught 1x per week. However, up to two concepts per week can be taught depending on the ability of your class. 
  • For intervention, assessment scores and students’ ability will drive teacher instruction. “You go as fast as you can and as slowly as you must!” -Anna Gillingham For older students, you may be teaching multiple concepts in one week. For other students, you may need to extend the concept into a second week. Use the Tiers of RTI as a guide: