Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Editorial Team
Orton Gillingham is a widely regarded teaching approach designed for struggling readers, such as in the case of dyslexia. Named after reading and language pioneers, Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963), Orton Gillingham’s approach focuses on teaching connections between letters and sounds.
It also uses a multisensory approach to teach reading which involves using visualization, hearing, touch, and movement to form a connection. Other than that, it recognizes the learning needs of an individual student as the pace, learning style, and topic strength varies from student to student.
Many reading programs designed for students with dyslexia are developed based on Orton Gillingham’s approach. Students with learning disabilities, like dyslexia and dyscalculia, can take the help of various tools and apps that follow Orton Gillingham’s approach to self-learning.
We curated a list of the top 6 mobile apps for learning with Orton Gillingham’s approach. Our focus was on apps that satisfactorily utilize the various components of the Orton Gillingham model in one way or another for its prime functionality. Students can use these apps to support reading and writing, make learning more accessible and/or reinforce literacy skills and build confidence.
7. Blending Board
The first app on our list is the free Blending Board app by Chain Reaction Games LLC. Perfect for OG instruction, this tool makes learning to read fun and manageable for beginners and struggling students. Teachers and parents can easily prepare a deck of phoneme cards, which learners can manipulate to create new words and practice blending them.
The simple design of the app helps kids maintain focus, as not a lot of things are happening on the screen at any given moment. Teachers can create personalized decks for students and integrate them seamlessly into instruction. Moreover, they can use a simple QR code to share decks with parents, so students can easily reinforce their classroom learning at home.
6. ABC MAGIC PHONICS
This app improves the reading abilities of a child by following a ‘multi-sensory’ approach. It focuses on learning the sounds of the letters which constitutes the foundation of reading. This widely popular app is recommended for imparting strong phonemic and letter awareness.
The app involves 3 levels of sequential learning, namely Sounds to Images, Sounds to Lowercase Letters, and Lowercase Letters to Images. This app features 4 words and pictures for each letter. Each letter will repeat its sound when touched and each photo will say its name when touched. Developed by PRESCHOOL UNIVERSITY, ABC MAGIC PHONICS is used by more than 500,000 people worldwide.
The ArtikPix app uses flashcards and matching activities to help children focus on specific sounds as they work on their language development. The app has nearly 1000 brightly decorated cards separated into 21 different decks that are organized by what speech pathologists call phonemes, or individual sounds, such as th, f, v, sh, etc. The sound of the phenome is played when a flashcard appears, encouraging the child’s ability to recognize the sound, attach it to an image, and see it written.
In the flashcard activity, the sound groups are ordered and configured for shuffling to individualize the practice for children using the words alone and in sentences. The flashcards are then practiced in an easy-to-use flick album. In the matching activity, the words are randomized in easy (3 pairs), medium (6 pairs), and hard (10 pairs) levels. The matching activity is a fun way for children to practice their speech sounds while data is still collected.
4. The Fish School
This app is a Parent’s Choice Gold award winner that gives the child an underwater adventure experience while experimenting with eight educational activities. These include learning about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, differences, and matching, as well as playing with the fishes by touching and dragging them to allow them to perform various fun-filled antics. Also, they mingle with music with various classical variations of the ABC song. It sure is a wholesome and colorful experience in the world of water!
3. Mayerson Academy OG Card Deck
This card deck by Mayerson Academy is based on the Orton Gillingham approach, which is based on a multi-sensory approach to teaching phonemes to children. The app has more than eighty flashcards containing different graphemes with specific sounds.
Through a clean, user-friendly interface, kids can learn consonants, vowels, digraphs, common suffixes, and more. When a letter is displayed on the card, the user has the option to listen to the name of the letter and its sound. A video is also available to help learners see how the letter sound is pronounced in the right way and attempt an auditory drill to practice various phonemes.
Another great feature of this app is the record and playback feature, which allows users to record their pronunciations and self-check if they are sounding the letter correctly. Considering the utility of this app, it can serve as a fine tool for teachers, tutors, and OG practitioners.
2. Art Of Glow
Art of Glow lets you create glowing artwork on the display screen using your finger. It serves the prime goal of Orton Gillingham’s approach, i.e. using alternate pathways to learn. Kids can try out different words and alphabets using Art of Glow. The dynamics of the app make it really interesting and highly engaging.
Kids can put their imagination forward onto the screen. The ability to interact with the graphics makes it more understandable and memorable. Currently, there are over 10 million users of this app worldwide.
Another great app that is a must-have in a teacher’s or parent’s toolkit is Whizzimo. It is equipped with letter titles and flashcards to teach kids the art of reading and spelling. The app offers immense flexibility in terms of selecting the letters your students need to concentrate on and the colors of individual titles.
Using the app is easy too! Teachers can select tiles from the extensive tile drawer. Then kids can drag these letter titles to make different words. They can also use the drawing tool to write them too! Give your students access to this simple yet effective app and see them learn new phonics skills at the tap of their fingertips.
The world is going digital and the need of the hour is to match its steps. Thus, using apps that have spectacularly managed to adapt the Orton Gillingham in the digital arena will not only help your child to get better in their reading, it will also introduce them to the power of the digital world.
Thus, realizing that their dyscalculia and dyslexia are just a mere glitch. The power of imagination and creativity can open invisible doors, which might have been earlier hidden by the veil of despair.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,