A huge part of the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching is the repetitive, multi-sensory review process. There are many reading basals and phonics curriculum that have no review process at all. I believe this makes learning phonics so much harder for students, especially with struggling readers. Being introduced a sound on Monday, practice activities Tuesday-Thursday, and test on Friday is the typical schedule in a lot of classrooms.
The Orton-Gillingham review, called The Three Part Drill, has encouraged constant practice and reinforcement for my students. The Three Part Drill has three parts; visual, auditory/kinesthetic, and blending. The drill is a review of all skills students know or have been taught. It is meant to be taught two-three times per week and last 10-15 minutes.
Part One – Visual
The first part of the drill requires students to look at a grapheme, and state the sound it makes. Having students see the sounds and letters in isolation have proven to be the best method to teaching struggling readers.
To implement the visual part of the drill teachers must have phoneme cards. Phoneme cards are simply giant flash cards with consonants, vowels, blends, etc. on them. Teachers must give students an assessment to see what skills they already know. Those known skills are added into your review stack of phoneme cards for The Three Part Drill. Then, each week you will introduce a new skill (based on the sequencing chart). That skill and cards are then added to your review stack!
I’ve included a video of what part one looks like in my classroom. My students are reviewing all skills from c – r blends based on the sequencing chart.
Part Two – Auditory/Kinesthetic
The second part of the drill involves students hearing the phonics skill and being able to write what letter/letters make the sound they hear. This has been the most powerful part of the drill for my students. I often see students that can read a variety of phonics skills, but they’re not able to remember or use that knowledge when spelling and writing. The auditory review section provides students with that connection.
I use the phoneme/grapheme chart as a reference tool when giving students a sound to write. Students need sand trays which I created out of paper plates and two different colored sands to implement this part of the drill.
Below is a video of my class during part two of The Three Part Drill.
Part Three – Blending
This part of the drill puts the same sound cards from part one onto a blending board for students to read as words. This part of the drill is very important because it allows students to see that the sounds in isolation can be put together and sounded out to make words. See my students during this part of the drill below!
This was a short post, but I think the videos will be very helpful! Be sure to check out the phoneme cards in my TPT store to begin using the Phonics Three Part Drill in your classroom today! It includes the the cards I used in these videos and on a daily basis, as well as a sequencing chart so you know what order to teach the skills. However, if your school has their own long-range plans or sequencing chart, the cards would still work.
Let me know if you have any questions about the phonics three-part drill. If you decide to use my phoneme cards, be sure to tag me on Instagram at theteachingcritic so I can see them in action!