Okay, so the final major component required for any strong Orton-Gillingham based lesson is that the lessons are presented in a diagnostic-prescriptive manner.
What on earth is diagnostic-prescriptive you ask?
A diagnostic-prescriptive approach means that during each session you are taking notes and data about where the student is doing well and where they are struggling. You are specifically monitoring which tasks are easy and which tasks are more difficult. From there, you are determining how much additional practice is needed on each skill. You are then using the data you have taken during each session to plan specifically for the next session.
For example, if you introduced the -dge pattern to a student during a session, you would specifically monitor how many words he read and spelled correctly during that session that contained the -dge pattern. You would then determine whether you needed to spend another full session explaining the concept of -dge or whether you could move on and systematically review the -dge pattern for both reading and spelling.
Typically, our recommendation would be that unless the student just totally did not understand the pattern at all (i.e., less than 50% accuracy reading) you should continue to progress through your Orton-Gillingham scope and sequence while continuing to pull back in the -dge pattern with systematic review.
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What is systematic review you ask?
Systematic review is the opportunity to continue reviewing previously introduced concepts by scattering them into your word lists, spelling lists, and pointing the previously instructed patterns out during non-controlled reading tasks.
Often, students do well with the initial instruction level on a certain phonogram pattern because they see the pattern when it is so clearly spelled out in every single word list and spelling word. However, when they need to find this pattern in less obvious circumstances they may struggle more. Therefore, it is important that you continue to sprinkle in concepts that seem to be inconsistent until they are no longer inconsistent.
Ideally, you would be collecting data on all of this information.
In that ideal situation, you would want the student to correctly identify the target pattern in reading and spelling three times in a row correctly. You would then fade that pattern out for 3-4 sessions and then bring it back to see if the student was able to recognize and accurately read or spell the pattern.
Okay, but what if I'm not brilliantly capable of that level of multi-tasking?
Yes, we recognize that while collecting concrete data on every pattern is ideal, it's next to impossible to do so while also keeping your student(s) engaged, thinking about what you are going to be introducing next, and just generally being present with your student. So, you can also use review patterned reading lists to check accuracy for previously introduced phonograms and you can make sure to vary the words you are using in the review spelling activity. Try to make a note of which patterns seem to be consistently coming up as a problem area so you can retarget those skills.
Diagnostic-prescriptive means you are using specific observations about problem areas (diagnosing) to determine what areas you should continue to explicitly instruction (prescribing) so that the course of instruction is highly individualized for each student.