Lee County Schools training helps with reading instruction

news_education_greenBy Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – A group of Lee County teachers spent much of last week learning techniques that could help them better teach reading.

Michele Wenger from the Institute for Multi-sensory Education visited the district from Cincinnati, Ohio, to lead the 30-hour training session. It was attended by 30 teachers, including all of the educators in the district’s Reaching Reading Success program and 13 kindergarten to second-grade classroom teachers.

“The multi-sensory approaches they are learning will provide fun ways to engage students,” said Leslie Iverson, one of the school district’s two Title 1 Lead teachers. “It also involves a lot of repitition so kids get a lot of practice with what they are learning.”

The Reaching Reading Success program is an intervention for students who struggle with reading. It falls under the district’s Title 1 umbrella.

The so-called Orton-Gillingham techniques incorporate eyes, ears and hands into reading instruction. One activity Wenger showed the educators involved having students hear a sound and trace the appropriate letter into a tray filled with two different types of sand.

Ashley Jarrett, who teaches Reaching Reading Success at Saltillo Primary, said the training reinforced many of the things they are already doing in the program. It also gave her some new ideas.

“It has been good to see it from someone else’s perspective,” she said.

Iverson said it was good to bring both the intervention teachers and classroom teachers together so they could share ideas.

“Reaching Reading Success has used Orton-Gillingham approaches for years,” she said. “We have seen great success with it. We know it will help all students.”

Shelley Warrington, a first-grade teacher at Shannon Primary, said it was helpful to see examples of how the techniques could be used in her classroom.

“Every child learns differently so you teach to different modes and find a way to reach each one,” she said.

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com