Special Education Coach Karen Lee is shown conducting a multi-sensory reading instruction workshop at the Early Learning Center on February 3.
Intervention specialists, teachers, ESL staff, reading specialists, instructional coaches and paraprofessionals from across the Westerville City School District are learning about multi-sensory reading instruction as they participate in a 30-hour professional development workshop sponsored by the Pupil Services Department. From January 27 through February 11, more than 120 teachers in grades kindergarten through 12 have taken part in the training since it first began in July 2014. Instructors are Special Education Coach Karen Lee and Intervention Specialist Leigh Hoskins.
The multi-sensory reading approach focuses on the five big ideas of reading: phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension using multi-sensory instructional techniques. The uniqueness of this type of instruction allows educators to focus on delivering lessons that strengthen and remediate struggling readers. The multisensory model accommodates and utilizes the three learning modalities, or pathways, through which students’ learn-visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The multisensory approach to instruction allows for flexibility, teaching the student where they are, and bridging gaps they may have in their reading skills. Teachers leave the professional development ready to implement the approach in their classrooms with resources and instructional strategies that are action-oriented and involve constant interaction between the teacher and the student which reinforces optimum learning.