Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Tools: Sand Tray

Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Tools: Sand Tray

Posted by Brainspring on 17th May 2018

The Sand Tray is an essential multisensory tool in most Orton-Gillingham programs. In this video, we provide helpful hints for using the sand tray in a multisensory way.

Why Do We Use the Sand Tray?

  • The sand tray is a multisensory component that is highly encouraged for instruction.
  • We use the sand tray in the auditory drill, and when introducing a new skill/sound.
  • The sand tray ignites multiple learning pathways in the brain.
  • When students write sounds in the sand tray, they have a higher chance of retaining the information.

What is Unique About This Multisensory Tool?

  • There are a lot of alternatives you can use in place of the sand tray such as shaving cream or rice.
  • Magic sand has two colors. The black sand is coarser than the green sand, causing the green sand to fall to the center and the black to fall to the side. The student can then see the letter clearly while writing.
  • Students enjoy writing in the sand tray.
  • The tactile element is very powerful, even for older students, including adults.

How Do We Use the Sand Tray?

  • Students will spell the sound they hear, saying the letter name first, then the sound, swiping from left to right while saying the sound.

How Can I Implement This in the Classroom?

  • Typically utilized in a small group, and can also be used whole group.
  • Set ground rules, and try it out in small steps until students are able to use the sand tray independently.
  • Spills happen!

 Written by Angelina Spiteri-Bender, CDP

Angelina is an Instructor at Brainspring Educator Academy. She is also the director of Brainspring’s Grosse Pointe Learning Center.


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