Empowering Educators with Effective Reading Instruction: Science of Reading & Orton-Gillingham Mastery

Last week’s webinar, Achieving Mastery: Science of Reading and Orton-Gillingham,”  featured Dr. Meredyth Kealey, MindPlay’s Director of Curriculum and Instructional Design, as she led a compelling discussion on achieving mastery in reading through the Science of Reading and Orton-Gillingham approach. 

Dr. Kealey highlighted the complexity of implementing these methods, emphasizing the need for a strong foundation in teaching students to read effectively. She particularly stressed the importance of providing proper and effective professional development and guidance for educational administrators and directors tasked with supporting teachers in the classroom. This support is crucial, especially in helping students learn to read and build proficiency in reading to learn.

Joining her was Amanda Calkins, Technology Coordinator, Literacy and EdTech advocate at Vail Public Schools in Arizona. Together, they provided key insights into: 

  • The complexity of effective reading instruction rooted in the Science of Reading and Orton-Gillingham approach.
  • Instructional frameworks such as the Simple View of Reading and Scarborough’s Reading Rope aimed at understanding how to build proficiency in reading comprehension among students with diverse learning needs.
  • The urgency to provide equitable access to reading acquisition underlining that every student deserves the opportunity to unlock reading success.
  • The importance of providing systematic, scaffolded, and explicit instruction across the five pillars of reading. They also debunked the notion that a reading program should solely focus on Phonics instruction.
  • The empowerment that comes from blending Orton-Gillingham methodologies with personalized, differentiated, and individualized instruction which fosters students’ reading proficiency and lifelong learning.


Dr. Kealey emphasized the collaborative potential between teachers and technology in enhancing students’ reading experiences and skill acquisition. By leveraging technology effectively, educators can create a personalized learning environment that caters to each student’s needs, ultimately fostering a classroom atmosphere conducive to individual growth, often referred to as a ‘classroom of one.’

Amanda Calkins echoed the sentiment, highlighting that while technology is a valuable tool, it should complement rather than replace the role of teaching teams in student learning. By embracing technology alongside traditional teaching methods, educators can establish clear expectations for their reading programs and utilize resources to evaluate effectiveness and make necessary adjustments. Together with technology coordinators in schools and districts, educators can cultivate a collaborative space where technology, teachers, and students coexist harmoniously, facilitating effective instruction and maximizing learning outcomes.

To discover more about how MindPlay supports educators in integrating technology into their teaching practices, feel free to contact us today!