The Riggs Institute Blog

"If You've Lost All Hope" — Ivan's Story

When Ivan was in the middle of second grade, his mother dragged him into my office at the Riggs Institute’s  learning center. Head down, Ivan refused to look at me as his mother spoke of her concerns. “Ivan is two years behind in reading skills,” she said, “and none of his teachers have been able to help him. They think he has a learning disorder; the school wants him tested. But. . . . "

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An Integrated Approach to Teaching Reading


Did you know that it has been almost 100 years since Dr. Samuel Orton warned that “faulty teaching methods may not only prevent the acquisition of academic education by children of average capacity but may also give rise to far reaching damage to their emotional life”?
 
Isn’t this mind boggling?
 

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Teaching Kids Twice to Help them Keep Up

Yesterday’s Twitter conversation with some colleagues turned into a talk about how we can help our slower learners. Lots of us have them, right? And Riggs teachers have them too. For example, you may notice that during your daily spelling dictation lesson a few of your pupils are consistently struggling to keep up with the rest of the class.
 

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Miracle in Spanish Harlem

Millions of children struggle with learning disorders in American classrooms, but do all of them have to? For example, can we prevent reading failure? And can we correct it? By teaching correct knowledge intensively and well, can we teach older children, struggling and diagnosed children, wounded and troubled and poor children how to read as well? What about children who have lost all hope, all confidence?

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Illegitimate Word Families

In some of my recent articles, we talked about morphological families: families whose members share a common meaning and structure. We talked about morphological families like BED, BEDS, BEDDING; CAT, CATS, CATTY; DO, DOING, DOES, DONE, UNDONE; FAST, FASTER, FASTEST; and I showed you how students can use scientific investigations and tools to help them understand these families.
 
More importantly, we saw how doing this kind of word study (how working with morphological families) would do powerful things for your students:

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