The Riggs Institute Blog

Using Hand Signals to Teach Riggs Phonograms

Since I try to stay informed about how teachers and parents are using the Riggs Institute’s materials, I sometimes hear of people who use them in fun-looking ways.

When I recently searched YouTube and Pinterest for “Riggs Phonograms,” for example, I found a number of videos (none of which had been approved by Riggs) in which teachers were using hand signals to practice Riggs phonograms. Have you seen them?


Why Can't I Use Pictures to Teach Riggs Phonograms?

The Complete Handbook of Children's Reading Disorders

Last week my friend told me about yet another Pinterest pinner who had created a cute set of cards to help children learn phonics facts. Instead of presenting each letter, or multi-letter combination, in isolation, as the Riggs Institute recommends and as the Riggs Institute’s phonogram cards do, this pinner’s set of “Riggs” cards included clever pictures that were intended to give students a visual signal for the associated speech sound.


Using Videos to Teach Riggs Phonograms

The Riggs Institute does not produce videos for teaching Riggs phonograms (the basic spelling patterns of English), and we do not approve of any of the “Riggs” videos that can be found on Pinterest or YouTube. 

Although we understand that the teachers and parents who have put these videos together are well-intentioned, we cannot endorse them, and we are concerned that many children may be deprived of the opportunity to learn essential information because of them. Here’s why.


Teach Phonics Like You Are Coaching Champions

Many teachers of beginning and struggling readers do not realize that the activities they've been told to use will create students who continue to struggle.

Having been mislead into teaching phonics and other decoding skills from worksheets (a recipe for failure), these teachers pass out worksheets throughout the day. They have never been shown how to create champions.



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