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 little 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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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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Leveled Readers vs. Rich Texts

I recently walked into a school in which teachers were using leveled readers to pair their students with books that best matched their reading abilities. A great deal of money had been spent to purchase these readers, and these teachers were spending a lot of instructional time assessing reading levels, matching children to texts, grouping kids by reading ability, and so on.
 

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Wiring the Brain to Prevent and Correct Reading Disabilities

In 1949 Donald Hebb, a Canadian neuropsychologist, proved that everything you think, feel, and do triggers thousands of neurons. Not only that, but Hebb went on to explain that when you think, say, or do something repeatedly, your brain triggers the same neurons each time, and these neurons form what is called a “neural network.” He summed up this important finding with an easily remembered statement: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Remembering this can help you become a better reading teacher. Here’s how:

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