The Riggs Institute Blog

Language at the Speed of Sight

If you haven’t read Mark Seidenberg’s Language at the Speed of Sight, you’re in for a treat. Seidenberg, a  cognitive neuroscientist who has been studying the behavioral, computational, and neural bases of reading and language for over three decades now, will show you how the human brain learns to read.


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.


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:


"The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations" — Separate and Forgotten?

On July 10, 2000, President Bush gave a speech to the NAACP in which he said:
“Several months ago I visited Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, where African-Americans confronted injustice and white Americans confronted their conscience. In 43 years, we have come so far in opening the doors of our schools. But today we have a challenge of our own. While all can enter our schools, many—too many, are not learning there.”


Am I Teaching Riggs? (How Not to Change the Riggs Program)

Last week I worked with a school founder whose teachers had received their Riggs training from an unauthorized Riggs trainer. This founder was now worried that her school might be out of compliance with its charter because of the changes her teachers had made to the Riggs program.



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