The Riggs Institute Blog

Are Your Students Practicing Without Understanding?

Many beginning and remedial readers are being asked to complete “learning activities” without being told how they will be helped by them. This is a problem.

In order to read efficiently, explains Dr. Hilde Mosse in her Complete Handbook of Children’s Reading Disorders, students must understand what they are supposed to be learning. Do yours? 


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.


Sending Home Spelling Lists

Since parents of school children are generally eager to help them with their homework, some parents may become confused when Riggs teachers do not send home traditional spelling lists. Unless you help them understand why you are not doing that, they may even become concerned. I’ve heard from many parents who say: “Isn’t that how things have always been done? Why can’t I have a list of spelling words so I can help my child study them? His other teachers always sent one home, and my child needs a lot of help!


Skill-Building Activities

If you’ve been told that your school is using the Riggs program for reading instruction, you may wonder how anyone can teach phonics for the recommended 2.5 hours a day. But Riggs is not a phonics program. It’s a finely-sequenced, comprehensive, language arts program that starts with the basics of letter-formation, spelling patterns, blending, and syllabication, yes, but it teaches much more.


Building Fluency

I recently heard about a mother who was working with a ten-year-old boy who was having difficulty with fluent reading. Teacher Mom was concerned about Micah (not his real name) because she was already using one of the best programs on the market to help him, yet her son seemed to be struggling.


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