After Romalda Spalding spent thirty years perfecting the teaching techniques she had learned while working under the supervision of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a pediatric neurologist, she wrote a textbook for teachers.
We all want our students to become masters. But what is mastery? Can we define and describe it in plain English? Can we measure it? Can we use our definitions and measurements to help students become masters?
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.
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.
The first level of the Riggs Institute’s English Language Arts curriculum, the Writing and Spelling Road to Reading and Thinking, consists of 160 lessons and practice activities which are designed to directly and explicitly teach foundational skills and concepts to beginners, including a knowledge of print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word-recognition skills, and fluency skills.
When Myrna McCulloch founded the Riggs Institute in 1979 to support those who wanted to teach foundational skills to pupils as a means to teaching them to read and write, she joined the few remaining American teachers who still had these skills.
When a caller recently asked if the Riggs Institute’s lessons align with the 2010 Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Studies (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY K-5), I was tired of being unable to answer the question, and I decided to change that. Believe it or not, I had been putting off an inquiry into how we align with these standards because . . .
The Riggs Institute’s Phonogram Cards come in a boxed set which includes instructions and teaching tips for introducing children
While most reading programs require teachers to keep students so busy that they have little or no time for mastery practice, the Riggs program does the opposite. It helps teachers stay focused on teaching one skill at a time, and it provides teachers with plenty of time in which to help their students practice this skill. In fact, it prioritizes such practice.