Sometimes I get a phone call, sometimes a text, and sometimes the call comes via email or in person during one of our training workshops, but however it comes, it often includes a request for a cheat sheet--for some version of a “Rules for Riggs teachers” list. Over and over again, people want to know what’s non-negotiable.
Have you seen the short TED-Ed lesson, “Making Sense of Spelling”? It's great! Who knew that an onion could teach us so much? My mentor, Myrna McCulloch (founder of the Riggs Institute), did.
One of the things I love about teaching students with McCulloch's program is that it takes my students way beyond phonics.
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: