Uncover the logic of the English code and guide your students to more proficient reading.
There is a better way to teach reading. Raising Robust Readers will show you how, using the power of the Reading Code. Teaching a deeper understanding of how words work from the phoneme level up, Raising Robust Readers will help you uncover the logic of the English code so you can guide your students to more proficient reading.
Unlock the power of Raising Robust Readers in your general education classroom. This Orton-Gillingham-based reading program is far more than a one-on-one or RTI program for struggling readers. Its multi-sensory teaching strategies, taught through student-centered, fun-filled activities, can be incorporated into pre-school through third grade curricula...and beyond.
Raising Robust Readers incorporates:
Begin reading instruction with intervention and all children will benefit. When you start younger, teaching in small, logical, sequential steps, you will accelerate early readers and may very well prevent children with a predisposition to dyslexia from ever manifesting reading failure. Traditional methods are failing many of our children. Catch them before they struggle or fail.
Raising Robust Readers can be used for all ages. It is simple, clear, child-friendly and free of textbook jargon. Instruction can be easily adjusted and adapted for all ages and ability levels. It is especially suited for children with dyslexia or Down syndrome. When using developmentally appropriate strategies, everyone may benefit — from strong readers to struggling readers. Increased parental support is made easier with suggested family fun activities.
Students read in all subject areas. Even math has word problems. So let’s teach reading in all subject areas. Using Raising Robust Readers methods, as opportunities arise throughout the day, helps learning and retaining the principles of the phonogram-driven English code. When students can easily decode materials in all their subjects, their vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension increases in all areas.
With our multi-sensory reading program, you will teach your students auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic instruction, simultaneously, through songs, gestures and play. Our sequence of instruction is a carefully crafted departure from traditional approaches. We teach reading like math, in logical, sequential order. Blending begins very early so early learners experience the joy of reading, not just saying sounds and recognizing letters. Each phase is designed in small successful steps from simple to complex; from sounds to syllables to words.
Take children beyond the alphabet to the world of phonograms. Phonograms show the 44 sounds in all the words we read. Phonograms may be 1 letter (the alphabet) or may have 2, 3 or 4 letter combinations; but only make one sound. Our multi-sensory songs, gestures and fun-filled activities make them easy to learn and fun to teach.
Understanding syllable patterns provides the quantum leap to higher level reading. This is because the type of syllable determines the sound the vowels in words make. Does that ‘A’ say short a? long a? or another 'a' sound. Guessing, frustration, and failure go by the wayside. Instead your students can confidently decode and encode longer, more difficult words with ease.
When students learn how to divide words into 6 syllable patterns they can read words syllable-by-syllable. No more chunking through words nor guessing from pictures or context. Along with 29 reading and spelling clues, it's now possible to decode 95% of all English words.
Raising Robust Readers uses engaging materials and Orton-Gillingham principles to teach the logic of the reading code. It is researched based, and incorporates the best practices of the National Reading Panel, the National Right to Read Foundation, the International Dyslexia Association and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. This multi-sensory, explicit and systematic instruction of phonics is at the core of our program. And because play promotes brain growth and creates an additional pathway to learning, our built-in, fun-filled activities are especially important in the early grades.
Sight words and whole word memorization may be detrimental to students who are struggling with learning how to read. Decoding words in the traditional, letter-by-letter manner can have crippling results. Children are expected to memorize some 300 sight words when in fact most of them can be sounded out. Try sounding out ‘eight’ one letter at a time and pronounce the result. Now try explaining how that garbled sound equals ‘eight.’ The default solution is to make it a sight word. But there is a better way! With phonograms, the confusion, frustration and failure can be remedied, and your students will understand the WHY!
Where is the a in eight? Where is the e in amphibian? Why does cat start with a c and kitten with a k? They both start with the same sound. Why does duck ends in ck and lark ends in k?
Traditional phonics programs leave many, including teachers, with the impression that English is a crazy language. They don't give us the simple answers that children need. But, English is logical and sensible; and when you know the reading code, you can easily explain it to your students.
Raising Robust Readers in the Classroom
See our program in action!
Pre-Kindergarten Classroom Phonogram Hunt
Kindergarten Classroom Phonogram Songs
“I can’t stop! My head is spinning with ideas! I am trying to control my excitement.
This program is LIFE CHANGING!”
Questions You May Have
Literally it means being aware of sounds. This term refers to spoken sounds. It is the ability to hear sounds and manipulate them. For example “t-a-p” vs “p-a-t.” Both have the same letters; but they are in a different order. Or “t-a-p” vs. “t-o-p” where the vowel sound is different. Note: This term differs from ‘phonogram’ which refers to the printed symbol.
It is never too late. You can learn at any age.
Oh my goodness yes. Every child deserves to learn the simplicity (yes, simplicity!!) and clarity of our English language. There are some children who are just natural readers. They just ‘get it’ when it comes to reading. But when they understand more fully how the pieces go together, their skills are taken to an even higher level. However, this group is in the minority. The 2015 Nations Report Card revealed that approximately 2/3rds of 4th and 8th graders, nationwide, read below proficiency. The scores for 12th graders in 2015 were 5 points lower than in 1992. That should be enough proof that all children can benefit from a better method of instruction.
Because we want students to experience success from the very beginning, and at each step moving forward, we begin with phonograms that have only one sound. That way, when they begin blending, there is only one possible sound for each. Hence, no guessing; just success. For that reason, we teach single sounds consonants and vowel buddies before we teach two-sound consonants and multi-sound vowels. This is the hallmark of our program. Experiencing success at the beginning means that students are more confident when moving to the more complex steps.
Awards and Accolades
Authors Judy O’Halloran and Marilee Senior received a 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for literacy for “The ABCs of the Sounds We Read: Going Beyond the Alphabet to Discover the Reading Code.”
Raising Robust Readers has been chosen by GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers to be used internationally with their literacy programs.