• Core Reading Instruction

    The Roanoke City Public Schools uses the following programs to teach students who are in Kindergarten through 5th grade how to read:

    • Heggerty is a program used in kindergarten and 1st grade to help students hear individual sounds in words.
    • Really Great Reading helps students learn how to read and spell words and is used in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
    • Wit and Wisdom builds students’ language comprehension skills. Students read complex texts and then participate in discussions, classroom activities, writing, and more. These combined allow students to build their knowledge, grow their vocabulary, and learn how to apply what they have learned when reading.

    Below you will find information to help you learn more about our curriculum and download resources to support your students at home.

    Students reading togetherStudent reading and writingStudents doing group work

    Wit & Wisdom

    Wit & Wisdom helps students build the knowledge and skills they need to be successful readers, exceptional writers, and effective communicators. Students read and study award-winning fiction and nonfiction texts, famous works of art, videos, photographs, and more. Students learn about compelling topics such as the five senses, outer space, and the Revolutionary War. Download the module topics overview to see what topics and questions are covered in each module.

    Excellent books are the foundation of all Wit & Wisdom instruction. Download the core texts list to learn about the books that teachers use in each grade level, and download the volume of reading list for additional books that students can read to get extra practice in building vocabulary and content knowledge — and develop a love of reading.

    Really Great Reading

    Really Great Reading is focused on supporting students with decoding, which is how readers sound out words they encounter.  All Really Great Reading lessons provide the explicit and systematic instruction and practice that students need to master decoding skills. Students learn how letters represent certain sounds to enable them to be strong readers and spellers. Strong decoding skills are necessary to read words automatically, this allows students to have the ability to think about what they are reading.


    Heggerty is used to help teach students phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to recognize, manipulate, and work with the individual sounds — or phonemes — that make up words in spoken language. It's a foundational skill in literacy that involves understanding that words are composed of distinct sounds and being able to manipulate those sounds within words. For example, being able to identify the separate sounds in the word "cat," blend them together to pronounce the word, or even change one sound to create a new word ("cat" to "bat"). 

      Wit & Wisdom Resources

      Really Great Reading Resources

      • Kindergarten

      • 1st Grade

      • 2nd and 3rd Grades

      Heggerty Resources