FAQs about the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program


What is the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program?

An Orton-Gillingham-based reading and writing program that teaches phonics to beginning and struggling readers. It is multisensory (uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic techniques) and employs stories, games, art activities, puzzles, and plays to provide engaging opportunities for children to apply the word-decoding skills they are learning. The full program incorporates components addressing all of the “Five Pillars of Reading.”

Is the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program a phonics program?

Yes, and more.  Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, it is organized around the 7 Steps to Reading Success.

Can you use this program in a classroom, or is it just for one to one or small groups?

The Tiger Tuesday Reading Program can be used in a variety of applications—in a classroom as the primary reading system, as a supplement to existing programs in use, in one-to-one intervention with struggling students—or as the curriculum of choice for reading inter­vention resource instructors. It can be used with homeschooled students or in private tutoring sessions. It can be used in small groups, including after-school programs or homeschool co-ops. The program can be purchased as a full system or as individual components.

Regardless of the application, the TTRP provides a method of differentiated instruction without humiliation for those students working at a lower level. For example, it is possible that within a single group of five students working on “FunBook activities,” each student could be working on a different level, based on his or her own needs, and have different homework assignments. Games and activities vary only in what phonemic pattern is focused on.

What is unique about the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program?

1) Its reliance on stories, plays and games as vehicles for teaching specific phonetic decoding skills in a context that introduces other language arts concepts, develops age-appropriate social comprehension, expands general knowledge (including math, science, and social studies), and promotes healthy identity/self-esteem development.

2) The continuity of using a single set of characters with whom young students can identify and develop emotional “relationships.” It is well-documented that humans of all ages benefit most when information is presented in story form because of the emotional and intellectual engagement the stories evoke, and the longstanding success of research-based television programs like “Sesame Street” where charac­ters become easily recognizable and are richly developed over time. The Tiger Tuesday Reading program strikes a balance between predictable routine as a foundation for the introduction of new information using a central group of characters and activities repeated in each unit.

What grades is the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program for?

The Tiger Tuesday Reading Program may be used with students in the grade ranges shown below, or as a supplemental resource for those students who need additional practice, irrespective of grade level. Perfect for beginning students Pre-K through Grade Level 3 and reluctant/struggling students Pre-K through Grade Level 5. Skill Levels 1–5. Each level builds on the one(s) before. All students should be able to recognize alphabet letters and beginning and ending consonant sounds before proceeding to Level 1 – CVC. For those students who demonstrate gaps in recognition of letters or consonant sounds, we recommend the Tiger Tuesday Reading Readiness Package.

 Level 1: CVC Words – Recommended for students reading on Grade Level 1

 Level 2: VCE Words – Recommended for Grade Levels 1 and 2

 Level 3: Vowel Digraphs – Recommended for Grade Level 2

 Level 4: R-Controlled Vowels – Recommended for Grade 2 or 3

 Level 5: Vowel Diphthongs – Recommended for Grade 3


How do I know where to start?

Use the Tiger Tuesday Reading Inventory (TT-RI) can be downloaded for free from the Tiger Tuesday website. Administered individually, the appropriate level can usually be determined within a few minutes. A more comprehensive inventory aimed at identifying gaps in learning from alphabet letter recognition to diphthong sounds, the TT-RI can also be used to monitor students’ progress.

Does a child have to complete an entire level before moving onto the next?

No. Once a child becomes fluent on any level, he/she may move onto another level.  In addition, children may work on one or more levels at the same time. If a child becomes frustrated or resistant, drop down a level to provide him or her to experience success.




Are there teacher’s guides?

Yes. Two versions are available: a free guide that provides suggestions for introducing each phonemic pattern and activities designed to support initial learning. More comprehensive teacher’s guides that provide explicit “do and say” instructions and prepared lesson plans for each story unit are available in the Strong Learning Store. Both begin­ning teachers and tutors may wish to follow instructions at first, but we encourage you to combine your own tried-and-true methods with those suggested in the guide.

What if I wasn’t taught phonics myself? No problem. Through the years, different school systems have used different methods, both phonics-based and not. It is important, however, that you know the correct phonemic sounds yourself in order to effectively use the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program, so we have provided an online video and downloadable guide so you can follow along. Click here.

Do you provide teacher training workshops?

Yes. Contact us for more information about online webinars and onsite training opportunities.




Does the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program follow Common Core State Standards?

Yes, it is aligned with the Com­mon Core State Standards for Literacy and Social Studies K-3 in New York and with all state performance standards in effect.  Each Tiger Tuesday “Funbook” is comprised of seven-story mod­ules—which include a central “anchor” story; questions that reinforce reading comprehension skills, pages of skills which incorporate math and other academic subject areas.

Is the program child-directed or teacher-directed?

It is both. However, the program is designed based on principles of student-centered learning. Teachers, tutors, or homeschooling parents play a major role in providing individual instruction, but the variety of different types of activities are included so as to appeal to children of different personalities and challenges. As in any instructional setting, it is up to the adult to remain aware of a child’s level of engagement. After identifying the reading level of the child, we recommend that at the beginning of each session, the child be given a choice between two level-appropriate activities (if working on decoding CVC words, offer two CVC-related activities, etc.) in order to gain commitment from the child. If a child always wants to play a game every time, that’s okay. It doesn’t matter how they develop foundational reading skills, just that they do.

Does the program include open-ended questions to stimulate discussion?

Yes, every story on every level can lead to discussion with individual students or groups, including classes. In addition, each story is followed by comprehension and general knowledge questions, and an “About You…” activity that stimulates creative thinking and self-discovery with respect to the story topic. Both activities provide opportunities for further discussion.

Does the program follow “guided reading” instruction?

Yes. In the classroom environment, small groups of students who are reading on the same level can work (and play games) together. For instance, one group of students could be playing a card game focused on practicing decoding CVC words while another group plays the Spelling Showdown game using words with vowel digraphs. Reading groups are fluid, not fixed—based on what individual students need more practice on, they may participate in different groups on a week-to-week schedule.

Does the program encourage higher order thinking skills?

Yes. Every story in each FunBook is followed by activities that encourage higher order thinking skills. They range from comprehension to analysis to creativite thinking.

Is Tiger Tuesday appropriate for ESL students?

Yes! In fact, it is recommended. Research has shown that performing plays is especially effective for getting ESL students up to speed more quickly than standard single-modality techniques. An immersion technique, reading lines in plays more closely mimics participation in actual conversations.

Does the program give the child an opportunity to see their success?

Yes, a variety of activities that provide practice in using the focused-on skills, culminate in the most fun of all—performance of a play, complete with props and scenery, where students “practice” by learning and reading assigned parts aloud—demonstrating their newly-acquired decoding skills.



What is the Orton-Gillingham approach?

A method for teaching word encoding and decoding skills in a systematic way, usually with children who are struggling with learning to read. The approach begins with teaching 1) visual recognition of the upper and lower case alphabet letters, 2) beginning and ending sounds of consonants, and 3) the five most common patterns of vowel sounds: CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant), VCE (words ending with a vowel-consonant-silent “e”), Vowel Digraphs (two vowels together), R-Controlled Vowels (vowels followed by “r”), and Diphthongs (2-4 letter combinations that together make a new sound).

What are the “Five Pillars of Reading”?

Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Phonemic awareness is the ability to distinguish between different phonemes (sounds) that together make up the words of the English language. Phonics is the process of learning and applying phonemic decoding skills to connect the letters and letter combinations with the sound they make. Fluency relates to the smoothness and speed of reading, including use of appropriate inflection. Vocabulary relates to the number of words we understand the meaning of, whereas Comprehension relates to the meaning of words when combined in sentences.

How does the Tiger Tuesday Reading Program promote healthy identity development and realistically positive self-esteem?

Each story includes a section where children write stories and draw pictures about their experiences, dreams, feelings and thoughts. In addition, each FunBook offers the opportunity for children to create their own stories and plays.


Do I have to buy all five modules at once?

No. You may start at any level, based on the needs of the child. If you are already using another phonics system, you may purchase Tiger Tuesday components individually, e.g. FunBooks, card games, or “Fill the House” games to provide extra practice.

How do I know where to start?

The Tiger Tuesday Reading Inventory (TT-RI) can be downloaded for free from the Tiger Tuesday website. Administered individually, the appropriate level can usually be determined within a few minutes. A more comprehensive inventory aimed at identifying gaps in learning from alphabet letter recognition to diphthong sounds, the TTRI can also be used to monitor student a student’s progress up the 7 Steps.

Is there a preschool program?

Yes. The Tiger Tuesday Reading Readiness FunBooks—for use with Pre-K and Kindergarten students, as well as with children in Grades 1-4 with gaps in recognition of certain upper or lower case letters and/or hearing/repeating beginning and ending consonant sounds. The Reading Readiness modules are available as a package.

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory