Learning to Read

What is the ‘Matthew effect’ when it comes to reading instruction?

What is ‘The Matthew effect’ when it comes to reading instruction? This idea (mooted by Keith Stanovich) is that children who learn to read in the first three years of their education become fluent readers. They read more, learn more […]

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‘Sound Snap’ – a fun way to teach ‘precise pronunciation’

I have just started to teach a struggling reader  in Year 1.  The first thing I observed from my assessment was that she did not use ‘pure phonic sounds’, also known as ‘precise pronunciation’.  Many of the consonants were pronounced […]

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Should we label deprived children as less able?

Is it dangerous to assume that a child who has not had parental input is less able?  Are we setting low expectations from the very beginning? Quirky Teacher presents some important arguments about making assumptions about pupil ability in Early […]

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What is Balanced Literacy?

When asked how they teach reading, many teachers pride themselves that they are teaching ‘balanced literacy’ in their classroom.  This idea seems to imply that they are covering all the approaches their pupils may need to learn to read.  But […]

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Should ‘alien words’ be part of the Year 1 Phonics Check?

It is that time of year again and the Year 1 Phonics Check is looming.  It will take place this year during the week commencing June 12th. There had been a lot of criticism about the check in general but […]

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How to teach reading and spelling with the Smart Chute

It is really important to teach reading and spelling together so that children can see that reading is decoding letters into sounds and spelling is encoding sounds into letters. In short, they are reverse activities. This way children learn how […]

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How to teach high-frequency words

High-frequency words are common words in our language. Many teachers believe that it is useful for children to learn to read and spell these words as soon as possible. The problem is that many of these words have complex spellings. […]

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Questions about the efficacy of phonics

If you are not convinced that phonics works for everyone or feel that you have tried it and still some of your pupils struggle – here are answers to often held views about teaching to read with synthetic phonics.  Professor Pamela […]

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Why no one can really multi task

Young people today are obsessed with social media, constantly switching from school work to Facebook, texting, Instagram or whatever the latest cool gadget is on their phones.  How does this affect their learning? They tell their parents and teachers that they are multi-tasking.  But is this actually […]

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Are learning styles now finally out of style?

Many SEN teachers believe and promote the idea of learning styles.  It feels right. It feels personal to every individual student – but it is supported by science? https://ssec.si.edu/sending-learning-styles-out-style#.WHdcuDaVr6E.twitter

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