Learning to Read

This summer – an opportunity for catch up reading

Here we are in the last term of school and soon the summer will be upon us. It is really important that during this summer, the ‘summer slump’ of learning loss will not add to the learning loss that has […]

Read More

Teaching phonics in a multisensory way

Multisensory  learning is when a child uses a number of senses to experience a learning activity.  This could be seeing, hearing and touching or manipulating letters.  We experience the world with our senses and these allow  us to absorb and  […]

Read More

Homophones – what to do about them?

What are homophones? Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings.  The word ‘homophone’ has a Greek origin.  ‘Homo’ meaning ‘same’ and ‘phone’ meaning ‘sound’.  So, the word ‘homophone’ means a same-sounding words that have different meanings.  […]

Read More

How to organise your decodable books

Many teachers are now using decodable books to help their beginner readers practice the phonics taught in the classroom lessons.  This is because it is now accepted that decodable texts, which are controlled texts, help children develop decoding, and decoding […]

Read More

What’s so great about dictation?

The verb ‘to dictate’ is not one that teachers warm to.  This is because we love to foster creativity in our children and to get them to write their own ideas.  BUT when teaching children how to read and spell […]

Read More

What is reading? – what I should have learned in teacher training

teaching-reading-with-Phonic-Books-catch-up-readers

When I trained to be a teacher in one of the best universities in London, I learned a great deal about the wonderful world of books, how to select quality picture books and spot racially biased books, and even how […]

Read More

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words

Scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words –  simple to complex Many teachers are focused on teaching children how to sound out graphemes (spellings) and to blend sounds together into words.  They will even be teaching children how to manipulate phonemes […]

Read More

What is the point of pointing?

Mother and Daughter reading

Often when I read with a pupil, I need to remind her/him (and myself) to point to the words.  As fluent readers we don’t point to words on the page, but sometimes if we come across a difficult or new […]

Read More

What’s in your book bag?

a child's book bag

Beginner readers need a great deal of practice.  Where possible, sending home decodable books is an important opportunity for reading practice.  It is difficult for the teacher or teaching assistant to hear every child read every day or even every […]

Read More

How to write a word chain

Word chains are really important for all children learning to read, especially struggling readers. Some programmes call this activity ‘Sound swap’ (Sounds-Write) or ‘Switch it’ (Reading Simplified). Why word chains are a useful teaching tool Word chains offer children practice […]

Read More