Approaches to Teaching Reading

Do decodable books need to be boring and silly?

Do decodable books need to boring and silly? ‘Cat sat on mat….’ Critics of decodable books claim that they are boring and often don’t make sense. They quote examples like ‘Cat sat on mat. Pam sat on cat…etc.’ They have […]

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Why ‘structured’ reading instruction is not enough

Why we need to teach ‘structured and cumulative’ reading instruction In the bad old days before I learned how to teach kids to read, I taught kids to read in a structured way. That is, what I thought was structure: […]

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FREE decodable book and resources for all to use!

  In times like these, it’s important that we all pull together for the greater good. With that in mind, Phonic Books are delighted to be offering free resources for parents, carers and teachers alike, who want to support children […]

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Should we teach spelling in the digital age?

Teaching spelling in the digital age

Many children struggle with spelling.  It is important to teach them how to spell in the digital age when ‘Spell Check’ is there to help? The answer is yes.  Why? Firstly, because at present Spell Check makes errors as do […]

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How to practice reading ‘tap’ and ‘tape’

Many students struggle with split vowel spellings a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e. These are also known as ‘split digraphs’, ‘magic e’ and ‘vowel + e’. These students need extra explicit instruction and practice reading words with these split spellings. It […]

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Thumbs up for READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK!

So, we are resuming our campaign to change the way teachers send home spelling lists every week using the LOOK, WRITE, COVER, CHECK approach.  Why doesn’t it work with so many children? Many children have a poor visual memory and […]

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READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK – a better way to teach spelling

This year I have a number of students in Year 5 and 6 who are fluent readers.  Their problem is spelling.  Typically they may spell a word with all the correct letters that are in the wrong order, e.g. ‘nitgh’ […]

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How to teach children about syllables

Before children can begin to read and spell multisyllabic words they need to get a feel for what a syllable is – for what a ‘mouthful of a word’ is. If they have had systematic phonics instruction they may find […]

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Cumulative teaching – how to teach children who forget

Many of my students at the Bloomfield Learning Centre have difficulty remembering the complex alternative spellings of sounds in English.  The problem is they don’t hold on to what they have learned.  The teacher may teach <ai> and the next […]

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Independent review of That Dog! series

  We have just received this independent review from Teach Primary Magazine.  The review is available online.  See link below. Phonic Books – That Dog! for catch-up readers across the school. At a glance: • Age appropriate, synthetic phonic catch-up […]

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