Approaches to Teaching Reading

Why do older, struggling readers need age-appropriate books?

Older, struggling readers often have gaps in the their phonics knowledge and skills.  They find alternative spellings particularly confusing.  Many suffer from low self esteem so offering them decodable materials that are age-appropriate is vital.  Vital because if the reading […]

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Parent shines a light on the science of reading

It is so sad to hear when a young child says he wants to kill himself because he can’t read as described in the interview at the end of this piece. It is uplifting to hear how a parent turned […]

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Phonics vs morphology? Why we need both!

Phonics VS morphology?  Why we need both! Some time ago, I attended a course on morphology.   I was using an excellent phonics programme (Sounds-Write) and felt I needed to develop my understanding of morphology and its role in teaching kids […]

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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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