Approaches to Teaching Reading

When should children stop using decodable texts?

Decodable books have a very specific and limited purpose in the process of learning to read.  They provide reading practice as children learn to use the sound/letter correspondences they have been taught, and the strategy of blending sounds throughout the […]

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Teach high-frequency words like an incomplete puzzle

English is complex and we need to teach reading in a structured way from simple to complex.  Unfortunately, there is no avoiding high-frequency words with spellings the children haven’t learned yet because they are present in even the simplest of […]

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Do kids need to read decodable books to become fluent readers?

Decodable books build ‘reading muscle’ – another great post from Spelfabet. If you are wondering why kids need to read decodable books in order to become fluent readers – here is the answer! All adults can find listening to beginner […]

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What’s going on with ‘Letters and Sounds’?

The Department for Education has announced that is it ‘retiring’ the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which was published in 2007.   In its place, it is asking publishers to submit their phonics programmes for revalidation.  Initially, the DfE planned to update […]

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What is phonemic awareness and why we should teach it

We know that phonological awareness is one of the  6 components of learning to read: phonological awareness – being able to identify sounds in words which includes, syllables, rhyme, alliteration and phonemes. phonics – to recognise letters and combination of […]

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How to teach blending

I have recently listened to two podcasts about working memory and they’ve made me think how we teach reading, specifically, how we help children with blending sounds into words: Evidence Based Education Podcast – Trialled and Tested: Working Memory: https://evidencebased.education/working-memory/ […]

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How to teach using our Dragon Eggs Series

See our Dragon Eggs series in action! An exemplary example of teaching with our Dragon Eggs Series… Observe how the reader practises decoding, but also encounters new words that develop vocabulary. Note the exemplary teaching: how the teacher makes sure […]

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Decodable reading quest books for building fluency

The Dragon Eggs Series is a set of 10 decodable books that combine revision of those tricky vowel digraphs and an exciting, beautifully-illustrated quest with dragons in it! Designed to engage children and secure their Alphabetic Code knowledge and reading […]

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Why the Phonics Check is not just for Year 1

I recently had a Zoom meeting with a Year 6 teacher who discussed how a number of his pupils were struggling with reading and he said he was using the Year 1 phonics check to assess them.  This may seem […]

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What is a schwa sound?

What is a schwa sound? And – did you know it is the most common sound in the English language? A schwa sound is a weak vowel sound in an unstressed syllable.  Here is an explanation: Most multi-syllabic words in […]

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