Reading Difficulties

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

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

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

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

Why we should be teaching phonemic awareness to address learning loss and equity

I recently listened to a webinar by Dr Susan Brady and there some really important points I wanted to summarise for busy teachers. Focus what is supported by evidence to accelerate learning We are now racing against time to reverse […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

What if?

What if a young illiterate man had not travelled to New York from the Bahamas to find work? What if he hadn’t been rejected from the American Negro Theatre in Harlem because he couldn’t read? What if he hadn’t had […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More