Dyslexia

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.  […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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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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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