Dyslexia

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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How to make comprehension fun

How to make comprehension fun Most teachers will agree that the purpose of reading is comprehension.   But many children, especially kids who struggle with reading and spelling, hate comprehension activities.  It’s not because they hate comprehending or answering questions.  […]

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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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Phonic Books is Going Red for the month of October!

What is all this ‘going red’ about? Go Red is a community of passionate individuals and organisations that campaign to promote literacy and a greater understanding of dyslexia. Being able to read and write is something most of us take […]

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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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Dictation is great activity for emerging spellers

Most teachers approach teaching in a child-centred way so dictation goes against the grain.  It may seem old-fashioned and yes, a bit dictatorial.  But actually, is it a really powerful tool which is particularly useful for struggling or emerging readers […]

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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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What is a syllable and why we should teach children about it

What is a syllable and why we should teach children about it A syllable is a part of a word that contains sounds (phonemes) of a word. It usually has a vowel in it. A syllable is also called a […]

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