Reading Resources

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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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 Books – What’s the Point?

I read this post and thought it was really worth reposting.  It explains in simple and sympathetic language why decodable books have an important role to play in learning to read.  New Zealand has been slow in adopting Systematic Synthetic […]

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How decodable texts contribute to reading fluency and comprehension

Reading fluency is a precondition for reading comprehension. If the reader is not fluent he/she will struggle to put the words together in a sentence and make meaning of it. When short term memory is taken up by working out […]

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Whole word reading vs decoding – why does it matter?

Many schools are moving away from teaching children to recognise whole words to teaching them how to decode. It is important for anyone reading with children, or teaching them to read to understand why this is so significant. The approach […]

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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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Girls can be dyslexic too

In the past, most of the students referred to the Learning Center where I work were boys.  It was thought that dyslexia was a disability that mostly boys had.  Girls were very good at disguising their reading disability with neat […]

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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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