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 readers agonising and at times, it can be hard work for both the child and […]

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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 ‘Letters and Sounds’ but then decided to allow schools to create programmes, based on their […]

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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 new words are explained and that decoding is accurate. A great example of the Simple […]

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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 Phonics, but things are changing for the better.  This is a really worth a read! […]

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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 what the words are on the page, it can’t focus on what they mean. So […]

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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 of teaching kids to recognise whole words is a ‘top down’ approach. It requires children […]

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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 materiasl can engage the disaffected reader, his/her motivation to try and read will grow.  Without […]

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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 this child’s life around by getting him assessed and starting him on a structured literacy […]

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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 handwriting and good behavior.  Sitting quietly at the back of the classroom – while failing […]

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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 a point! Many decodable books published in the past are repetitive and don’t exactly make […]

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