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 word we are trying to work out – we will use our finger to work […]

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Exciting, engaging and relevant reading books

Another lovely review from a happy customer… “Phonic books provide an exciting, engaging, relevant and real reading opportunity for pupils at different stages of their reading journey. The books are carefully tailored to provide meaningful reading content that remains of high interest but matches the individual’s ability with just enough challenge to move reading forwards […]

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Back to school – where to start with struggling readers

Many children will have failed to reach their reading attainment last year due to missing school and the inevitable patchy learning during periods of lock-down.  On top of that, we now have the ‘summer slump’ when pupils seem to have forgotten what they learned or do they just need a quick revision?  As kids return […]

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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 letters that represent the 44 sounds of English fluency – ability to read with pace, […]

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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 odd, but is has never occurred to me that the Year 1 Phonics Check is […]

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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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Top tips for teaching phonics

1. Step-by-step You don’t need to teach the whole alphabet to get reading going. Start with a few letters and get children to build words with them. Our series starts with the sounds s, a, t, i, m. 2. Word-building rocks! Word-building is the best way to teach reading and spelling. Write the letters on […]

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Special Needs Teacher reviews Moon Dogs Series

Moon Dogs Series

As a special needs teacher who mainly works with KS2 children, I’m always looking for materials that not only  interest my students, but also enable them to practice the early phonics they have missed out on. The Moon Dog books are wonderful because although they are for beginner readers, the pictures and text engage older children. […]

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Struggling reader – reads paperbacks!

Some months ago I wrote about my struggling reader.  He came to the Bloomfield Learning Centre at the age of 10+ with a reading age of 6. Well, he crashed into my classroom (with his scooter) after Christmas announcing he had read two books over the holidays – ‘Holes’ and ‘Wonder’.  Amazing! And true!  He has […]

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