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Reading instruction- text selection for Primary School students.

I have written quite a bit about the importance of decodable readers and why they are a necessity for any evidence-based literacy instruction. Please see my overview of some of the most common decodable readers on the market here! I am the Literacy Coordinator/Specialist in a large school in Western Australia. I am going to… Continue reading Reading instruction- text selection for Primary School students.

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Who do you refer students with literacy difficulties to?

This question doesn’t have a simple answer, but it is something I feel quite strongly about. Teachers have a hard time deciding who they should refer students to for literacy difficulties. It is hard to know initially if the literacy problems stem from an instructional deficit  (i.e has not been taught structured synthetic  phonics for… Continue reading Who do you refer students with literacy difficulties to?

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R.I.P running records.

Many schools within Australia are implementing Structured Synthetic Phonics (whether with fidelity or not), yet are still implementing out-dated methods to assess reading. There are still so many schools around the country (and the world for that matter) using running records (such as PM Benchmarking) to assess novice students’ reading ‘levels’, when these students are… Continue reading R.I.P running records.

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Process for effective evidence-based program implementation (school contexts)

      I am a staunch supporter and advocate for evidence-based practice (EBP) in schools; it's my professional goal to bridge the gap between research and teaching practice. However, there is more to EBP than simply choosing a well researched program and running with it. This flow chart (adapted from the Florida Center for… Continue reading Process for effective evidence-based program implementation (school contexts)

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The troublesome Schwa! É™

In phonetics and phonology, the schwa is the mid central vowel sound in the middle of the vowel chart, represented with the IPA symbol ə. In the Australian accent, we have lots of schwa sounds and I personally like to call it the ‘lazy vowel sound’. For example, in the word ‘System’- there is no… Continue reading The troublesome Schwa! É™

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Decodable readers- a necessity for any literacy program

Quite simply, decodable readers are texts that follow a systematic phonics code of gradually increasing difficulty. Their purpose if to support students' reading fluency by providing opportunities for them to practise their decoding skills on texts containing phonics concepts they have ALREADY LEARNT. They are a supplementary phonics resource that should be used in conjunction with… Continue reading Decodable readers- a necessity for any literacy program

Literacy, Uncategorized

Starting a Primary School novel spine

Once students become fluent readers and have surpassed the decodable readers in the Primary School, what next? Short chapter books and novel Studies are a great option for students who need to be extended with reading comprehension. In some Primary Schools, it is expected that every child in the class read the class novel within… Continue reading Starting a Primary School novel spine

Literacy, Phonological awareness, Uncategorized

Speech, Language and Literacy: the neurological link

Did you know that children with Speech and Language Disorders  have a much greater risk for later literacy difficulties? Difficulties in speech production can range from mild speech errors (e.g. lisps) to severe phonological-based disorders involving many errors and poor intelligibility. Language disorders can be expressive or receptive (or both). Students with severe speech difficulties or… Continue reading Speech, Language and Literacy: the neurological link