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Category Archives: Literacy

How To Make Phonics Fun For Students

How To Make Phonics Fun For Students

What do children actually need to know to learn to read and spell? It may seem obvious, but as a new teacher, I really didn’t know how to teach reading or spelling—and I’ve met other teachers in the same boat. Kids need 3 essential skills to decode the English language: blending, segmenting and manipulation. Which do… Continue Reading

How To Pair Books With Phonics Games

How To Pair Books With Phonics Games

Imagine getting a student excited about reading, giving them a game to play—and having all of it focus on particular phonics skills. When you pair the right books with phonics games, you can engage kids and really hit home with particular sound skills. I’ve had good results with PhonicBooks for getting kids to read, and with… Continue Reading

3 Ways To Encourage The Joy Of Reading

3 Ways To Encourage The Joy Of Reading

Sometimes we get so caught up in getting students over hurdles to reading that the joy of reading goes out the window. And yet, the joy of reading is so important to get and keep kids reading. If you’ve ever had a reluctant or struggling reader say, “Can I read more?” you know the power… Continue Reading

3 Effective Reading Fluency Strategies And Free Tools

3 Effective Reading Fluency Strategies And Free Tools

First off, what is reading fluency—and why does it matter? According to the Primary National Strategy (2006), reading fluency is the ability to read Accurately Quickly Expressively In order for students to be fluent and independent readers, they need to achieve automaticity. That means reading about 80 words correct per minute using an age appropriate text.… Continue Reading

How To Find The Best Phonics Activities

How To Find The Best Phonics Activities

Is your phonics plan pulled together as you need new ideas and activities? When I first started my teaching journey I didn’t have a clue how to teach kids how to read and spell. I tried a bit of a mixed bag approach, mostly made up of whole language strategies. I used activities such as… Continue Reading

3 Ways To Use Literacy Games In The Classroom

3 Ways To Use Literacy Games In The Classroom

You know what they say about all work and no play. That’s quite true in the classroom. While some may think of games as distractions or a break from real learning, literacy games actually serve an important purpose in learning. Games are engaging, which makes them a perfect way to introduce a lesson, practice concepts,… Continue Reading

Do Your Students Need Reasons To Read?

Do Your Students Need Reasons To Read?

For students who struggle with reading or don’t enjoy it, reading can be a chore. But we know that reading daily has lots of benefits: from improved sleep to increased vocabulary and reduced stress and greater empathy. And of course, reading helps students develop and build on their reading skills and learn other subjects. So… Continue Reading

10 Things You Need To Know About Literacy

10 Things You Need To Know About Literacy

Reading and writing are among the most critical things children need to learn to do fluidly, because literacy will impact their learning and ability to express themselves throughout their schooling—and life. As teachers, we need to know a lot about literacy, including a variety of ways to teach it to learners with varying experience, needs,… Continue Reading

Exclusive Interview With John Walker – Teaching Reading and Spelling

Exclusive Interview With John Walker – Teaching Reading and Spelling

This week I have the pleasure of welcoming John Walker to the Top Notch Teaching Community. John is one of the creators and trainers of the Sounds-Write program. Sounds-Write is a linguistic phonics program that teaches reading, spelling and writing. You can find out more about Sounds-Write by visiting their website: http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/. I also wrote… Continue Reading

5 Free Spelling And Reading Games

5 Free Spelling And Reading Games

Are you after some fun reading games and spelling games to incorporate into your literacy program? Reading and spelling games are a fun and engaging way to help your students revise and consolidate what has been learned. I have found that using games is a great way to not only begin a lesson, but it’s… Continue Reading