Melinda Crean - Top Notch TeachingWelcome and thanks so much for being here!

My name is Mel and I’m a primary school teacher and literacy specialist teacher. I am passionate about K-7 education and how we can better ourselves as teachers to provide more quality opportunities for our students.

If you’re after some new ideas and support, then you’re in the right place.

Here at Top Notch Teaching, you will find many practical, time-saving tips and resources to help make your life as a teacher (or tutor) that little bit easier.

Mel

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Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. This…

This physical education resource kit provides 35 lesson ideas that will last the whole year.  Each P.E. lesson is on a separate card to make it easy to take with…

This pack includes fun, hands on activities and games for teaching ‘Long A’. These activities are great for individual or small group work. There are also posters that can be…

This pack includes fun, hands on activities and games for teaching ‘Long U’. These activities are great for individual or small group work. There are also posters that can be…

Cootie catchers (or chatterboxes/fortune tellers) are a fun way of combining a popular children’s game with some practice in reading and spelling words that have a particular phonics focus. This item…

This pack includes fun, hands on activities and games for teaching ‘Long E’. These activities are great for individual or small group work. There are also posters that can be…

A Note Of Encouragement To New Teachers

A Note Of Encouragement To New Teachers

Dear New Teacher, How is it going? So many of us enter our classrooms for the first time with excitement and energy and ideas about what we will do . . . and a little bit of anxiety. What if I don’t know the answer? What if I can’t manage my students? What if I…

What I Learned About Teaching Literacy My First Year

What I Learned About Teaching Literacy My First Year

True Confession: My first year of teaching, I had no idea how to teach literacy. I used word lists and memorization with students and took a haphazard approach to teaching literacy. I didn’t teach the skills or conceptual knowledge my students needed to read. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t very effective. I hadn’t learned much about…

3 Easy Ways To Practice Phoneme Manipulation

3 Easy Ways To Practice Phoneme Manipulation

A few weeks ago, I talked about 3 essential reading skills that students need to master to be able to decode language. Without these skills, students will struggle with reading and spelling. That means as teachers, we need to provide specific instruction and practice in these skills. Last week, I focused in on segmenting, and before…

How To Practice Segmenting To Improve Spelling

How To Practice Segmenting To Improve Spelling

Last week we looked at teaching children the essential reading skill of blending and why that is important. Segmenting is another essential reading skill. And if you have kiddos who are doing OK with their reading, but struggling with spelling, segmenting can help them improve their spelling. On the other hand, if you’re not specifically teaching children…

How To Teach The Vital Reading Skill Of Blending

How To Teach The Vital Reading Skill Of Blending

Blending, paired with segmenting, is an important reading skill. When learning to read, students need to be able to separate out sounds and then push them together to build words. Pushing sounds together as in  /m/ /a/ /t/ = mat is called blending. So how do you teach this essential reading skill? Teach the reading…

3 Essential Reading Skills—And How To Teach Them

3 Essential Reading Skills—And How To Teach Them

Confession: As a new teacher, I often struggled to teach students to read. The main reason was that I didn’t provide students with the 3 essential reading skills. Many of the activities, techniques and strategies I used—Looking at flashcards, using a mastery folder, LSCWC—relied on students’ visual memory. There is a limit to how much…