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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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….