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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This pack includes fun, hands on activities and games to help teach various mental math strategies. Suitable for grades 1 - 4, 27 pages. Does anyone else out there dislike…

Are you after some new ideas to support your teaching of digraphs? Maybe you’ve already spent time working on digraphs with your students, but what you need now are some…

Are you after a way to introduce the topic of safety to your students? This lesson plan introduces good safety practices to your students. Your students will work in small…

In this lesson students will listen to a book all about safety. They will retell the events in the book in a logical sequence with the assistance of a story…

Suitable for Grades K-2, 24 pages. This pack includes fun, hands on activities and games for teaching the digraph /wh/.  These activities are great for individual or small group work. …

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. What…

Practical Teacher Resources To Make Your Life Easier

Practical Teacher Resources To Make Your Life Easier

I get to try out lots of innovative, new and fun teaching related items and over the years I’ve used many different teacher resources and tools. Some have been fantastic and helped save my sanity, while others that I thought were going to be great, ended up being too much hassle. I’ve written about a…

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…

The Best Phonics Activities All In One Place

The Best Phonics Activities All In One Place

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 flash cards, mastery folders and look, say, cover, write, check. It didn’t feel like…

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…

4 Useful Strategies To Improve Phoneme Manipulation

4 Useful Strategies To Improve Phoneme Manipulation

In the last few weeks we’ve been looking at some of the essential skills children need in order to decode the English language. Specifically I’ve shared activities and ideas for teaching blending and segmenting. Today I’m going to share with you some of the ways I help students improve the essential skill of phoneme manipulation….

5 Practical Ways To Help Students Improve Their Spelling

5 Practical Ways To Help Students Improve Their Spelling

Do you have students in your class who are doing okay with their reading, but they have so much trouble with spelling? And you’re not really sure what else you can do to help them improve their spelling? Don’t worry you’re not alone. I see lots of kids in the literacy clinic who are the…