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And in the beginning was the word…

In their book The Writing Revolution, Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler argue that sentences rather than paragraphs are the ‘building blocks’ of good writing. They reason that many students simply don’t have mental ‘bandwidth’ to cope simultaneously with the grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation, as well as the meaning they are trying to convey: the… Continue reading And in the beginning was the word…

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Learning to read and write – a schema, Part 2

Following my last post in which I offered, with special regard to the teaching of phonics, a working definition of what a schema is, I want to continue at the point at which the additive process of assimilation cannot proceed without breaking down in the face of contrary evidence. You may have seen a novice… Continue reading Learning to read and write – a schema, Part 2

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Learning to read and write – a schema

Developing a schema for learning to read and write I’ve been thinking for some time about the usefulness of schema theory in helping us to understand better how we teach young children to read and spell when they enter school. Let’s start by asking what a schema is. According to Kirschner and Hendrik, a schema… Continue reading Learning to read and write – a schema

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Sounds-Write Phonics Resources for Parents and Carers: COVID 19 update

Hi all, we are making some resources available for parents and carers that want to support their children with Sounds-Write at home. 1: For children in Reception/ Kindy Free online courses: Help your child to read and write As some of you already know, our two courses Help your Child to Read and Write teach… Continue reading Sounds-Write Phonics Resources for Parents and Carers: COVID 19 update

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Should we be teaching phonics or morphology as a first step to teaching children to read and write?

Morphology is the study of form or structure. In linguistics, morphology is the study of words, of how they are formed and of what their relationship is to other words in the language. English is both synthetic or inflectional and agglutinative or affixing. Both of which can be subsumed under the heading ‘fusional’. Inflectional languages,… Continue reading Should we be teaching phonics or morphology as a first step to teaching children to read and write?

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The beautiful simplicity in McGuinness’s prototype

I’m writing this post because I’ve just realised that after over four hundred posts, to my horror, I’ve never talked about Diane McGuinness’s ‘Prototype for teaching the alphabet code’ before. Fifteen years ago, amongst the most enthusiastic phonics advocates in the UK, everyone was thoroughly conversant with it. However, from what we’ve seen on Twitter… Continue reading The beautiful simplicity in McGuinness’s prototype

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The building blocks of writing

Have you read Natalie Wexler’s excellent article ‘Writing and Cognitive Load Theory’ in the latest issue (No 4) of researchEd? If you haven’t, it’s well worth a careful look. Natalie is the co-author, with Dr Judith Hochman, of The Writing Revolution, of which I am a great fan. In her researchEd piece, Wexler explains that… Continue reading The building blocks of writing

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What the Georgian alphabet can teach us about teaching reading and writing

The other day, I decided to attend a lecture on the Georgian alphabet, which you can view here, to put myself through the extremely challenging exercise of learning more. During the lecture, I and my fellow attendees were introduced to the thirty-three characters that make up the script. All were presented in one single session… Continue reading What the Georgian alphabet can teach us about teaching reading and writing