What’s in a word? On our Sounds-Write training courses, to teachers, we use the word ‘represents’ all the time when describing the relationship between the sounds in the English language and the way in which those sounds are characterised. For teachers and teaching, the reason for using the word is strategic. We want to make… Continue reading This and that
This post has been written as a quick response to a debate on Twitter about whether teachers should be teaching letter names or sounds or both to young children just embarking on learning to read and spell Until young children (Reception/Y1) are secure with sounds – i.e, they understand that letters are representations of sounds… Continue reading Sounds or letter names? An update
Making the decision whether to teach phonics ‘whole-class’ or in small groups can be a difficult one but, in this post, I want to make the case for whole-class teaching. It’s pretty obvious that if you’re a teacher of a class combining different years, you will almost certainly want to ‘set’ them and, in this… Continue reading Teaching phonics: whole class or small group?
Word building is the perfect place to start teaching young children to read and write from the moment they enter school because by so doing we can mitigate the problem of teaching an alphabetic code that is highly opaque. Here’s how: word building ensures children understand the direction of the code – from each… Continue reading Word building – the foundation stone of beginning literacy
A reply to The Reading Ape: ‘Controlling the text – the dilemma of decodable texts’. Now that we’ve finally got used to the idea of supporting the teaching of beginning reading using decodable texts, in the blog post ‘Controlling the text – the dilemma of decodable texts’, The Reading Ape (TRA) is asking a thorny… Continue reading A reply to The Reading Ape: ‘Controlling the text – the dilemma of decodable texts’
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…
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
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
Happy Sunday! We are making some more activities available for free. These are for Units 1 to 7 of the Initial Code. They are from our book Help your Child to Read and Write (part 1). We hope you enjoy using them. Let us know how you get on! And, if you use them with… Continue reading More resources to share
During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m going to re-post some of the blog posts I feel might be most interesting and useful to teachers and to parents. We at Sounds-Write have just started running our new course for students in Years 3 – 6* and, since it covers so much on the terrain… Continue reading David Crystal – a diamond geezer!