Building blocks of literacy

Tower of building blocks

We all want our children to find learning to read exciting and enjoyable, but what happens when they get stuck? Should we be quick to help, or wait and let them figure it out themselves? With the help of a set of building blocks, literacy specialist, Savannah Campbell, explains how we can encourage productive struggling.…

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Consonant Blends (Adjacent Consonants) – Speaking and Spelling

Using tiddly frogs for segmenting activity

Systematic Phonics programs now talk of  ‘consonant blends’ or ‘adjacent consonants’, but what are they? Why is it that the letters ‘bl’ in the word ‘black’ are adjacent consonants while ‘ck’ are not? Speech and language therapist, Hema Desai explains the difference and suggests fun, multisensory activities to embed learning. As a speech and language…

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Moon Dogs Extras – An Independent Review

Ann Sullivan of Phonics for Pupils with Special Educational Needs, is an experienced SEND teacher, who has created her own phonics programme specifically for SEND children.  This is what she has to say about our latest set of Books: Moon Dogs Extras for Catch-Up Readers. If there is one question I am asked more than…

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Part 4: Hollywood Here We Come! From documentary teaser release to the beginning of editing – The Truth About Reading

In Part 4 of this series of guest blogs by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran foundation to The Truth About Reading documentary team and Founder of EBLI, talks about the the excitement surrounding the release of the documentary teaser. On September 22, 2021, the teaser for The Truth About Reading documentary was premiered at a…

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words

Scaffolding the teaching of multisyllabic words –  simple to complex Many teachers are focused on teaching kids how to sound out graphemes (spellings) and to blend sounds together into words.  They will even be teaching kids how to manipulate phonemes in phonemic awareness activities. These are all essential underlying skills necessary for learning to read. …

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The Truth About Reading Part 3, Filming gets underway

In Part 3 of this series of guest blogs by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran foundation to The Truth About Reading documentary team and Founder of EBLI, talks about the emotional impact the production of the documentary had on many of the team.   In previous posts, I’ve shared how the documentary came to be…

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The Truth about Reading Part 2 – Why a literacy documentary?

In Part 2 of this series of guest blogs by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran foundation to The Truth About Reading documentary team and Founder of EBLI, looks at the reasons behind the decision to produce a critical documentary in light of the current national literacy crisis.   “US scores show only…

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The Truth About Reading – A documentary feature film on lack of literacy in America

Emmy® Award-winning Director, Nick Nanton has signed on to direct a new documentary feature film from DNA Films® in partnership with the John Corcoran Foundation™ that aims to change the conversation around literacy through highlighting illiteracy, sub-literacy, and learning disabilities, including dyslexia. This guest blog by Nora Chahbazi, literacy consultant (pro bono) via the John Corcoran…

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Does interplay between children and their environment shape the development of reading skills?

An interview with a developmental cognitive neuroscientist   Ola Ozernov-Palchik is a postdoctoral associate at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a lecturer and program director at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She applies neurocognitive methods to investigating individual differences in dyslexia in emerging readers. She…

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Books to engage and motivate older, struggling readers

Older, struggling readers often have gaps in the their phonics knowledge.  They find alternative spellings particularly confusing.  Many suffer from low self-esteem so offering them decodable materials that are age-appropriate is vital.  Vital because if the reading materials can engage the disaffected reader, his/her motivation to try and read will grow.  Without motivation it is…

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