Dictation is a great activity for emerging spellers

Most teachers approach teaching in a child-centered way so dictation goes against the grain. It may seem old-fashioned and yes, a bit dictatorial. But actually, is it a really powerful tool which is particularly useful for struggling or emerging readers and spellers. What more, kids enjoy it because it consolidates their learning and they experience…

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The conveyor belt from reading difficulties to prison

  Emily Hanford’s most recent podcast, an audio documentary called What Words Say, is a must listen.  Hanford explains how reading difficulties often find expression in bad behavior, and she points out that children of color who struggle with reading don’t typically get the help that white children do.   Almost all the kids in the…

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How we can help kids to self-teach themselves to read

Have you ever wondered how kids can read words they haven’t been taught to read?  I recently came across the ‘Self Teaching Hypothesis’ Share,1955.  This hypothesis explains how kids use the sounds/spellings they have been taught and apply them to figure out new words.  What does this theory say? “According to this hypothesis, beginning readers…

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Does spelling matter in the digital age?

Many children struggle with spelling.  Is it important to teach them how to spell in the digital age when ‘Spell Check’ is there to help? The answer is yes.  Why? Firstly, because at present ‘spell check’ makes errors as do voice recognition tools. Spell check may offer homophone or spelling options – but can students…

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