News & Information

Can Lucy Calkins’ changing views shift the way millions of children are taught to read?

kids-reading-decodable-books

The news has been spreading that Lucy Calkins, head of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), has been learning about the science of reading and making changes to her guidance and widely used curricula. Throughout her career, 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 […]

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Phonic Books is Going Red for the Month of October!

What is all this ‘going red’ about? Go Red is a community of passionate individuals and organizations that campaign to promote literacy and a greater understanding of dyslexia. Being able to read and write is something most of us take […]

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Little things can make a big difference

The education researcher Dylan Wiliam has said that “changing what teachers do is more important than changing what teachers know.” But isn’t knowledge power? And what we do is obviously linked to what we know. So, how can that be? […]

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Parents steers school toward Science of Reading

It is so sad to hear when a young child says he wants to kill himself because he can’t read as described in the interview linked at the end of this piece.  It is uplifting to hear how a parent turned […]

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Consonant blends and consonant teams – what’s the difference?

Many of the terms in phonics are quite confusing.  Consonant blends and consonant teams are such terms.  So, what is the difference between the two? A consonant blend is a term used for two adjacent consonants in a word that […]

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Why we need to teach the Alphabetic Code

What is the Alphabetic Code? English has a complex writing system.  It has 26 letters but roughly 44 sounds (this depends on pronunciation). There are roughly 160+ different spellings for these 44 sounds.  In order to teach them in a […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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