Inclusion – deep, wide and welcoming

This is a post about inclusion in schools, not just the inclusion of policy documents but the inclusion of real-life school, the inclusion that states explicitly, “you belong here regardless of how hard you find this”. At the start of each That Reading Thing training, participants read the following: 1. What did Cal tell that big man at the pub? He was mad! 2. Bliss is in the galaxy of Blob. When you reach Blob, you have to stop at … Read More

Phonics for Adults

posted in: 16+ & Adult Literacy | 4

There’s currently a buzz around the inclusion of phonics in the Entry Levels of the English Functional Skills qualification. I wrote this post when the original proposed content document was released. ******************************** My biggest fear about formalising phonics with adults is that people aren’t convinced it’s a good, helpful or even right thing to do so here’s a vision for age-appropriate phonics for adult literacy delivered with enthusiasm and understanding – a vision of lessons which are fresh, challenging, satisfying … Read More

An alternative to scripted teaching

Direct Instruction, the umbrella under which scripted teaching sits, is set up as the antidote to Discovery Learning, the Traditional answer to Progressivism, the Behaviourist reply to Constructivism. What one side has done for the word “phonics”, the other has done for the word “script” but, at the risk of coming across all 1990s, there is a Third Way and we’ve been walking that alternative path with all sorts of educators for many successful years. I think we’ll call it … Read More

Teaching Assistants & Literacy Support

Many schools use non teaching staff to help pupils with their reading, but they need the right tools, training and ongoing support to make a significant impact. The Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) has created this list for improving the use of learning support assistants. As they point out, the staff are already in the school and in the budget, so the next decision is to find an evidence based literacy intervention which is both affordable and suitable for non teaching … Read More

b/d Reversal

The tendency to reverse b and d is a huge embarrassment for older students who struggle to get the mirror image letters straight. On dyslexia discussion boards, the question keeps coming up, “How do we help our dyslexic students stop reversing b and d?” Letter and number reversal is something that tripped me up for years and I have evidence still in a scrapbook which I started at the age of 6 or 7. (Apologies to middle aged Canadians who … Read More

Spelling words with ough

This is a slightly modified excerpt from That Spelling Thing, a book of spelling strategies for the classroom, offering an alternative to look/say/cover/write/check. It’s written for teachers of any subject from middle primary to adult education and doesn’t require any literacy expertise. However, I’m assured there’s lots of content for teachers who are already teaching spelling. Buy the book – takes you to thatspellingthing.com. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words … Read More

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