No-Nonsense Educator Blog

You're Never Alone When I’ve Got Your Back

All children can learn. Every single one of them, but some kids need to feel that you are on their side before they will even attempt the work that makes them feel scared. Focus on building trust as you kick of the 2020 school year. You will be building a classroom where every child grows.

Moving on from Sounding Out

Sometimes our students get stuck in an apparently endless beginning phase of reading, sounding out word by word.  Where other children make steady progress in building fluency, reasonably quickly arriving at the point where they can recognise and read many words, our ‘stuck’ kids make little progress.  We know that the first step in learning… Continue reading Moving on from Sounding Out

Together Everyone Achieves More

I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing education assistants in my teaching life.  In my classroom, an education assistant is called a teacher.  We are all teachers. Sure, I have a different level of responsibility and decision making from an assistant, but never the less, our children are taught by them and… Continue reading Together Everyone Achieves More

A Christmas Message of Thanks

As you reflect on the year that has been, be proud of the accomplishments that you and your students have achieved. Growth, no matter how small, is to be celebrated. For many students, the difference between a year of growth and a year of standing still is you.

Layer, Upon Layer, Upon Layer

Cognitive overload is an important factor when designing lessons for all students, but particularly when supporting students with additional needs. Teaching in a way that presents graphemes and words cumulatively will ensure that your students can tackle one thing at a time on their road to being a successful reader.

High Impact Phonics Lessons

Effective phonics lessons are more than a 5 minute introduction, a worksheet and a game of snap. They involve intentionally and explicitly teaching children to recognise graphemes (the letters that make up ‘sounds’), read with them and spell with them. They also involve lots of repetition of previously learned graphemes and the chance for spaced practice.

Hands on Morphology

Today's post is, by no means, a comprehensive guide about teaching morphology. There is a lot more to share! My hope in this post was to show you that teaching grammar does not have to be a decontextualised, worksheet based activity where children learn random bits of information and don't really know how to apply it.

Teaching Kindergarten next? Don't Panic!

There are quite a few people who have found out over the last couple of weeks that they will be teaching a group of 5 year olds next year.  This grade is called various things depending on where you live: kindergarten, prep, pre-primary or transition. Regardless of where you teach you will be engaged in… Continue reading Teaching Kindergarten next? Don't Panic!

The Challenge of Advocating for Change

I received messages this week from people asking for my thoughts about advocating for changes in literacy practices. These questions have come both from parents and teachers who are equally as concerned about the wellbeing of children. Creating change can be a difficult process.  There is something particularly challenging about trying to convince people who… Continue reading The Challenge of Advocating for Change

No More Three Cueing! What’s Next?

Making the move from three cueing to reading instructed grounded in the science of reading is about way more than simply what we say to children when they get ‘stuck’ on a word. It requires a significant shift in reading practice.