No-Nonsense Educator Blog

No Nonsense Educator

Whole Group Teaching in the Foundation Classroom

In my last blog post I discussed the ways that we can group children for small group reading instruction (often called Guided Reading).  I talked about the need to focus on skill development rather than ‘reading levels’ for our beginning readers and exactly what you can teach them at each stage of their reading development. … Continue reading Whole Group Teaching in the Foundation Classroom

No Nonsense Educator

Grouping in the Science of Reading Classroom

The idea of ‘guided reading’ in the Science of Reading foundation classroom is a simple, yet muti-faceted proposition.   In most schools guided reading is based on the reading level that arises from the benchmarking assessment done by the teacher and focuses largely on comprehension and learning to use a variety of ‘strategies’ to decode words.… Continue reading Grouping in the Science of Reading Classroom

No Nonsense Educator

What About the Play?

There is a huge push (and rightly so) for strong literacy foundations  to be built in the first year of school, but with children entering formal schooling as young as four and half years old, the question is to be asked, “What about the play?”. If you have been reading my blog of any length… Continue reading What About the Play?

No Nonsense Educator

From Sounds to Sentences

One of the big questions I hear Foundation (Kindergarten/prep/pre-primary/reception/transition) Teachers ask is, “When should children be writing sentences?”  I would like to answer this question as it relates to skills as well as age.   To focus only on the ‘when’ as a consideration of age can lead us to ‘achieve’ this by any means possible,… Continue reading From Sounds to Sentences

Inspiring Change

Only Say ‘Yes’ to What Matters

Now that it is October you have likely started getting emails from every man and his dog about booking events, excursions and professional learning sessions for 2021.   It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a proposed visit from Marvin the Martian (clearly not his real name) who will take your… Continue reading Only Say ‘Yes’ to What Matters

No Nonsense Educator

10 Weeks Left to ‘Crush It’ In The Foundation Classroom

If you teach in Australia or New Zealand, Term 4 is either upon you or just around the corner and many foundation teachers feel a sense of urgency to get as many children as possible ‘over the line’ before the end of the year.  The weeks are counting down and there isn’t long to go… Continue reading 10 Weeks Left to ‘Crush It’ In The Foundation Classroom

No Nonsense Educator

The Struggling Reader in Disguise

 How do you know if a student is a struggling reader? How many ‘reading levels’ do they need to be behind before we declare them so? How long do you give them before you recommend that they go off to a reading intervention group? (presuming you are lucky enough to have one in your school). … Continue reading The Struggling Reader in Disguise

No Nonsense Educator

Why Won’t He Do What I Know He Can Do?

We have all known a student who we believe can do something, but are frustrated when day in, day out they produce very little work or appear to be making very little effort to engage in the work we have assigned. I have heard the following statement many times. “He can do more than he… Continue reading Why Won’t He Do What I Know He Can Do?