No-Nonsense Educator Blog

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.

The Three Ps – Don’t Mix Them Up!

Phonological Awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics are three concepts that must be well understood in order to teach reading well. Mixing these terms up or even using them interchangeably means that we are disadvantaging students and interrupting what can be a straightforward process of reading instruction.

Teaching Grammar in Context

When we think of grammar teaching we often think of textbooks, activities where we circle the noun in the sentence and learn to say that "verbs are doing words". Children do need to know that verbs are doing words but there is so much more to teaching grammar than this. Children need language modelled for… Continue reading Teaching Grammar in Context

Writing We Do – Reimagined

Many of us use an I do, We do, You do model of teaching however the 'we do' often doesn't set our students up well for the 'you do'. In this video you'll learn what a reimagined 'we do' lesson might look like and how we can support student idea generation for great writing.