How to Teach Tricky Words

Tricky words, like ‘the’ and ‘was’ with their rare spelling choices, often trip up teachers and students. Shirley Houston explains tricky words, the steps to teach them systematically and explicitly, plus ideas and free resources to put this into practice.

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Getting the Most out of Phonics Hero

High levels of engagement and using Phonics Hero continuously throughout the year is the key to its success. Account Manager, Michelle Haines, takes you through her top tips on how you can ensure everyone is using, loving and achieving fantastic results on Phonics Hero.

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How to Teach a Child to Read with Phonics

How do you teach a child to read at home? After creating Phonics Hero, the pressure was on for our CEO, Katherine, when it was time to teach her own child to read!

Katherine takes parents through her personal journey of teaching her daughter how to read. She describes how she applied the 5 critical steps: rhyming, introducing sounds, oral blending, using phonics to read the first words and finally, practising to make perfect!

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Helping the Blending Penny Drop!

Blending is a crucial skill that every child needs to start reading unknown words. If a child can’t blend – they are going to struggle with reading. Teacher Santina explains blending, how to teach it and how to support children for whom the blending penny is not dropping.

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How to Use Decodable Books

Decodable books/readers are a firm favourite in the UK and are slowly inching their way into Australian and US classrooms. Primary school teacher and phonics trainer, Santina DiMauro, gives teachers a step-by-step guide on how to use decodable books in the classroom.

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The Parents Phonics Presentation You Need!

Even with all the enthusiasm in the world, if you don’t know the fundamentals of Synthetic Phonics, you will trip yourself, and more importantly your child, up in learning to read. Our CEO takes parents through what they need to know to support their child. Look out for the free PowerPoint for teachers to use.

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Oral Blending and Segmenting – Before Letters, There Were Sounds!

The best teachers of reading start by teaching oral blending and segmenting skills first: lessening the cognitive load on children and making the leap to reading and spelling with letters all the easier! 

Learning support teacher, Shirley Houston, explains oral blending and segmenting and gives you the step-by-step ‘how to’.  Plus, you’ll find heaps of free resources included! 

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How to Teach Vowel Teams

Vowel teams are probably the most common source of reading and spelling errors as one vowel sound may be represented by as many as 6 different vowel teams. Teacher Shirley Houston takes you through what is a vowel team and how to teach them!

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The Phonics Check: Who, What, Where, How…

The Phonics Check is controversial because it includes nonsense words such as “flep” and “shem” but it’s testing a very critical skill – blending. Why an Australian Phonics Check is important and what it could look like.

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What is a Schwa and How to Teach It

The schwa can be a cause of confusion and frustration in spelling and reading for a student. Teacher Shirley Houston will give you a simple way to explain it and some tips for helping students to decode and encode words containing a schwa.

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Getting Physical with Phonics

Hopscotch, Graffiti Spelling, Scavenger Hunt – there are lots of ways to get children outside, moving and practising their phonics! Elaine Cleary gives some ideas for getting children exercising and practising their phonics!

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