Archive | Questions & Comments


Helping Children Select Books

It is not uncommon for children to go to the school library (or community library) and spend the allocated time wandering around with no books to check-out when it is time to leave. In addition, children are often reluctant to consider recommendations from adults. Instead, try the following strategies which are based on determining the […]

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ch or tch??

The rule for determining whether or not to add the ‘t’ before ‘ch’ is: Add ‘t’ before ‘ch’ after a short vowel. For example, the following words all have a short vowel immediately in front of ‘ch’ and therefore require the silent ‘t’ – catch, fetch, stitch, notch, hutch. In contrast the following words either […]

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Using Metalanguage to Teach Spelling

In English, spelling a word requires you to integrate orthography (the correct sequence of letters and combinations of letters) to phonology (sounds in the word) with a knowledge of morphology (word parts that signal meaning and grammar) (Garcia, Abbott, & Berninger, 2010). Metalanguage is language used to describe and analyse languages. Daffern (2011) argues that […]

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Reading Informational Text

  As students progress through the educational system, it becomes more important that they can read and comprehend informational texts. Outlined below are three practical techniques that can help students access information from these texts. Before Reading Introduce new vocabulary – 5-10 words maximum. Introduce the words one-by-one. Help students decode the word, discuss its […]

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Cause for Concern

Writing to Improve Reading

Many students are still leaving high school with poor literacy skills. These students are subsequently at a disadvantage in successfully pursuing higher education, securing reasonable employment and participating fully in all aspects of society.  Although the following are USA statistics, the situation is very similar in Australia. Graham and Herbert (2010) argued that writing is […]

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