With over 160 dialects spoken worldwide, English is a wonderfully diverse language. But what’s a teacher to do when one child says “to-may-to” and another “to-mar-to”? Shirley Houston explores key differences between accents in English and offers advice on respectfully navigating these differences when teaching reading and spelling.
The English-speaking world is FINALLY coming to a consensus that systematic, synthetic phonics is crucial to learning to read and spell, but when should you stop teaching phonics? When do you move children on from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’? Teacher Shirley Houston discusses.
Shirley Houston explains the logic (alongside some fascinating history facts) behind w-controlled vowels and gives teachers easy ways to help in their recall.
As the school year progresses, students start to fly through the basic phonics code – until they come up against the alternative spellings and it hurts even your head! How do you teach and embed the alternative spellings so that students’ spelling becomes more accurate? Teacher Shirley Houston explains.
Quick and accurate spelling comes with solid segmenting skills. But like the 44 phonemes, these need to be taught – not ‘caught’. Teacher Santina explains why segmenting skills are so critical and offers her top classroom activities.
When a child stumbles over how to read or spell a word, many parents feel stumped with how to help and end up just giving the answer. Experienced teacher, Shirley Houston, shows parents how to help when their child gets stuck.
What are the R Controlled Vowels and how do you teach them? A thorough explanation, plus ideas, resources and tips to ensure you effectively teach these sounds.
Over the years, logic, emotion and research have frequently clashed in the debate on the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping. Shirley Houston takes a look at the pros and cons of grouping by ability for spelling.
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 breaks down the vowel teams and how to teach them!