How do we teach reading and spelling?

A small but perfectly formed group met at St Gabriel’s on 18th May to discuss how we develop literacy skills.

We made some action points:

  • Resources: We felt that a list of resources used by SfL teachers in East Lothian would be helpful. This would not be ‘quality controlled’; with no evaluative comments. So I’m asking here for a quick note about relatively up-to-date materials (with publishers’ details) that you may use – readers, games, software, websites, etc. Post them here and get the ball rolling!
  • Software: We wanted to express some frustration at the numbers of uninstalled and therefore unused resources languishing in schools.
  • Dyslexia and National Testing: We agreed that it is essential to append a note detailing any significant support a child receives during a National Test. Every school may approach this differently. I think we are all aware that we can discount spelling and punctuation where appropriate.
  • Dyslexia Friendly Schools award: We felt that developing this might be a good way to encourage more staff to be aware of simple things (many found in Inclusive Practices) we can all do to enhance the learning experience of our pupils.

As well as practice we looked at a little theory:

Studies of the most literate and able children show that they have aspects of knowledge and skills or competencies that less successful learners do not have. These include:

  • Knowledge of literary forms, purposes and genre, including metalinguistic knowledge;
  • Skills and strategies for processing literary knowledge, including the ability to question, interrogate and discuss narrative texts;
  • Ability to apply and transfer their skills of narrative enquiry to other contexts. Fisher 1998

I think we all found the meeting helpful. I am happy to set up another in the autumn if people would like an opportunity to come along and talk about concerns/interests/ideas about how to progress understanding about Dyslexia in the region.Post here!

P.S People seemed pleased with the ‘Assessment Toolkit’ distributed last summer. Do let us know how you feel about it.

One thought on “How do we teach reading and spelling?

  1. Re that list of resources you’d like to create:

    Something simple that might work for this is a Google Spreadsheet.

    This way you could have a single, shared spreadsheet to keep all the information in one place. Google Spreadsheets will happily allow multiple editors to work on them at the same time and are very simple and easy to use. You can provide a public “read only” link to people who want to view the spreadsheet.

    Not only that, they can be made to appear within WordPress blog pages. You can see an example of that on the Leaders of Learning blog, where a Google Spreadsheet is being used to maintain a simple skills database.

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