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Who else wants the iDeaL approach to Structured Literacy?

We can learn from our mistakes and lack of quality knowledge and practice or we can sit in silence. In my mind what you choose to ignore you choose to accept and there was no way I could choose to ignore an ill-equipped system of teaching literacy in our amazing first world country once I knew better.I am certain that when I share the following with you, you may feel the same way to a certain degree.As a teacher, I wanted to do the very best for every student in my class. As a leader, I wanted t...

October 14, 2020

The Teaching Approach Helping Dyslexic Children All Over New Zealand

It’s systematic but it’s not simple. When it comes to intervening and supporting the root cause of dyslexia, the success of every dyslexic child rests with the teacher, educator, and or parent supporting him or her. No pressure right?So what is Dyslexia?The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as….“a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and ...

October 6, 2020

Better or Bitter?

I’m not going to sugarcoat this., the last thirteen years have been a challenging journey on the whole. All too often I find myself saying … “If I had known then what I know now…. I wish I could turn back the clock…… Oh how different things would be.. Whilst I can’t change my personal nor my professional journey, I am very very grateful for the experiences I’ve had; well most of them. I do hope that if you are starting out with a child in his or her early scho...

September 23, 2020

Let's not SHOULD on ourselves

“I didn’t know my child was finding learning that difficult. How could I not have noticed? My goodness have I failed them? I should have seen this coming.”Have you voiced this statement or one very similar in the past few weeks?Maybe you have recently sat with your child and listened to them read (or work so very hard to read). Or perhaps you have sat beside them as they have struggled their way through a writing task?...

May 21, 2020

Cracking the CODE with Syllable Division

Is your child able to read as well as you thought? Can they spell with relative accuracy?I was thinking, what could parents of dyslexic children and those struggling to read focus on at home during the lockdown? So many parents (on social media) have expressed their immense surprise (and concern) at their child’s actual ability to read fluently and spell accurately.The skill of syllable division is one we carry with us through life. It is a skill I wish I had learnt about as a classroom teache...

May 21, 2020

The alternative to a 'redressed' status quo... 'Pedagogy over Programmes'

Government's new dyslexia funding a 'redressed status quo' based on outdated research - advocate...

May 21, 2020

I Choose Courage

Resilience is getting up and going again when you hit a brick wall.Determination is getting up and going again when you feel like no one is listening.Courage is when you find the strength to continue to battle for something you believe in so strongly it hurts.A positive outlook is telling yourself this is a roadblock that will lead to bigger and brighter things.A growth mindset is telling yourself we will get through this.Perspective is telling yourself maybe you haven’t considered things from...

May 21, 2020

Will a routine rock you out of online overwhelm?

Over the past two weeks, it really has been lovely to connect with a number of teachers across the country, albeit, through the screen. On all occasions, our focus has been on structured literacy and how we can be charging forward with our professional learning and developing consistent practices in our respective schools. There has been an underlying current of doubt about this online learning caper and how teachers might set themselves up for rolling out online learning for their students.So m...

April 9, 2020

Building Blocks of Maths Success

Maths is everywhere. From baking in the kitchen to shopping online, measuring up a new renovation, counting sheep (not in our sleep though haha), reading eartags on cows, and budgeting, to reading the bus or train timetable. Whether we like it or not.We simply can’t get away from it. If we, or a child we know is struggling with maths, it is likely their foundation skills aren’t secure. As an ex mathematics advisor, education consultant and someone who now specialises in evidence-based learni...

April 4, 2020

Hey Mum, did you hear? Less is More.

Parenting is no easy feat let alone parenting a dyslexic child. Throw Covid-19 into the mix and a 4, 5,6,7,8 week lockdown and things have become somewhat crazy. Irrespective of whether or not you are parenting a dyslexic child or a non-neuro diverse learner, there is an underlying current of uncertainty for us all.Some of us are racing around in a mad panic worried about how we will educate our children. Others are juggling working from home, parenting and running a household and some may be in...

April 2, 2020

What you focus on expands

There is no doubt that right now everything feels up in the air. This age-old saying has never felt so apt.I have been sitting on the sidelines and observing, listening to the various actions and words of others over the past week. I have experienced uncertainty and immense disappointment like others. Having to cancel an international school tour I had been planning for a year was a serious Debbie downer moment!But there has been a silver lining. In fact, there have been many. Yah! Time with my ...

March 19, 2020

The alternative to a ‘redressesed’ status quo…. ‘Pedagogy over Programmes’

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-new......

March 2, 2020

I choose courage

Resilience is getting up and going again when you hit a brick wall.Determination is getting up and going again when you feel like no one is listening.Courage is when you find the strength to continue to battle for something you believe in so strongly it hurts.A positive outlook is telling yourself this is a roadblock that will lead to bigger and brighter things.A growth mindset is telling yourself we will get through this.Perspective is telling yourself maybe you haven’t considered things from...

February 22, 2020

The Gift of 12 Life-Changing Steps

Merry Xmas to all the amazing teachers and parents we are fortunate enough to partner with and those we are yet to meet.Please sing to the tune of …… on the first day of Xmas….On the first day of Xmas my true love gave to me…. a body of current research in the teaching of structured literacy. Oh, glory be, where on earth will this take me?...

December 11, 2019

Self Belief, Support and Resilience Prevails!

“Hey I just checked my credits and I thought I would let you know that I have passed level 2.”My heart races, I want to scream from the rooftops. OMG my boy has just passed level 2 and I am so bloody proud....

October 30, 2019

CHANGE IS AFOOT — Will you be a Victor or Victim on this journey?

Change is most certainly ‘afoot’ in the field of teaching reading across our country and rightly so. In my mind it is important we lead through this change with the purpose of building deeper understanding, developing sustainable systems and fostering open and willing mindsets. If not it is likely we will lose people along the way. Our struggling readers, students with learning differences, classroom teachers and parents of the aforementioned students are relying on us to make this differenc...

March 4, 2019

Teachers let’s not leave reading to chance — our future depends on it.

One of the challenges we face as teachers in New Zealand schools is that of the diminishing dollar. There is never enough of it. Well not for decodable texts and attending workshops tailored to our underachievers. However, we continue to; have shiny new buildings, purchase resources on a whim and a prayer and amazing ergonomic furniture. I wonder if we truly realise the cost of leaving reading to chance as a nation? Do we need to take stock of what really matters?A tidal wave of underachievement...

February 11, 2019

Culture Counts and Money Comes

I have a bone to pick this morning. I am tired. It is nearly the end of the term and man it’s been a big one. I have worked in so many different school and education environments this term. Last night I sat down to reflect on this. I asked myself what is it that’s making a difference in the schools that are on the pathway to making a bigger difference, and what are the trend of excuses I am privy to?Yesterday whilst in transit I had a wonderful chat (thank goodness for handsfree!) with an es...

June 25, 2018

VULNERABILITY, the birthplace of Innovation, Creativity and Change.

Over the past few months I have found myself sitting across the table from many well intentioned, committed, experienced, passionate teachers. The look on their face (one of trepidation) when they discover they don’t have the knowledge nor tools to move their most vulnerable learners forward is something I find somewhat hard. I feel for them. I too have been where they are. I get it. I understand and I know how hard it is to live with this when you are a dedicated teacher with a conscience.I a...

May 28, 2018

I am a Teacher of READING, I have a confession to make… I am consensus — based in my approach.

I have a bone to pick. Why is it that we are so consensus based in our approach to the teaching of reading in this country? I am trying to understand why listening to the teacher next door, the principal up the road and the parent around the corner takes precedent over the evidence of what science says about learning to read.As teachers and educators understanding that we need to build an interface in the brain of a child and not simply have them glance at a picture and guess a word is crucial. ...

April 27, 2018

As a leader are you aware if your team can speak to the WHY?

Confession time….. Did I ever wonder WHY? Did I ever wonder WHY the same names crossed my principal desk year after year irrespective of which intervention had been deployed? Did I ever truly wonder WHY we couldn’t seem to get that group of children to read with fluency, phrasing and prosody? Did I ever wonder WHY our achievement data didn’t move to where I wanted it to be no matter how much cash we injected? Of course I did, and I know you do too. We do this because we are passionate...

February 25, 2018

Ignorance is BLIND not BLISS

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, ASD, APD, ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing and on it goes. When we have limited knowledge, and understanding of the impact these learning differences have on the lives of our students and their families, our actions and responses tend to highlight our lack of vision without us realising.We default to a place of SURVIVAL and THREAT. “What can I do to get these people off my back? How dear they advise me how to support and or teach my students? This is ...

February 19, 2018

Believe they CAN and they WILL

I recently had the privilege of hanging with my boys and watching a movie. It was one of those magical movies set in a remote area in USA. The school is small. The students are disengaged. They lack motivation. No one appears to have their backs.ENTER….. young, smartly dressed, pretty faced young lady who just happens to be the exchange teacher for the year. Fresh faced and full of enthusiasm her desire to turn these students around is relentless.Where am I going with this you may ask? Wh...

February 10, 2018

Giving in to Groundhog Day

One week back into the school year and I am FREAKING out. Oh yes, Groundhog (not Waitangi) day has hit me hard this week. I am there where you are, you may be, or have been if you are a parent of a child with a learning difference. Sleepless nights, feeling anxious and worrying about so many aspects of my son’s school year. How did this creep up on me like this? How have I let myself feel like this? Ahhh. I thought I had all my ducks in a row and had not only prepared him but myself (just as i...

February 6, 2018

National Standards or NOT. HOUSTON we have a problem!

Irrespective of whether or not we have National Standards in place we have a huge problem in New Zealand with our literacy rates. The outlook is grim, to say the least.It is time to turn that finger around and get it working. Let’s stop pointing it at policy and the ministry and point it to research and the evidence base which clearly states we should be teaching both a code and meaning based approach.Schools in New Zealand are fortunate enough to be guided by a wonderful curriculum document. ...

December 6, 2017 Posts 1-25 of 29 | Page next
 

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