SharpReading BLOG

Thoughts About Teaching Reading

Here in New Zealand (and elsewhere) the last couple of years have seen most of the oxygen available for reading PD being sucked up by Structured Literacy.Don't get me wrong! I am an enthusiastic supporter of systematic phonics instruction in the junior school, and certainly ...
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I have spent twenty years championing the teaching of Comprehension Strategies as the be-all and end-all of comprehension instruction. Now I am not so sure. I still firmly embrace the use of strategies (the research still highlights the benefits for the reader), but of ...
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In this post we look at Learning Intentions or, as we prefer to call them Learning Outcomes. Why outcomes? - We think it better reflects the idea of observable skill development. You are probably well aware of the concept of Learning Outcomes; the notion of making sure ...
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Student Engagement?

June 26, 2023
Lately I have been laser focused on the implications of the latest cognitive research on brain activity during the act of reading comprehension. Fascinating stuff... But just the other day I ended up teaching a group of Year 5/6 kids in a classroom where it became ...
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Independent Practice

January 26, 2023
Some of my holiday reading included delving further into the work of the cognitive scientists and their take on the way we read. Pretty fascinating stuff.  The obvious conclusion: no matter how much we think we have it worked out, we have still only scratched the surfac...
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"How does SharpReading align with the Science of Reading Comprehension?"'The Science of Reading' is often used to describe the recent research in neurological and cognitive science, studies that show how the brain processes written words. Based on these findings, the models ...
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Here's a nice reminder about the impact we can have on our classrooms just by bringing our own passion and experience as readers with us into the classroom. Sue McDowall, a senior researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), discusses her stud...
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FAQ: 'The Science of Reading' online chatter suggests there are no longer grounds for using levelled text in guided reading lessons for students who are fluent decoders. What are your thoughts?'This argument seems to be based on the research saying that a...
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FAQ: How do you find the correct level of text difficulty for comprehension instruction. It has been often said that we will get a better effect from our comprehension instruction if we use text that is difficult for the readers. That way we can stretch their understand...
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Here's a pet theory I have about being a learner. We all come to any learning task with a fixed amount of cognitive energy. This is determined by a range of factors; perceived importance or personal interest in the learning, previous success or failure (a...
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