Developing Decoding Fluency

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SharpReading Stages 1&2 ONLiNE Course

Rationale for this Course

Systematic decoding instruction is important, in part, because of the limitations of the human mind. Neural processing has severe limits in terms of capacity for attention and working memory (Craik & Lockhart, 1972).

Brains can only pay attention to so much information at a given time. If comprehension is going to take place during reading, then the processing of words must become automatic (that is, capable of being carried out without conscious attention).

This course provides a routine that allows the reader to practise the transference of the knowledge of letters, letter sounds, and spelling patterns that they are developing during phonics instruction to successfully figure out the pronunciation of printed words while reading authentic text. That is Decoding Fluency. 

Students must be presented with just the right amount of challenge so that they experience success and gain confidence with this process. Once they can deliver quick 'automatic' responses to most of the words they are reading (successful orthographic mapping) they are ready for more intense comprehension instruction (Stage 3).


  • Teachers of NE/Prep-Yr 2, Learning Support, Teacher Aides

  • For Year 4 and above students still having decoding difficulties, we suggest our  'Struggling Older Reader' Course.


  • CLICK HERE for more information about the basic criteria for the beginner reader. 

  • Students should be involved in a phonics program. If you are looking for one then check out SharpPhonics.

What do I Get with this Course?

1. Twelve months access to the ONLiNE course

  • Flexible learning - In-your-own-time, at-your-own- pace OR do it all at once.

  • Come back regularly to review and consolidate your understanding

2. A Well-Thought out Training Methodology - We want you to succeed!

Each of the 8 units is around 25 minutes of screen time which you can then take away and practice in your classroom

  • READ /LISTEN TO - Clear explanations of each learning goal

  • WATCH - annotated video modelling of the teaching expectation

  • HAVE A GO - go away and practise what you have learnt on your class


  • A list of FAQs - the answers to most common queries

  • Can't find an answer? - Email support  24/7

3. Clear, Easily Managed Learning Steps for YOU

Each Unit has a single focus with a clear learning goal. Click on the arrows.

UNIT 1: Getting Started

  • We make it easy to find everything you need by storing it in one place.

  • A 24-page Course Book - your at-your-fingertips reference classroom.

  • Teacher Scripts makes it easy to stick with the routine

  • Planning and Assessment Template - no need for lesson plans, one page for a term's worth of data collection

  • PLEASE NOTE: You can use the texts you already have!

UNIT 2: The 5 Bits Routine

Introducing our routine to give structure and purpose to your 10-minute daily small group reading lesson. 'The 5 Bits' refers to 5 repeatable actions for each page which allow the students to feel in control of their reading, get the mileage they need, and experience SUCCESS as readers! 

UNIT 3: 'What's happening on this page?'

Bit 1: A full explanation of the need to frontload the text before reading and why this is so helpful for the development of the automatic word recognition skills (orthographic mapping) which are the hallmark of decoding fluency..

UNIT 4: 'Finger on the first word...GO!'

More information about Bit 2, the second action. Students now read the page in unison and you get to monitor their success. A key to the process is 'no teachable moments'. 

UNIT 5: 'Here comes the question...'

An explanation of Bit 3 - making connections to the message on the page. 

UNIT 6: 'Find the word...'

Bit 4 provides the opportunity to quickly review the appropriate decoding strategy you have chosen for the lesson.

UNIT 7: 'What could happen next?'

Bit 5: A bridge to the next page - a chance to generate enthusiasm for reading on.

UNIT 8: Fluency

This unit describes your journey from novice to expert and provides some essential suggestions for managing student behaviour and engagement.

Certificate of Completion

Download a customised certificate as proof of your participation in this course.

How about these training Add-Ons?


For those who prefer an event to get them going (cover the content in one sitting)

  • Our 4-hour Start-Up webinar covers everything you need to know with lots of practice opportunities.

  • Be ready to make a start in your classroom the next day.


  • Get personalised feedback from one of the writers of the course to check your implementation (when you are ready).

  • We can do this virtually - upload a 10-minute video of your lesson (warts and all).

  • We will arrange a 30-minute Zoom debriefing session

Choose the training option that suits you best

CLICK on BUY NOW to purchase using Credit Card. Fill in the form for 'Pay on Invoice' option. 


  1. Stages 1&2 ONLiNE Course
    12 months access
    At-your-own-pace and
    in-your-own-time training


  1. Stages 1&2 ONLiNE Course
    12 months access

  2. Start-Up Webinar (4-hr)
    An event to get you going
    Sign up below
    Choose from our list or Book On-Demand


  1. Stage 1&2 ONLiNE Course
    12 months access

  2. Start-Up Webinar (4-hr)
    Sign up below
    Choose from our list or Book On-Demand

  3. Virtual observation
    To be arranged when
    you are ready

CONDITIONS OF SALE: Each ONLiNE course is purchased as a 1 User Licence with 12 months access via the internet.
GST will be added at checkout for NZ customers. 

Credit Card Purchase

ALL OPTIONS: Click on BUY NOW links. You will get instructions for access to the ONLiNE Course as part of the purchasing process.
  BASIC: That's it! You are done!

BASIC PLUS and PREMIUM: Select a Start-Up Webinar

You need to fill in the form below and select an option from the list of scheduled Stages 1&2 Start-Up Webinars. 
If the dates and times don't suit then go to BOOK ON-DEMAND.
We will email you to confirm your webinar and provide a Webinar Invitation.

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Want to PAY on INVOICE?

Fill in the form and SUBMIT.
BASIC only - We will email you instructions for accessing the ONLiNE course.
BASIC PLUS & PREMIUM - Remember to select a Start-Up Webinar option.
We will email you access instructions AND a webinar invitation.

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For the Whole School

Are you looking for a systematic approach to reading instruction across the school?
We have tried and proven systems in place for introducing SharpReading school-wide.
Train all your teachers OR start with a trial Year group and then extend across the school.
We can customise the implementation to suit your needs and your budget.

Teacher Only Day

Run a training event to get off to a good start. This can be a face-to-face workshop or via webinar

ONLiNE Courses  

Access to the ONL:iNE Courses provides the content and the framework for ongoing review and consolidation 

In School Support

We will come on-site and work with each teacher in their classroom with their students to get the implementation RIGHT!

Train a

We will train your own SharpReading experts within the school to maintain the integrity and longevity of SharpReading

Course Writers - Your Tutors

Hilton Ayrey

We are very passionate about teaching reading and we are always looking for ways to make reading programs easier and more enjoyable. It has to work for students AND the teacher.

Although the course is stand-alone training we are always available to discuss your training during your 12 months access to the Stages 1&2 ONLiNE Course.

Brian Parker


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