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Teacher Talk

Welcome to Teacher Talk, where our authors 'talk' early literacy with teachers. You'll find practical classroom strategies and tips from real educators, as well as personal stories and innovative approaches to improving your teaching practice.

  1. Reading intervention: Take action!

    Reading intervention: Take action!
    Early intervention for students with reading difficulties is widely recognised as making a significant difference in the long-term reading abilities of children. Research indicates that 95 per cent of children who have difficulty learning to read can reach grade level if they receive specialised help early on. As a literacy researcher, but also as a volunteer tutor giving one-to-one instruction, Susan Hill describes her recent involvement in a successful early intervention.
  2. Teaching students to "Talk the talk"

    Teaching students to "Talk the talk"
    Talking about the letters and sounds that make up words helps improve reading and writing skills. On a recent visit to a foundation-level classrooom, author and teacher Kerrie Shanahan discovers students confidently using technical terms such as phonemes, digraphs and syllables. This experience is a reminder of how young students are able to understand and appropriately use technical terms to support their learning.
  3. The power of reading aloud

    The power of reading aloud
    The importance of reading aloud to children from birth has been well established by research. Recalling a surprising encounter with teenagers enjoying a read-aloud, teacher and writer Jenny Feely implores us to remember that enjoying a read-aloud is a lifelong experience that reinforces the joy of reading and provides memorable experiences
 with great
 books.
  4. What’s in a name? Naming characters in narrative texts

    What’s in a name? Naming characters in narrative texts
    Finding the right name for a character in narrative texts is a challenge for published authors as well as for students. Author and teacher Jenny Feely shares a variety of classroom ideas to help students find appropriate names for their characters and take a step towards more successful narrative writing.
  5. Guided reading success: recognizing high-frequency words

    Guided reading success: recognizing high-frequency words
    Children’s reading fluency is improved when they can automatically recognise high-frequency words. Literacy consultant Lyn Reggett discusses a guided reading lesson where a supportive book, which features the systematic use of high-frequency words, helps a young student discover the thrill of being able to read.
  6. Guided reading tips: getting the best out of new books

    Guided reading tips: getting the best out of new books
    To get students hooked on a new book, teachers need to have conversations with students as they guide them into the book. Whether reading narrative or informative books, talking and engaging with students, as they begin to read, sets the scene for successful guided reading sessions.
  7. A literacy habit for good writers: keeping a journal

    A literacy habit for good writers:  keeping a journal
    Writing a journal is a familiar literacy experience for many students in the classroom. Reflecting on the sometimes uninspired efforts of students and her own experiences of journal keeping, teacher and writer Jenny Feely argues that journals should be as useful to student writers as they are to professional writers. For students, journals should provide opportunities for writing imaginatively and be useful resources to inform their other writing.
  8. When readers lose meaning: why comprehension strategy instruction is important

    When readers lose meaning: why comprehension strategy  instruction is important
    Recalling her personal experience of losing meaning while reading and the strategies she used to get it back, literacy researcher Alison Davis argues that students need specific classroom instruction to help them access a range of comprehension strategies and lay the foundations for a lifetime of successful reading.
  9. Learning to read: tablets or traditional?

    Learning to read: tablets or traditional?
    What are the similarities and differences between reading traditional books and multimodal books and games on iPads? The iPad educational apps of levelled books and word games look very inviting. But in one research project a teacher, Carly Willamowski, found that five- and six-year-old struggling readers soon became tired of the apps and continually wanted interaction with the teacher.
  10. Literacy learning and the changing media world

    Literacy learning and the changing media world
    A recent survey into young children’s media use in the United States found that 20 years after the birth of the World Wide Web and a year or so after the first iPad sale, the media world that children are growing up in is changing at lightning speed. For literacy teachers this changing media world is of great interest and many people are exploring ideas in the area.

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