Sarah Mitchell

How to teach vocabulary effectively

Today I want to talk to you about how to teach vocabulary effectively. Whether you’re a classroom teacher a learning support teacher or a home school teacher at some point in your program you’ve needed to teach vocabulary. There are some really common traditional practices that we use to teach vocabulary that aren’t as effective and some others that I want to share with you today that can really help …

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How to teach a dyslexic child to read (and book recommendations)

“Teaching reading is rocket science” – Louisa Moats. The fact that many parents find it difficult to support their children with home reading is no surprise – after all, they probably didn’t cover reading with your child in your prenatal classes! If you struggle to support your child to read at home, you’re not alone. It is a really tricky skill, especially for those whose children have difficulties with reading …

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7 tips for meeting with your child’s school

These 7 tips for meeting with your child’s school will help you get the best results for your child! Make sure you follow each one. 1. Prepare Keep a folder of all your child’s professional reports, school reports, emails, meeting notes etc. Keeping everything in one place will mean you can draw out important notes easily under pressure. Highlight reports or scores you have for your child, especially those you haven’t …

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How to choose a whole school spelling program

How do you choose a whole school spelling program?? Let’s be honest, teaching spelling explicitly has kind of fallen out of fashion in recent years.   For a while there, we all got a little obsessive about writing composition. But word knowledge skills inform overall composition.   Some of these skill areas include; vocabulary grammar punctuation sentence construction paragraphing linking, text structure and last, but definitely not least… SPELLING.   …

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10 easy phonemic awareness activities

Phonemic awareness is the awareness of individual sounds in spoken words. For example, ‘cat’ has 3 phonemes /c/, /a/ and /t/ and ‘six’ has 4 phonemes /s/, /i/, /k/, /s/. Having an awareness of individual sounds is critical for reading development, as it is necessary to first have an awareness of spoken sounds before it is possible to map those sounds onto the abstract symbols we use to represent them …

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What are the traits of dyslexia?

One of the most common questions I’m asked day to day is “What are the symptoms of dyslexia?” or “How can I tell if my child has dyslexia?” I prefer to call them traits of dyslexia, as opposed to ‘symptoms’ because dyslexia is not a disease. Traits of dyslexia are different for each person because no one person with dyslexia will be exactly like another. The traits of dyslexia can …

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Phonological Processing Checklist: Why is it important?

Phonological processing refers to the ability to distinguish and process sounds in spoken words. It is often confused with hearing acuity, but it’s separate to hearing in that the problem is not with the ear. Individuals with phonological processing difficulties often have average hearing, but can have trouble processing sound properties of words within the brain, and can take longer to do so. These skills are needed for the development …

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How to identify working memory difficulties

If you know a child who only completes one or two instructions, never seems to be able to get started or complete a task, and can be (let’s be honest) more than a little frustrating with their ‘forgetfulness’, it may be a problem with working memory. Working memory is the ability to hold information in the mind while performing a task with it. It is often described as the brain’s …

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Free Sample IEP Template – What is an Individual Education Program (IEP)?

An Individual Education Program (IEP) is a legal document designed to support children with disabilities and specific learning difficulties so that they may experience school success more in line with their peers. An IEP is intended to support the psychosocial, emotional, and cognitive development of the child in an integrated and holistic way. An IEP usually includes; a summary of the child’s current strengths and needs accommodations the child needs to …

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Dyslexia friendly schools – 10 essential questions for prospective schools

Looking for learning difference/dyslexia friendly schools? Here are some must ask questions to help you pick the right dyslexia friendly school for your child. Before attending your meeting, do a bit of background research. The more you know about dyslexia, teacher education programs and intervention programs, the more targeted you can be with your questions and the better you will understand the answers. There are some excellent Facebook support groups for …

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