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All I want for Christmas in an Evidence Based Classroom...

Cropped wish list

As we approach the end of the 2020 school year here in Australia you may have the good fortune to be asked what resources you would like to order for 2021. If that’s the case, here are my stop suggestions for items that can pack a big punch in your class next year (not in any particular order...)

1) Decodable texts. You can never get enough decodable texts. You need enough so that every child can have a ‘perfect fit’ decodable to use in reading instruction, access to them in quiet reading time AN…

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Creating Massive Value in Small Group Instruction

small group instruction

Over the past couple of posts I have explored what it looks like to provide targeted teaching that specifically matches the needs of your Foundation students.  Firstly, I provided a suggestion for what to teach at each stage of the beginning phases of learning to read. Next, I ran through what you can expect to be able to teach whole class.  This week (as promised), I will cover what to actually DO in small group instruction.

Firstly, we need to get on top of some basic principles and terminolo…

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Whole Group Teaching in the Foundation Classroom


In my last blog post I discussed the ways that we can group children for small group reading instruction (often called Guided Reading).  I talked about the need to focus on skill development rather than ‘reading levels’ for our beginning readers and exactly what you can teach them at each stage of their reading development.  You can find that post here(including a handy downloadable).

In this post I would like to explore what ‘whole class’ vs ‘small group’ work looks like and pr…

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Grouping in the Science of Reading Classroom

The idea of ‘guided reading’ in the Science of Reading foundation classroom is a simple, yet muti-faceted proposition.   In most schools guided reading is based on the reading level that arises from the benchmarking assessment done by the teacher and focuses largely on comprehension and learning to use a variety of ‘strategies’ to decode words. During these small group lessons children read predictable texts at their ‘instructional level’.  This approach exposes children to instructional pract…

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