Advice for parents and teachers

I find that searching around the World Wide Web provides lots of good advice (and some questionable advice too!).

I was very pleased to find this website- It advertises itself as ‘a site dedicated to resources for literacy learning and teaching’.

There is a lot of very valuable information for parents related to Reading Recovery.

Parents will be especially interested to read Ways to Help At Home.
There are some ideas that you can use as your child is reading the take-home book, and unjumbling the cut up sentence that comes home each day.
Your own copy of Ways to Help At Home can be downloaded here.

Parents and classroom teachers may also be interested to read A Reading Recovery Lesson.

Each part of the Reading Recovery lesson is explained- Familiar ReadingReread of Yesterday’s New Book for AssessmentWord and Letter WorkComposing and Writing A Story, the Cut-up Sentence, and the New Book Introduction & First Read. There is quite a bit of ‘teacher talk’ so parents might like to revisit The Lesson page on this blog as it also explains the parts of the lesson without the ‘teacher talk’.

Some reminders

Sometimes missing lessons is unavoidable, e.g. there were no lessons last Friday as we were attending Professional Development in Ballarat with our Reading Recovery tutor. Sometimes the student, or teacher, is too sick to attend school. However, unless there is a very good reason to be away, your child should attend school every day.

Every lesson builds upon what happened the day before. The bigger the gap between this new learning and the next lesson, the more opportunity there is to forget.

Books that are familiar to the student are sent home each day so that he / she can apply independent reading (reading without help). The more reading that is done, the more the child has opportunities to discover new ways of solving words and gaining meaning.

Please ensure that the reading and pasting homework is being done. It is useful to set aside the same time each day so that it becomes a habit, and your child is less likely to ‘forget’ to do it. As soon as it is done it should be put back in the school bag ready to be returned.

See also Who’s doing the homework?
Homework books

Phonemic Awareness: Why is it important?

Last week I wrote a post about Phonological / Phonemic Awareness. Researchers have identified that successful readers are easily able to hear the parts within spoken words. Becoming aware of phonemes (the smallest parts you can hear within a word) greatly assists with word recognition. Some children have a lot of difficulty separating the sounds within the language that they are hearing or speaking, and therefore require extra support.

Phonemic awareness receives explicit attention in every Reading Recovery lesson with special attention given to  hearing and recording the sounds in words for writing. What is learned in writing is also used when the child is taking the words apart while reading, and when working with words at the magnetic  board. Clay, Marie M. (2016) Literacy Lesson Designed For Individuals, p 170.

Late last year the two LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention) teachers spent 2 days learning about the THRASS program and they are currently exploring it’s use at SAEPS. The LLI teachers shared some of the THRASS videos with the SAEPS Literacy Intervention Team.

I thought it might be interesting for you to watch the following video and to hear about the many sounds that are used within the English language. (The exact number is argued by researchers, but everyone agrees that there are many more sounds than the 26 letters of the alphabet.)

The presenter of the video is Denyse Ritchie, the THRASS co-ordinator.

The THRASS program may or may not be introduced to SAEPS. Regardless, the P-2 teachers are exploring ways to add to the phonemic awareness of their students.

Please note: THRASS is a literacy resource / tool. It is not a reading program. Reading is much more than taking words apart. (See Reading is about Meaning.)

Phonological Awareness 2

The Prep and Year 1/2 teachers have been exploring more about Phonological / Phonemic Awareness. You may like to view the following Youtube presentation from the Neuhous Education Center. (It is intended for teachers but it is well explained for others to follow too.)


      • Phonological Awareness is critical to learning to read.
      • Phonological Awareness is a strong predictor of reading success. (Children who can hear the parts within words find it easier to learn to read.)
      • Phonological Awareness can be developed through instruction. (Children can be taught to hear the parts within words through a variety of activities.)

from the handout that accompanies the presentation.

During Reading Recovery we include Phonological Awareness instruction across the whole lesson, but mainly during Letter ID / Word Work (e.g. making a word with magnetic letters, changing the 1st or last letters, breaking a word into parts) and Writing (e.g. clapping syllables of a word before attempting to write it, sound boxes).


If you would like to know more about phonological awareness or phonemic awareness  go to

You may like to read a previous post about Phonological Awareness.

You can download at handout with some ideas for home at

Please note: There are some products for sale via this link. SAEPS will never recommend or ask that you buy any products linked to this blog.