Category Archives: reading

What every teacher needs to know about… students who leave secondary school unable to read

Many thanks to the good folks at Teach Secondary magazine for publishing yet another of my incoherent rants. This time I set my sights on the lamentable and inexcusable failure of secondary schools

Reading difficulty is a teaching problem not an intelligence problem

Education is a technology that tries to make up for what the human mind is innately bad at. Children don’t have to go to school to learn how to walk, talk, recognize

Phonics is not a cure for cancer

Do antibiotics work? Well, that rather depends on what you’ve got. If you’ve got a viral infection like influenza antibiotics will be useless. To fight viral infections you need to use antiviral

Only phonics? A reader replies to Michael Rosen Part 2

Following yesterday’s post from Jacqui Moller-Butcher in which she responds to Michael Rosen’s anti-phonics arguments, one of the complaints that has repeated emerged is the idea that phonics is not the only important aspect

Reading for pleasure: A reader replies to Michael Rosen Part 1

Back in July I wrote this post on how we might encourage children to read for pleasure to which children’s author Michael Rosen left a long & detailed comment critiquing my ideas. The

The most interesting books I read this year

For no particular reason other than that it’s almost the years’ end and making lists always seems appropriate as December draws to a close, and in no particular order, here are ten

From Scared Straight to Reading Wrong

He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alters things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall

Reading is a rebel act: on the role of school libraries

“My library was dukedom large enough” The Tempest, Shakespeare “The act of poetry is a rebel act.” Farewell to English, Michael Harnett Some people are never happy. After writing my last post on how

How do you get students to read for pleasure?

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.” Marcel Proust Reading seems to make us smarter. Here’s Keith Stanovich explaining

Magic glasses and the Meares-Irlen syndrome

In case you missed it, I published a post on the dubious existence of dyslexia this weekend. A few people have been in touch via Twitter to tell me about the remarkable

The Matthew Effect – why literacy is so important

Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Matthew 13:12 In the world of the

Some thoughts on silent reading

“And Johnny, what makes you think that is suitable for silent reading?”  “Because Sir, you really would not want me to read it out loud” Jim Smith, The Lazy Teacher’s Handbook Apparently