What is the Schwa? “Schwa” is such a funny sounding word to describe what’s actually the most common vowel sound in the English language. It may be common, but it’s not always well understood by elementary teachers. So what is it, anyway? According to the Oxford Language Dictionary, it’s “the
The Science of Reading
Teaching children to read is perhaps the single most important job we have as elementary school teachers. Reading is the foundation for everything! There have been a lot of theories and much debate about the best strategies for teaching reading. I’ve spent a lot of time studying literacy—enough to know
I’m not too proud to admit it: I used to suck at teaching phonics. My less-than-effective strategies left me and my students frustrated more often than not. A lot of it came down to the typical learning curve felt by new teachers, but the more I’ve learned about literacy, the more I recognize the flaws in the old strategies I used. And I don’t think I’m alone in this, which is why I’m sharing a better way to teach phonics with you today.
I had the pleasure of attending the Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning conference in New Orleans, where I witnessed literacy heroes present on current research. What I learned there and what I continue to learn through my own exploration has expanded my understanding of the science of reading and how to teach children to read.