Learning to ‘look at’ and ‘write’ the letters of the Alphabet

Apologies for the long break between postings. Life has been a bit crazy over the past 12 months but I am planning to get back into doing postings quite regularly This Blog posting is informed by the first part of the following book chapter. The chapter will give you a much richer picture of thisContinue reading “Learning to ‘look at’ and ‘write’ the letters of the Alphabet”

Handwriting, keyboarding or both?

Handwriting, keyboarding or both? This blog posting was written for those people who attended the ALEA Riverina Murray Local Council Launch held at the Albury Town Library on Wednesday 18/10/17 although it may be of interest to others. This is a huge topic and one that I could only briefly touch on in the shortContinue reading “Handwriting, keyboarding or both?”

Understanding and supporting young writers

This topic is one that I am often asked to talk about so I have combined the key messages in this post. I hope it is useful. Message 1: Start with what children know and can do and build on. This means we need to know the children we are with – easy for familiesContinue reading “Understanding and supporting young writers”

A focus on vocabulary

Learning is fundamentally and profoundly dependent on vocabulary knowledge, however it is not until children are reading texts that involve age-appropriate vocabulary that vocabulary becomes a significant predictor of reading comprehension. Decoding, fluency, and comprehension all draw upon students’ known vocabulary. Text participation requires the reader to know the meaning of individual words and howContinue reading “A focus on vocabulary”

How children learn to write

Just recently the university created an impact narrative based upon the research work I have conducted that highlights the relationship between drawing and writing. If you are interested please click on the following link: http://innovate.csu.edu.au/impact/improving-childrens-literacy-through-drawing If this tweaks your curiosity you may like to read: Mackenzie, N.M. (2014). Teaching early writers: Teachers’ responses to aContinue reading “How children learn to write”

Let’s talk about Finland: Lessons learned

In this post I am going to share some observations of my time in Finland in late 2016. For a thorough understanding of the Finnish education system I recommend that you read: Sahlberg, P. (2015). Finnish Lessons 2.0. New York: Teachers College Press 25 years ago, Finland’s education system was not considered to be anythingContinue reading “Let’s talk about Finland: Lessons learned”

More on the vexed topic of handwriting

“Whichever way we look, written language is not going away. It is just becoming more closely intertwined with the other modes” (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009, p.182) I think these researchers are telling us that writing in the past was all about print (ie words and sentences) but now often includes other modes  – for example,Continue reading “More on the vexed topic of handwriting”

Part 3 of the survey findings

Since my last post I have had some further discussions with colleagues about the realities of the here and now and the issues of today’s students having the skills to write efficiently at school. Basically, students are required to write in all disciplines with much of their school day involving writing of some kind. However,Continue reading “Part 3 of the survey findings”

Part 2 of the survey findings

In the last blog I finished with a question to get you thinking about handwriting and memory. The study I was referring to was conducted in Norway in 2015. Mangen, Anda, Oxborough and Brønnick tested a group of 19-54 year old volunteers. The task involved a comparison of how many words the participants could rememberContinue reading “Part 2 of the survey findings”

Part 1 of the survey findings

N.B.  The full survey findings will be reported in a peer reviewed research journal in the future. What I offer here, and in the coming weeks, are findings from the survey that I think may be of interest, along with some commentary. The survey generated lots of interest. If you were one of the 353Continue reading “Part 1 of the survey findings”