Learning to read can be frustrating if the child is having difficulty. With my expertise and experience, I can find the gaps in their reading strategies and help them build their confidence.
Do they know all their sounds correctly? Initially I like to test primary children using the
from the Department of Education website.
Teaching strategies can include breaking the word into chunks, sounding out, reading to the end of the sentence, then going back again, looking at the pictures, looking at words that are spelt similarly.
Why do some children struggle with spelling? Sometimes I find that they have problems remembering some of the blends or "graphemes", for example 'ay' words or 'ai' words. Just as a teacher would with their whole class, we can make up lists and go through the list reading them and then spelling some of them.
Do they know how to read their 100 most used words? Do they know how to spell the first 20 most used words? It's important that a child knows how to spell at least 200 of the most used words by the end of Grade 2.
With the use of technology nowadays, handwriting is not practiced in primary school as a separate literacy subject. Some children struggle not only with writing something, but with the physical activity of writing itself. It is important to check the child's formation of letters in their handwriting.
Helping them develop their writing skills also involves grammar, spelling, sentence structure and use of words. Literacy tutoring can assist with handwriting as well as writing.
One child I taught wanted to use the word 'ocean' in his story, but he said he couldn't spell it. However, I said, "no, let's have a try". One resource I love to use is a "Have a Go Sheet" to use for their personal spelling words. (See resources page).
Using magnetic letters on a whiteboard is one way to create some sentence structure.