Teaching The Big 6 Essentials for Learning to Read Effectively to Students with Learning Difficulties

Presented by: Karen Starkiss

Teacher PD Event Information: 6 Teacher PD Hours

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During the last two decades, much research has been conducted into beginning reading instruction and this has provided us with a clearer understanding of the skills that lead to success with reading and writing and how children learn to read. The five key skills identified are phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Some researchers suggested a sixth essential as being Oral Language instruction.

Three National Enquiries into the teaching of reading; US National Reading Panel report, 2000 Australian National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy, 2005, provided research evidence indicating that all students learn best when teachers adopt an integrated approach to reading that explicitly teaches phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension.

A key component to a successful intervention is to explicitly teach children about the rules of phonics, understanding how language is structured and then how that relates to writing. When we use methods that teach children in a very structured way; this has proved to be most successful. Once children can read words they then need to use skills and knowledge to derive meaning.

Students with learning difficulties/disabilities such as dyslexia have specific difficulties in mastering the skill of reading for a number of reasons. We know that they have difficulties in skills such as rh yming and phonemic awareness, the relationship between sounds and symbols and that words are made up of separate sounds. They are often unable to decode texts with adequate accuracy and fluency to allow comprehension. Students may not have adequate content knowledge or vocabulary to make sense of the text if, for example, they have not been exposed to rich linguistic environments. In addition, whilst the students might be able to read they still might not be skilled at independently assimilating the information in a text, with their existing knowledge, in order to fully understand it. Teaching the Big 6 of reading for these students means taking these factors into account.

This workshop will Look in detail at teaching each of the six areas and explore

  • Recent research findings
  • What a lesson structure would look like
  • Which instructional strategies we use
  • Resources to support teaching
  • Suggest Programs and assessment material
  • Additional support materials
  • Websites with additional ideas for teachers and interactive sites to use with students

There will be practical work throughout and all the games ideas will be provided as hand-outs.

Event Details:

  6th December, 2017
  9.30am - 3.30pm (Reg. from 8.30am)

Jasper Hotel
489 Elizabeth St, Melbourne

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  Target Audience: Primary and Secondary Teachers.
  $306.90 GST Incl.

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About the Presenter

Karen Starkiss brings over 30 years of experience as a teacher of primary & secondary students and therefore knows what to recommend and what is practical.

In England, she was Principal of one of the top performing primary schools, despite the fact that she had the highest number of students with severe Learning Difficulties in the County. She has also worked in “failing” schools to quickly improve standards of teaching & learning.

Karen is owner of Dyslexia Assessments & Support Services, has wide experience in assessing children, teenagers & adults for dyslexia and other learning difficulties & provides in-service PD to schools. Karen has been interviewed by the Age & on ABC radio about her expertise in dyslexia & has advised A Government Task Force in Canberra about children with LD.

Karen has also worked with the Education Departments in the ACT & Northern Territory, to put together a program to help all schools become inclusive & accessible to all students, providing training for Expert & Lead teachers & professionals. She was invited to join the taskforce on Learning Difficulties and Dyslexia in the Victorian Department of Education, advising on their new strategy for students with LD including dyslexia and has recently providing PD, on behalf of DET, for school Principals about implementing the RTI process.

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