Do Language for Life and The Writing Revolution disagree?

Since sentence diagramming is one of the major activities in the Language for Life book and course, I thought I’d respond to a point raised in The Writing Revolution (P14-15) about the authors’ reservations on this subject.  Firstly, I don’t think I disagree with the authors when they talk about the superiority of sentence combining …

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Independent Driving Activities for Learner Drivers

I often get asked to recommend ‘independent reading activities’ or ‘independent spelling activities’ for children learning to read and spell, and I’m always reminded of this article: A revolutionary driving school in Finland has smashed the traditional concept of learning to drive and is taking the world by storm. The state-funded School of Whole Driving, …

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The Correct Reading Alliance People: A New Bottle (spoiler: same old wine)

And now we cross live, for the launch of the Correct Reading Alliance People. Interviewer: I’d like to welcome Professor Donna Kruger to the launch of a visionary new initiative, called the Correct Reading Alliance People. Welcome, Professor Kruger. Professor Kruger: Thank you John, delighted to be here. I: So what exactly is the Correct …

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Running Records: Results of a brief survey (spoiler: they’re unpopular if you haven’t drunk the balanced literacy Kool Aid)

Last week I sought information from teachers about being mandated to use Running Records for assessment and reporting. This followed an article I wrote about why these assessments were not fit for purpose. When I say Running Records, I do mean formal Benchmark Assessment System tests and less formal stand-alone Running Records. I wanted to …

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Rethinking Running Records: Ammunition and armour in the battle for better literacy

Taking steps to improve the quality of instruction so that all children progress appropriately towards literacy is not a job for the faint-hearted. Yet my 2019 was filled with stories of courageous schools and teachers making huge strides. The ambition to make my tutoring practice (and others like it) a necessity only for those with …

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