Tag: strategies

Reading Strategies in Action at Nethermains (P4)

nethermainsdCaroline Cane, Probationer teacher at Nethermains is really excited to share this story from her P4 class:

We were developing our understanding of a short text we watched online using our reading strategies.

First, we recorded everything we knew about treasure and put the word treasure into an extended sentence.

nethermainsaHere is an example from one of our pupils:

‘Pirate Pete was on a mission to find the hidden treasure when he arrived on a small island because he found an old treasure map in his ship’.


We then worked as visualisers and drew what we thought the story was going to be about based on the still image that Mrs Cane showed us.

Next we discussed who the character was and why they were looking for treasure. We created our own questions for our shoulder partner to answer.

One of our pupils independently wrote a fantastic summary of the text and used some interesting vocabulary.


Sharing Reading Approaches with Parents and Carers at St. Bernadette’s RCPS

parents 1 st bsParents and carers from St. Bernadette’s RCPS engaged in an active learning reading session on Thursday 26th February. Pupils from across the stages participated in the session sharing their knowledge and understanding of reading skills and strategies with both parents and visitors from St. Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling.

Falkirk Council’s Literacy team delivered the session sharing the good practice embedded in the school and two P6 pupils confidently and competently delivered a short presentation which included a very impressive i-movie and musical rap demonstrating reading skills.

Parents took part in a thinking reader session using the text ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.  The strategies and key ideas to support children at home were shared and explained.

parents 2 st bs

The six strategies are:

1) Prior knowledge and understanding

2) Metalinguistics

3) Visualisation

4) Inference

5) Main ideas

6) Summarising.

The visitors were then treated to a marketplace style tour of pupil work from across the stages.

Feedback included:

  • This was enjoyable, fun, great insight into children’s learning. It’s amazing to have the evidence exhibited in children…. Amazing
  • Good to show how the kids learn and the wide variety of text. Learned how important the kids understanding the text is and understanding of words.
  • Very informative so impressed by the work of the pupils. Fab!
  • The session was very helpful. Helps me understand more about how reading is taught and delivered in school! Will use at home.
  • Very useful allowed insight into strategies employed within school (would be helpful having “bullet point” newsletter on this.
  • I really enjoyed this session. I find it incredible and inspiring to realise the skills the children are managing to acquire at such a young age.
  • Reading is a wonderful life skill so anything that encourages it is a great idea.
  • I found the session helpful in relation to encouraging reading skills to my grandson. Maybe an information night for grandparents/carers would be beneficial.
  • Really good to see such creative children that seem to really enjoy what they are doing.


Talking and Listening – Spelling Strategies – Skills for Life.

Larbert High School has produced a new you tube video relating to Talking and Listening highlighting the importance of  literacy skills.

 The short you tube video is a parody of Ant and Dec’s ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ entitled ‘Let’s Get Ready to Mumble’.

The video can be viewed from this link.

The video was launched at Larbert High’s Literacy week 2014 where there were a variety of literacy activities on offer, including ‘Spelling Bee’ which incorporates Active Literacy spelling strategies introduced in Falkirk Council primary schools. More information about these exciting literacy activities can be found by reading the article in our local newspaper The Falkirk Herald.

The Active Literacy Spelling programme aims to provide children with a range of strategies they are able to apply to tricky words in all curricular areas.

Active Literacy – FAQs

 How can I support my child with their active literacy homework?

What is a phoneme? 

  • A letter or group of letters that make a single sound, for example, ‘oi’ or ‘a’.

What are Elkonin boxes?

  • These are used to teach phonemic awareness. Pupils listen out for the individual sounds and mark where they hear them in boxes.

What is diacritical marking?

  • Diacritical marking is the use of symbols to mark single sounds/ phonemes (e.g. b, p), joined phonemes (e.g. sh, ch) and split phonemes (magic e words). It is a spelling strategy which is used as part of the ‘Active Literacy’ approach in schools. It is usually taught at Primary 4 and 5, though can be continued and developed in the upper stages. There are three parts to the code: a single dot which represents a single phoneme, a line which represents a joined phoneme and an arch which represents a split phoneme.

What is Reciprocal Teaching?

  • This is a strategy used during Active Learning where children will work together to support and challenge each other. They may adopt roles such as ‘word reader’ or ‘word writer’.

Which spelling strategies are taught at school and how I can support my child with this?

  • There are many spelling strategies taught in school. Some of the ‘fun’ spelling tasks which are used to learn common or tricky words include: Rainbow writing, fancy writing, spell-er-cise, bubble writing, big and little writing, type-em-up, rhyming words, newspaper letters and triangle spelling. Other strategies taught are: syllabification, mnemonics, words within words, word shape, spelling rules and compound words.