Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Turning a school around


Here is an interesting thread on Twitter on turning schools around by a Former school leader, Director - author, radio presenter and SEN parent who has more than 3,600 followers on Twitter. 

Most educators are good at going around the mulberry bush repeating the same thing again and again expecting different results.

graham Chatterley @grahamchatterl2 29.1.24

If you are bragging about turning a school around, but your exclusion figures are sky high and you are sending parents elsewhere, you haven’t turned anything around, you’ve taken a massive shortcut. If you cherry pick your students of course results go up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Red flags in education research - Anna Stokke with Ben Solomon


The clip above is copied from Anna Stokke’s Tweet dated 28.1.2024. Anna is a math professor and has a podcast that will be useful for all those interested in Math. I have only listened in full to 2 of her podcasts and think it is one of the best podcasts I've heard.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

More on Anuar Ahmad of University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)



Recently I blogged on Dr. Anuar Ahmad of UKM and Puan Fadhlina Sidek stating that they do not respond to emails on how to reduce intervention. 

A Facebook member replied that it is harsh to put the blame solely on them as Dr. Anuar Ahmad is a researcher and Puan Fadhlina Sidek is only a minister. He said that it was the Education Ministry who implemented irrelevant curricula that is to be blamed.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

'Unfair to judge just on Pisa' - New Straits Times


Education Experts in Malaysia must think the Malaysians are a stupid lot of people who will believe everything they say. 

Here are extracts from our New Straits Times dated January 24, 2024 and my comments.

Education experts said it is unfair to entirely judge the standards of the country's education system based on lower scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

"The success of our education system is not determined just by Pisa," said National Council of Professors (MPN) president Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose.

Datuk Arifin bin Mohd. Arif- Sabah State minister


Recently I asked someone from Daily Express, what is Sabah’s stand on English being used to teach science and math. I quoted what the Sarawak’s Deputy Minister of Education had said.

"By hook or by crook, Sarawak will continue with its policy to teach Science and Mathematics subjects in English, said Sarawak's Deputy Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee."

"We are doing it and there is no turning back for us. We will go all the way till the students reach form five," he told reporters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Do teachers know how to teach kids to read (Part 2)


The Madwoman in the Classroom, @heymrsbond, took offense with the following on my blog post:

Luqman Michel

The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond

'Secondary English teachers don’t teach students how to read. We aren’t taught how to teach students how to read.' But her Twitter profile says she is a Literacy educator • teacher-scholar. Read more HERE.

The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond

Just because I don’t teach children decoding and phonics doesn’t mean I’m not a literacy teacher. Attacking my work for your promotion and engagement is weird.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Ideas for my blog - A reply to Lucky Earther


While waiting for HeyMrsBond to respond to some of the tweets yesterday, I would like to respond to one of the tweets by:

Lucky Earther @WreckaCenter

Maybe you could come up with your own ideas for your blog instead of poking around on Twitter to see if someone will write something for you?

For the information of Lucky Earther and the others in the thread I will explain so that they know that most of what I write is based on my own ideas. This is specifically for those who have not been following my blog.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Do teachers know how to teach kids to read.


Here are tweets by The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond and a few of the replies.

Mrs. Bond’s Twitter profile says that she is a Literacy educator • teacher-scholar • mom.

Here are her tweets, some replies, and my comments.

As usual, I made some comments which I don’t expect anyone to reply to. I am posting this for future reference when I write my next book.

The important thing is the number of teachers here saying they don’t know anything about teaching kids to read and yet will not take the trouble to learn from what I have to say.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

More nonsense from Emily Hanford.


On January 16th Emily Hanford @ehanford tweeted the following and replies from Twitters have not been addressed by her.

Emily Hanford:

Schools often give struggling readers audio books and headphones with devices that can read aloud for them. These innovations can help poor readers keep up in math, science, and other subjects, but they can also become literacy impediments.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 4


This is part 4 of Kate Winn's podcast with Emily Hanford.   


Emily Hanford:

The problem with teachers is they haven’t learned how kids learn to read.


My Comment:

It is not only the teachers who have not learned but no one in the world has learned how kids learn to read. I have stated this for many years now. Does Emily Hanford or anyone from APM Reports know how kids learn to read? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Brain Science and Reading


Here are extracts from a blog post by Timothy Shanahan dated 13 January 2024 and my comments.

Timothy Shanahan:

It may be hard to believe given news media reports and the numerous books that now purport to translate neuroscience into pedagogy, but there are not any new and effective instructional methods, approaches, techniques, or materials that have been developed based on “brain science.”

Invest in something more certain to help your school – like buying lottery tickets.

So far, no instructional method has resulted from the study of the brain.

I advocate phonics because so many studies show that kids do better in learning to read when that is part of their instruction.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Dehaene - How the brain learns to read? Copied from my post in March 2022.

This is a post from  Sunday, March 27, 2022 which a Twitter said she can't access. Thanks to her, I notified Go-Daddy which confirmed that my subscription is up to date. The issue may be with Blogger. I have written to blogger and hope to get a response soon. Meanwhile, I copied the post here.

This is a continuation of my previous post found here

Peter Blenkinsop, kept insisting that I listen to Prof. Stanislas Dehaene video and educate him on how a child learns to read.

Why Peter, who calls himself a consultant, wants me to explain it to him is beyond me but I shall try and describe what I have understood from the video. 

Peter asked me to listen to minute 14.30 of the video above which says:

Monday, January 15, 2024

Similarities between mosquito exterminators and many educators


Here is a comment dated Sunday October 17, 2010 in one of my blog posts Dyslexia - Spelling Bee

Here is the comment which is hilarious/ outrageous but at the same time exactly depicting what is going on today. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

YOU ARE BLOCKED by Rebecca (@BeckRSaunders) on 13.1.24.


Rebecca Saunder's profile on Twitter says she is a Professional Learning Coach.

The following is what she tweeted.

I have been screaming this into the void for years - why would kids care about an exam that means nothing to them?

Australian students aren’t trying in the Pisa exams. They should be congratulated for their disdain.

She copied that statement, without thinking, from an article by Van Badham a Guardian Australia columnist.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Musings of a centrist by Dr. Sam Bommarito - Part 2


Here is another extract from Dr. Sam’s post:

There is more than one way to teach phonics. I’ve written about that point many times.

Some students NEED a synthetic phonics approach. This is especially true for dyslexic students. The key place where folks working under the balanced literacy umbrella went off the tracks was their failure to ensure dyslexic students got the synthetic phonics they needed. In some instances, that involved giving them little or no phonics. In other cases, that involved giving them the wrong kind of phonics. The wrong kind of phonics for them is phonics taught using inquiry methods- analytic phonics being the best example of that kind of approach.

The main point I want to make again today is that it is time to try something we’ve never tried in the whole history of the reading wars. That is to adopt a centrist position, using ideas from all sides.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Musings of a centrist by Dr. Sam Bommarito - Part 1


'The question about phonics is not whether to teach phonics but rather what kind of phonics and how much phonics' - Dr. Sam Bommarito

Here are some of Dr. Sam’s key points from his article found here and my comments:

What works with one kid doesn’t always work with another. I make that a prior assumption/observation based on 50-plus years of teaching experience. During that time, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through graduate school.

This is what the Western World keeps repeating without understanding what they talk about. As far as decoding is concerned what is it that doesn’t work with one kid but works with another?

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 3


The following are questions I have for Emily Hanford and APM Reports.

Is there even one study that says that teaching letter sounds wrongly/ teaching consonants with extraneous sounds, is not the cause of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Is there any one study showing schools teach sounds represented by letters wrongly and that this is one of the causes of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 2


The podcast host asked Emily:

Do you read criticisms and have a strategy for that?

Here is Emily’s response:

I don’t have a strategy to articulate. I have developed a thick skin over the years. I have never muted anyone or blocked anyone on Twitter. People can criticise you and you don’t have to respond.

I believe she has not muted anyone or blocked anyone as she has not blocked me despite many comments I have made about her. Neither have I blocked or muted anyone unlike many who have muted and blocked me.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford


S2 E1: Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford

Reading Road Trip

Here is an extract from the podcast above and my comments. LINK

It is a profound misunderstanding of journalism. What role does a journalist play? A journalist hasn’t been the thing they are covering; a white house reporter hasn’t been the president… The point of journalism is to investigate and uncover important stories. Journalists ask questions and explain things and we investigate and we look at the data.

I have referred Emily to my book Shut Down Kids and asked her if she has any idea why many kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read. How do these kids get to grade level and are maintained at grade level after a short intervention period?

What have Emily and APM investigated following my several emails to them beginning in 2017?

What data did they look at?

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Spelling backwards revisited


Many educators such as Dr. Sam Bommarito have asked me as to why kids should memorise the 220 Dolch words. My retort to that question was ‘Why not!’

The same question is repeated by many other 'educators'. LINK.

The same educators insist that phonics does not work with children because many words are not phonetic.

However, my suggestion that these non-phonetic words may be memorised is detested by these educators. 

Donna Lee Fields on openmindedness in LinkedIn.


Here is a post on LinkedIn on 24.12.23 by Donna Lee Fields and our discussion.


Donna Lee Fields's profile on LinkedIn says: 1st International Teacher-Trainer/Podcast Host.

Donna Lee Fields

When I asked Shelly Winterboer to define 'education', these were her first words. How could you expand on them?


For me, education is freedom… education expands my mindset. (Shelly Winterboer)

Note: Shelly Winterboer’s profile states: Providing services Life Coaching, Public Speaking, Team Building, and Interview Preparation.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Expert Book Reviewer - Shawna Pope-Jefferson


A few days ago, a woman in a group on Facebook said she would get a copy of my book Teach Your Child to Read. She bought a Kindle copy and in less than 6 minutes was able to do a book review.

I asked her how she did the review in such a short time and she unfriended me on Facebook.

I would really like to know how some (not all) Americans can do a book review in less than 6 minutes.

I did some research on this woman and found that she is a Speech-Language Pathologist, and Literacy Specialist who believes that all kids who can’t read have a speech-language problem.