Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy – The Code of Learning to Read and Write 

Otonga School Teachers use Structured Literacy in the early years.

The teachers have attended professional learning on Structured Literacy with Dr Christine Braid (Massey University) and have implemented this approach with our students from 2022.

Structured Literacy involves explicitly teaching the critical skills needed to develop early reading and spelling. This approach differs from our traditional methods. One difference that you will find is that the students will not bring a levelled book home, instead they will have their own tasks related to their learning needs. 

The children will be taught the letter-sound correspondences that match the decodable books they will soon be reading. Then they will be shown how to slide these sounds together to read words like Tip, Tim, map and it. They will also be shown how to break words into individual sounds to help them spell.

For home learning, your child may bring other readers home for you to read with/to them. This is essential in helping support oral language and comprehension. Please ask questions – who, what, when, where, why and how when reading these books with your children.

There are some ‘heart’ (tricky) words that your child will be learning to memorise. Practise these daily. These will be in their homework book along with other little bits of home learning and information.

Teachers will:

  • Explicitly teach how words work in both reading and writing.
  • Use specific Sunshine Decodables that support the teaching focus.
  • Continue to use rich language and text to develop vocabulary and understand how books work.

Some key shared literacy activities that you can do with your child:

  • Read picture books and non-fiction books based on your child’s interest. Have fun with the language especially with rhyming books e.g. Dr Seuss.
  • To support fine motor skills, engage in drawing, baking, lego and puzzles.
  • Play word games, such as ‘I Spy’ with a beginning sound or a word that rhymes with another word.
  • Further information Sunshine Decodables