Saturday, 12 October 2019

A Letter To Our Education System

Dear Education System

I am writing to you after many previous attempts at communication.  My first communication with you was 29 years ago and followed on from my mother's communications of 65 years ago.  You failed to reply to either of us then and little has changed since.  My daughter tried to communicate with you a few years ago, her voice went unheard, so she has since ceased further attempts at meaningful correspondence.

My letter seeks to bring your attention to those within your walls that you seem to have missed.  I would hate to assume here that you just don't care enough about these souls, but after many years dealing with you in different roles I have to say, although harsh, this could very well be true.

My letter is a plea on behalf of all those you leave behind, push out, or simply choose not to see.  It could be that you just need to look through different lenses because I am sorry to say, you are missing out on so much.

I would like to say the cause of this is blind ignorance, but unfortunately it would seem it is now just deliberate.  You set your standards so rigidly that anyone that falls outside of this finds themselves on the outer, for the purposes of this letter I choose to call these souls the fringe dwellers.

Your rigidness chooses to only value what I would like to call the 'middle dwellers' which while inside your walls as a student, I chose not to be.  Because of this you chose not to see me, to recognise my talents, to see worth in developing my abilities, to see the leadership abilities that actually lay dormant at the time, you chose not to have a relationship with me, I had no value to you.  Sadly this led me to not value myself.   It must feel strange to have me now working within; yet as far outside of the constraints of your system as I possible can. 

Middle dwellers (or safe sitters as I have also termed them) yes let's address that.  It is a strange term, but one used here in this letter to define those souls that do conform.  They work to the criteria, they are biddable, they smile broadly at you each day exchanging pleasantries, they do little thinking of their own, but that is ok they don't really need to.  Unfortunately dear system, you don't value thinking.  These middle dwellers enjoy you, you are set up just for them.  In fact you hold them up as leaders, recognise them with badges, lavish them with praise...all in an attempt to build more of these middle dwellers.

But what about the fringe dwellers?  The ones that don't fit.  The ones you don't really fact you'd rather they just were not there, what about them?

These fringe dwellers have so much to offer that you are choosing not to see.  They have talents they hide from you, strengths to harness that you never take the time to foster, they think deeply rather than answering quickly; their responses often drowned out by the middle dwellers.  You refuse to see them, to genuinely know them, so they shut off from you.  The fringe dwellers are often your best thinkers, the funny ones, the imaginative ones, the creative ones, yet your boundless praise does not fall on them. 

They don't receive your badges, your awards, they are not recognised.  Instead they have to fit in order to stay.  To do this, they form what I like to call a 'student shell.'  You only see this shell and you are therefore arrogant enough to think they are happy within your walls, when in all honesty they have just given up trying to communicate with you.  They use this shell to fit, to attempt to please you, to pose as a middle dweller for the short time that they have left within your walls.  Sadly many fail to discard this shell when they leave you, they think this is who they need to be.  They leave behind their true selves, thinking what they were was wrong.  It is hard to dwell on the fringes, so hard, many choose not to do so any longer.  In an essence the sacrifice their true self in order to fit.

The talents they could have offered the world are lost because of a system that chooses not to see them.  You my dear system are responsible for that.

There are many good people that work within your walls, fringe dwellers themselves...embrace those people, raise them up, so that they can actively be part of the change.  Because you see, not all is lost, there is still time to change.  It is my hope that you will let the fringe dwellers change you, that you will see yourself through a different lens and realise that it is time to change, that fringe dwellers become the norm and middle dwellers are freed from their people pleasing constraints.  That all souls are allowed to develop as individuals who use their skills to complement a team.  Individuals who have so much to offer our world.

It is possible.

It is my hope that in 20 years I am not writing to you on behalf of my grandchildren, or if I am, I am writing instead to commend you on your bravery in changing.  Change is hard, but change brings with it huge rewards that you must now embrace.

Yours forever in hope

A Proud Fringe Dweller

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

More on Backward Planning

So this post follows on from my last one on ditching the timetable.  If you have read that blog, you will know that I am not a timetable fan and I am not a fan of pre-teacher planning, other than what could be called the 'bones' of what we want to achieve.

If you have read through this blog, you will know we are a 'competency' or 'dispositions' based school.  This means we believe that we a doing our best by children for their future if we are working on developing dispositions, rather than creating consumers of knowledge.

I also believe this type of planning and the following of interests and urges is possible across all year levels.

This way of working places the children as the curriculum and makes their voice the most important planning tool in the classroom.

I did want to do a bit of an update, because I often get asked about how I make this all work.

Firstly, I don't want people to think there is nothing sitting there planning wise...indeed there are a number of frameworks that I use to guide where I am working with children.

Of course our school curriculum delivery model, mentioned in my last post, sits behind all of this.

My brain framework here

Our school dispositions (learner profile)

Acquisition of literacy framework

Writing jigsaw

Number sense that sits behind agency

The Ingredients of my classroom (created at the beginning of each year)

These frameworks/plans, sit behind everything that happens in our classroom.  They form my way of working and help me to set priorities.  The most important thing to remember is this...whatever happens needs to happen within the context of developmentally appropriate practice.  Therefore most of the specific goal based learning happens individually with children as they are ready and not before.

From this, I have a blank journal.  Each week I set priorities for what I want to achieve that week.  Maybe we need to focus on a specific disposition as this has come through as a clear next step area when observing play.  Perhaps I want to aim to have 2 class storytelling a couple of mojo big ideas, a couple of whole group phonic sessions.  Perhaps there are a couple of kindness songs I want to focus on.  You get the idea.  Basically these get handwritten in a list, which then get ticked off as they are done.  We have no timetable, so they happen where it feels 'right' to do so.

Then each day, I record what happens, so that by the end of the day, we in effect have a messy timetable for that day (but after it has happened.) This gives me the chance to reflect on the day and prioritize anything for the next.    As we work in a team, this works well for us, because we all know what is going on.

I also have a page in the journal where I am recording interests/urges that are seen.  This basically gets turned into a mindmap (handwritten.)  I have created an easy to read on here as an example for you.

Week 1 - 3 mindmap

Recording these interests allows me to see opportunities for further discovery or provocation and also encourages me to learn more about what the children are interested in so I can extend their thinking, as they also extend mine.

We also keep a record of 'inquiry' type discussions in a class learning journal.  Basically the learning is captured and shared in a variety of ways...including on seesaw either for individuals in a narrative, small groups, or whole class.

An example of a class summary of learning.  This goes out at the end of a term to give parents an idea of what we have covered in the term.

This  video below describes our learning journal...which we are always refining and improving.

This video may also be of interest

This process works for us, it is not easy, it is hard work, but totally rewarding.  I love teaching and learning in a classroom that has self-directed play at its very core.  Each year we get better and better, but this is a journey, every evolving and ever improving.  Just as it should be.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Curriculum - Finding What Is Important

We are in a time of much needed change.  For some years now, schools have been charged with and given permission to design their own local curriculum.  Sadly many have not taken up this opportunity and as a result there is a continued set of prescribed topics and themes  pervading our classrooms.

Of anything, coverage and the need to meet the 'requirements' of the curriculum, seems to be the biggest hurdle put up in the way of true transformative practice in our schools.

It seems to be ingrained into us, that the achievement objectives and learning areas outlined in the curriculum need to be delivered to the 'consumers' in our classrooms.  I'd like to put it out there here and now, this is not the case and in fact is the enemy of real learning.  It is possible to 'power share' learning without being constrained to narrow criteria.

Firstly I'd like to say that the back end of the curriculum is a carry over from the past.  A past that required us to prepare children with a set of skills that would benefit them in the workforce.  While there is some value in us understanding this area of the curriculum, there is no benefit at all to us spoon feeding this learning to children.  Add to this that it is basically impossible to know what knowledge will be important in five, let alone ten or twenty years, it would be arrogant to think that by following a 'curriculum' we are doing the best by our children.  Once again, this is my opinion.

In your day to day life, when do you ever box learning like this?  Do you think about what you do in curriculum areas, or do you carry out your daily tasks, using the knowledge you have, searching for the knowledge you don't have and developing integrated understandings and new connections?

I would propose that this is exactly how learning does happen and it is up to us to create classrooms that are all about connections and mutual sharing in this way.

However in saying all of this, there are areas we can be focusing on, absolutely knowing these will be valuable to children for their future.  These come in the form of dispositions that fall nicely out of the key competencies.   It is these aspects, these competencies and specific disposition that we as educators need to be focusing our energy upon.

I of course, believe this can be done by establishing a curriculum with play and student agency (genuine student voice of every child) at its core.  I speak here not from copious research, but by practical experience.  As we have moved to a curriculum that genuinely believes that the child is the curriculum, we have seen coverage and progress like never before...not only that, coverage of areas of learning that are the direct result of child interest and in turn, connection, after connection being made allowing for individual progress that is just right for that child.  When I backward plan now, I am always blown away by just how much we manage to achieve in a few weeks, not to mention a term, or even a year.   In this respect it is the work of John Holt that speaks so strongly to my teacher heart...

John Holt spent copious amounts of time observing and noticing; his work is easy to read and understand, and is not data-driven. He even says himself  “What I am saying about education rests on the belief that, though there is much evidence to support it, I cannot prove, and that may never be proved. Call it faith. The faith is that man is by nature a learning animal. Birds fly, fish swim; man thinks and learns. Therefore, we do not need to “motivate” children into learning, by wheedling, bribing or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we do need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and the classroom; give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest.”

I have come to see this approach to curriculum as teaching and learning through play.  But more than that, it is teaching and learning through a child-led curriculum.    I refer to teaching and learning in a reciprocal way, I sometimes teach, they sometimes teach, we are always learning...each and every one of us.

This type of curriculum is possible school-wide.  It is as simple as letting interests and urges guide what is going on and being prepared to know enough to 'guide' and 'discover' alongside.  Teacher and children exploring and discovering together.  Putting wellbeing and relationships forefront.

We absolutely all need to be moving away from a curriculum that poses children as consumers of knowledge.  We do them no favours by presenting learning in this way.  Creating a child-led curriculum empowers everyone, it fosters talents, provides for needs, promotes equity and excellence, it gives us the scope to individualise what we are doing and most of all, it focuses on learning that is important, authentic and ever evolving.  We are not redundant in this mode, but we do stop being the fountain of all knowledge and are given the permission to go on this journey with a pick a path book, the ending is never defined when we start the journey and may not be the same for everyone.  

Below is a bit of a 'preview' (still in draft, so excuse any typos) of where our heads are at curriculum design wise.  We have been  a 'pillars' school for many many years now.  You will notice these four pillars in the middle green circle.  These pillars works so wonderfully for us and the dispositions, competencies and 'learning' falls so well out of them.  This framework is also heavily inspired by Te Whariki.  It is not finished and as always, for us, it a work in progress...never finished and always evolving according to the needs of our children and our community.  It is also supported by other frameworks that we feel are important.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Before Engagement and Motivation

As a school over the past five to six years we have been working hard to understand what Engagement and Motivation looks like and how it is achieved for all children. Over this time we have refined our practice, using approaches like Mantle of the Expert and Play to increase student agency and in turn increase the level of engagement and motivation without the need for dangling carrots. This journey has been huge for us and I have been so glad that I have written about it along the way, because there has just been so much learning going on.

Over the past few years I feel like we have really started to nail this, but there has still been a niggling group of children, that despite our best efforts have remained not disengaged, but definitely not as engaged as everyone else. Now we could have accepted that we can't reach 100% of the children 100% of the time, but that wouldn't fit with who we are. These children were a conundrum, and there is nothing that sparks an inquiry more effectively then a nice conundrum.

These children, their behaviour and lack of buy in has caused us to dive deeper, to really look honestly at ourselves, our approaches, our relationships with children..the whole package. What has come out of all this hard work has been the realisation that engagement and motivation is a great goal...but there are elements that need to be in place, solid foundations, for it to be even possible for this goal to have an impact on some children.

What we have come to understand is that for some children, they are not even in the place that such grand goals can have an impact on them, they are just not ready to access the learning on offer, not in the right place to allow them to be fully engaged or motivated...their energy is elsewhere and in some cases this energy is on self-preservation.

These children can often be a real source of frustration in the classroom for us as teachers, we feel like we are almost standing on our head to engage them and keep them motivated, but still they stay on the periphery, avoid the learning on offer, opt out, appear disinterested...almost appear to have a learned helplessness. However the fact of the matter is these children are not ready for the tricks of the trade we are pedalling and no matter how exciting we wrap up the present that is learning, they are quite simply not able to, or ready to unwrap it. So we have a choice, we could blame the child "hey we are doing everything we can right?" Or we could accept that something is currently blocking their ability to engage and find out more.

As a school we are still early days into our learning in this area, but so far we have come up with four levels that children need to be able to pass through, or have in place first.

These levels fit with the brain development 'framework' that I have based largely on the work of Nathan Wallis, I made this to represent the phases of development children needed to go through to build their brain before we start to engage with what we can loosely call 'academic' learning.

The intention of these levels is to slightly expand on this and for us to be able to pinpoint a child's needs when they may be presenting as disengaged or have a lack of motivation. Because this usually presents as children move into a more 'teacher' directed environment it is seen as useful more for children older than seven/eight who we would expect to be in a good state of engagement given we have worked hard on the foundations.

These are my levels, based on what I have learned around this goal, they are not intended to be hard and fast and I am sure I will need to amend and add to them over time as I learn more about the brain.

The idea with these levels is to pinpoint the level a child is actually at, so that we can engage at this point, rather than expecting them to progress academically, or to be showing us learning dispositions we would expect of a child their age, we can provide support and coaching at the point it is needed, in order to help them ultimately be an engaged and motivated learner.

Level One – Do I feel safe, am I attached or am I trauma affected (if a child is in here for development, this needs to be where we engage with them) I am currently working on the idea of a nurture room to help these children.
Link to a draft of this idea here.

Level Two – Do I feel connected to my school, family, community, culture and have a strong sense of self and who I am.  The nurture room would also be of benefit here.

Level Three –
Can I self-regulate, can I name my feelings, do I have emotional IQ, do I have empathy? Do I feel good about myself?

Level Four – Growth mindset and learning talk – do I understand how my brain learns, appreciate challenge and understand that with persistence I can always improve?

Level Five - I am ready and able to be engaged and motivated in the classroom.

Ultimately what I have come to realise is that for some of our children, there are barriers to being able to be motivated and engaged, no matter how amazing our teaching.  It is then up to us to figure out these children, to have a good enough relationship with them, that we no at what point we need to engage and how to help them. 

For us this is very much a work in progress, but my aim is that we can make school a place where 100% of the children are being catered for according to their needs and not being put in the too hard basket, or being blamed for their lack of engagement.  A goal worthy of striving for in my opinion.

I like this quote, but would change interested, to able to....because in order to be interested, we have to be in the right place to be able to accept this learning and then in turn be interested in it.  If all of my energy is going on just existing, and staying safe, then how an earth do I have the energy to be interested.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Trauma and Play - What is happening for those children that struggle to regulate in a play based environment?

Throughout this journey into play over the last five years, one question comes up often, it has been one I have struggled to answer and actually have felt ill equipped to answer. The question is around those children that just cause absolute chaos in a play based class, that break things, fight, basically run riot. Those children who are oppositional and rebuff our attempts at forming strong relationships, basically seem to undermine everything we do.  What do we do about these children? 

I have not felt able to answer this question, because I am incredibly lucky to work in a school where children usually come in with the ability to auto-regulate or to regulate with support from an a trusted person (co-regulate.) Don't get me wrong, we still have children who come in with obvious issues with regulation, due to early trauma or otherwise, but we don't usually have groups of them, we have one or two who we can work effectively with and help to self-manage.

After reading this book

I now feel a little more able to answer this question.  But please know I am no expert.

Firstly however let me say this. For children who come in with strong attachments and for want of a better word 'normal' abilities to regulate, a play-based environment based on self-direction is the absolute best. Children starting from this foundation learn so much within this environment and absolutely blossom emotionally and socially. They cope beautifully in this environment because this is how they are programmed to learn.  They don't need us to direct them or manage them.

Children with early trauma are still built to learn this way, however they are as yet unable to thrive in this environment without a few modifications (which we can make very simply, without going back to our old methods of control.)

Before I go any further:

This short article is helpful if you have not read anything about attachment theory and the link to self-regulation.

This is an excerpt from that article:

What might extreme or unhealthy ways of auto-regulation look like?

Unhealthy patterns of auto-regulation most often include behaviors that are attempts to control. A sense of control of people, places, and things provides a sense of safety; since it is vulnerability for children with attachment disorder that is the scariest position in which to be.

Individuals who feel completely out of control are going to fall apart and do anything they can to gain that control. They attempt to achieve control over other people, places, and things; they find this helps them to achieve control over their own activated nervous system and their emotions. For children, attempts to control can come out in physical, emotional, or psychological manner.

In physical control, children will exert physical force to cause fear in those around them. Rages, throwing and breaking items, and physically hurting others are attempts to control out of a need to help themselves feel better.

In emotional control, children will be able to play with the emotions of others, making others angry, sad, or happy. Depending on the background and prior experiences of the child, they may be quite “street-smart” at being able to know instinctively how to play others emotions to get what they need.

In psychological control, children will lie, triangulate relationships of those in authority, and otherwise manipulate. Much of this is done on such an instinctual level to help calm their own nervous system down; they feel that they are doing these things to survive.

These become the behaviors that seem crazy and extreme to parents of children with attachment disorder; therefore, make daily live very chaotic and difficult. It is dysregulating to live with a child with controlling behaviors The children are not able to communicate any of their internal happenings, so these behaviors come with no warning


Children who have developed unhealthy strategies for regulation will initially struggle in an environment where they have complete choice.  Unlike their peers, who are able to regulate, this environment will cause them stress and because of this stress we will see the behaviours that are described above (that have been described to me by so many teachers over time.)

Sadly many see this as a reason to ditch play and go back to complete structure.  I can absolutely see why, in essence it is the environment based on too much choice that creates these behaviours, and if you are one of those teachers where the majority of your class struggles with regulation for whatever reason, it would seem easier to go back to complete structure.

However I urge you not to do this.  While too much choice is stressful for them, an environment based on play is ultimately what they need.  Just like any other learning, they just need some scaffolding around this environment.  As we would for any other learning, we need to meet their needs and in this environment this may mean shortening periods of play.  Coming back together more frequently for emotional and social coaching or reflection.  Recognising triggers and providing safe places for them to go to.  Specifically teaching them calm down strategies (benefits all.)  Teaching them about their brain and how it works (benefits all.)  Providing more structure around the play for these children, a few choices, rather than complete self-direction to start with.  Trying a strategy we use, which is ten by ten, ten seconds connecting with that child positively, ten times a day.  Harder than it sounds.  Watching what we say and how we redirect behaviour, these children see themselves as bad, the language we use with them is important.  We also don't want to over praise them, they won't believe you and it will make their behaviour worse.

You will gradually see them developing regulation skills and be able to remove some of the scaffolds.  With these children, as with most, it will be ten steps forward and nine back....progress will often be slow emotionally and socially and they will try to deliberately hijack situations as a form of defence.  We must stay strong and constant for them despite what they throw at us.

What we do need to recognise and absolutely understand is that play is going to be difficult for them, their brain has been in a constant state of stress, relationships have been traumatic and disconnected, they don't trust us, why should they?  Free play (for want of a better word) will cause them stress, they will feel out of control and they will take back control in ways we perceive as 'behaving badly.'  They can not help this.  Having to regulate themselves for any period of time is tiring, they become exhausted and it is hard for them.  Safe spaces are important.

So, my answer, please don't let this type of behaviour stop you journeying into play, but recognise it for what it is, and respond to it by putting in place strategies to support regulation.  The most important thing we can teach children is the ability to regulate...from that everything else will come.  The last thing we want them to become is adults that can not regulate.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Why it is struggle, not acceleration we should be aiming for.

The word acceleration has been one that has irked me since it became the catch phrase of the Ministry and ERO.

In my opinion it is productive struggle we should be aiming for, not acceleration.

I got thinking more about this after a conversation I had with a group of learners identified as Maori and working below their expected stage in mathematics.

Our data had thrown up some interesting patterns and I wanted to hear first hand what might be going on with mathematics for some of these children.  If in doubt, I always turn to student voice...I absolutely always learn something and am presented with ideas I wasn't expecting.

So I gathered together this group, posed myself as an investigator, wanting to know more about maths in our school and proceeded to ask them about maths.    I was prepared for them to tell me they were bad at maths, found it hard and wanted more teacher support.

Not only did these so called 'lower' level learners not do this but they talked about their love of maths.  They could also speak eloquently of how they behave if things are hard...they spoke of loving challenge and knowing what to do if it was just out of their reach.  When asked how they would feel if all maths was abolished tomorrow and the never had to do it again, they all responded very loudly "NO."  They spoke of loving the challenge of problem solving and the 'surprise' of the answer at the end.

This conversation got me to thinking.  These children that struggle, really learn a lot about themselves as learners.  In an environment where the process of learning is made visible, where children are well supported in productive struggle, where challenge and mistakes are embraced....these learners flourish.   They are heavily involved in the process, it does not come easy, they have to develop many strategies and in turn they don't shy away when things are hard.  They are also working with teachers who have actively worked to improve their mathematical pedagogy over the years and in my opinion are doing a top notch job!

I would hypothesise that in an environment such as the one I describe, children are well served by the struggle and don't need us to accelerate them through this process.  What they do need from us is the time to struggle and work through this.

In fact as a parent I would rather my child was engaged daily in productive struggle than find things easy or be so supported/scaffolded that little learning was going on.

If they are not, what happens?  Well in my opinion I don't think they ever truly understand themselves as a learner and when things get hard, they are much more likely to give up.   I am sure we all know those children or young adults, or even adults, full of potential, full of ability, that never truly achieve what we expect, or even shy away from what they are truly capable of.

In my opinion it is our job as teachers to give all children this gift...the gift of failure, mistakes and challenge and the absolutely amazing feeling of getting back up again and having success because they didn't give up on themselves!

Productive, supported struggle - the gift we can give all of our learners.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Transforming Reading

Some of you may know that we have been on a journey over the last few years to transform reading at school.  Our aims have been and continue to be:

1)To only start reading when children are developmentally ready.  To stop using chronological age as a guide for expected progress.  To see the growth rather than the deficit.  

2)To help all children to love reading from the moment they start reading, to be so interested in reading that they largely self-initiate the process and take an active role in driving their own progress.

3)To concentrate on the fact that 1/3 of children won't learn without explicit phonics and that by using this approach we won't hurt anyone's learning, but instead help everyone.  (Neil Mckay)

4)To ensure that within our play-based programme, oral language, visual learning (use of pictures for storytelling and the drawing of understandings) along with lots of stories and shared reading play a huge role.  

5)To read individually with children, allowing them to go at their own pace and allowing our teaching to be explicit based on what their need is in that moment. 

6) Most of all, for all children to have success.  For their journey in reading to be seen as a team effort through Year 1-6.

Last year we started our journey into Decodable books.  We found they had a huge impact almost straight away.  After some searching I found the Pip and Tim series that Liz Kane Literacy sells through her site.  These books immediately helped our teaching.  

But we had a conundrum, what about the older children, who have disengaged from reading, while the decodable books are not 'babyish' they certainly don't appeal strongly to these children (I am thinking year 3 and 4 boys here.)  After much research and google searching I found a few titles of Project X code through Mighty Ape.  I purchased ten of these books (no order) just to try and the children we initially tried them with LOVED them.  They were almost transformative for their attitude and sense of success.  I then had to work out how to get my hands on the whole set.  We ended up buying a set through book depository and I got myself stung with the import tax.  It was crucial that we found a New Zealand stockist. 

This video gives you a little taster of the excitement Project X has to offer our readers.

The books are beautifully illustrated, they are fully decodable and sequenced  through a set of worlds, where wonderful adventures happen.  The set end up about level 20.

We were then incredibly lucky to get a donation from a local company for another full set.  This time I had found a wonderful supplier of the books here in NZ.

Edify Ltd
Fiona van der Hor -

We are now incredibly lucky to have fundraised enough to have three sets. They are not cheap, but they are incredible. If you are looking to transform reading for those that are struggling, disengaged and needing a phonetic intervention these just might be what you are looking for. Our learning support teacher aide uses these and the children look forward to reading every day!

It quickly became obvious that we needed a wider range of decodable books and luckily brand new of the press are the Alien adventure series and the Superhero series, all again fully decodable and great for classroom use. These are also x code books and available through Edify.

These readers are gorgeous, so engaging and children love them. They are expensive however, but very very worth it. We are currently working on fundraising so that we can have these available to all classrooms up to Year 4 (and beyond if needed.)

Now we have a new wonderful problem, when our children finish the Project X code series at level 20 they are disappointed and don't want it to end. Luckily for us, the Alien adventures series go right up the levels, so we are purchasing these extra levels so these children can still have the X code experience!

If you are thinking of transforming reading and you have similar goals to of reading and success, then maybe these decodable books are also for you?

I feel lucky to have found them!