Essential Knowledge for Teaching and Assessing Reading

  • 08:30 AM
  • Hornsby RSL Club, 4 High Street, Hornsby
  • 9739 6277

CLICK HERE to download the PDF Flier and Hardcopy Registration Form




TIME:                        WORKSHOP:

8.15 am – 8.45 am            Registrations and arrival refreshments

8.45 am – 10.45 am         Session 1: How do children learn and how do they learn to read? by Walter Howe*

Implicit and explicit learning; a cognitive model of explicit learning (schema acquisition; role work, working memory; cognitive load).  Instructional designs that reduce cognitive load.

  • Simple View of Reading – what is needed to be able to read – oral language skills; word reading skills (phonological awareness; phonics; orthographic knowledge); role of vocabulary.
  • Models of Reading Comprehension – Hi 5’s and Super 6.
  • When things go wrong – Language and reading disorders defined and explained.

10.45 am – 11.15 am       Morning Tea

11.15 am – 1.15 pm         Session 2: Putting theory into practice within K – 6 classrooms by Rhonda Filmer*

The Five Pillars of Reading Instruction, after extensive research, is recommended by the US National Reading Panel and the Australian National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005). It was found that when phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension are taught effectively, students have the highest chance of reading success.

This session will present a workshop of ideas and suggestions for how to put the principles into operation in your class and school, how they align with the Australian Curriculum and there will be time for interaction, discussion and questions.

1.15 pm – 1.45 pm       Lunch

1.45 pm to 3.45 pm     Session 3: Assessment of reading by Walter Howe*

Curriculum based measures (CBM); standardised measures – NAPLAN; YARC; Diagnostic measures – Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement Tests.

3.45 pm to 4.00 pm    Session 4: Q & A by Walter Howe and Rhonda Filmer

National Professional Standards for Teachers covered are 1.2.2,  2.1.2,  2.5.2,  5.4.2





Rhonda worked in public schools as a primary school teacher for 12 years during which her interest in the underachievement of many of the brightest students became a focus and motivation for postgraduate studies at UNSW.  She completed a master’s degree while working at St Andrew’s Cathedral School where she became the inaugural Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator.

In 2002 she began her Twice Exceptional Educational Consultancy to more effectively address the individual differences in learning needs of gifted students with learning disabilities, most particularly dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, at the individual, family, class and school levels.  From here a major focus of her subsequent research has been the early teaching of reading since we know that if a child with a pre-disposition toward a learning disability is taught to read effectively in the K-2 years then the effects of that disability as an inhibitor of reading progress can be reduced dramatically.

Rhonda is an advocate for more effective teaching of reading, early identification of children who are gifted and/or have a learning disability and for improvement in the pre-service education and mentoring of beginning teachers to ensure they can teach using evidence-based practice and pedagogy. Rhonda is a member of the Management Committee of SPELD NSW and a regular contributor to conferences and seminars on these topics.


WALTER HOWE Educational Psychologist and Director, Psychological Assessments Australia Pty Ltd (PAA).

Disclaimer: Walter Howe and his company, PAA, derive income from the sale of various standardised assessment instruments, including those discussed in this proposed workshop.

Walter Howe is a Sydney based Educational and Developmental Psychologist. He worked as a secondary teacher and school counsellor in NSW before becoming involved in test publishing in 1988. He has managed Australian standardisation studies for the WISC III, the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement (WJ III) and the York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC).

He is the Director of Psychological Assessments Australia (PAA), which distributes a wide variety of assessment products, including the WJ III and the YARC. He is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association and the National Association of School Psychologists (USA). He is a regular presenter at professional conferences on topics ranging from dyslexia to emotional intelligence.


Research has shown that if ALL children are given a full range of reading strategies at an early age and throughout primary school the effects of learning difficulties on literacy will be minimised.



SPELD NSW would like to help send Learning Support Teachers to our Professional Development Days. Please email a short paragraph on how your attendance will help students with special needs. If you would like to discuss this further please contact the Executive Officer on 9739 6277.


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