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Teaching Strategies for Literacy in the Early Years provides a rich assortment of literacy strategies to support the learning of students in the first three years at school. Find out more...

Teaching Strategies for Literacy in the Early Years
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Download Free Sample Strategy (Co-operative Show and Tell)



Dr Coral Swan speaking to a group

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Welcome to More than Reading


Hi I'm Dr Coral Swan. I specialise in Early Literacy... and 'Giving Children Wings'.

Coral is a Nationally Awarded Early Years Teacher, a Celebrated Author and an Inspirational Speaker.

She is passionate about providing early years' teachers with tools and inspiration to help their students become competent readers and writers AND confident, independent learners.

Who is More than Reading for?

  • Teachers of Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3
  • Teachers in training or in their first years of early years teaching
  • Lecturers, Literacy Coordinators and Primary School Principals

"Here's a snapshot of topics in my book and presentations..."

Creating an interactive learning environment

Creating an interactive learning environment

The classroom learning environment is a reflection of a teacher's beliefs about how children learn.

Coral's core beliefs are that students learn...

  • what they are interested in
  • through meaningful interactions with interested others
  • in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation

In her presentations Coral explains...

  • How to organise the physical environment
    • Space
    • Tables and chairs
    • Shelves and storage
    • Bookshelves and reading areas
    • Word walls (contained in Coral's book)
    • Computers
    • Data projector and/or Interactive Whiteboard
    • Art materials and areas
    • Hands on materials
    • Construction materials
    • Science, nature and discovery areas
    • Play corner, home corner or dress up areas
  • How to create a print-rich environment
    • Setting the scene for reading (contained in Coral's book)
    • Setting the scene for writing (contained in Coral's book)
  • How to create the social environment
    • Talk
    • Classroom goals
      • Safety
      • Respect
      • Responsibility
      • Co-operation
    • Establishing classroom behaviours
    • Setting the scene for co-operation (contained in Coral's book)
  • Soft toys & backpacks as part of the physical, print and social environment
    • Backpacks to go (contained in Coral's book)
  • How to create the temporal environment for your interactive classroom
    • the class timetable
    • the students' timetable
    • timetable and open-ended tasks
Using effective literacy strategies in the early years

Using effective literacy strategies in the early years

You will find these 41 strategies in Coral's book... Teaching Strategies for Literacy in the Early Years

  • Alphabet Activities
  • An Author Study
  • Backpacks to Go
  • Buddy Reading
  • Choral Speaking and Reading
  • Class Books
  • Class News
  • Co-operative Show and Tell
  • Dates with the Calendar
  • Drawing and Dictating
  • Dynamic Digitals
  • Dynamic Digital Stories
  • First Day Phonics
  • First Day Names and Portraits
  • Guided Reading
  • Home Reading
  • How Would You End the Story?
  • Independent Reading
  • Independent Writing
  • Individual Newsbooks
  • Joint Construction of Text
  • Journal Writing
  • Just a Note
  • Language Experience
  • Listen For...
  • Modelled Writing
  • Morning Message
  • Quiet Reading
  • Recording Information
  • Sentence Starters
  • Setting the Scene for Co-operation
  • Setting the Scene for Reading & Viewing
  • Setting the Scene for Writing
  • Shared Reading
  • Sharing Time
  • Teachers Reading Aloud
  • TTYN: Turn To Your Neighbour...
  • Using Levelled Books
  • Who's Telling this Story?
  • Word Boxes
  • Word Walls and Print Walks
Little things that make a big difference

Little things that make a big difference

Here are some thumbnails of Coral's specific organisational tools teachers can use to make their classroom lives more enjoyable...

  • Having a simple plan for a great first day back at school
  • Setting routines so students don't ask 'what do I do next?'
  • An easy way to negotiate 'do-able' rules with students on the first day
  • Transition smoothly between activities with action rhymes & songs
  • Using maracas, bells, hand or clapping patterns as attention-getters
  • Enjoying a calm 'staggered start' to the day
  • Having a supply of short storybooks and little books to read in time gaps
  • Being aware of students' need for movement during mat activities
  • Using simple but effective conflict resolution procedures
  • Making 'Keeping in Touch' (KIT) books for parents

Why is Coral an invaluable resource for Early Years Teachers?

  • Unique combination of 30 years' teaching, study and research
  • Success with diverse student needs on three continents
  • Passion for early literacy and learning
  • Presentations and writing rich in photos and real examples
  • Proven strategies offered simply and clearly
  • Strategies nested in the latest brain research on learning

What Teachers Say

What Teachers Say...

"Dr Coral Swan, thank you for being who you are; kind, encouraging, interested, supportive and passionate about literacy education. Our many conversations about literacy, and your own achievements, inspired me to reach for the stars."
Rebecca Hunter B Ed. (Hons)
James Cook University

"Coral has lots of answers for Early Years teachers about what reading material to use for young children. What struck me the most about Coral's classroom was how much literature the students themselves created."
Karen Argus
Teacher Grades 1-4

"Coral... we are so lucky to have you with us again. Thanks for all the great work you are doing with the students in your class. You are an inspirational teacher!"

"Hello Coral, I was so awestruck to be sitting in front of you, I have admired you since you taught us Language and Literacy at JCU in our 2nd year, you really are an amazing educator! I just wanted to let you know how far reaching one person can be and if I can start teaching next year and be a quarter of the teacher of literacy you are, I will be happy. I hope to use your strategies from the start."
Janet Jones
Teacher in Training

"Dear Coral, thank you so much for being such an outstanding teacher to our little girl. As a fellow teacher I know how much work you put in to ensure that every child achieves their best. As a parent I greatly appreciate that you saw Lani for who she is and allowed her to be herself and guided her to grow further. Terry and I couldn't be happier."
Jenni McDonald
Head of Curriculum

"Dr Coral Swan, thank you for being who you are; kind, encouraging, interested, supportive and passionate about literacy education. Our many conversations about literacy, and your own achievements, inspired me to reach for the stars."
Rebecca Hunter B Ed. (Hons)
James Cook University

What Audiences Say...

What Audiences Say...

"Coral is the kind of teacher, who has me itching to get to school on Monday, to get started. I already love going to school, but now, I'm bursting."
Karen Argus
Grades 1-4

"Dear Coral, Thank you so much for your excellent, passionate presentation on Monday. It was very well received by staff - you affirmed a lot of what they are already doing, but also provided them with a plethora of new ideas. I cannot thank you enough for the work you are doing with us."
Maree Bowe
Head of Curriculum

"Dear Coral, you sent back two very inspired and excited teachers yesterday - thank you so much. Both said the visit was better than any PD session they've attended."
Head of Curriculum

"That's fantastic that you're getting Dr Coral Swan to present. I can tell you, from firsthand experience that she is a marvellous and dedicated teacher with a lot to offer in the area of literacy. Please encourage her to show you her recently published book on literacy. An opportunity not to be missed!"
Jenni McDonald
Head of Curriculum

"I feel like I am walking out of your room with a thousand new ideas. Everything we talked about is very meaningful to my class."
Workshop participant

"I was fortunate that I could attend an ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators' Association) function. Dr Coral Swan was the speaker and I have to say that the thing which astounded me the most about her initially was her endless enthusiasm for teaching."

What Readers Say...

What Readers Say...

"Coral, your book is absolutely fabulous. It's one of my most treasured teaching resources."
Michelle Luhrmann
Director of Early Learning
Sheldon College

"AND Coral, today your book arrived. Thank you for the barely deserved acknowledgment, but most of all your book - what a gift to teachers and their students! It really looks great, and more than that, it's the kind of book you could and would want to pick up and use immediately. Fabulous. I hope you feel proud of it. I can't wait for the next one! Are you working on it?"
Meryl Mulroney
ESL Teacher

"I wanted to post to urge any of you who have the opportunity to see her, to do so. I know she is attending the ALEA Conference in Hobart this July as a presenter. Aside from her energy, she has some amazing strategies, all in a book she wrote called 'Teaching Strategies for Literacy in the Early Years.'"
Karen Argus
Grades 1-4

"The new book just arrived in my mail and it is great too. I will order some more to give to teachers and as prizes at our upcoming PD."
Member ALEA

"There was much excitement this afternoon in our faculty as ALEA members opened their packages! I have already emailed our Director of the Early Years Program to set up a meeting to talk about incorporating the text within a literacy subject."

"I like the format... it's well spaced, clear and easy to follow."
Grade One

"Dear Coral, we've just had the Sunday family lunch and all been in awe of your book. Wow! What an achievement. You must be rapt. It looks so interesting and user friendly."
Rosemary Ross
Newspaper Editor

"Hi Coral. Your book arrived last week. I love it and am inspired again. I've shared it at our planning day. Everyone loves it!"
Prep Teacher

"I just had someone ring to order Coral Swan's book. She said Coral taught her nieces and she is 'the most amazing year one teacher ever.'"
Wendy Rush
Australian Literacy Educators' Association

"Congratulations on presenting to the world (your scholarly written) "Teaching Strategies for Literacy in the Early Years! A fine work and beautifully presented... and the cover of your book Coral is definitely you; children's little hands reaching out for 'Literacy in the early years... very impressive - I like it!!!"
Owen Clarke
Vice Principal
Swan Hill Primary School

"Hi Coral, Jeannette showed me the book you wrote. It looks like a very helpful book, especially for some of the younger teachers (and some of the older ones too, I imagine!). Very well organized and clearly written. Congratulations on your book and your doctorate."
Aileen McCorkill
Retired Reading Recovery Teacher

"Coral, it was SO good to hear from you, and I'm so proud of you in what you've accomplished!!"
Mary-Claire Tarlow, PhD
Coordinator, Reading Specialist MEd and Endorsement Programs
University of Alaska Southeast

"Hello Coral, today I was telling the curriculum teacher about your book and you and how wonderful your approach to literacy is and she is going to order the book for our school teachers as a resource."
Janet Jones
Teacher in Training

What Parents Say...

What Parents Say...

"Dear Coral, thank-you for a fantastic year and giving Nicholas such a wonderful start to learning. It is said that for every child there is one teacher that will have a profound effect on what path they will ultimately take in life... Without a doubt you will be that teacher for Nic."
Robbie & Nikki Del Manso

"Dear Mrs Swan, thank you for all the care and assistance you have given our son this year. We are so excited with his progress. Not only has his school work improved, so too has his confidence. We are grateful to you. We will make sure his progress continues with our assistance."
Mr and Mrs R

"To Mrs Swan, thank you for making a big difference for Bettina this year. It must be exciting seeing into the future everyday..."

"Dear Coral, thank you again for the very positive year for our girls. Emma has flourished and although modesty might prevent you from taking credit, we know what an impact you have had on her."

"Dear Mrs Swan, thank you so much for the time, effort and enthusiasm and everything extra that you have done for the class. You are such an amazing and inspiring lady."
Dee Charman

"Coral, we were so thrilled to have you take our girls under your Special Wings. They have had the most brilliant start to their school years and we truly appreciate all your passion and hard work. Can't help but say we will all miss you."
Gina Southers and Brian Snape

"Dear Mrs Swan, thanks for being such a fantastic teacher. Cameron has come so far this year."
Cameron and Andrea Grant