June 2023

30% off Guided Readers • My Solo Strike Action • Calling all Teacher Aides • Join the Free Clinic + more..


Hairy Maclary goes postal!

A character from one of my favourite children’s stories, on a stamp!
Imagine my surprise when I saw this stamp featuring Bottomley Potts on a letter that was recently delivered to my house.

Hairy Maclary was the book I read to each of my children on the day they were born. You can’t start too early, and I wanted it to be their first story. It is often the first story I read to a new class or student too. The stories rhyme, have rhythmic language, contain animal characters and are written with such warmth and humour. My kind of stories!

NZ Post issued the stamp in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy. Find out more about this special stamp collection here.

Standing up for education

I ended up doing a solo protest on strike day!
We all know why we need improved teaching conditions. I want more support for my students with additional learning and behavioural needs. I want to see teachers valued. Sometimes you gotta stand up for these things.

I turned up at the designated local rally spot with my sign to find no one there but me and my son whom I’d dragged along to support the cause. (The family that protests together, stays together.) So it ended up being a lone Soryl family protest but we got lots of toots and waves from supportive motorists.


Calling all teacher aides

I have several courses coming up, open to all, BUT teacher aides can now use their $1,000 PLD funding to pay for our courses. AND with some courses, we’re throwing in resources such as mini Phonics Kits, Letter Mnemonic cards and Phonics Words cards – all covered by the PLD funding.

Upcoming courses include Primary Phonics, Early Words, Reading Discovery Club, Early Phonics and Developing Phonological Awareness. Watch our videos that explain what each course offers.

Visit Coactive Education to see the list of my and other courses that can be accessed using this PLD funding. The courses are open to all who wish to attend.

Remember our courses are available as an in-service either in-person or live webinar. View our in-service training costs and options.

Next Early Literacy Clinic

You're invited to join our free Early Literacy Clinic. I’ll talk for a short time on a topic and then we’ll move to a Q&A on anything related to early literacy issues. Questions do not have to relate to the topic and can be about anything to do with early literacy. All are welcome to attend. Register in advance for this meeting.
Early Literacy Clinic with Yolanda

Topic: How to use a Strategy Check as a prompt for
independence in guided reading and writing

3:30pm, Wednesday, 21 June 2023

You're also welcome to email your questions in advance or ask on the day. The session is recorded and can be viewed later on our YouTube channel.



Get 30% off all the Early Words Readers

Enter the discount code at checkout and save! CODE: dhal
Offer closes 30 June 2023.
The Early Words Guided Readers were created to address the problem with Magenta-level guided reading books– they don’t hook children in and are not structured enough for beginning readers. So Yolanda teamed up with a talented illustrator, Louise Spraggon, to create a series of Magenta/Red guided readers.

Early Words Guided Readers are stories that revolve around the everyday lives of four multicultural key characters – Pippa, Sefa, Ashok and Kiri – their friends, families, neighbourhood and school.  The series is made up of five sets with ten books per set that:
  • have interesting humorous stories with the same characters again and again that highly appeal to and motivate young readers
  • follow a sequence of high-frequency words
  • have decodable words but are not decodable readers
  • build book by book on what has gone before
  • are multi-cultural and inclusive and reflect real Kiwi kids
  • after Set 1, they have more words in them than the usual early readers, thus increasing reading mileage
BUY A FULL SET (10 books)
$70  Now $49  SAVE $21 per set
$7.50 Now $5.25  SAVE $2.25 each
Watch Yolanda introduce the Early Words Readers.


Beautiful dhal

You can’t beat a bowl of dhal, rice and poppadom’s after a busy day teaching for a quick, filling and very nutritious dinner. It is also ideal reheated for lunch the next day. There are heaps of dhal recipes, but this is my ‘go to’ dhal.

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan then fry the onion, garlic and ginger on a low heat for 5 minutes until cooked but not browned. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.

2) Add the spices, salt and pepper. Fry, stirring to avoid burning the spices, for at least 2 minutes or until fragrant.

3) Add the stock, water, lentils and the tomatoes. Stir, cover the pan then simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes.

4) Add the nut butter, coconut cream and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened and creamy.

5) Stir in the lemon juice and coriander and serve.
This will feed 4 people. This recipe is fine to freeze.
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, grated
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt/pepper to taste
2 heaped tsp veggie stock*
1 C split red lentils, washed and drained
2 C water
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 heaped tbsp cashew (or almond/peanut) nut butter
½ can (200ml) coconut cream
juice of ½ lemon
fresh coriander leaves

• I use Massells Chicken Stock powder – it is the best stock, available at all supermarkets and yes, it is vegan and also gluten free
Copyright © 2023 Yolanda Soryl Literacy, All rights reserved.
Yolanda Soryl Literacy
16 Sheppard Place
Christchurch, 8014
New Zealand

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