background preloader


Facebook Twitter

10 prevalent myths about English teaching – part 1. Images: @jasonramasami I have recently been putting the finishing touches to the first draft of my forthcoming book, Making Every English Lesson Count.

10 prevalent myths about English teaching – part 1

The book will look at how the six principles that Shaun Allison and I explored in Making Every Lesson Count – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – can improve the teaching of English. 3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly. Editor's Note: A version of this post first appeared on Techie Teacher and Character Coach.

3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

"But Miss Parrish, I can't think of anything to write! " Haven't we all heard similar lines in our classrooms? We see hesitant writers sit with a pencil in their hands and a paper on their desks, almost as if they have been handicapped by the task we asked them to do. How is it that some students have so much to say when talking out loud, but when a pencil is put into their hand they suddenly hesitate, struggle and have nothing to say? How can you help those hesitant writers eliminate the "handicap" or barrier that suddenly appears when asked to write? The answer is to simply have them produce "writing" without technically "writing" at all. GCSE English Revision Postcard 25: Information Retrieval Revision – Foundation Paper. Once upon a time, or, as they say in Korea, “When tigers used to smoke,” in the days of Key Stage 3 and wayyyyyy before that too, students did get taught how “to do” information retrieval.

GCSE English Revision Postcard 25: Information Retrieval Revision – Foundation Paper

What is “information retrieval”? It’s nothing to do with MI5, MI6 or the CIA. As we all know, it’s just plain old reading comprehension, checking to see we’ve understood a text and can summarise, synthesise and soliloquise the information communicated there ourselves. Why do we need to do it now? Well to pick up at least 8 marks from questions 1 and 2 of the GCSE English Language Foundation exam paper for a start. In the past I’ve made the fatal error of using time as I thought most wise, and in the 7 or 8 rush job classes prior to students sitting the exam I’ve focused on language features, presentational features, writing to inform, explain or describe, and writing to argue or persuade.

This site explores solutions in 16-19 Study Programmes for GCSE Maths and English. Back to school Part 3: Literacy. This series of #backtoschool blogs summarises much of my thinking as it’s developed over the past few years and is aimed at new or recently qualified teachers.

Back to school Part 3: Literacy

Unlocking the World of Reading – Just Trying To Be Better Than Yesterday. The library in our school is an amazing place.

Unlocking the World of Reading – Just Trying To Be Better Than Yesterday

It has huge windows from floor to ceiling, welcoming light and space for classes to spread out and read. There is a study corner with computers; another corner with study booths. Our previous librarian had huge bean bags for readers to sit on. Mrs. Bremer's Class: literacy centres. My students are continuing to participate in Work Stations that reinforce alphabet learning.

Mrs. Bremer's Class: literacy centres

Yes, still. :) But these activities are new, so check them out...  Letter Mazes Students begin at the top of the page and follow the upper & lowercase featured letter from beginning to end. Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing. Me and Mr Benn I was born in 1975, and the cult children’s animation Mr Benn was part of my childhood.

Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing

I must have watched re-runs, since the only series made (which consisted of a paltry 13 episodes) was first aired in 1971. For the uninitiated, Mr Benn employed a recurring plot sequence. The bowler-hat-wearing protagonist would leave his home each morning and end up in a strange fancy dress shop, run by an even more mysterious shopkeeper. Your vocabulary aged 40 depends on how much you read as a teenager. Originally posted on The Conversation Alice Sullivan Reading for pleasure as a child has been powerfully linked in research to the development of vocabulary and maths skills up to the age of 16.

Your vocabulary aged 40 depends on how much you read as a teenager

But does reading still have a part to play in the breadth of our adult vocabulary? Does it matter what kind of books you read, or is it just the amount of reading that counts? Our study of a representative sample of more than 9,400 British people born in 1970 looked at how vocabularies developed between the ages of 16 and 42. The Literacy Blog: Teaching literacy skills the write way. Concise and Precise Micro-writing. After over a decade of teaching English I am still finding new approaches and understanding more about how students learn to write.

Concise and Precise Micro-writing

In the last year or so, my thinking has developed to focus upon the primacy of vocabulary knowledge and also the need for a huge amount of varied repetition of writing skill, particularly with grasping syntax and a confident use of punctuation. For example, I reckon after months of crafting and drafting that my year 8 and year 9 group may have cracked using semi-colons and colons!

One important observation I have made about my own teaching is rather obvious, but also essential, is that you need a great deal of time to practise writing. This necessitates having less content to ensure there is ample time for such work. One method I have employed is micro-writing: that is to say, writing that is concise and wholly precise.

Six word film plots. Related reading: I think ‘Shared writing‘ may just be the king of writing teaching strategies: take a look here. Taking writing beyond the classroom – from graveyards to the Red Planet. Entrenched dislike of school can set in early and for a variety of reasons.

Taking writing beyond the classroom – from graveyards to the Red Planet

One of the most common issues children have, though, is feeling restricted by the classroom environment. A pilot project from the Booktrust is attempting to combat this particular problem. Running in four English schools until 2015, the reading scheme takes learning beyond classroom confines – both physically and imaginatively. Called The Write Book, the project essentially involves using popular or classic children's literature to inspire whole year groups to engage in creative writing.

The teacher chooses the book that they think will best suit the class, then runs a series of tasks based on it. 10 Tools for Essay Writing to Share With Your Students. By Robert Morris Among the responsibilities that today’s educators have, teaching essay writing is the most challenging one. Some teachers leave essay writing to natural talent; explain the process in simple steps, assign the topics, and give a deadline. Other teachers aim to inspire students to write their best.

Grammar for Schools. Backwell School English department's revision website. Visual Dictionary, Visual Thesaurus. Vocabulary - The Fabulous Five. Last year, we introduced a Word of the Week programme during tutor time. As you'd expect, systematically introducing only one word a week across the whole academy during tutor time had a very limited impact on the quality of students' writing and reading.