13 Oct 2013

Writing for a real audience!

Edssential article from @ICT_MrP :

This half term I have been working with a year 5 class on a Thursday afternoon. We have been basing our work around the theme from the Film Blackfish about Whales in captivity. In the first week back in September, after discussing the film with the class, the class created an awareness video, which supported the fight to free Orca whales in captivity. Here is the video:

The reaction to video was inspiring, to see some of the feedback CLICK HERE.
From this reaction, it has provided the class with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. I had to use this opportunity and the platform of the blog to share children’s writing about this topic.

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06 Oct 2013

Getting on top of homework

Edssential article from @GoldfishBowlMM:

Teaching is really hard. One of the problems is that there are so many things to do and not really enough time to do everything in the way that we want. I have struggled to keep on top of all of my work and still retain anything like a fair work-life balance. From my experience, there are certain things which we may let slide – not because we are bad teachers but because we are human beings who can’t spend every waking hour on the job.

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19 Aug 2013

Childness; Or why I read children’s books

Edssential article from @chrishildrew :

I was fascinated to read the report in the Guardian on the research project conducted by Jo Bowers and Dr Susan Davis into the benefits of children’s literature. Focused on their primary PGCE cohort at Cardiff Metropolitan University, they found that reading children’s books helped their trainees in and out of the classroom. There is some great supplementary research cited in the article, including the NUT’s excellent Reading for Pleasure and the National Literacy Trust’s Reading for Pleasure research overview. They also cite the UKLA’s Teachers as Readers article which begins: “For primary teachers, knowledge of children’s literature…is essential in order to support the development of younger readers”.

The UKLA research emphasises the importance of reading children’s literature as professional development; the National Literacy Trust and the NUT the importance for well-being. Bowers and Davis found both benefits in their PGCE study. I found myself

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10 Jul 2013

Literacy in PE (and every other subject!)

Edssential article from @davidfawcett27 :

Literacy is a key theme this year and one which is being raised and commented a lot in various forums.  Ideas and discussion have flowed on Twitter.  Numerous blog ideas have looked at how to develop better reading or writing techniques with students.  I have had books recommended to me and courses have passed through my inbox.  Now I am no expert at all.  Not in the slightest.  In fact, at our last INSET day I had the pleasure to finally be a member of the audience and not actually be delivering any sessions.  This was a brilliant experience as I actually got a chance to learn new things of some amazing colleagues.  Now in terms of my own

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11 Jun 2013

“Choice of three” – Simple notes from a video

Edssential article from @DKMead :

This strategy is best used with a focused video clip, although I’m sure a “tight” teacher  input will work too. Obviously, it takes place at the start of a lesson and should only take around 10 minutes to complete.

The purpose of the strategy is two fold:
1.to make students aware of key terms at the start of a lesson.
2. to allow students to make detailed notes quickly, collaboratively.

Here is an example taken from Year 7 Science.

The procedure runs along these lines.

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06 Jun 2013

Deep reading: Literacy across the curriculum

Edssential article from @Xris32:

My journey to work takes about twenty five minutes. It should be shorter, but that is down to several things on the way. First, I leave my street and wait at the junction and wait for gap to get through the traffic. Then, I carry on a road for a few miles and then I have to stop for pedestrians crossing. After a few more miles, I come to some traffic lights – one of three I have to sit through.  I wait for them to turn green and then I have to take my time as I join a road that cyclists love. At this point, I have to slow down (not that I am speeding) and be cautious for the lycra clad muscle machines as they swerve all over the place. Now, I travel through some country lanes and either I get stuck behind a tractor or I have to stop to allow a person to get through, as the 

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04 Jun 2013

Improving extended writing: The TOWER model

Edssential article from @nwatkin:

Since September I have been looking at effective student behaviours with fresh eyes. This was triggered largely by my rereading of ‘Teaching for Effective Learning‘ – a collection of ideas from the Project for Enchancing Effective Learning (PEEL).

One behaviour that I was particularly interested in was getting students to reflect on the quality of their written responses and improve them so that they created pieces of work that reflected their true ability. Part of the problem was that students were seeing written work as an end product, rather than part of a wider process that is designed to

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03 Jun 2013

Engaging students with texts

Edssential article from @davidfawcett27:

During my recent Cycling project (my first attempt at PBL), I really tried to consciously drive literacy through everything I did.  I’ve recently seen the benefit of stepping away from my reliance of text books and using alternative resources instead.  I’ve also tried to include extended writing tasks wherever I can and make the move away from short ended and sometimes meaningless ‘activities’.  I have to be honest and say that using a wider range of sources and getting my students to challenge themselves with a piece of writing has truly seen the benefits.  Examples and answers in lessons have become contextualised and more authentic, and the level of their answers for long answer exam questions (essay style) has come on leaps and bounds.

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01 Jun 2013

Slow writing: How slowing down can improve your writing

Edssential article from @learningspy :

Exam season is nearly upon us and English departments across the land will be gearing up to the Herculean labour of training students to churn out essays which, they hope, will earn them the much coveted A*-C grade in English Language.

The AQA paper gives candidates just a meagre hour to write a short descriptive, explanatory piece and then a longer piece which asks them to persuade and argue.

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