Teaching Students To Annotate Text

Coming up over the next few months we have a number of workshops where we’ll be looking at reading strategies: How to teach students to do truly amazing writing in response to Romeo and Juliet VCE English text planning for 2018: An introduction to the Year 12 text list and a guide to choosing Year…

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A Fresh Approach To Romeo and Juliet

At the moment at Ticking Mind we’re working on a student edition of Romeo and Juliet called: Shakespeare’s Tragedy Romeo and Juliet and How To Write A Truly Impressive Essay On It. You can see the cover here: Like our other student textbooks, this one seeks to explicitly break down skills for students and scaffold…

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Obvious and Deeper Comparisons

In the lead up to our workshop on compare and contrast essay writing (see the details here: https://www.tickingmind.com.au/event/teach-compare-contrast-essay-writing-years-10-11-northcote/) we’ve got some more ideas to share about practising complex comparative writing. In our last blog, we spoke about the need for students to make frequent connections between texts. In this post, we want to extend that…

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Link and Link Again

Here in Victoria we’re in the early stages of teaching comparative text response writing at a senior level. What was clear from last year’s exam, is that we still have a long way to travel in our journey to teach students to write with sophistication in this text type. Perhaps the biggest defect in student…

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Using ‘Word of The Day’

Coming up on Thursday is our annual grammar instruction workshop. We’re passionate grammar advocates at Ticking Mind because we believe it’s the backbone of explicit writing instruction which in turn makes all the difference to student achievement in writing. Of course, one of the things we’ll be talking a lot about on Thursday is teaching…

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Sounding Out Words

Later this week we’re running our annual spelling workshop. One of the strategies we’ll be looking at is the age old advice of ‘sounding out’ a word to help spell it. While this is solid advice, the helpfulness of it goes a lot further if we provide and model for students some more explicit steps…

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Persuasive paragraph structure

One of the things we spend a lot of time doing at Ticking Mind is educating teachers on how they can move past TEEL (topic sentence, evidence, example and link) or any other simile paragraph-acronym-recipes (such as PEE, PEEL, TREE, etc…). TEEL and all of its like-minded acronym friends are a handy tool for initially…

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Describing sensory details

Advising students to use the five senses to improve creative writing is an old strategy. But how can we more explicitly teach students to produce something like this: From a distance the tree appeared like an old, stooped man, stumbling through the woods to scare the children. Up closer, it was something much different and…

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