Two useful vocabulary websites

In the next few weeks we’ll be running workshops on the best strategies for teaching Units 1&3 English and Literature. In both workshops, we’ll be stressing the importance of vocabulary instruction and sharing a whole range of strategies to improve students’ lexicon. One of the resources we’ll be discussing in this context is web based…

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Notice, name, describe and analyse

Earlier this week we ran the first in our series on The Best Strategies and Resources For Teaching 7-10 English. This workshop focused on strategies for teaching novels and films (buy a recording and the PPT of the workshop here). One of the simple but highly effective teaching strategies we discussed was using pictures or…

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Using comic strips to teach inference

Teaching students to read between the lines can seem quite daunting, but one of the more accessible ways of doing this is by giving students comic strips and asking them to explain the joke in the strip. Mostly, students will be engaged and interested in reading comic strips and each of these inference activities is…

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Virtual Communication with Students

It’s hard enough communicating with students under “normal” conditions, but with remote learning in progress, internet outages and distractions in the home environment have made communication between teacher and student even more difficult. The reality is that students find it very difficult to articulate what they need help with (“Everything” is not an easy difficulty…

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Simple online lesson plan example

In our last blog, we emphasised keeping the technology of remote learning simple and using this as an opportunity to engage in micro units where students practise skills. Here’s an example of a simple lesson about a short film which does these things: *Can be placed online as a PDF *Students can complete in 20-30mins…

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Remote Learning Tips For The English Classroom

So – remote learning has been thrust on you – and, since you’ve spent your career teaching actual students in actual classrooms, you’re feeling a little bit out of your comfort zone. Here are a few tips about what to do over the next term to help you out: Keep the technology simple Yep, we’ve…

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Word sort procedures to teach spelling rules

In a few weeks we’ll be running our Best Strategies For Teaching Vocabulary and Spelling Workshop (see details here). Here are two things we’ll emphasise: *A little bit of spelling instruction goes a long way *Word study is a highly effective procedure to improve spelling So what’s word study? Word study is any procedure you…

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Effective Rubrics For Quick Feedback

The better our rubrics, the faster we can provide constructive feedback. Whether you’ve got senior students knocking down your door with practice essays, or junior students knocking out drafts, a quick turnaround in the feedback process makes all the difference. The more effort we put into making the statements on our rubrics concrete, the less burden…

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