Words, Images, Contexts: Making Inferences Explicit

A lot seems to happen when we make inferences. Often so much, that it can be hard to articulate. We read a word, a phrase, a whole sentence, and this collides with our knowledge. Not just our knowledge of words, but our knowledge of the world, our history as readers, as well as any contextual knowledge…

The Problem with Plenaries

If group work was the holy grail of my teacher training, effective plenaries were definitely the pedagogical white rabbit – the element of the lesson you always felt was achievable, but nevertheless remained elusive. Running out of time for a plenary during an official observation was almost to be expected, but cramming it in for two minutes was…

Blogworms

earworm ˈɪəwəːm/ noun  a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the sensation of the ‘earworm’. It’s that one song, or usually fragment of a song that replays through your mind over the course of a day, or perhaps even longer. And, no matter where you…

The Majesty of the Markbook

‘Ergonomic Classroom Advisers’. If such a thing doesn’t already exist, I’d be surprised. An advisory group must be out there somewhere; checking teachers are looking at their PCs from the correct angle; that their chairs provide the maximal support for their aching backs; that their coffee cups contain precisely the right amount to last the…

My day at PedagooSW

I was delighted when Pedagoo SW was announced to be coming to Bristol. Aside from a 3 year interlude at University, which is all a little bit of a blur, I’ve lived in and around Bristol my whole life and love the idea that we can welcome a group of people from around the UK…

Risking it with Rhetoric Part Two: Designed to be Spoken

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my experimentation with teaching rhetoric. The process marked a departure from what I had taught in previous years. My main justification for this was that if my students were going to analyse non-fiction, then certain speeches, packed full of fascinating language and steeped in our cultural history, would…

Risking it with Rhetoric: Part One

This in the first in a series of three posts on a teaching experiment this year. The lessons described and the examples used all come from my mixed ability year 8 class. Risking it with Rhetoric The last time I taught a year 8 class was in my NQT year, two years ago. The particular topic…