Recently, prior to an inspection, a colleague of mine approached me with a dilemma. They wanted to introduce a new short text to their children but was concerned that if that lesson was observed, they may not show 'Ofsted Outstanding Progress'. Many schools around the UK and world promote 'library time' or 'free reading time' which give children chances to read books for pleasure in order promote a love for reading. The theory behind this is that if children develop this passion for reading, they will be more willing to read and in turn develop their skills at a much faster rate - leading to progress. However, was my colleague right to be concerned about Ofsted seeing these 'free reading times'? Did she have a point? Can promoting a love for reading really be integrated with producing an 'Ofsted outstanding lesson'? After all, where is the accelerated progress in 15 minutes of free reading?
In terms of progress, each school has their own stance on what that means and how it looks in their classrooms, however there is no doubt that promoting a love of reading can lead to future outstanding progress. Promoting a love for all subjects leads to a greater focus and determination to achieve. After all, isn't that why we are teachers - because we have a passion for education and helping people learn?
Below are a few ideas of how to promote a love for reading in your lessons whilst having a clear direction towards fantastic progress!
Learning to think critically and reason may be one of the most important skills that today's children will need for the future. Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making, includes critical thinking on her list of the seven essential life skills needed by every child. In today’s global and rapidly changing world, children need to be able to do much more than repeat a list of facts; they need to be critical thinkers who can make sense of information, analyse, compare, contrast, make inferences, and generate higher order thinking skills. To get you started, here are six simple ways to get your children reasoning!
Struggling for ideas for World Book Day?
Take a look at some of ours below, they might spark your imagination.
World Book Day?!? Why not make it a week?
Here at literacy W.A.G.O.L.L we love all things literacy and the thought of just a day to celebrate makes us a little sad so in our schools we take a full week off timetable and plan everything around our book. (Don’t worry, you can still get all areas of the curriculum covered just takes a little creativity) You can find examples at the end of this article.
Questioning is one of the foundations of learning. a good question can be the most powerful tool for learning a teacher has. If a child is asked a great question, new viewpoints, ideas and understanding can be developed. A good question can enthuse, stir, and provoke children which can eventually lead to a newly gained skill, deeper understanding or a new viewpoint.
Good questions can:
Having good questioning skills doesn't happen over night; below are some ways in which you can develop your questioning skills in your day to day practice. Additionally, if you want to develop your skills more please take part in our online PD class!
New year, new start! As we enter 2018, people across the world, give up chocolate, take up exercise and make new resolutions. But, what will you change in the classroom? Here are 10 easy tweaks you can make to your professional practice that can make a huge difference to you and your children!
Over the decades, teaching strategies have evolved and progressed to support and enhance the quality of learning taking place in classrooms. This is usually due to research or professionals innovating their approaches and seeing the gained impact on the children. This results in the new idea being shared with other professionals. However, some small strategies are still used in classrooms today, even though they don’t always support student development. This is usually because teachers don’t even notice they are using them. They become ingrained by accident. Dave Brailsford, as the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky, stated that if you change 100 things by 1%, you improve yourself by 100%. To get you started, here are 5 small changes every teacher should make to have a positive impact on the children.
Just like children, we learn from others. Therefore, it is very important that time is given for teachers to share what they do best with others. Not only does it boost confidence, but it raises standards and develops consistent high levels of teaching which supports pupil development and progress. Although getting into classrooms is the best way to view and share ideas, it is not always easy to find time during the already busy teaching week. Below are 5 alternative ways that teachers and professionals can share what they do well with others.
Diverse Learning is a step on from differentiation. Differentiation suggests changing the learning and boxing it up for each group of children which limits children's progress. Diverse learning looks at the idea of allowing children to access the same learning but in different ways. tHERE ARE TWO ELEMENTS TO THIS:
Differentiation has been an element of teaching for decades but it is not always conducted and approached in the right way. The process of targeting every learner's needs in your classroom can lead to some teachers boxing children into ability groups. This usually assists high ability learners but hinders the lower children.
As professionals, we do not place 'satisfactory' teachers with other 'satisfactory' teachers, we send them to observe and learn from the 'outstanding' practitioners. A flea can jump 100 times it's body height, but if left in a jar with the lid on a for a small period of time, that flea will never jump higher than the jar height ever again!
This is the same with children, box them into a group and they may never strive to achieve more than what they are presented with in that group. by opening up the classroom and creating a diverse learning environment, you are giving each child the chance to strive and achieve anything! You open that jar lid! Below are some practical ideas of how you can create a diverse learning environment. reMEMBER, CHOICE IS THE KEY!
Ben Parr has released this short video via Big Think with a focus on the psychology of attention. He identifies three types of attention: immediate, short, and long. To capture someone's attention you have to see these three as stages into a person's subconscious. But how does this translate into the classroom?