How do I get students to do their homework?

Three years ago, I was terrible at setting homework. I didn't think that at the time, of course. Some weeks I would set a LOT of homework and others, none at all. When I did set something, the homework was a worksheet I'd find in our shared resources folder, with a quick glance to check... Continue Reading →

How do the parts fit the whole?- the role of seemingly vague facts

Previously, I wrote about a strategy to check for understanding when there are many parts to a topic that can be brought together to make a coherent sequence. In this post, I want to explore what we can do when the parts are made up of facts that we relay a couple of times but... Continue Reading →

Praise: the good and the bad

My 3.5 year old daughter is learning how to pedal on a bike. She is finding it really hard transitioning from a balance bike, where she could zoom down a lane, to trying to understand how to use pedals. Even though she was excellent at steering with her balance bike, she has been finding this... Continue Reading →

Dissecting an instruction

When I was an NQT, my mentor oberved a Maths NQT and praised the fact that her instructions were crystal clear. So, obviously after that, I focused on how I gave instructions in my own lessons, trying very hard to make them as clear as possible. But I noticed a few issues. Here is an... Continue Reading →

Shifting the focus

I want to talk about Helen. Helen is in set 6 (of 7 sets) in Science. She is very quiet but always follows instructions. If you tell the class to answer questions from memory, Helen will really, really try to do this but most of her answers are blank. The trouble is Helen is not... Continue Reading →

Improvement ain’t a bad word

Mr T has been teaching Science for over 20 years. He knows how to pre-empt poor behaviour and he is known for his great explanations. Teachers and students at his school respect him. Another teacher, Ms F, is in charge of a school-wide focus on retrieval. Ms F cites research into how including retrieval in... Continue Reading →

Have you forgetten?

Have you forgotten everything that I wantedDo you forget it now you never got itDo you get it nowSongwriters: Avril Lavigne, Chantal Kreviazuk Obviously the meaning behind this song by Avril Lavigne is not the subject of this blog but I think there is something very important that some of us have forgotten. I think... Continue Reading →

Routines: in the beginning and beyond

Routines are key to a classroom conducive to learning. Peps Mccrea perfectly explains the power of a good routine in his book, Motivated Teaching, and summarises it in this tweet: These are significant gains. It takes time and commitment from both teachers and students to successfully embed good routines. A lot of teachers think about... Continue Reading →

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