Creating a Teaching Wisdom Culture: Signposts and Destinations #rEdScot

Whilst leaders don’t create a school’s culture all on their own they must play the major role in determining the destination, the type of school culture they believe is right, and keep moving colleagues in that direction.  ResearchEd Scotland was a great opportunity to reflect on the schools’ journeys so far, on how much further we […]

The 5 Minute Staff Briefing Plan by @LeadingLearner and @TeacherToolkit

Staff Briefing is now an everyday ritual in schools up and down the country.  These 5-10 minutes, in a morning, are a great way to share key messages with staff, give reminders, say hello & goodbye, celebrate and say thank you and build the school’s ethos.  A little treat at briefing, even if it’s every […]

10 things you might not have realised about the new Primary Maths curriculum

Ramblings of a Teacher

Having produced a list of key changes for Primary English aimed at secondary English teachers, I thought it was worthwhile creating a similar list for Maths. It strikes me that the maths changes have been more widely publicised (perhaps because they’re easier for the press to understand), but there may be one or two things here that have slipped people’s attention.

1. Mental Arithmetic has lost its hallowed place.

From 2016 there will no longer be a mental arithmetic test in Key Stage 2. Instead, a written arithmetic test has been added both for 7- and 11-year-olds. It’s not really clear yet what difference this might make to outcomes, as the increased focus on knowledge of number facts may make up for it, but it will certainly lead to a change in the tests that are practised throughout Year 6.

2. Written methods are set in stone.

Many secondary colleagues…

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Super improvers

Having looked for a rewards system that isn’t too inflexible in what it rewards, I came across the idea of the ‘super improvers wall’ which is part of whole brain teaching. The system reminds me of earning belts in karate. Everyone starts on white and works their way up through the colours. The idea is that each child’s name is displayed on the wall starting on white card. The children earn stamp/stickers on their cards for showing improvement in any area you choose- this can differ according to each child so each child has an equal chance of making progress at their own level and rate. When they have earned 10 stamps/stickers on their card, they move up to the next level and their name card is changed to the next colour. I am going to try it with my new year two class. There is lots of information online- Pinterest has lots of examples of how this has been used in America. I will be interested to see how it works! 

Example of super improvers – Miss Nelson’s blogspot

Guided Reading Tools (for the organized teacher)!

I Love Labels (Don't You?)

guided reading tools

Now that I do 99% of my teaching in small groups AND now that I got rid of my teacher desk, I found it even more crucial that I had an organized way to keep my guided reading tools within reach at all times.

guided reading tools

It took some trial and error, but I have found that these tools in my Teacher Time/Guided Reading crate help me meet the needs of all my learners during their time with me. So what’s inside? Take a peak!

guided reading tools

The best thing I did this summer was create the skills and strategies flip cards, as seen in my TPT store here. For real. Our learning goal this week and last has been to “Ask and answer questions about sequencing.” Our strategy has been to use our ability to sequence, to summarize the text. We referred to these flip cards as we read our weekly selection, as…

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I’m going on a…text feature hunt! Freebie ahead!

I Love Labels (Don't You?)

It’s been a while, so I figured I would start this off with a freebie. Head over to my TPT store to grab the Text Feature Hunt Freebie, which I’m going to explain right about….now.

Ok, so this past month, it was time to really get my kids understanding and using text features as they read. I’ve talked about text features nonstop since the beginning of the year, but we finally came across a text in Reading Street that heavily focused on text features. It was the perfect opportunity to get my kids on a hunt for text features. It was too much fun to see the lightbulbs go off as they realized “So, I HAVE looked at graphs before!” or “So that’s called a subheading, huh? Never knew!”

After introducing the topic, going through some examples together, and finishing up whole group instruction for the day, it was…

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