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Are You Nailing Context?

The recent efforts of whole language proponents to undermine the progress we have made in the areas of reading instruction have left me feeling a frustrated.   The strawman argument of “all reading should be meaning centred” was particularly frustrating.  As if meaning isn’t important to those of us who embrace the Science of Reading. I… Continue reading Are You Nailing Context?

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6 Ways Not to be a Slave to Planning

As teachers we often laugh (or scoff) at the suggestion that we only work 8:30am – 3:00pm each day.  We have after school meetings, planning or profession learning sessions (all very relevant) and there is always a couple of hours work to do in our classroom at the end of each and every school day. … Continue reading 6 Ways Not to be a Slave to Planning

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5 Classroom Practices to Boost Language

Oral language is at the heart of all academic learning. After all, If you can’t say it, you can’t read it and you can’t write it.  As teachers, we know this to be true, but often struggle to understand exactly what we are supposed to do to make it happen.  So, here is a handy… Continue reading 5 Classroom Practices to Boost Language

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The Magic of a Simple Planning System

We all know that the curriculum is HUGE and despite current moves to ‘simplify’ the curriculum it is likely to remain so.  There isn’t much in the English Curriculum that doesn’t need to be there! Trying to fit everything in and make sure you are covering all of your bases in English can be quite… Continue reading The Magic of a Simple Planning System

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Explicit Teaching at the Top of the Rope

We may not feel particularly confident in teaching grammar explicitly in context, but with some straightforward, hands on professional learning we can master this tricky area and succeed at bringing the top of the reading rope to life.

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The Habits You Create – Part II

In my last post I wrote about the importance of creating strong habits in your classroom. I talked about the need for strong routines that provide certainty and consistency of approach for both you and your students.  I have also recently published a post about outdated vs evidence informed practices in the classroom. In this… Continue reading The Habits You Create – Part II

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The Habits You Create – Part 1

I am part of an awesome membership that encourages weekly goal setting and personal development to achieve goals and live your best life.  It keeps me grounded and moving towards what is important to me.  One of the things that we are asked to do as part of our weekly goal setting is consider the… Continue reading The Habits You Create – Part 1

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How Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Every teacher I have every met (bar a couple who really needed to work somewhere else) has wanted to do a good job for kids. Usually we enter the profession with the genuine desire to make a difference to children and contribute something positive to society. The caring nature of teaching means that we often… Continue reading How Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

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One Foot in Front of the Other

Dear Teachers A semester, the likes of which we have never seen before, is drawing to a close and you would be forgiven for feeling more than a little tired.  You have been asked to change your entire way of teaching, seemingly overnight and have done so like a champion.  You have then welcomed your… Continue reading One Foot in Front of the Other

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6 Features of Effective PL for the Whole School Community

The benefit of a committee and well-trained classroom assistant cannot be over-stated. When properly trained and supported, these members of our school community contribute enormously to the achievement of students. Last week I wrote about the importance of including classroom assistants, parent helpers and families in professional learning to support your whole school approach.  If… Continue reading 6 Features of Effective PL for the Whole School Community