No-Nonsense Educator Blog

Teaching Grammar in Context

When we think of grammar teaching we often think of textbooks, activities where we circle the noun in the sentence and learn to say that "verbs are doing words". Children do need to know that verbs are doing words but there is so much more to teaching grammar than this. Children need language modelled for… Continue reading Teaching Grammar in Context

Video Blog – Building the Field for Writing

I am presenting something a bit different today. After all, at this time of frantic report writing, who has time or head space to read, right? So, today's post is video. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/PuJHJ5s9pYo Too busy to sit and watch video just now? Download the audio using the link below. Building the Field for WritingDownload

Harness the Hidden Power of Reporting

At two points each year Australian teachers’ lives are thrown into overdrive and disarray. This time is ‘Report Time’.   We cope by using all sorts of mechanisms.  Chocolate, coffee, online shopping and sometimes wine.  It’s the time that we reflect on the work of the past semester and make decisions about student grades and report… Continue reading Harness the Hidden Power of Reporting

6 Steps to Selecting the Right Text

Text selection can make or break your English unit. Given its importance it is surprising that so few of us are adequately equipped to understand how to choose texts based on the language needs of our students rather than on the fact that our students like dinosaurs or astronauts or puppies.

Rethinking Letter Names

Holding off on teaching letter names will disadvantage nobody. Teaching them early will certainly disadvantage some. Equitable teaching means that we teach in a way that reaches all children and sets each of them up for success. Teaching 'sounds' before letter names is one small thing we can do to contribute to a child's future reading success.

Words, Words Everywhere!

While the act of putting things up on the walls is unlikely to cause children any damage, it’s the way that these displays are used that makes all the difference. We all want our classrooms to look nice, but this drive for Pinterest Perfect classrooms can lead to us leaving the most important part of the picture out – the kids!

Unsightly Sight Words

There is much commentary about teaching sight words, with good reason.  This ineffective practice still runs rampant in most Australian Primary Schools.  Just for fun, I bought myself a copy of a book called “Literacy through Literature” fully expecting to be confronted by a book FULL of whole language practice.  It was a bit like… Continue reading Unsightly Sight Words