No-Nonsense Educator Blog

Inspiring Change

Who is Being Served?

I love watching reruns of the old TV show ‘Are You Being Served?’  The characters make me giggle.  “Are you free?” being the catchcry of Captain Peacock as he seeks to find someone to serve the Grace Brothers’ customers.   The concept of service is very close to my heart as a teacher.  I became a… Continue reading Who is Being Served?

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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?

Inspiring Change

You Don’t Have to Eat the Whole Elephant Today

Remember the old joke. “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time”. The same goes for navigating change. You will usually be constrained in your efforts by your school’s policy or approach. Even if you can’t make the changes you want all at once, you will be able to take small steps in positive action that get you closer to your goals.

No Nonsense Educator

How Do I know if I’m Teaching the Right Things?

A few weeks I ago I published a post about the importance of explicit teaching at the top of the rope. You can read this post here, but basically I talked about the need to teach all of the top parts of Scarborough’s Reading rope in a systematic and explicit way.  Grammar, text composition, use… Continue reading How Do I know if I’m Teaching the Right Things?

No Nonsense Educator

Picture Books for All Ages

It is usual for teachers to read to children in classrooms. Ideally, our classrooms are full of books that we read to students and they spend time with daily.  We may even have a book that we read for its link to another curriculum area.  But have you considered using a picture book as the… Continue reading Picture Books for All Ages

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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