Teaching “Literacy” in subjects other than English by @davowillz

Name: David Williams
Twitter name: @davowillz
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: KS4 English Coordinator
What is your advice about? Teaching “Literacy” in subjects other than English.

  1. Teach your subject well. Really – it’s what you’re good at.
  2. Identify what pupils need to be better at in your subject in terms of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Seek advice if unsure, but one thing to improve is ideal.
  3. Teach pupils what they need to know to improve and find lots of opportunities for practice.
  4. DO NOT shoe horn in anything that is unnatural to your subject as that sort of thing will soon be abandoned.
  5. Test your teaching has been effective and tweak your approach if necessary.

Formative Assessment by @mrgraymath

Name: Lee
Twitter name: @mrgraymath
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Mathematics
Position: Principal Teacher
What is your advice about? Formative Assessment

  1. Assess the essential prerequisite skills for your lesson (starter, multi-choice quiz, class discussion, etc.) Address any issues uncovered first rather than building on foundations of sand.
  2. Don’t just plan the questions you’ll use to assess learning, plan for the likely misconceptions and how you’ll address them.
  3. Get in amongst them as they work; mark jotters, probe understanding, give feedback.
  4. If an assessment is simply to confirm that which you already know, it’s probably not worthwhile.
  5. Beware confusing short-term performance with long-term learning.

Teaching coursework by @CorbittKirsty

Name: Kirsty Corbitt
Twitter name: CorbittKirsty
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Health and Social Care
Position: Head of Dept and Head of House
What is your advice about? Teaching coursework

  1. Model exactly what good looks like.
  2. Teach content in small sections and then allow practice time to embed
  3. Scaffold from basics to complex
  4. Don’t make all students work at the same speed, hard to do but very effective.
  5. Allow independence once the basic content and model is in place to produce work unique to the student.

The benefits of using blank slides by @rufuswilliam

Name: Rufus
Twitter name: @rufuswilliam
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Lead Coach
What is your advice about? The benefits of using blank slides

  1. A key question to ask oneself as a teacher is ‘where should the attention of my students be now?’
  2. Whatever presentation tool you use, there are benefits to having things written on it during the lesson. For example, I start my lessons with a ‘Do Now’ on the board for students to do immediately as they come into the room.
  3. There are many parts of the lesson where what is written on the board is not useful and can become a hindrance to learning. For example, when I want the students to be concentrating on what I’m saying, I don’t want them to be distracted by what is still on the board.
  4. Turning the interactive whiteboard off and rubbing off what’s written on the whiteboard are good strategies to focus the attention of students on one’s explanations. When using presentation tools, I’ve found the best strategy is to use a blank slide when I want the attention on me.
  5. This should not be confused with dual coding. Dual coding is when you use a pictorial representation to augment an explanation. If this is done well then a slide with this picture can be good during an explanation.

Using mini white boards by @cjshore

Name: Chris Shore
Twitter name: @cjshore
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Director of Maths
What is your advice about? Using mini white boards

  1. Check you have enough boards, working pens and erasers before the lesson. Note: tissues make fine erasers if you are short.
  2. Check the boards are clean and free from swear words etc. This can be done as you give them out.
  3. Establish routines and stick to them. Decide before hand who will give the equipment out, what doodling you will tolerate etc.
  4. Tell students beforehand of your expectations for no penis drawings and no swear words written on the back of the board. Saying at the start minimises the chance they will appear later on.
  5. When the boards are packed away, make sure it is you who collects them in so that you can check they are all clean in readiness for the next teacher.

Differentiation by @chrismwparsons

Name: Chris Parsons
Twitter name: @chrismwparsons
Sector: Primary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Deputy Head (Academic)
What is your advice about? Differentiation

  1. Don’t start by assuming that individual uniqueness means that a difference should always MAKE a difference.
  2. Except for obvious outliers, don’t predestine children by separating and pigeon-holing them before each lesson begins.
  3. “Keep the pack together” where possible with the best teaching approach you can imagine using to teach a concept. Children like togetherness & it helps you focus your quality.
  4. Think ‘adaptation’ to differences which arise, rather than discriminating difference for the sake of it. Going through the motions of personalisation is a naïve delusion of our omniscience.
  5. Have open-access mechanisms for challenge/support, which can be applied to anyone as the need arises so as to ensure that all students are able to access & engage in appropriately challenging work.

Teaching A Level Literature by @JoBullen1

Name: Jo
Twitter name: @JoBullen1
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Subject Leader
What is your advice about? Teaching A Level Literature

  1. Know your stuff. Annotate the text thoroughly, read study guides, follow links online – whatever it takes to make you an expert.
  2. Don’t neglect writing skills at the expense of content. Build in short writing tasks, perhaps only focusing on one or two assessment objectives.
  3. Encourage academic reading around the topic. Physically put it in front of them if necessary, and direct them to take notes.
  4. Insist upon discussion. Let the silence sit if necessary, and use different strategies to force students to contribute.
  5. Treat them like your other classes. Six short weeks ago they were Year 11s – the same rules apply.

The getting-to-know-you first lesson by @JamesTheo

Name: James Theobald
Twitter name: @JamesTheo
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? The getting-to-know-you first lesson

  1. The purpose of this lesson is purported to be an opportunity for you to get to know your class.
  2. This isn’t necessary. You won’t really get to know them in one lesson. You’ll get to know them well enough over time.
  3. Actually, you should use this lesson for them to get to know YOU: what to expect in your lessons; what to expect from you.
  4. The way to do this is easy: tell them, very simply, your expectations, your rules. Do any book admin you need to do. Then…
  5. …get them stuck into the work. This tells them what to expect of you.

5 easy ways to differentiate

Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Literacy and Language Co-ordinator
What is your advice about? 5 easy ways to differentiate

  1. Active listening – give student question before you read passage. I guarantee they will listen more effectively to whole passage/poem.
  2. Active reading – tell the student what she is reading to answer but don’t overload – one thing (similar affect to 1).
  3. Active error spotting – put up a factual piece of information on the board and get them to find three errors. If time give them paper copy too.
  4. Images for sequencing – for a science experiment or drama piece – let them take photographs – upload into writing frame – student writes about what they’ve done.
  5. Write out a plan for an essay (preferably with student but not necessarily) ask them to write really good quality introduction, conclusion or middle paragraph (only 1 not all)

Teaching ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by @kennypieper

Name: Kenny Pieper
Twitter name: @kennypieper
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher of English
What is your advice about? Teaching ‘The Catcher in the Rye’

  1. Load them up with historical context before you start. Spend time discussing post-war America, the evolution of the teenager, right up to the day John Lennon died.
  2. Read the text with them, but only to the end of Chapter 7. Holden leaves school at that point, so send your class away to read the rest on their own; go through it afterwards.
  3. Make a consistent effort to link your readers to Holden Caulfield. Their empathy with him is what makes the book so effective.
  4. The book is filled with evocative symbolism; frame your study around the Hunting Hat, the Ducks, the Carrousel. When they get that, they get Holden, they get the book.
  5. I know anyone can read this book and all ages can access it. However, when you teach it to 15/16/17 year olds, going through the same changes as Holden, it hits home strongly.