Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

The words ‘assess’, ‘test’, ‘exam’ and ‘quiz’ often have negative connotations to us as teachers and most certainly for our pupils. They can be stressful, anxiety provoking and feeljudgmental. However, in my last post, I ended with this: …Ebbinghaus (1885/1964) claimed that we can ‘interrupt’ forgetting by recalling information over time, spacing our retrieval out… Continue reading Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

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Book Review: Responsive Teaching by Harry Fletcher – Wood

This review forms part of my Reading Challenge 2018. For more reviews of books, see here. This book begins with confusions and problems with AfL that have bothered teachers for a very long time. At only 160 or so pages long, it is deceivingly weighty in its claims about how these issues could be solved.… Continue reading Book Review: Responsive Teaching by Harry Fletcher – Wood

Why do our pupils forget what we teach them?

In the classroom, as a teacher, forgetting can be particularly confusing. It’s a conundrum when pupils can vividly remember the visitor who came in Year 3 with weird Viking swords, yet three years on, they can’t remember the answer to 7 x 8 to complete a column multiplication calculation.

Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

In this post, I suggest one strategy for dealing with defiant behaviour effectively. To explain and illustrate this, I want to go back to Mr Blake’s classroom, the first time we visited is here. This time we’re going to meet someone new from his class*. Roxy Mr Blake had just started his Year 4 Maths… Continue reading Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

One year of blogging…

I actually didn’t want anyone to find this blog when I first started writing it. To be honest, I just wanted a place to organise my thoughts about being a young teacher in England who was attempting to make sense of the complexity of the classroom.  It’s now humbling to see that my blog is… Continue reading One year of blogging…

Before the first day of school: bad dreams and butterflies

On Sunday night I had a nightmare. I was walking to the front of my classroom after bringing the children in from the yard after break. I asked them all to sit down as they came in. I turned my back to them walking to the front of the room, expecting them to do this… Continue reading Before the first day of school: bad dreams and butterflies

Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

I was on duty at break time. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a little boy hobbling across the playground. It was Leo in Year 2. He reminded me of a footballer hobbling off the pitch to see the physio (me) for treatment. I turned to look at him. “Sir, I’ve… Continue reading Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

Book Review: Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Bombèr

This is Book Review 19 of my Reading Challenge 2018. For a bit about my reading journey see here. For more book reviews, see here. Children are supposed to develop in a reasonably formulaic pattern in all aspects of their lives. Sometimes they’ll make giant leaps forward in some areas, while being quite slow in others.… Continue reading Book Review: Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Bombèr

Book Review: What if everything you knew about education was wrong? by David Didau

This is a review of Book 18 of my Reading Challenge; for more details and links to pretty much all the books i've read this year, see here. David Didau casts his critical eye over every nook and cranny of education in this work published in 2015. He blends research, current political opinion and his… Continue reading Book Review: What if everything you knew about education was wrong? by David Didau

Book Review: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

This is my review of book 17 of my Reading Challenge. Find out more about what I am doing and why here and here.  After hearing lots of good things about Malala Yousafzai and her wonderful work, I thought I would try her book; I didn’t realise that I Am Malala would reinvigorate some of the… Continue reading Book Review: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai