Not putting pressure on our Year 6 pupils.

SATs. It’s a dreaded acronym that generates anxiety for senior leaders, teachers, children and parents alike. I could discuss how I dislike them (which is true but I do think they’re probably essential) and ramble on about how it’s too much too soon (which isn’t true; I think they’re pitched right for most) but I… Continue reading Not putting pressure on our Year 6 pupils.

6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday

My last post showed the research base for the benefits of the testing effect, more appropriately referred to as ‘retrieval practice’. There is a vast wealth of resources now available to teachers that can aid their use of retrieval practice in the classroom. Building on a recent paper by Firth et al (2017), here are… Continue reading 6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday

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

Book Review: Making Every Primary Lesson Count by Jo Payne and Mel Scott

My next review as part of my Reading Challenge 2018, for more details on this see here; a must read for all primary/elementary teachers. “Success cannot be defined by the government or a test and it certainly isn’t about labeling children. It is unique and personal to each individual, and it is our job as… Continue reading Book Review: Making Every Primary Lesson Count by Jo Payne and Mel Scott

Book Review: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman’s seminal work on emotional intelligence has been on my reading list for a while; this post will review what I learned from it and my particularly thoughts about what he has to say about education. His core thesis begins with the claim that the conceptual understanding of intelligence in the 20th century has… Continue reading Book Review: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

(3) Classroom Relationships and The Power of Warm/Strict

This comic has been used with kind permission from Scott Hubeny. My last two posts (found here and here) have been a bit too theoretical. Here's for something a bit more practical... Stretching over three decades, research conducted by Wubbels (2013) suggests that teachers who combine maintaining high expectations for learning with ‘friendly’ characteristics (such… Continue reading (3) Classroom Relationships and The Power of Warm/Strict