10 Creative Ways to Teach Vocabulary

“Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world.” Steven Stahl (2005) Developing vocabulary knowledge is so much more than word lists and student-friendly definitions. Even the most careful curation of vocabulary on a knowledge organiser may only give the …

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The Problem with Teaching Sophisticated Vocabulary

Should the title be ‘sophisticated vocabulary’, or could it be more simply ‘fancy words’? Small but significant language choices like these occur repeatedly in classrooms – and in pupils’ minds – daily. Teaching pupils to use sophisticated vocabulary can go wrong but it is a necessary bump in the road of pupils’ language development. We …

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Developing Skilled Readers (Knowledge + Strategy)

Take a read of this passage, entitled ‘An Encounter at Sea’, from the 2017 reading comprehension SATs paper. Can you predict what happens next? What did you predict? Did you assume the ‘encounter’ was a dolphin (noting their mention in paragraph 2), perhaps a shark attack (for the ‘Jaws’ aficionados), or even a whale (‘Moby …

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Does writing *really* matter in art and design?

What do you assume are the skills of a successful art and design pupil? Perhaps you consider an understanding of perspective and proportion, colour and tone, or knowledge of different media, all deployed with creativity. We know pupils must do some writing in art and design, but it doesn’t *really* matter so much, right? Though …

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Is teaching writing the ‘Neglected R’?

If you can write well, you can succeed in school. But the impact of being unable to write with confidence can be crippling, in the classroom, as well as far beyond the school gates. The recent White Paper on ‘levelling up’ education by the government, predictably attempts to address writing and the age-old ‘3Rs’. By …

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