(Image credit: Jonathan Kim – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jkim1/452830868) If a student can’t write, all eyes turn to the English department. Whether it is a brief in an Art lesson or a write up of a science experiment, if the writing isn’t up to standard then those deemed responsible for creating perfect prose-producers feel the heat. There is major […]
School starts again on Monday for me and so it is an appropriate time to procrastinate…sorry, I mean plan for the year ahead. Now, I know that the best laid plans of mice and men are quickly waylaid when September gets into full swing, but I want to commit to making some changes to my
“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify … into every corner of our minds.” John Maynard Keynes Knowledge is power, without doubt. What is an education if not the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. And yet, we should be mindful of the rather
This blog series was inspired by the simple and complex truth, offered by Professor Rob Coe, that we need to get students thinking hard to learn best. The first post in my series, entitled ‘Thinking Hard…And Why We Avoid It‘, explores why our students’ lazy brains let them down and how their thinking is
If you don’t know about Ron Berger’s ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ you really should. I am writing a series of short posts that quote directly from educators who have inspired my thinking about education and more. Here is the first edu-quote for your reading pleasure. Ron Berger, in his excellent book, ‘An Ethic of Excellence‘,
13-year-old Arvind Mahankali from New York (correctly spelled “knaidel,” a word for a small mass of leavened dough, to win the American national competition) Americans love a ‘Spelling Bee‘. They are unique competitions where precocious children battle it out in a linguistic street-fight, whilst anxious parents look on with a mix of pride and anguish.
If the path of repeated deliberate practice makes something like perfect, then imitating good models of writing provides solid foundations for the pursuit of writing excellence. ‘Shared writing‘ is one specific strategy that models writing in a highly effective way and is one of my favourite and most effective teaching strategies. ‘Shared writing’ begins with