I’m not someone who sets a heap of homework. In fact, I think over the whole course of last year I might’ve set less than 10 pieces. Or even 5. Truth be told, there’s so much variation in quality that it’s often not worth setting. And sometimes it doesn’t get completed.

That’s my fault though, I’m well aware of that. I haven’t set expectations of homework the same way that I’ve set expectations in the classroom before. I’m quite sure that’s the cause of the variation; the parents at the school where I work areĀ very supportive and would definitely encourage their children to get their homework done.

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The Big Dig

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Our new topic, after Easter, will be ‘The Big Dig’. There’s a bunch of children in the class who love dinosaurs and have been asking to do a topic about them for a while. I figured it was about time that we did just that.

Above is my brainstorm of ideas related to the topic. If you’ve got any ideas that have worked really well, I’d love to hear them.

PS: Click on the image (and then click it again) to see a full-size version.



Individual Reading Fan Cards



Individual fan cards for guided reading. I created something very similar last year and they were part of my guided reading carousel (one group used them to answer a question based on their own reading book). They’re all tied in to the assessment focus which makes using children’s answers as part of assessment easier. They’re colour coded so that the children know they’re different (they don’t need to know about assessment focus) and that they’re supposed to pick a different colour each time so that there’s a good breadth of evidence spanning across different AFs.

This year, I also added a little extra detail to the questions. I found that some of them were a little too vague last year and the kids struggled with understanding what they meant… which wasn’t great considering they should be working individually with these.

I’ve also added numbers. This should make it easier to assess the different answers without having to decipher which question has been answered.

You can download them on TES (in PDF format or word) here.


3 Things For Better Writing!


I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before but I can’t express how pleased I am with the class’ progression in writing over this year – the above picture is a short extract of a piece written by a year 4. I’ve been looking for that ‘magical’ thing that bumps up the style and ability of children’s writing and (putting my neck on the line here) I think I’ve found it!

We’ve worked really hard all year on three things:

  1. Sentence structure and demarcation.
  2. Purpose.
  3. Audience.

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Making it about the kids.

This term, I’m really trying to make the stuff I’m teaching child-led, or at least seem that way. It’s much easier in the foundation subjects and science and is still a long way off being achieved in maths and English… especially with such a spread all learning something different at any one time. So our Great Outdoors topic this term is starting with the children.


Today I started with giving the children the opportunity to think up some questions of their own that they wanted answering. This was rather more successful than I thought.

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