Thursday, 9 October 2014

Directing DIRT

DIRT (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) has become a huge feature in my lessons over the past year. I'm sure many of you have these routines embedded into your classroom but this post aims to show just a few ways in which you can ensure that every student gets as much out of this time as possible.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Livening Up Listening

Listening is often deemed to be one of the hardest skills for learners and can be a difficult skill to teach and develop. Once you have your degree and experience of listening to authentic/native level language, it can often be difficult to relate to our learners who haven't had the same experiences as us. In this post I aim to show you a few ways in which you can develop listening skills.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Valuing Vocabulary

Vocabulary building can be one of the most arduous tasks for pupils. Pupils can feel bombarded at the start of a topic when they are learning lots of new words thick and fast. In this post, I hope to show you some ways in which you can present vocabulary in a more fun, accessible way allowing for pupils to learn independently.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Diversifying Differentiation

Languages aren't an easy subject to study and sometimes it can be difficult to make them accessible for a whole range of different learners in your class. In this post, I hope to show you how you can differentiate effectively for a range of abilities supporting those who need it while pushing those most able.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Perfect Plenaries

I won't lie, plenaries aren't my strong point. I'm frequently caught at the end of the lesson with 3 minutes until the bell with homework to dish out and a plenary still to go. However, I've picked up a few techniques for checking pupil progress quickly and effectively throughout the lesson.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Stimulating Starters

How you start your lesson can often have the biggest impact on pupils engagement and behaviour. Pupils have come from another room, another subject and another teacher. How do you welcome them into your classroom and tell them that you mean business? In this post, I hope to show you some ways in which you can engage learners from the minute they step through the door.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Spicing Up Speaking

Speaking can often be the hardest skill to get pupils involved in and to assess on a regular basis. With many of our teenagers being shy and not overly confident with their speaking and presentation skills in English (never mind in another language!), it can be quite a hard barrier to overcome.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Revitalising Reading

How often do we just give pupils another text to work through, answer questions on and then find the French/Spanish/German? After doing mountains of past papers with year 11 and reading assessments with years 7 and 8, I've been fed up with the whole idea of reading for a grade rather than enjoyment. Reading for pleasure should be something that we try to incorporate and encourage in our language lessons. So how can we help our pupils get more from their reading?

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Interactive Objectives

Objectives are something that are instilled into the UK classroom with the firm belief that if pupils know what they are aiming for, it will help them navigate the route there. However, objective sharing can become a stale, necessary evil rather than an integral introduction to the lesson. In this post, I hope to show you how you can make objectives a little bit more interesting for yourself and your pupils.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Reflecting on Reflection

Reflection is deemed to be one of the most important things a teacher should be doing on a regular basis. On the eve of my fifth observation (of six) to go towards my NQT portfolio, I decided to reflect on how far I've come in the past year.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Dynamic Displays

Getting your own classroom and being able to decorate it was one of the things I was most excited about when I landed my job. The things you put on your walls can be motivating, inspiring or simply just eye-catching. In this post, I hope to show you how I've made the wall space in my room work for me.

Thursday, 10 April 2014


With Easter assessments looming, I have been providing a lot of model texts for my pupils to work with. While these act as an aspirational target for pupils, they also provide  pupils with a working text that they can adapt and use for themselves.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Perfect Props

Struggling with a lack of engagement or motivation can be one of the hardest challenges teachers face on a daily basis. In this post, I hope to show you how just a few props in your teaching toolkit can make even the most reluctant student become a motivated linguist.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Improving Writing

On my second placement one French classroom was covered in useful vocabulary. I sat there taking note of every piece of coloured paper in that room and set my mind on replicating the displays in my own classroom one day. The problem is that the room in which I'm mainly based is a room where German and Spanish are taught too. After chatting about this with a fellow NQT, she came up with a single side of paper that contained excellent language that pupils need in order to improve their writing and speaking. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Power of a Post-It

My shelf is filled with a variety of Post-It Notes for different occasions. From marking to AfL, the humble Post-It has found its way into many of my lessons and it's definitely here to stay.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Chatty Mats

OFSTED are keen to see our pupils conversing with each other in the Target Language during their normal everyday tasks and not just speaking activities. So how do you ensure that your pupils try their hardest to use Target Language as much as possible?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Promoting Thought

"SIR! How do you say...?" or "MISS! I don't get it!" Cries that can be the very last thing you want to hear after explaining something in detail or when you know you covered the necessary vocab last lesson. It's fine for children to not understand and it's great when students ask questions but should we be pandering to pupil's needs immediately? Probably not but, the majority of the time, we just want to give ourselves an easier life. However, pupils gain nothing from us answering their questions for them so how can we get them to think for themselves first?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bats le bleu! ¡Acción Azul! Mach blau besser!

Marking. The time drain that no teacher enjoys. Reading very similar pieces over and over, writing comments and setting targets that are potentially going to be ignored is not anyone's idea of a good time. Then, after procrastinating diligently working your way through a pile of books, you think "are the kids even going to read this?" In an attempt to make students get more from their written feedback, I've stopped correcting work and instead have gone highlighter crazy.