Brain Gym (don’t worry, it’s not).

Round Learning


This is a picture of the gym at my school, right at the end of a mock examination. I took this picture to help my Y11 students with learning quotations. I did this same exerciselast yearand it worked. I know it worked because they came out of the examination and told me that it worked – they managed to retain several quotations, taking inspiration from their surroundings. I did this after a Y11 student told me that she ‘can’t think ofanything in the gym. It’s so dull!’ She posed a challenge for me. We all went down to the gym (in the last 5 minutes of the lesson) and they took photos of the place. They actually did this from their seating position in the room.

Nest lesson, weplanned how the quotations from one scene would fit with what they could see around them. They then went…

View original post 119 more words


“Super, smashing, great” – modelling the language of evaluation: superlatives (part 2)

Mark Roberts Teach

Those of you of a certain age will remember – fondly or otherwise – the 1980s ITV game show Bullseye. It was a Sunday evening staple in my grandma’s house, a winning combination (for an 8-year-old anyway) of darts, or rather ‘arrers’ in Yorkshire, not-too-taxing general knowledge questions, glamorous prizes, such as Breville toastie makers, and its affable, diminutive host Jim Bowen.


Dour and deadpan, Jim became best known for his anodyne catchphrases: the rhyming couplet’stay out of the black and in to the red, there’s nothing in this game for two in a bed’, the pleading imperative ‘listen to Tony’. and most famously of all, the random asyndetic list of superlatives, dished out in either congratulation or commiseration – ‘super, smashing, great…’.

Last time, I looked at grammatical superlatives and how they can be a very useful tool for language analysis. This time, I’m looking at the…

View original post 510 more words

Using abstract nouns to access symbolic meaning

I’ve reblogged this on Team English – I’m sure a lot of our followers will find it useful! Thanks.

Blogger, interrupted...

I’ve been meaning to write up this lesson as I love reading other English teachers’ blogs about how they teach, like @Mrs Spalding, @Xris32, @mr_englishteach, @englishlulu, @FKRitson and @fod3 among others. I shamelessly borrow ideas and resources from these fab teachers, sharing with my team and trying out different methods and ideas, but have always been time-poor or fought shy of sharing my own lessons as they always seem so obvious!

So this is a thought I had, which I trialled with a Year 9 mixed ability class late last term as a way of accessing symbolic meaning through the use of abstract nouns. It seemed to work really well. The identification and use of abstract nouns unlocked conceptual thinking and more thoughtful analysis.  It’s so simple that I’m sure many other English teachers out there are doing it already, but my team really liked it when I shared it, so I…

View original post 599 more words

Team English – The Blog!

Welcome, #TeamEnglish! This is the NEW and OFFICIAL blog for @Team_English1, where we share resources, ideas and anything else we think you fabulous English teachers might find useful.

We (and by ‘we’ I mean Nikki – @noopuddles, and Becky – @shadylady222) thought it would be a good idea to create a space where all of our wonderful Team English contributors could share English themed blog posts. We will re-blog anything that people want to share and… this is the exciting bit… we are starting our own English themed blog challenge! Challenges of some sort are all the rage every January so we thought we’d jump on the proverbial bandwagon and start challenging you all.

So, English teachers, literacy teachers, librarians, anyone who likes to pedantically correct the grammar of others – this is your chance to shine!

The theme for January is ‘Trying Something New’. This could be something you intend to try this half term and your hopes or fears about the new approach, or something you have tried and how it went. The only rule is that it needs to be linked to English/literacy teaching in some way.

Tag your post on Twitter with the hastag #TeamEnglishBlog and we shall repost it here. We are so looking forward to seeing what you all have to say!

Happy New Year!cropped-20161023_171808000_ios.jpg