I recently completed the FutureLearn Good Practice in Autism Education course, and this is a website they recommended for as a place to find and share examples of good practice from all over Europe:
I haven’t had chance to check it out properly yet, but it looks as though it could be useful.
Of all the things I teach, I find reading comprehension the hardest. The retrieval type questions are OK, as are the technique ones, but teaching things like inference is quite tricky. I’ve found a workaround by teaching it from the opposite direction – giving the children a piece to read where the characters are shaking or crying and asking how they can tell the character is sad, scared, etc.
It’s really hard to find good resources to help though. There are books with lots of practise questions, but if you don’t know how to answer them then no matter how many questions you attempt, you still won’t be able to.
At last I have found a solution. It’s a series of books called Teaching Comprehension Strategies from Prim-Ed. They take the various types of questions: summarising, predicting, concluding etc and explain step by step how to answer each type. Each question type is split into three stages. On the first page are some multiple choices with an explanation for each choice as to why that answer is good, unlikely, perfect or impossible. Next up are a few questions with hints on where to look and how to work out the answers. To finish are questions to answer independently with no clues.
As a bonus, the books aimed at younger readers are not at all babyish, so I can use them with my struggling readers without them feeling demotivated at reading things aimed at “babies”.
Related post: Beast Quest Comprehension
Christmas is another tricky time of year – most children know the nativity story by the time they start school but I found some fantastic books, suitable for KS1, which tell the story with a twist. The Grumpy Shepherd tells the story of Christmas from the point of view of Joram, a shepherd who is always moaning about something – sheep are boring and his job is too hard – until an angel appears with news of a very special baby. Jesus’ Christmas Party tells the story from the point of view of an inn-keeper who gets very cross when his sleep is disturbed first by a man and his pregnant wife wanting someone to stay, and then by a bright star shining through his window. He gets crosser and crosser as he is woken by shepherds and kings looking for a baby, but then he meets the baby for himself. Finally A Christmas Story tells the story of a young girl and a baby donkey who follow Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, meeting angels and shepherds and kings along the way.
For older children, I have found this Advent wreath game a great resource. I have used it in the last week of the Autumn term, when the children don’t want to do any work because it’s nearly Christmas, and by the end of the game the children are able to explain clearly what an advent wreath is for, how it is used and what each part represents. Although it’s quite a simple game, Years 5 and 6 really got into it, and enjoyed it so much they asked if I would leave it in their classroom so that they could play it again later.
To book a private tutor in Great Barr or the surrounding areas, visit my website www.sjbteaching.com.
For links to other useful articles and resources, Like my Facebook page.
Related post: REsources – Part 1 (General Resources)
Last year I taught a lot of RE. It’s not my specialist subject (I’m an MFLer), it just worked out that way. When I was looking at the schemes of work for various year groups, I noticed that some stories seem to come up year after year. So how do you hold a child’s interest when you know that they’ve done this every year for the last three years? Equally to the point – when you’re teaching the same lesson in several different schools, how do you stop yourself getting bored so that you can present this to the children as something fresh and exciting? Ideally, you do something else, but as we all know – sometimes it’s a case of “It’s in the Scheme of Work therefore it MUST be done!” And if you’re self-employed it’s best not to argue with that.
One story in particular from last year was the Good Samaritan. I can remember hearing this story as a child – in school, in Sunday school, in church…. The teachers would choose some children to come and act the story out and the first time it was fun. The second time was OK. The third time it was boring and by the fourth time I just didn’t bother listening any more. With this in mind I knew I had to find something a bit different to cover the story. That’s where youTube came to my rescue. I know that in some schools YouTube is banned, but fortunately I’ve been working in schools that are forward-thinking enough to allow it. I found this lovely Lego story which the children really enjoyed – especially when all the lego men starting singing Kung Fu Fighting!
Another YouTube RE resource that I have to share is David and Goliath. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it, but I wish I had because it really made me laugh when I came across it. It’s the story of David and Goliath sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Related post: REsources – Part 2 (Christmas resources).
Look out for more Christmas specific posts in December. Why not follow this blog by email or RSS to receive notification as soon as something new is added – you’ll find links for both on the right-hand side of this page.