Category: Uncategorized

Morphology: word grammar

The term morphology was taken from biology where it is used to represent the study of the form of plants and animals. Its first recorded use is in writings by Goethe (1796). It was first used in relation to linguistics by August Schleicher (1859)…

By heart: why we should memorise poetry.

Easter 2019, I took my rather large volume of Mary Oliver poems to Cornwall with the intention of committing one to memory. I had been inspired by an article written by Nicholas Pearson, then publishing director of 4th Estate. I kept this article for…

Catch up and keep up: blending CVC words.

Great improvements have been made in the teaching of phonics, however some children – whilst they know their sounds STILL cannot blend. WHY? These children may have a dyslexic-type profile, they may have some dyspraxia – they are likely to have low working memory….

Catch up and keep up: letter shape

The current situation presents an opportunity for consolidation and catch up for those children who may be some way off where they need to be in terms of their learning. Where to start? Consider those essential skills which underpin all learning. For many children,…

Testing, testing: memory working?

This blog will look at the impact of low working memory on behaviours across the curriculum. See my original tweet on how auditory working memory is measured here: A thread on Working Memory. Assessment of this is all done in an auditory fashion without…

Hands up!

What is it about whole class questioning? There was controversy recently when Jo Boaler suggested using lolly sticks was like cold calling. Katherine Birlbalsingh, ever the contrarian, suggested this was simply checking understanding and part of good practice. What my students with working memory…

How to conquer divide?

    The word ‘divide’ comes from Latin: dividere “to force apart, cleave, distribute,” Division as a concept is fiendishly difficult to teach. Most children can understand ‘sharing’ objects and move on to sharing on ‘plates’ but does this naturally lead to more formalised…

Dyslexia and memory: lessons to learn?

  What works for dyslexics and literacy is well documented. Increasingly, a personalised provision within a structured, multi-sensory program is viewed as a ‘critical driver’ in the teaching of literacy (Rose, 2009). Continual formative assessment is also vital. It is generally accepted that the most effective interventions…

Cultural Capital: Can you relate?

  I knew my son was dyslexic in Reception. We were ‘lost’ parents and did not understand the system. We agreed to have him put on the SEND register. He finally received a specific dyslexia intervention in year 4 (by a HLTA, untrained in…

Sense and sense-ability: how to minimise cognitive load.

The children I teach are often the ones who have given up on themselves (and their memories), made to feel that learning is for others, not for them. I want to share some theories about how memory works. It’s useful to connect with these…

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