NATE Classroom

Articles from No. 2, Summer

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
As English teachers, we love the written word and once given a computer, find that we almost automatically open up the word processor package. This is where we feel at home. If you're anything like me, you'll also alter the view to Print Preview so...
Ask the Children: Children Talking, Drawing and Writing about Their Play and Out-of-School Interests
Asking children what they think play is usually evokes a positive response--they are very keen to talk about themselves and their likes and dislikes. However, how often do teachers ask children's views? More importantly, how often do we integrate their...
Classroom Quiz Page
Classroom Quiz Page Prizes to be won! The questions for both quizzes are based on a selection of literature commonly known to lurk in English stock cupboards. Have a go for fun, or send in your entry before July 31st to enter either competition....
Clear-Sited
I increasingly feel that a good resource is not a great resource until it is shared. In this way resources develop and change. They stand the test of time. One of my favourite sites for sharing resources is www.tre.ngfl.gov.uk, a branch of the now...
Don't Be a Bitter Litter Critter! Using the Visual Image to Support Persuasive Writing. (Primary and Secondary)
Every year it becomes more of a challenge finding an issue to discuss with Year 7 pupils. What do you choose that will grab their interest? Fox-hunting (due to government legislation) no longer seems to raise emotions in the same way it did nor does...
Drama at the Heart of a Whole-School Transition
G 'Virginia, What on earth are you doing looking inside that box?' V 'Father, I ... I ...' G 'This behaviour is not allowed in my study!' V 'But father you always keep that box shut, you never tell me what's inside it. It's not fair.' G...
Dramatic Openings for Writing
In the new climate of creativity and flexibility, I wonder if the time is right to suggest a return to being a little more open-ended in our literacy objectives, particularly in relation to creating opportunities for writing. Teachers always need clear...
Editorial
In the run up to this issue with its focus on Writing, several contributors commented that it is more difficult to write about writing than the other two areas which command our attention as English teachers. And teachers of English generally do see...
I Love My Interactive Whiteboard! Part Two
Teaching and learning using interactive whiteboards Now that you have your whiteboard installed and calibrated, your peripherals installed and your software ready (even if not mastered), it is time to think: what will you actually do with this special...
Multi Media Authorship in the Classroom? I Wish ... 'A New Form of Reading Response Seems to Be Evolving from the Collages and Tape/slide Shows We Used to Experiment with ...'
I was reminded last night just how much technology has changed things in English classrooms since I first picked up chalk and duster. I was whizzing around websites on my computer, chasing material about some of the latest fictional adventurers for...
Really Reluctant Writers: 'So Far, My Experience Shows Me That Really Reluctant Writers Outnumber Really Reluctant Readers by about Three to One. Reluctant Readers I Have Almost Cracked. Writing, However, Is Something Else.'
When I talk about writing let me say straight away what I do not mean by writing: I do not mean copying from the board. With apologies to those teachers who believe that there is some learning value to this, I can only say that apart from keeping students...
Rejuvenating Writing
We sometimes fool ourselves into believing that we have taught pupils how to write. I used to think I taught writing when I read a chapter of a novel or a short story with a class, discussed it, and then asked them to write the next bit of the story....
Re-Purposing National Strategy Materials
Same drink, different bottle I've been experimenting with taking Secondary National Strategy materials and 're-purposing' them. SNS materials tend to get ignored because they are packaged like all DfES materials in grey, uniform PDF files. Basically,...
Teachit Staffroom Roundup-Teaching Writing
Some staffroom threads stir up a maelstrom of emotion. An interesting example of one such thread is: 'Is homework a waste of time?' Many of the replies conclude, perhaps unsurprisingly, that homework only serves to increase teachers' already unmanageable...
The Magpie Teacher on Writing
The Jane Bown Archive . 'Her photographs often capture moments of great intensity and character, and are quirky enough to snag at a variety of imaginations.' I have a problem with the writing triplets. I understand that they can be useful when...
The Story Generator Cube
The Story Generator Cube Designed by Pie Corbett Illustrated by David Wyatt Publishers: Philip & Tacey Published: 2006 Although I wasn't aware of their sheer awfulness at the time, some of my earliest teaching disasters probably revolved around...
Visiting the CLC
* Year 8 pupils stand at a fork in a woodland path listening via handheld computer to an audio file of Robert Frost reading 'The Road Not Taken', then use the built-in camera to illustrate its imagery as they split into two groups, finally sharing...
Wanted: A Rapping Rhymester! Reading and Writing Poems with Rhyme and Rhythm in the Primary Classroom
I'm telling you now If you haven't yet heard There's more to a puffin Than a stripy-beaked bird. Puffins are potatoes They're a county-wide brand Grown at Angle and at Lamphey And on Burton's sandy land. Writing a poem for...
Working with Enemies and Villains: Helping Children to Use What They Know about Fantasy Texts
In his closing address to the 2007 NATE conference, Andrew Davies explained how he had first been encouraged to see himself as a writer by a primary teacher who read his stories out to the class. Frequently irreverent, these made his peers laugh and...
Writing in a Level English
'If imagination cannot be taught, the craft of writing can.' Andrew Motion To succeed in the current A Level specifications students need to 'communicate clearly using accurate and coherent expression' if they study literature and to 'demonstrate...
Writing on Location
I once found myself justifying the writer's visit by comparing it to the Geography field trip; something the department organised as a matter of course, a crucial way of bringing the subject fully to life. The analogy still seems a useful one, but...
Writing Resources: Thinking Creatively: All the Writing Resources Mentioned in This Article Are Freely Available on the Special NATE Classroom Page at Http://teachit.Co.Uk/nateclassroom. the Title of Each Resource Links Directly to the File for You to Download
I admit it. When Anne asked for commentary on a choice selection of Teachit's writing resources I wasn't immediately inspired. My thoughts, at first, turned to the very, very many lovely text-based resources which would fill the average English departmental...
Writing Strategies
As teachers we might know where we want children to get to in terms of their learning at a certain point in time--but who are we to say what is the best way for a particular individual to reach that point? Over prescribe by insisting that learning...
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