Category Archives: Archive


10 Silver Arrows

Thanks to Kal who sent this teaching tip.  The full blog post can be found by following the link below, but I have attached a summary of the ideas which you may like to print.

I follow headguruteacher on twitter and there are often some very interesting tweets.  The blog has some useful resources that you may find you can apply to your own subject.  There are also ideas for assemblies.



Bloom’s Resource

I found a link to this resource which can be found on TES and I know there are quite a few people who are focusing on questioning this year as an area for development.  Perhaps this may help.  It is a question fan with the blooms question starters on.  There is a picture of it also attached so that you can see how it works.  If you have never seen Bloom’s Taxonomy before and would like to chat about it then please do ask.

BLOOMS Question Fan Pic

BLOOMS-Question Fan

All fun and games

Thank you to Huw for forwarding this week’s teaching tip, a resource for games that may be used in the classroom.  There are some handy templates to help us all save time.

All fun and games revision

Teaching and Learning Newsletter – Questioning

Questioning Newsletter June 2015-1

Click on the image above to view or download the latest Teaching and Learning Newsletter.


I observed Laura use dice that can be written on in her GCSE lessons today (see picture attached).  I know some people use cardboard ones, but I thought that these could prove quite useful to people for a variety of things in lessons as they can be made very subject specific and will last a bit longer than cardboard ones!

Laura gave the girls 3 dice which she had written on and a blank one onto which they had to write actions to include in a piece of choreography.  The dice supported a choreographic technique called ‘Chance Dance’ where the girls had to roll all the dice at the same time and create parts of a dance based on whatever the dice displayed.

You can purchase these from YPO.


Thinking Time

‘After asking a question of his class, the typical teacher waits about a second before taking an answer, and the challenges and limitations posed by such a habit are significant.  The answers the teacher can expect to get after less than a second’s reflection are unlikely to be the richest, the most reflective, or the most developed his students can generate’.  Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov.

Taking answers after just a second has the effect of encouraging students to raise their hand with their first answer rather than the best one that they can think of.  It also means that an answer is given before some students have time to think and have a chance to respond. 

Perhaps you may like to have a look at some very short clips that demonstrate thinking time (follow instructions below).  The clips accompany the book detailed above.  If anyone would like to borrow the book please do let me know and if you think the clips are useful and would like me to share more, let me know…or otherwise!


I found this website whilst searching for some ideas for DIRT time for my GCSE group (link below).  They are DIRT maps which can be saved and edited.  They are in comic format and may be a nice resource for younger pupils.  If you use them it would be lovely to hear how suceesful they were.


There is also a nice app that can be used to create comic style resources  called ‘comic life’.


Memory aids that are worth remembering

Many thanks to Stephanie who shared this week’s teaching tip.  It is adapted from an article published in the TES (April) and gives some suggestions for increasing students’ ability to retain knowledge.  This links very closely with our discussion at HoD’s yesterday evening; some of these ideas were included on the bulletin.

Memory aids that are worth remembering

Challenging Questions: ‘Stretch It’

This week’s teaching tip is a questioning strategy which is based on when students get the right answer we are not done, instead the learning process continues and we ‘Stretch It.’  The reward for right answers is harder questions!  (taken from ‘Teach Like a Champion’, Doug Lemov)


‘Stertch It’ involves doing 3 things:

  • Making a habit of asking follow-up questions to successful answers
  • Asking a diversity of types of questions
  • Building a culture around those interactions that helps studetns embrace, and even welcome, the notion that learning is never done.

Asking follow-up questions in response to right answers enables you to push students further by applying their knowledge to new settings, thinking on their feet and tackling harder questions; this keeps them engaged.  It also enables us to learn more about a students’ understanding and to ensure that questions are differentiated by tailoring them to indivdual students.


There are 6 different categories of ‘Stretch It’ questions

  • Ask how or why; the best test of whether or not studetns’ answers are reliable is whether thay can explain how they arrived at the answer
  • Ask for another way to answer; when students solve it one way, it’s a great opportunity to make sure they can use all available methods
  • Ask for a better word or more precise expression; students often use the simplest language, offer them opportunities to use more specific words increasing their levels of literacy
  • Ask for evidence; by asking for evidence this supports a students’ conclusion, emphasise the process of building and supporting sound arguments
  • Ask students to integrate a related skill; when students have mastered one skill try and get them to link this to another skill
  • Ask students to apply the same skill in a new setting; once students have mastered a skill, ask them to apply it in a new or more challenging settings.

Plenary Prefect

This week’s teaching tip is something that I found online.  There are two resources attached that you may like to adapt to work with this, you may not wish to call the girls the ‘Plenary Prefect’ but may like to simply use the idea.

  • As girls enter the room, give out the card to two girls discretely! (example card attached)
  • Tell them to read it carefully and stress that they need to pay particular attention to the learning objectives, as during the lesson they need to think of good questions to ask the rest of the class at the end of the lesson
  • As the lesson progresses keep checking on how they are getting on with their questions
  • At the end of the lesson, they lead the plenary – asking the class their questions

Something similar to the question grid attached could assist with developing the quality of the pupils questions.  This example is designed to be used to generate questions for an image but could easily be adapted.

I have thought about how it could be extended – Rather than asking questions girls could have some time to work together to design a task to set the class as a plenary or perhaps rather than a plenary they set the homework..?!

Question Grid

Plenary Prefect