Discussing the Conceptual in English: A Concrete Classroom Strategy

It all too easy sometimes to get lost in the small stuff of textual analysis. The micro. The single words and images. This is, it goes without saying, key to any literary discussion, but so is the macro. The big stuff. The conceptual. How might we build into our classroom routines more opportunity for such... Continue Reading →

My First Lesson: A Detailed, Step-by-Step Overview of My First Lesson with New Classes [Updated for 2021]

Anticipating and micro-scripting expected classroom interactions can be a really powerful strategy, helping to ensure a consistent and finely-tuned message. Whilst I wouldn't do this for most lessons, enjoying instead free flowing and responsive dialogue, I do think this can be especially effective for the first lesson of a new academic year. This post outlines,... Continue Reading →

Resonant Reading: A Poetry Reading Strategy

Before outlining this strategy to help students to encounter and explore a poem, first a question: when teaching poetry, what is the appropriate weight to give to our own interpretation of the poem? I think this is a really interesting question. Presumably, before we teach a poem we read and think about it first, perhaps... Continue Reading →

Defining Excellence: How I Use Whole Class Feedback

I first encountered whole class feedback several years ago and was instantly captivated. And what's not to love? It promises a significant reduction in workload, no longer spending countless hours huddled over a slow burning lamp with pen in hand (forgive the Dickensian rhetorical flourish) whilst simultaneously, even miraculously, improving student outcome. I remember the... Continue Reading →

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