Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Writing Composition Made Easy

Pictures give writers ideas for their writing and provide a scaffold throughout the compositional and transcriptional stages.  
During the compositional stage, writers can discuss and unfreeze the picture scene to role play, get into the character, complete speech and thought bubbles and add to the narrative.

During the transcriptional stage, writers through discussions with the teacher will have sufficient generated vocabulary to help them put their ideas down on paper.
Success during the compositional and transcriptional stages, lead to quality writing from all abilities of learners. EAL writers find this method particularly helpful with the discussions and vocabulary generated and can access otherwise difficult concepts.
Here is the link to the flickr site I created to provide photographs that enable discussions on different subjects and characters:
 There are photographs of buildings, objects, people and scenes which have been carefully selected to enable open ended discussions between the teacher and the learner.

 Ideas on how to use the photographs in structured writing teaching steps can be viewed on the site:

Also take a look at other sections of the site; there are lots of other helpful guides and tips.

GO4IT (Go for it) and good luck.
 Fidelia Nimmons

Friday, 24 May 2013

Assessing science units

Here is a link to the complete primary science vocabulary list: http://iyiomonscience.blogspot.co.uk/

The science vocabulary lists can be used as an essential part of ongoing teacher assessment of science study units.

Below is how these could be used to support teacher ongoing assessment using the KWHAQ steps during each stage below:
Stage 1: Initial assessment 
K: What do I know about this topic?
W: What do I want to know about this topic?
Stage 2: Main study – enquiry and investigations
A: What actions or steps will I take to find these out?
Stage 3: review and final assessment
L: What have I learnt from doing this topic?
Q: What new questions do I now have?
For stage 1 initial assessment:
1.    Log onto the above website and select your relevant year group from the menu tabs at the top of the screen
2.   Find your current study unit on this page

Guidance on using the listed vocabulary to assess learner’s knowledge of the topic
Tell the class what topic they will be working on and that to help you plan appropriate learning activities for them; you need to find out what they already know about the topic.

For Younger children:
Read the words with groups, pairs or individual pupils; ask them: ‘Show me something that is this word or mean this word.’ 'What is this word?'
For older year groups:
Give pairs or individual students copies of the vocabulary list. Ask them to sort these into three categories of:
1.    I know this word
2.   I do not know this word
3.   I think that I know this word but I am not sure

Next ask them to add their current definitions of their known words to the category of words.
Collate the results onto a whole class copy or sugar paper. Retain this for comparison with stage 3 results below.
This activity should reveal the whole class and individual’s competencies in the topic.
Stage 2:
From stage 1 result and using the learning objectives on the home page of the web site, find your year group (you may need to scroll down one or two pages to older posts), select the relevant unit and use the objectives to plan the main teaching and learning activities.  http://iyiomonscience.blogspot.co.uk/

Stage 3: final assessment
Do the stage 1 activity again, this time comparing the shift of numbers of words from each category for each individual or groups of children and the whole class overview.
Also compare learner’s initial definition of their known words to their current definition. How have these changed?
These activities are guaranteed to reveal each learners competency in the study unit and areas for further work.
True or false activity
Another way to use the science words at stage 3 is to give learners different scenarios which relate to the unit vocabulary and ask them to say whether these are true or false or depends and to give their reasons for their choice using the correct science vocabulary to support.
Ability to explain science vocabulary in context is an effective way to assess learner’s understanding of key concepts.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Phonics and Spelling Book: With dictation exercises

Written to support the new National Curriculum for English Key Stages 1 and 2, The Phonics and Spellings Book is a practical book which provides guidance on using systematic and structured teaching of spelling as a means to both teach spelling and knowledge of word structures and to simultaneously secure good reading and writing skills. It includes the first three thousand words or 84% of written text coverage which are essential for achieving good grades in exams at both primary and secondary school.

Written by an experienced English Specialist Teacher, the book includes tried and tested teaching reading and spelling skills methods which work with all abilities of children.   Sections in the book include:

·        Year 1 phonics tests papers

·        Comprehensive grapheme tests for all phases; with instructions

·        Step by Step Phonics and Learning to Read guidance

·        Complete spelling list which include academic words lists for secondary school

·        Graded dictation exercises which link the spelling lists to writing

·        Weekly Dictation sentences and passages for each year group

·        Ideas for fun and engaging teaching spelling activities

This book can be used by teachers for whole class, group or individual work. Adults working with children on interventions programmes will find the grapheme tests helpful in identifying their specific needs. The book can also be effectively used for Private and Home tutoring where the learner needs to secure good word and vocabulary skills for performing well in exams. This is a one off purchase spelling book for up to end of secondary school requirement.

You can purchase this book from Amazon through the link below or by clicking the qr code on the right:

Friday, 10 May 2013

Spelling fun

Good spellers are good readers and writers. Children enjoy spelling tests and when in the form of a competition against their peers, this takes it to a different level; the competitive edge encourages children to learn their words with rigour becoming effective spellers in the process.

Here is a link to how spelling tests can be turned into fun competitive experiences for children and your class. The format could be used for individuals, pairs, groups or whole class.

Spelling Champ:
·        Caters for all spelling abilities in the class.

·        Promotes good teamwork.

·        Builds confidence in the learner as an able speller; good spellers are good readers and writers.

·        Enables all learning styles – visual (see), auditory (hear) and kinaesthetic (write).

·        Makes testing spelling fun.

Give it a try.