Connectives

Here is a set of words that can be used to create cards and power points, to teach sentence structure. These words are all connectives useful in joining and extending sentences together, making normal sentences into more complex sentences.

finally

firstly

furthermore

in the end

In the meantime

initially

at first

because

before

but

consequently

due to

after a while

after that

also

although

as

as a result

then

until

when

whenever

later on

meanwhile

next

since

so

suddenly

Sherlock Holmes Worksheet

Just a little cloze exercise that I used with my students.

Mr Sherlock Holmes

In the year _________ I took my degree of ___________ of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the _________________. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant _____________. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at ____________, I learned that my ____________ had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the _____________ country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in __________, where I found my ________, and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought ___________ and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but ________and ___________. I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail _______________, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian ____________. I should have fallen into the hands of the __________ Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and __________ shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a __________, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the ___________lines.

Doctor       corps       safety       enemy’s       regiment       disaster       bullet       murderous       courage       artery       pack-horse       British       misfortune       1878       surgeon       Bombay       honours       Army

Full text with the inserted words italicised.

In the year  1878   I took my degree of Doctor  of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant surgeon The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at Bombay  I learned that my regiment had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the murderous country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety , where I found my corps , and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought honours and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but  disaster and misfortune . I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail  bullet , which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery. I should have fallen into the hands of the  enemy’s Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and  courage shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a pack-horse, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the  British lines.

As a teacher do you fill a bucket or aim to light a fire?

WB Yeats, “education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire

How many teachers and Education Ministers  do you know that just want to fill up buckets? Where is the creativity and the personalisation that makes the spark or turns the light bulb on to education?

I believe I have blogged before about how a teacher making me look at some paper burning made me fascinated and turned me onto poetry and words. Not the type of thing that can be done in todays classrooms but her ingenuity allowed us as a class to smell, taste, look, listen and then choose words we knew to describe what we saw. That did more for me in primary days than sitting the eleven plus and how many others would say exactly the same thing?

Literacy is everyones job.

When I am in schools particularly those where they are not outstanding and when you ask them about literacy of the pupils they say ‘ oh, that is so and so’s job,’ or ‘its X, Y or Z’s department’.  Even more interesting is that they cannot see that every encounter with them is an opportunity to support the childs learning.

As a teacher you cannot absolve yourself by saying literacy or numeracy is not my job. Within each different subject there are words that are specific that the children need to read and understand. It’s not about the literacy coordinators job or the English departments job but each individual teachers job to equip the child with the skills they need and if this means more literacy in context or numeracy examples out of math specific sessions then it is our duty to do this.

Children in Wales are making progress in developing their Welsh Language skills

A report out today says that at Foundation stage the children in Wales are acquiring Welsh language skills but the focus now needs to be on improving reading and writing skills.

The report says that

 In the best schools, teachers are highly skilled, passionate and plan fun and stimulating activities that engage and excite the children, but in a minority of schools and settings staff are not devoting enough direct teaching time to developing the Welsh language and there are gaps in practitioners’ knowledge and skills that are inhibiting the children’s learning and development.

This is a difficult one if the teacher’s do not speak Welsh fluently then the school will be unable to move further forward without either employing more natural Welsh speakers or up skilling the teachers level of Welsh knowledge. This leads me to wonder about EAL teaching how often do we as teachers/inspectors/observers assume the support assistant has the skill set but they also need up skilling not only in English but in their home language as well? ….  Just as valid is the next question that follows should we ensure we are up skilling these practitioners to support our children to get the best education?     Just an observation open for your ideas and comments.

For the full report see http://www.estyn.gov.uk/english/news/news/children-in-wales-are-making-progress-in-developing-their-welsh-language-skills-in-the-foundation-phase/ or the whole piece below.

Children in Wales are making progress in acquiring Welsh language skills, but more needs to be done to continue the upward trend in their reading and writing skills, according to Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales.
In a report published today, Welsh Language Development in the Foundation Phase, the inspectorate found that in the majority of English-medium schools most children are making good progress in speaking and listening to Welsh in the Foundation Phase, but their reading and writing skills are less well developed.
Ann Keane, the inspectorate’s Chief Inspector said,

“Welsh Language is one of the seven Areas of Learning in the Foundation Phase Framework for Children’s Learning.
During the last two years, we have seen progress being made in Welsh Language Development in the majority of schools and settings. Children are enjoying learning the language of Wales in innovative and fun ways.
In the best schools, teachers are highly skilled, passionate and plan fun and stimulating activities that engage and excite the children, but in a minority of schools and settings staff are not devoting enough direct teaching time to developing the Welsh language and there are gaps in practitioners’ knowledge and skills that are inhibiting the children’s learning and development.”

The inspectorate also found that children’s progress in Welsh Language Development is a concern in over a third of English-medium non-maintained settings. In these settings, children lack confidence in using Welsh outside short whole-group sessions such as registration periods or singing sessions and they do not use the Welsh language in their play or learning without prompts from adults.
Ann Keane continues,

“Schools and settings need to review, evaluate and plan engaging and effective ways for children to speak, read and write Welsh across all areas of learning.
In the best schools, teachers use real life experiences for children to use their Welsh language skills such as making shopping lists or writing party invitations. In these instances, children are highly engaged and are making good progress in writing Welsh.”

The inspectorate outlines a number of recommendations for schools and settings, local authorities and the Welsh Government, to address the issues highlighted within the report.
For example, schools and settings should evaluate planning to make sure that there are enough opportunities for children to use the Welsh language in other areas of learning and outdoor activities and monitor and evaluate how well children are doing in developing their Welsh language skills. In addition, local authorities need to be providing better access to Welsh Language support and training for practitioners as well as sharing good practice.
Ann Keane concludes,

“Every child in Wales has the right to access the best quality Welsh Language education. This report provides a number of best practice case studies illustrating how schools have successfully developed children’s skills in Welsh. I would encourage all practitioners to read this report and use the case studies to assess their own practice and develop new ways of improving the provision of Welsh Language Development.”

Supporting language acquisition through Literacy

These are a few ideas for teaching learners who are learning English and have to read for meaning.

Before reading a book give the children the words needed to understand the important parts of the text. Where appropriate allow the child to revert back to prior language via internet machine translators to access their prior learning.  Give them the time needed to answer allowing them to process in their mind.

Their process could include reading it in English, reverting back to previous language understanding what is meant in prior language and then finding the words to explain this in their first language and then back into English.  All this can take time so try not to get too impatient as they practice. Think about when you try to translate in a language you know, what process do you go through?

By allowing this to happen it develops the pupils minds and they have a clear understanding of what the written word is conveying.  In turn this allows the child to develop a secure understanding of the text and characters.

When the child falters allow them to read a sentence and then encourage them to read it again this time more fluently to help them practice and develop their fluency. Keep a regular check on each child’s comprehension to ensure they are fully understanding the new words. Where possible put them into context so that when the child next sees the same letter formation they feel confident at reading it aloud.

Then ask each child in a the group to read part of the story.  Question them to ensure understanding and also check their fluency but importantly make it a secure environment where they can try out new sound sensations.

When questioning develop their sentence level via a game e.g. put their hand in a  bag and pull out a word related to the new text they are reading.

  1. Ask them to find a word e.g. beach
  2. Read out the word
  3. Then ask them to create a sentence e.g. I went to the beach
  4. and finally extend it by asking them what they did e.g. I went to the beach and swam in the water.
  5. Review and repeat the sentence to ensure concrete understanding.
  6. Above all make it enjoyable.

Good Practice – Using the outside classroom to promote pupils’ safety, raise expectations and attainment for all and narrow the achievement gap across the broad curriculum.

What a brilliant idea taking the children outside and around their area to see things for real rather than using pictures on the internet.  Through these life skills they can see sizes relevant to their surroundings and themselves. They benefit from seeing the animals real colours and the changes within species, they can put maths into practice thereby ensuring it becomes more embedded in their mind. This  works just as well for the vulnerable groups giving them more time to see the object, learn the word, practice it in context and have a good experience to draw on.

It is a difficult decision taking children out on schools trips and recent experiences of others, that have been shown via the media, have stopped many of these worthwhile practices to the level that in some schools the children are not being allowed outside within the school grounds to do maths and science trails. Yet done with care the children and staff can achieve the curriculum aims and have the benefit of fresh air and exercise.

Not surprising then that a school that combines these elements is deemed outstanding by OFSTED.   This primary school regularly uses learning outside the classroom on its own site, in its local area and on visits and trips to provide rich experiences, promote pupils’ safety, raise expectations and attainment for all and narrow the achievement gap across the broad curriculum. Read their story here.   http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/good-practice-resource-raising-standards-learning-outside-st-johns-roman-catholic-primary-school

 

ICT for Supporting and Developing Writing Skills of EAL Pupils

Just some ideas of ways of using ICT to support literacy.

EAL pupils at all levels need support in attempting independent written tasks. They can be helped by:

* prior modelling of the type of text they are going to produce

* oral rehearsal of what they are going to write

* providing phrases and sentence beginnings, to support the child’s lexicon vocabulary and grammar as well as how sentences and language is structured

* Provide writing frames, to support writing development and knowledge of the correct genre format.

* giving them access to word and, or picture banks to reinforce and extend their vocabulary whilst supporting correct spelling

Poetry for teachers of EAL children

I missed blogging on poetry day as I was not sure which poem to blog so as usual time has gone by and here we are nearly a month from it but I was reminded today thanks to my blog about Tamil poems being translated into English and a comment from Usha Rajagopalan. In her comment to me she suggested looking at a link where four poems had been published I duly followed and enjoyed the poems so much I thought I would just put my favourite below.Great because I am ahead now for poetry week !

A great poetry resource for English teachers teaching Tamil children and others in their class as the use of nature in such an appealing way should capture their imaginations. So may things to look at the rhythm, the words, the length of each line, the genre, cultural references,the pictures it creates in ones mind etc.

Kuyil Paattu 2

In the trilling and warbling of birds in the forest,
In the music of the wind as it rustles through the leaves,
In the laughter of the rippling river and cascading falls,
In the ever-swelling waves of the blue ocean,
In the passionate lyrics of girls deeply in love,
In songs that drip with honey, in notes that melt the heart.
In the singsong of farmers as they draw water,
In the ancient chants of women as they grind corn,
In the country notes of those who powder limestone,
In the catchy little ditties of women working in farms,
In the tinkling of bangles on maidens’ arms,
In a circle as they dance clapping their hands,
In the notes of the flute and the veenai and
In instruments that men strum or blow air through.
In the melody that is heard all day long,
In the teeming city and in nature’s wilderness,
In all these notes I have lost myself.

This was pipped to the top but I loved the sentiments of Show mercy to the Enemy.

Show Mercy to the Enemy

Show mercy to the enemy, kindly heart. Show mercy to the enemy!
In the thick of smoke, there is fire. We have seen this on earth, kindly heart,

We have seen this on earth. In the midst of enmity, God dwells as love. God dwells as love, kindly heart, God dwells as love.

A lucent pearl can be found nestled within An oyster shell, don’t you know, kindly heart? Growing in the midst of refuse, can’t the Madhavi creeper Bloom in profusion, kindly heart?

When falsehood creeps into the mind, Can the mind be at peace, kindly heart? If a little poison is added to pure honey, Can it still be called honey, kindly heart?

Planning to live and grow, to think of decay, Is it fair to life, kindly heart? To subdue another is to take one’s own life. Haven’t you heard this, kindly heart?
He came like one of the Kauravas, To take part in the war, kindly heart. Didn’t Kannan also stand, whip in hand At the helm of Arjun’s chariot, kindly heart?

Even the tiger that threatens to devour us, You can win over with love, kindly heart. When Ma Parashakti appears as a tiger, Bow to her, kindly heart, bow to her.