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What should you do if you think a book is too difficult for a child?


One way or another there are many children who find themselves with a reading book that is too difficult for them.   There are lots of reasons why this happens including being ‘pushed’ up a reading scheme too quickly and ‘pushy’ parents who think that their child shouldn’t have a book that is ‘to easy’ […]

Thinking and Reading – Free ideas for deeper reading


So – what do I mean by thinking skills in relation to reading?   Well, simply put, getting children to respond to texts more critically.  Are your children always faced with a book review or a set of comprehension questions after reading?  It can get a bit Zzzzz don’t you think?   When planning for […]

Guided Reading: Does it still have a place in your classroom?


It is my great pleasure to introduce Rachel Clarke as our guest blogger and something of an expert when it comes to guided reading it has to be said.                         Here are some starter thoughts and ideas from Rachel to help teachers and TAs […]

Collaborative Games – Free Ideas to maintain a positive classroom


Collaborative games can be used throughout the year – a good way to ‘re-bond’ your class and maintain a positive atmosphere. We all sometimes need to remind children about how more effective it can be when you work collaboratively with others.   Pass the Hoop   Children are in a circle and two children opposite each other […]

All About Me: Speaking & Listening Activity


  The challenge is to come up with the 10 best questions (or fewer if it is more appropriate) that you would like to be asked if you were going to be interviewed on TV. Children could start with more than 10 – then sift and sort. Encourage them to think beyond the obvious – […]

Making grammar fun – active ways to teach grammar!


Silly Sentences   By making up absurd sentences it makes children’ ‘tune’ in to the vocabulary and meaning (or nonsense) being generated.  They can then go on to make up their own for each other. Use them as part of a Silly Sentence Week (or fortnight / half term). Post one on the whiteboard or […]

Quality Teaching and Quality Texts – Two Essentials for Higher Order Reading.


The teaching of initial reading skills is generally thought to be satisfactory in our primary schools.   But I have many conversations with head teachers and literacy coordinators about the insufficient progress many children still make with regard to higher order skills; often around the time children enter Key Stage 2.   Children reach a […]

Picture Books for Remembrance: How to explore the themes of war with children


  With Remembrance Day always remembered in most primary schools I wanted to share a few picture books that I’ve used with children – with themes linked to conflict and war.   For regular readers of this blog you will know that I have a passion for the power of picture books; to engage, entertain […]

A Picture a Day: Developing Inference and Deduction


Hands up if you know children who read aloud fluently and decode with ease, yet still struggle to understand very much beyond the literal?   For children to become more ‘thoughtful’ readers they need regular practice in how to deduce and infer information; to become better at looking for ‘clues’ and reaching conclusions that can […]