Sunday, 15 May 2016

Education Graveyard

At the end of July, I will have completed a mere five years in teaching.  It sounds like a short amount of time but I can't say it has passed exceptionally quickly.  Recently, I came to sort out my cupboard in a bid to locate a "Little Miss Bossy" book which we use to teach imperative verbs.  In sorting through some of the items in my "teaching resources" and "displays" boxes, I started to do something which teachers rarely do - throw things away.  All of these items I had kept "just in case".  However things have changed in my classroom in the last five years so much that these are no longer worth keeping.  Some of the changes are down to my classroom practice and beliefs about education.  Other changes have been imposed from the government down.  I am sure you can work out which are which!  So here I present my Education Graveyard of the last five years.  

Ability Groups
I have written previously about how I was an ability group obsessive.  Over the last five years, I have gone from having ability groups for all core subjects to having no ability groups whatsoever.  Everything is taught whole-class in mixed-ability groups.  Movement is fluid so children can have adult support when needed and complete paired and group work successfully.  Read more about what I do instead here.  These velcro grouping charts were satisfying to throw away as I remember hours spent trimming, laminating, trimming again and velcro-backing the names that went on each set.  Also, notice below the death of "Literacy" and the rebirth of "English".  
Maths ability groups for display
Reading and writing ability groups for display

Connectives - RIP
The death of the humble connective. OK. Perhaps not so much a death but a retirement from duty.  Instead we welcome to the scene: conjunctions.  What's the difference? Who knows?! Why the change? Who knows!? I wonder, if we had a change of government, whether they'd rename them again.  It was too much of a long shot to keep these. Bin. 
Connectives display cards

Guided Reading Organisation Materials
If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know that I stopped teaching Guided Reading in favour of whole-class lessons nearly three years ago.  Despite this, I apparently still kept my master timetable, monitor cards and information sheets.  We have gone on a long journey with whole-class reading and I have documented every step in this blog post.  Needless to say, these didn't require much thought before they made it to the dustbin. 
Organising 5 x 25min sessions of Reading carousel activities

Assessment Foci
APP was far from perfect. However, what it did provide for us, in all core subjects, was an overarching focus for sets of our objectives.  These seemed fairly logical to me and were easy to differentiate.  Unfortunately, the new curriculum provided nothing of the sort so we had to cobble up our own.  
Reading AFs

Word Wall
I feel like pre-made word walls have had their day.  Now this may be because I work in a school with a strict nothing-stuck-on-walls policy.  Or it may be because I prefer for displayed words to be more flexible and come from the children's ideas.  I still enjoy using Scribble HQ - my writing working wall and so no longer have a use for these resources.  
The Word Wall bricks

As it turns out, I never found the "Little Miss Bossy" book so I'll have to keep searching for that! 

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