Advisories. Awesome or Awful?

Evidence shows that Advisories either work really well or else get hijacked by administrators. They can be empowering experiences for students or  wasted time in the week. I have already had some interesting discussions on Twitter about how to make best use of Advisories in school.  I just wanted to use this space to share Read more about Advisories. Awesome or Awful?[…]

The Flesh under the PEEL.

Students often receive feedback telling them to ‘develop their ideas’, but they frequently have no idea how to do it.   This series of posters is designed to flesh out PEEL – a popular acronym often used to help young writers support their ideas with evidence and explanation. This series of posters was created in order Read more about The Flesh under the PEEL.[…]


There is no doubt that positive relationships with students are essential for teaching and learning success.  According to Hattie in Visible Learning it is one of the top three teacher strategies with a 0.72 effect size! Obviously anything that a teacher does to undermine student relationships is bad.  Narking home to parents fits snugly into Read more about NARKING ON STUDENTS![…]

Getting parents on board

One of my main goals this year was to find better ways to establish and maintain close connections with whanau (families) in order to create a supportive environment for students. Home-school connections are strong in primary school, but significantly weaker in senior high school. As a parent myself, I know how important the home-school link Read more about Getting parents on board[…]

Why it’s good to be Random

Assessment for learning strategies can sometimes be difficult to implement in the classroom, but Jennifer English’s blog post Trying to embed some simple formative assessment into my practice  highlights how it can be done.  Her comments about the use of the ‘no hands-up classroom’  and the importance  of ‘thinking time’ encouraged me to post my Read more about Why it’s good to be Random[…]

Experiential Engagement – What does it look like?

The goal of experiential engagement is to hook students at the beginning of a unit or lesson in order to motivate them to want to learn.  The idea is to set up an activity that allows learners to personally connect to the topic and find some authentic context. The concept is explained in more detail Read more about Experiential Engagement – What does it look like?[…]


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