The Four Types of Classroom Context

The Four Types of Classroom Context

Don’t fall into the trap of always choosing a realistic context.

Yes, it’s easier to pick (you just think about a situation from real life), but it gets boring for you and your students.

 I have a friend who describes this as the ‘tyranny of context’, and he’s not wrong.

 I would argue that there are four kinds of context. Imaginary, implied, realistic and real.

Read More

Teaching is an Act of Persuasion

Teaching is an Act of Persuasion

In ‘Why Students Don’t Like School’, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham says that just as an author has to persuade the reader not to wander off and do something more interesting, so a teacher has to persuade students to continue the learning journey.

When I read this, I was reminded of a few of my lessons where it took all my powers of persuasion to get my students to stay with me, as we heroically battled through a particularly boring coursebook chapter.

Read More

Differentiate Mixed Abilities

Differentiate Mixed Abilities

Differentiation is the means of teaching one concept and meeting the different learning needs in a group.

Differentiation lies on a scale. At one end is 1-to-1 teaching, where everything is 100% personalised for one student. At the other is where I was when I first started teaching – treating everyone in the class the same, and moving together (regardless of how well they did or didn’t do). Your job as teacher is to move as close to the 1-to-1 end as possible whilst keeping your sanity.

Read More