Creative Writing: Christmas Edition

Here is a creative writing lesson inspired by the BBC Christmas advert! I initially planned this for my bottom set Year 8s so it may well need some adaptation.

Merry December…

Christmas Creative Writing Lesson

 

Christmas Creative Writing

There is NO obligation to pay for this resource. However, all money collected from the site goes towards paying the annual subscription/hosting fee from WordPress. All contributions are very welcomed!

£2.00

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Black History Month – Tutor Time PowerPoint

October is Black History Month and so as my first year being a tutor (and an NQT) I really wanted to address it in a meaningful way with the students!

Sadly, I ran a Twitter poll (which I know is in no way totally accurate or representative) but at the time of writing this, the overwhelming majority of people weren’t doing anything for Black History Month in their schools!

We have ‘circle time’ once a week with our tutees so I was planning on spending two weeks on this. I wanted to use the PowerPoint in the first week and then set them off on a mini homework to research a black figure (current or historical) and create a poster/be ready to present what they’ve found out the following week.

I feel really strongly about including more black figures within our curriculum but also within our daily conversations with pupils. I think this is a fantastic way to engage students into some independent research whilst also promoting Black History Month in such a way that isn’t merely a token gesture.

Check the notes to read through how the slides can be used.

Click Here to Download for Free!

If you’d like to pop some money in the pot for them then, of course, it is greatly appreciated. However, please don’t feel obliged to do so! It just covers my costs for the WordPress account from which this site runs.

Black History Month PowerPoint

£2.00

Structure Strips for Poetry Comparison

Hello all! It’s been a while…

I’ve made some structure strips (as inspired by @mrlockyer on Twitter) for my gorgeous Year 10 group (target grades ranging from 4-7).

 

As they complete their work, I’ll post up some of the results but for now…enjoy your free download from this link here.

If you’d like to pop some money in the pot for them then, of course, it is greatly appreciated. However, please don’t feel obliged to do so! It just covers my costs for the WordPress account from which this site runs.

Poetry Comparison Structure Strips

£3.00

Poetry Response Flow Chart

I created this and posted it on Twitter asking for some feedback but lots of people seemed to like it so I thought that I would share it on here with a couple of tweaks. I designed this for my mid-ability Year 10 group who are just starting out on their GCSE course. I haven’t yet tried this on my pupils but it is a developed version that I used from last year so I can vouch for its efficacy!

This isn’t for a comparative question but it is mostly to get them thinking about how to write about poetry & bring in all of the information. There are other resources on comparing two poems which you can find on the Power & Conflict SoW I designed which you an find under KS4.

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These sheets are editable so in theory you could use them to help students with anything at all! I’ve also added some notes on the file about how I was planning to use them which you can see here:

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You can download the file by clicking here.

If you would like to contribute, please do so although there is no obligation to.

Poetry Response Flow Chart

Editable poetry response

£2.00

Managing Your Workload During Your Training Year

If you have just started your teacher training, no matter the route, you may be feeling rather swamped with things to do! It is something that I really struggled with throughout the year and no matter what advice you will be given…you will struggle to balance everything. I don’t think it is something people ever master or get the hang of as even very experienced colleagues admit that they find it difficult.

I think I needed to think about this recently as well as I come to the end of my first week as an NQT and face the temptation to work over the weekend…which I’m channelling into this post instead.

1. You’ll never finish your to do list.

It is just going to be a fact. You’ll never finish off everything you want to. What you can do, however, is RAG rate the importance of the tasks you need to do so that you make sure you finish that lesson before you start cutting out display lettering.

2. Use your free periods wisely.

The benefit of your sparse timetable in the first term is that you can get lots of observations done across different year groups/subject areas but it also means that you can get lots of reading done for your assignments. Space out the work you’ll need to put in for your assignments during this first term especially because once your teaching ramps up…you’ll be glad you did it!

3. Remember to say no.

You should not be expected to be the errand girl/boy for the other teachers in your department. Of course, there may be times where you help a colleague out by grabbing their photocopying from reprographics. However, there is a line and you need to learn where you draw yours.

4. Think about how much time you spend planning lessons/activities.

Be smart about it. I once spent 2 hours planning a 20 minute connect activity. It was ridiculous. I tried to account for every minute of the lesson and micro-manage the pupils in anticipation. Well needless to say that some pupils turned up late, didn’t dance to the very specific beat of my specially designed drum, and well…the lesson was a bit pants. Not only did I spend an idiotic amount of time on the 20 minute connect activity but it didn’t do anything for the kids either so nobody won. Try to keep it all in perspective!

5. Get yourself a decent planner & write all of your deadlines in.

There is nothing worse than finding out you have a major essay due in a few days when you haven’t done any of the work and you’ve got a stack of books to mark as well as lessons to plan! Get yourself a decent planner, wall calendar or sit down and input it onto your phone calendar. It’ll save you a heart attack closer to the time.

6. Set aside some time that is all about you.

Keep yourself grounded and set some time aside that it all about you. I set aside Saturdays every week. Arguably, that isn’t nearly enough time but for me, that was good enough. I wouldn’t do any work and would make sure to catch up on some trashy TV whilst in my pyjamas binge eating sweets.

7. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

Some departments/schools are more open about sharing resources than others. Regardless of whether colleagues are happy to share, you can access loads of materials and resources online through Twitter (where most people share for free), bloggers, TES or Teachers Pay Teachers. These resources will save you a decent amount of time and if nothing else, give you lots of ideas!

8. Ask for help and support.

You should have a mentor in school as well as a tutor with your training provider…ask them for them! The chances are that they’ve supported other trainees through these issues and been through them themselves. Talk to your friends and your family. Don’t be scared to say if you’re ever struggling.

 

If there is anything else that anyone can think or would like to see on this list then let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @MissSims4

Persuasive Writing/Advertising SoW (KS3)

Hello!

Apologies for a brief hiatus – I have been away on holiday & then our cat got stuck on our neighbour’s roof and so…needless to say this has been on the back burner. However, now I’d like to share one of my favourite units for KS3…the persuasive writing campaign! There were several ways to approach this unit in our department but I wanted to make it  really meaningful and engaging for the pupils (surely that is always the aim but hopefully you get what I mean!).

I approached it as a charity campaign whereby pupils chose a charity in their group and created a three-pronged campaign of: a persuasive letter encouraging people to donate; a radio advert; and a poster. This gave pupils a bit of variety and an opportunity to use lots of different language features…as well as something a bit fun at the end!

Pupils got really stuck in and it was a fantastic way to explore citizenship and current issues within the classroom. There is scope to use it as a whole-school exercise as well and get the pupils to campaign for their charities and raise some actual money – if that is something you wanted to do, of course!

There are 7 lessons but it definitely spanned over that as some of the tasks take longer than others. You can download them from Dropbox by clicking this link here.

I hope it is useful! As always, my resources are FREE to download but if you would like to contribute anything, please feel free to do so below…

Persuasive Writing SoW

£5.00