An English Teacher's Toolbox

An English teacher at a Secondary School in the UK. * Sharing and questioning the day job. * I teach KS3/4/5.
* Looking for inspiration and motivation, to share with others. * Looking to constantly improve and grow. * On Twitter at @MissBex_M *
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Posts tagged "tips"

hithertokt:

The word ‘group’ started to look really weird.

[P.S. Edit: I got everything above — stars, labels, sticks — from the dollar store. Cost: three bucks and twenty minutes total.]

amandaonwriting:

Barnaby Conrad: On Writing

6 rules for writing a great story

1. Try to pick the most intriguing place in your piece to begin.

2. Try to create attention-grabbing images of a setting if that’s where you want to begin.

3. Raise the reader’s curiosity about what is happening or is going to happen in an action scene.

4. Describe a character so compellingly that we want to learn more about what happens to him or her.

5. Present a situation so vital to our protagonist that we must read on.

6. And most important, no matter what method you choose, start with something happening! (And not with ruminations. A character sitting in a cave or in jail or in a kitchen or in a car ruminating about the meaning of life and how he got to this point does not constitute something happening.)

Hone your opening words, for just as stories aren’t written but rewritten, so should beginnings be written and rewritten. Look at your opening and ask yourself, ‘If I were reading this, would I be intrigued enough to go on?’

And remember: Always aim for the heart!

Conrad is the author of The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction.

Source

(via misslokenglish)

amandaonwriting:

20 Quotes from J. K. Rowling
1. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
2. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
3. As is a tale, so is life, not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
4. The wizards represent all that the true ‘muggle’ most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!
5. I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ’You’ve lost a lot of weight!’ ‘Well, the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’ What I felt like saying was, ’I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you.’ But no — my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!
6. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
7. I’ve never set out to teach anyone anything. It’s been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding ‘What is today’s message?’ And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to ‘thought for the day.’
8. Part of what makes a language “alive” is its constant evolution. […] I love editing “Harry” with Arthur Levine, my American editor — the differences between “British English” (of which there must be at least 200 versions) and “American English” (ditto!) are a source of constant interest and amusement to me. 
9. I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.
10. I’ve no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out, it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms.
11. Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters, for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves we collude with it through our apathy.
12. [On Fame] One of my regrets would be that I will never again have the pleasure of sneaking into a cafe, any cafe I like, sitting down and diving into my world and no one knowing what I am doing and no one bothering about me and being totally anonymous, that was fantastic.
13. Probably the very best thing my earnings have given me is absense of worry. I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that any more is the biggest luxury in the world.
14. Bigotry is probably the thing I detest most. […] I really like to explore the idea that difference is equal and good. Oppressed groups are not, generally speaking, people who stand firmly together — no, sadly, they kind of subdivide among themselves and fight like hell. That’s human nature, so that’s what you see here. This world of wizards and witches, they’re already ostracized, and then within themselves, they’ve formed a loathsome pecking order.
15. I love freakish names and I have always been interested in folk lore and I think it was a logical thing for me to end up writing even though it came so suddenly.
16. As you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called “real life”, I want to extoll the crucial importance of imagination.
17. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself and what those closest to me expected of me.
18. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.
19. I imagined being a famous writer would be like being Jane Austen, being able to sit at home in the parsonage and your books would be very famous.
20. Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don’t think anyone could have made me do it, or prevented me from doing it.
Source: The Quotabl.es Blog 
Image: Digitopoly

amandaonwriting:

20 Quotes from J. K. Rowling

1. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

2. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

3. As is a tale, so is life, not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

4. The wizards represent all that the true ‘muggle’ most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!

5. I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ’You’ve lost a lot of weight!’ ‘Well, the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’ What I felt like saying was, ’I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you.’ But no — my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

6. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

7. I’ve never set out to teach anyone anything. It’s been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding ‘What is today’s message?’ And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to ‘thought for the day.’

8. Part of what makes a language “alive” is its constant evolution. […] I love editing “Harry” with Arthur Levine, my American editor — the differences between “British English” (of which there must be at least 200 versions) and “American English” (ditto!) are a source of constant interest and amusement to me. 

9. I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.

10. I’ve no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out, it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms.

11. Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters, for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves we collude with it through our apathy.

12. [On Fame] One of my regrets would be that I will never again have the pleasure of sneaking into a cafe, any cafe I like, sitting down and diving into my world and no one knowing what I am doing and no one bothering about me and being totally anonymous, that was fantastic.

13. Probably the very best thing my earnings have given me is absense of worry. I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that any more is the biggest luxury in the world.

14. Bigotry is probably the thing I detest most. […] I really like to explore the idea that difference is equal and good. Oppressed groups are not, generally speaking, people who stand firmly together — no, sadly, they kind of subdivide among themselves and fight like hell. That’s human nature, so that’s what you see here. This world of wizards and witches, they’re already ostracized, and then within themselves, they’ve formed a loathsome pecking order.

15. I love freakish names and I have always been interested in folk lore and I think it was a logical thing for me to end up writing even though it came so suddenly.

16. As you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called “real life”, I want to extoll the crucial importance of imagination.

17. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself and what those closest to me expected of me.

18. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction.

19. I imagined being a famous writer would be like being Jane Austen, being able to sit at home in the parsonage and your books would be very famous.

20. Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don’t think anyone could have made me do it, or prevented me from doing it.

Source: The Quotabl.es Blog 

Image: Digitopoly

(via ms-fagerstrom)

world-shaker:

Here’s one (click through for the rest!):

Tip 3: Start Contributing

It’s possible to get a lot out of Twitter  just by lurking and seeing what others have shared, but since I’ve started joining in the conversation I’ve found my experience  more rewarding.

One way to begin contributing is to simply retweet links that other people have shared which you find useful. People appreciate this because it sends their message out to a wider audience. As you begin to share links that are useful, other people will begin to find you helpful as well, and your network will grow.

If you find a useful or thought provoking link, share that as well. For me, sharing is at the heart of what my PLN is all about.

Completely agree with this tip! Just do it (as Nike says).

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

What little things can you think of, in your own life, that turned out to be ‘big things’? - Discuss!

(via misslokenglish)

classroomcollective:

do you want to find informational websites to use with your class that have a bit more “child-friendly” vocabulary? use this neat trick to change the reading level of your google search results!

express-media:

1 Have humility. Older/more ­experienced/more convincing writers may offer rules and varieties of advice. ­Consider what they say. However, don’t automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else – they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just…

askingtherightquestions:

Another cool organizer for the classroom!

askingtherightquestions:

Another cool organizer for the classroom!

A really useful chart to help pupils understand different feelings people/ characters have,

Especially useful for pupils with Autism and other needs.

Use an aluminum roasting pan as your homework collection tray… Smart and super cheap!