It’s been a busy term – in fact so much seems to have happened in the last few weeks both professionally and personally, I don’t really seem to know where the days have gone. One of the consequences of this is that I have had lots of ideas swirling around in my head and thought more than once – I must write about that – if only for an opportunity to clarify my own thoughts and for a chance to escape into something which I feel at home with.

Rather than write a post tonight, I am going to take the opportunity whilst my brain is still not quite in gear, to order my thoughts and come up with a plan. I love a plan, and I love writing a plan – ask anyone I work with. My A level students are finally on board with my obsession and it is great to see them approaching their responses to texts in a structured, logical and ordered way – and understanding why this is important. And as I taught them today, I was struck by how in this very act of giving them the structure and understanding of how to order their thoughts, that they were actually enabled to be far more ‘creative’ in their responses than if they had had no plan or structure. I absolute believe there is a balance that can be struck between helping students think, understand and write meaningful analyses without having to resort to a mechanistic use of acronyms.

So…as a first step in ordering my own thoughts, here are the things I want to write about:

  • inspired by @xris32’s ‘one slide’ on Shakespeare, a context slide which can be used with any text to focus students’ reading of fiction and non fiction texts on this aspect
  • one which I have been thinking about since Christmas and an exchange with @Positivteacha about PP strategies and approaches
  • a follow up to my learning without limits post, focused on practical strategies and examples
  • the use of the WHERETO tool as an approach to planning lessons which does not become formulaic or prescriptive but still ensures a well planned lesson
    practical strategies for engaging with the linguistic aspects of texts as promised to @Mrs_Badham
  • a post on how the use of a priority matrix which ‘plots’ ease of implementation against impact can help focus and drive the work of a team, as well as help create shared ownership and collaboration so that ‘crunch points’ are avoided for teachers in the classroom

I think that’s probably about it for now. And I do feel better for at least having put a list to paper. Just need to decide now on which one to do first – suggestions welcome…