Journalistic Writing

One of the writing genres covered in Year 6 is journalistic writing. Journalistic writing is a type of non-fiction writing where children create newspaper or magazine articles and report on real or imagined events. When teaching journalistic writing, a prompt will give your students reason to write as well as an audience. Here is an effective writing prompt for journalistic writing you can use with your students; it inspired great pieces of writing from my class.

Scenario: Tell your pupils to imagine that they are all journalists, you are their newspaper editor and that you have called them in on a meeting because of some breaking news. Early in the morning the newspaper received the following video. You are sending all your journalists to get information about this event and write an article for the newspaper. The best newspaper article will be the one published in tomorrow’s newspaper. Show them the video and wait for reactions (not for the faint hearted).

*Note: You may find that many of your students will already know the application used to make this, but just play along with it and tell them to pretend that it is real.

Make sure that your pupils are familiar with the features of journalistic writing. Checklists are a great way to help your pupils stay on track when writing. Encourage their peers to assess their writing as well as give teacher feedback. That way assessment isn’t always coming from you.  You can use many found online or click { HERE } to download an editable one from Saved you a Spot, for free!

Below is a funny newspaper article that was written by one of many inspired journalists.

Till next time…

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Happy Birthday, Oliver Moon – A book review

The Oliver Moon books, published by Usborne and written by Sue Mongredien are very popular amongst primary school children. They are easy to read, with fun stories children love.

Read on for a book review, by Simran (age 10).

It’s Oliver Moon’s birthday and Mrs. Moon invites Oliver’s not so good wizardly friends by accident. Bully Bogeywort sneaks around Oliver’s birthday presents and creates havoc. There is a big chunk missing from the squishy work cake Mr. Moon had baked, and one of the candles is broken – then Granny Moon appears! It’s full of magic spells and surprises. 

My favourite part was when it began raining down from Bully’s pockets onto the table, which where Oliver’s presents. It was funny that the cupcake was talking. 

I really enjoyed this book and I will read more of the Oliver Moon series. I would especially love to read this book to my little sister to see if she would like it. I give it a three star rating. ⭐⭐⭐

Click on the wands to……..

Listen to an extract from Happy Birthday, Oliver Moon and Oliver Moon and the Spider Spell audiobook! 

Go to The Oliver Moon Junior Wizard site to see the whole series! 

 

 

 

Till next time…

DIY Bird Feeder

Do you have a soft spot for our little feathered friends? If yes, then this is a great way to attract them to your garden and help them out, especially in those cold winter months. Read on to see how you can make a bird feeder using only four things! You can make these with your kids or they can make them on their own if they’re old enough. If you like birds like me, you can make them yourself! 🐦🐦🐦

You will need: 

  • Pine cone 
  • All natural peanut butter 
  • Seeds for wild birds
  • String or yarn

Spread the peanut butter on the cone and sprinkle the seeds. Tie the string on top and hang onto a branch. In addition if you wish, you can add a twig at the bottom for birds to sit. I just love looking out into my garden and watching the birds…

The pine cone will open up gradually the longer you leave it. Just make sure to avoid hot days as the peanut butter may go bad.

Please like and share this post if you enjoyed it. 🐦

Till next time…

Classroom display idea for ‘The Environment’

Here is an idea for a quick display for the Science topic ‘The Environment’. 

Firstly, you will need a catchy backdrop, I used one with the sea. If you don’t have one like it then I would recommend you use blue for the sky as it is more effective if you keep to the colours of nature. The tree was simply cut out of brown card, no need to be precise the wonkier the better! Little green leaves for the branch effect to come to life and a title is all you need to get you started.

The rest of the display uses Twinkl resources, which are amazing, but you have to be a member to download them. I made the title with Twinkl create where you can create your own resources, however, if you have not subscribed just draw your own!

Baby Earth again was simply cut out of card and eyes and mouth were drawn with a black marker, the same with the 3Rs.

The Environment classroom display

I hope this might inspire you for a display. I would love to see what you come up with, too!

Share and like if you found this post helpful!

Till next time…

How to be the best student teacher EVER!

After talking to many different teachers about what makes a great student teacher, I’ve comprised a list of the top 5 most noted character traits that make student teachers outstanding. Be sure to take on board these habits to become the best student teacher EVER! Read on…

Be flexible

Welcome to teacher life! Flexibility is key to surviving in this profession. No matter how well-planned you are, there are never any guarantees that things will go according to plan. In fact it is always a huge surprise when things do as it is such a rare occasion. Last minute changes are inevitable so be quick to get on board the ever unpredictable world of teaching.

Welcome feedback

The way you respond to feedback, will help you grow as an educator to be. Positive feedback is of course so much easier to accept than negative or critical feedback. Ask what you can do to improve, take on board the suggestions you are given, with a positive mindset. Remember your mentor wants you to succeed so interpret any negative feedback as an opportunity for growth.

Take initiative

Don’t always wait to be told what to do. After your first few days of observing how the class functions, take the initiative to become active and do something new. Do something helpful such as introducing a new monitor scheme, organising the class library books, offer and share your ideas on how to better improve the class, make an educational display, do anything that will bring your mark to the class.

Take risks

Say goodbye to your comfort zone and brace yourself to try out new ideas. Share your ideas with your mentor teacher first, just to make sure that you are going about things the right way, for they know the class best. Make any adjustments recommended, if any, then go for it and give it a shot! Teachers and pupils are always grateful for fresh new ideas and ways of doing things, so show what you are made of. It’s so much easier today to get ideas than it was in my day. Ha! I sound old now! 🤣 😂

Embrace all aspects of teacher life

Don’t be fooled to think that teaching is purely lesson plans and classroom management. Help with mundane work, give feedback about the children to the teacher, give feedback to the children, build relationships with them. Be punctual, keen, willing and with a big smile.

There is no doubt that by following the above advice and taking on board these tips you will be the best student teacher anyone ever had! 

🍀 Good luck with your school placement!
Leave a comment below, like and share if you found this post helpful. 

Till next time…

Tips for having a Student Teacher in your Class

Have you got a student teacher in your class this year? Having a student teacher is a great honour, responsibility and opportunity to help out a new generation of educators. It shows that your school trusts you as an educator and believes you are well equipped to pass on your knowledge, to create a new generation of teachers with strong foundations. What a compliment! 

You may be wondering how can you best cater for your student teacher?

Follow these guidelines to head off to a good start. 

Communicate: 
Get to know your student teacher and discuss their needs with respect to their University. Let them know about your daily routines and what is expected of the children. 

Planning:
Student teachers should be part of all planning processes. This helps them to see how it is done and offers opportunities to ask questions. 

Marking:
Talk about the marking and how it’s done in your school. Have her mark alongside you and discuss what needs to be addressed and how. 

Displays: 
Student teachers need to gradually take on board all aspects of a teacher’s role. Being able to display children’s work and create educational displays is important. 

Feedback: 
The teacher should give feedback, both positive and critical. It should be done in an open, non-offensive way, so the student teacher can accept it readily to further improve. 

Lessons: 
All student teachers need to teach lessons. The student teacher should make their own plans and discuss them beforehand with the teacher. The teacher should be present during those lessons to monitor what went well and what could have been done better. 

Share: 
Sharing ideas, thoughts and information is very important. Both can benefit from one another as student teachers tend to think outside the box and can offer fresh ideas in the classroom, whereas teachers will offer the support and structure needed to implement them. 

Like, comment and share if you found this post helpful. 

Till next time…

12 Amazing Library Display Ideas for Every Month

One of the best ways to motivate and encourage children to read books is a good book display. Coming up with ideas can be hard and the internet can at times be overwhelming, leaving you at a loss. Below are 12 amazing  library and book corner display ideas, chosen from many on the web, that will be sure to motivate all readers every month. Which one is your favourite?

September

 

October

November

by Bess Gonglewski

DECEMBER

by Bulletin Board Ideas and Designs

JANUARY

from Pinterest

 

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

from Pinterest

 

JUNE

JULY 

 

AUGUST

from Pinterest

 

There are many more wonderful ideas on the web, these are just a few of my favourites! Apologies for those images I could not find the original source, please feel free to comment if you know it.

Like, share, comment if you have enjoyed this post!

Till next time…

Robinson Crusoe Display

Historical narratives can be tough for kids to comprehend as they are written in an old-fashioned style and use vocabulary that has seized to exist. By breaking them down and analysing them bit by bit, children can be exposed to powerful pieces of writing that have shaped the world of literature. It is impressive to see how well children respond to them, once they have gained concrete understanding. 

We looked at an extract from Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe’s novel 1719, and answered some comprehension questions, to aid understanding of the structure and meaning of the text. Once children took ownership of it, identified how Daniel Defoe’s long sentences mirrored the endless waves and the out-of-breath feeling Robinson Crusoe would have had toiling amongst the waves, the task was assigned. Their task was to continue the extract for the next five minutes of the story, using as many phrases as possible to describe what it was like for Robinson Crusoe once his feet touched the ground. They were allowed to use some words and phrases from other historical narratives we had read, following some of Pie Corbett’s Talk4Writing strategies, and their writing hit the roof!

This display aims to honour the children’s wonderful writing. A powerful, simple-to-make display  for outstanding pieces of work, using Twinkl’s Stormy Sea theme page borders.

When children’s work inspires teachers! ❤

Till next time…

 

The Tyger: poem by William Blake

Year 6 were introduced to “The Tyger” poem by William Blake and were mesmerised by it.  There is no doubt that this piece of literature is immortal and still burns bright with today’s youth. 🐯

The Tyger” is a poem by the English poet William Blake published in 1794 as part of the Songs of Experience collection.  Twinkl’s PowerPoint is a great resource to use when teaching it as it has a complete literacy unit, which incorporates poetry and persuasive writing.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

As William Blake was not only a poet but an artist too,  the children brought the tiger to life after an in-depth discussion of their impressions of the poem. We used Harriet Muller’s YouTube video and created some magnificent pieces of artwork!

TOP TIP: When displaying children’s work, go for an eye-catching border to make it pop!

Here is our end result! Hope you like it! 🐯🐯🐯

Till next time…

The Energy Bus for Kids

The Energy Bus for Kids is an illustrated adaptation for children of the best-selling fable, for adults, by Jon Gordon. It is a story about staying positive and overcoming challenges. Jon Gordon shows children how to overcome negativity, bullies and everyday challenges.  It’s a story that teaches children how to find their inner motivation and pass on that positive energy to others. 

Stavros (age 11) wrote a brilliant book review about this book. He loved it and would love for you all to read it! Read on for Stavros’ book review…

What is the book about? 

The story is about a boy called George who has a lot of things going wrong for him, every day at school. His bus driver, Mrs Joy, teaches him different ways of being positive all the time. She teaches him how not to be bullied and to show love and kindness to everybody. 

Who would you recommend the book to and why? 

I would recommend this to book to all the children in the world. It teaches you how to be a good child and to always think positive. 

What ages and interests is it suitable for?

 It is suitable for all children from the age of 6 years onwards. That’s when they start school and it will teach them what’s right and wrong. 

Rating:  5 Stars

Visit www.EnergyBusKids.com for additional information, free downloads, resources, and to sign up for Jon Gordon’s free Positive Tip newsletter.

You will find great teaching ideas for PSHE and building children’s positive mindset. 

Till next time…