Author: Karen Roskilly

100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers by Ross Morrison McGill

There will not be many teachers who use Twitter regularly who are not aware of this book. Ross Morrison McGill is the most followed teacher on Twitter (@TeacherToolkit) and was certainly not shy about promoting his first book to his followers! I bought into the hype and quickly purchased my very own copy, hoping for the holy grail of teaching books; something inspirational but easily translated into my classroom with minimal resourcing. In many respects, that was exactly what I got. The book is divided into the following 13 sections: Starts of lessons, Planning, Assessment, Teaching, Behaviour, Homework, Questioning, Observations, Progress, Risk taking, Ends of lessons, Failsafe strategies, Abstract ideas. As such, it almost certainly has something for everyone. Indeed, one of the major strengths of the book for me is that each section enables you to dip in and out of the book with ease and contains a number of quick and simple ideas that can be easily incorporated into your teaching. Although lots of the ideas were familiar and things that I already do in the classroom, there were lots of tips that acted as reminders of things that I had previously thought about but not acted on and enough new ideas to get me thinking. As an experienced teacher, you may find that this book reinforces and reminds you of your own outstanding classroom practice, rather...

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The 7 Ts of Differentiation by Sue Cowley

This short book is a really invaluable guide to differentiation in your classroom. It is arranged neatly into (unsurprisingly!) seven sections, each with a range of themed strategies to effectively differentiate for your students. The sections are: The First T: Top and Tail. This section provides quick and easy strategies to stretch your most able students at the ‘top’ and support your weakest students at the ‘tail’. The Second T: Time. This section provides ideas on how to adapt timings within lessons, make time concrete and plan for longer-term activities to extend students.  The Third T: Targets. This section looks at both targets for students and teachers, personalised learning targets and how to use target setting to motivate.  The Fourth T: Teamwork. I love this section! Central to this chapter is how to create a team feeling within your classroom and it then provides strategies on how to use smaller teams/groups to differentiate effectively. The Fifth T: Thinking Skills. This chapter provides practical activities to encourage higher order thinking and ways to offer students choice about what, how, when and where they wish to learn. The Sixth T: Things. This section focuses on resources; people, objects and texts. The Seventh T: Technology. This chapter gives a brief overview of some ways in which technology can support differentiated learning and there are some interesting ideas on how to use images rather than text in the classroom. Some of my favourite...

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