Pick ‘n’ mix: other blogs and articles on reading and writing.

My personal blog was looking a little (very) sparse, and I keep meaning to add to it.  Hopefully I will in the summer.  Busy times though, eh? . For the sake of avoiding the ‘one track record’ label, I’ve gathered some links to some of my other bits and bobs written across the past couple of years. If nothing else, it is handy for me and saves me wading around a number of sources. Hopefully there is something here that might be of interest.


Reading aloud is really very important.  And you have to Do the Voices , here published in NATE’s Primary Matters magazine. With sincere thanks to  Mat Tobin (@Mat_at_Brookes) and Jane Manzone (wherefore art thou @HeyMissSmith) for their help in shaping this.

I’m keen to see a greater emphasis on the affective dimension of children’s literature, as considered in this blog.  I happen to think that is a good thing for children to experience (safely) a range of emotional responses. The power of a good book.  If we want children to write for effect, they may well need to have felt some effects for themselves. Scary is good.  So is sad.  Funny , too.  Whatever it is, does it make them feel something?

An early analysis of the 2016 KS2 reading test.  Bizarre title; somewhat bizarre test in places.

An article on reciprocal teaching of reading (page 22).

Book reviews

Well of course there is Raymie Nightingale

The wonderful Mary Roche’s Developing Children’s Critical Thinking Through Picturebooks

Bob Cox’s excellent teacher tool, Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose

For NATE’s Primary Matters magazine, the wonders of Rooftopper and Bear and the Piano – page 2 – the latter is a masterpiece if you ask me.

The visual wonders of FArTHER and Grandads Island (2)

The endlessly creative genius of Mini Grey’s most recent manifestation in The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show

Whoops and What makes it Rain? tucked away towards the end of this newsletter.

Somewhere out there, there is a review of Piers Torday’s There May Be a Castle – but I can’t find it.  One day perhaps.

Technical English bits 

The tricky business of teaching verbs to our younger pupils.

An early guide to the range of verb forms that our lovely pupils are charged with learning in KS2.  The pen as TARDIS anyone?  Teaching for Timelords.

An attempt to convey why  I care about grammar teaching as a string in the bow of great English teaching.  Language is power.  More than one language is even more powerful.  More than one register ? Well that’s pretty handy too.

A blog in which Donald Trump takes a break from tweeting and proves that determiners are not, in fact, the word’s most boring word class.

And then Michelle Obama comes along and makes a case for the erstwhile wallflowers that we call pronouns.

On the curious case of commas not being recognised as commas in the 2016 Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling test.  So when is a comma not a comma? It’s only blown up further this year.

A guide to verb forms in relation to the current statutory arrangements for the assessment of writing (the higher standard for Year 6 – Working at greater depth).

Developing vocabulary – a look at Beck et al’s Developing vocabulary – So many words, so little time written for NATE’s Primary Matters magazine.


Statutory Writing Assessment Guidance

First  – and most popular – of the ‘Shifts in formality’ blogs – here looking at how formal and informal writing might be identified. Includes an embedded PDF guide to formal and informal writing elements.

Second part of the ‘Shifts in formality’ blogs – here sharing a detailed lesson script based on Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.

Third part of a series looking at ‘Shifts in Formality’  – an element of the Greater Depth writing standard.  Here looking at suggested writing activities that might allow for demonstration of this aspect.

See also the verb forms blog above.

That’ll do for now.   Roll on summer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: