And how can we use this knowledge to improve our pupils’ level of reading?
Too often it is thought that a fluent reader is a good reader but if your pupils have no or very little understanding of what they are reading, their ability to read (fluently or not) is essentially useless.
Which is why Brilliant Publications has produced the Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension Series – to help your pupils to comprehend the texts that they can read but not necessarily understand.
Each activity book in the series includes newspaper articles, dialogues, plays, stories and poems based on a range of themes, with activities ranging from factual recall and vocabulary work to open-ended questions.
What’s more, the cross–curricular activities provide a wealth of ideas for extending the passages further, making them ideal for mixed-ability classes.
It is unlikely that reading ancient religious scriptures to your pupils will result in them forming a lifelong relationship with religion. But this might.
It could be argued that the reason for young people of today being less religious than their forefathers is because there is an increasing disconnect between the context of ancient religious scriptures and modern-day society. And in no place can we find better examples of this disconnect than in the Bible.
However, many religious people would argue that whilst this might be the case, the messages and teachings of these ancient religious scriptures still remain as relevant as ever, which is why Modern Christian Assembly Stories exists.
Modern Christian Assembly Stories gives schools an opportunity to teach children about the messages and teachings of the bible in a context which is relevant to pupils’ everyday lives, thus increasing the chances of young people choosing to maintain a lifelong relationship with the religion.
This valuable resource contains 50 assembly stories which not only link to Christianity, but also to a whole host of themes and situations that young people may encounter and find difficult to navigate, such as Bullying, Disability, Disappointment, Equal Opportunities, Divorce, Peer Pressure, Phobias and Friendships, to name a few.
Click here to see an overview of the contents of this resource
Click here to see a sample assembly story (Scott’s Story: Tackling Child Mental Health)
For more information or to order Modern Christian Assembly Stories for £18.50 as a printed book, £12.99 as an e-book or both for a discounted price of £22.40, simply visit:
Is it too much to hope that ALL your pupils will be fluent in their times tables?
There is a reason why some of us can’t decode maths problems. An increasing understanding of dyscalculia among professionals has meant that pupils with the specific learning difficulty are getting more access to materials which will help them to overcome their difficulties with maths.
For a pupil with dyscalculia, the very essence of number cannot be understood – thus, manipulating numbers with mathematical functions can be somewhat of a challenge. Indeed, it is possible for some dyscalculic pupils to understand numbers and simple mathematical functions (addition and subtraction) using mainstream methods, albeit at a slower rate than their peers. However, when the pupil advances to learning multiplication and division, there is often a mental blockage.
These pupils need to learn maths, and the functions of multiplication and division, using a multi-sensory approach. Using a multi-sensory approach with non-dyscalculic pupils has also proven to improve mathematical performance.
This book provides stimulating and imaginative games to make the process of learning the times tables both effective and fun. The games require minimal preparation and ensure that all children gain a firm understanding of their times tables and will be able to recall and apply them rapidly and accurately.
The first half of the book contains games specifically aimed at teaching the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. The second half contains games appropriate for any of the times tables. These games are subdivided into three groups:
Games for learning each table in sequence
Games to test pupils’ memories and thinking skills as they try to identify the table they are working on
Games to teach children the different factors that can make up each answer.
Knowing good grammar is one thing but understanding grammar is something else entirely.
The single most powerful way that one can express oneself is by using one’s own words. And whilst it may appear that young people can express themselves orally or in writing when explicitly asked to do so, how many of them are truly using their own words, as opposed to those copied from others?
It is only when children are taught why we speak and write the way we do, through grammar and punctuation lessons, that they can develop the skills needed to manipulate words and sentences to make them their own – enabling them to clearly and uniquely express themselves in their Literacy lessons and beyond.
Getting to Grips with English Grammar is a series for teaching grammar to pupils in Years 1-6, written by Charlotte Makhlouf, author of our best-selling series, Brilliant Activities for Reading Comprehension.
The Getting to Grips with English Grammar series is built on the premise that pupils need to put grammar and punctuation rules to the test in both their reading and writing in order to understand grammar and its subsequent impact.
This brand-new activity book series integrates engaging reading comprehension passages and writing tasks with accompanying activities. The grammar is introduced in a systematic way and concepts are revisited as you progress through the scheme to ensure firm understanding.
For more information and to see sample pages, simply visit the links below.
For example, ask the children to fill several plant pots with potting compost and plant seeds or cuttings. Water them and place transparent, colourless plastic bottles which you have cut in half over some of the pots to form mini greenhouses. Explain to the children why you are going to cover some of the pots and leave others uncovered. Otherwise treat all the pots the same: give them the same quantities of water and keep them in the same place, so that they get the same amount of light and heat. Every day observe what has happened to the plants and to the plastic bottles. As an extension activity the children could measure the temperature in the plastic bottles and in the room.
Afterwards talk with the children about which plants have grown the fastest and why that might be. Talk about how plants need warmth to grow and that they grow more rapidly in a warm atmosphere. The plastic bottles have a film of condensation on the inside which helps to keep the plants moist.
It could be argued that any creative writing that your pupils are required to undertake as part of the curriculum is something of an oxymoron. You must encourage your pupils to think outside the box whilst providing evidence that they can use fronted adverbials, adjective-packed noun phrases, and other grammatical structures.
Moving from one oxymoron to another, the Brilliant Activities for Creative Writing Series Pack will help pupils to understand how to plan their writing whilst allowing their imagination to run freely by encouraging them to talk about their ideas, try out sentences orally, and listen to others’ comments about their work. What could be more of an oxymoron than encouraging children to talk in a writing lesson!?
With meaningful discussion and careful questioning from yourself, your pupils’ writing skills will flourish.
When we teach division to primary children, we tend to introduce it as being a sharing operation where objects are divided into a number of groups of equal number. We also discuss that division has an opposite, multiplication. We talk about Division being about separating groups, while its opposite, multiplication is about combining groups.
We often assess our children’s understanding by using worksheets which can be printed for each child or which can be projected onto a white board. This worksheet is taken from Brilliant Publications ‘How to Sparkle at Beginning Multiplication and Division’ for 5’s to 7’s.The children are asked to share the objects evenly between the crackers.