The Powerpoint is dead! Long live the laminator! has been my war cry recently as I attempt to make the best possible use of my time in creating versatile resources that I can use again and again with different year groups. One of the most useful resources across every year group I teach from Upper Sixth to Year 7 has been the 16 analytical sentences document created and shared by Andy Tharby analytical sentences
I have modelled these extensively with all my classes – first practising sentences in isolation, as recommended by Andy, and now handing out the laminated sheets every time we do analytical writing to help them to structure their ideas about the text we are working on. It also really helped boost my Year 8 pupils’ confidence to learn that they were working with exactly the same resources that were being used with my top set year 10 and my Sixth Form students.
Inspired by this, I decided to copy the Deep Language Analysis – Writer’s Palette that Andy and Shaun Allison created in their book Making Every Lesson Count.
This has also proved a really useful tool – particularly for year 10 as they learn to structure exam answers – as pupils either use it as a step by step guide to constructing an answer or they can quickly scan the sheet for help if they get stuck on what to do next.
I have also started using Knowledge Organisers, thanks to blogposts by Joe Kirby and a brilliant presentation by his colleague Jo Facer at ResearchEd Swindon and borrowed a few from the brilliant collection crowdsourced by James Theobald on his blog Knowledge Organisers
These have a multiplicity of uses in class – they can be used as support for pupils when engaged on a task, revision aids, memory tests and starter activities. I have made or borrowed (my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has shared theirs) knowledge organisers for all my Key Stage Four texts now and expect that the investment in time in creating, printing and laminating will be more than repaid by the repeated use I will get out of them over the next few years.
And best of all, every time I use them I feel grateful to be part of the amazing community of Tweachers who share their resources so generously with the rest of us.