Monday, 28 March 2016

How to learn vocabulary

A yellow dandelion amid mayflowers and little daises.

How to learn vocabulary

Learning vocabulary is a very important part of learning a language.
The more words you know, the more you will be able to understand what you hear and read;
and the better you will be able to say what you want to when speaking or writing.

Which words to learn
Every day you hear or read many new English words. You also find them in your dictionary
when you are translating from your own language. You can’t possibly learn all these new words,
so your first problem is to decide which ones to concentrate on. Here are some suggestions:
*learn the words that are important to the subjects you are studying
*learn the words that you read or hear again and again
*learn the words that you know you will often want to use yourself
* do not learn words that are rare or not useful (your teacher can help you with this)

Once you have chosen which words to learn,
you next have to decide how you are going to learn them. Here are a few ideas:
*write the words in a notebook (with their translations or definitions)
*write the words and definitions on small cards

*say the words many times
(if you have an electronic dictionary you can hear how the word is pronounced)
*put the words into different groups (you could use a graphic organiser)
*write them in a file for use with a computer program (such as Quizlet or the one on this site)
*make associations (in pictures or with other words)
*ask someone to test you
*use the words in your own speaking or writing

*Some students put a tick or cross in their dictionary next to every word they look up.
The next time they turn to a page with a marked word,
they quickly check to see if they remember the meaning of that word.
In all of the above ways, you are doing something with the words. It’s usually not enough to just read through a list of words with their definitions or translations and try to remember them. 
Most students find that they memorise words better if they do something with them.
Even better is to try and learn the word in a typical combination with other words. Learning that 
to apologize means to say sorry is a good start, but it's much better to learn a whole expression containing the word, e.g. He apologized for being late. Not only is this often easier to remember,
but you are also learning some very important information on how the word is used.

Learning for vocabulary tests
The previous section on this page gives general advice on how to learn the words
 that you have chosen as important for you. Often, however, you will be given a set of words
by your teacher and told to learn them for a vocabulary test. In this case you need to be sure
exactly how you will be tested, because this will influence how you learn the words.
There are several ways that the teacher might test your vocabulary learning,
but the ways are broadly divided into two categories:
You will be given the word and have to:
*write a definition
*use it in an example sentence
*translate it into your language
You will be given:
*a definition
*a gapped example sentence
*the translation in your language
*and you have to write the English word.
If you do a vocabulary test from the second group above, then in most cases you will need to learn the exact spelling of the word and will lose marks if you misspell it. As with all tests,
be sure to ask the teacher exactly how you will be tested and exactly how you will be graded.
You will then avoid wasting time studying something that you will be not be tested on.

Learning vocabulary by reading
The way you learned very many of the words in your own language was by meeting them
in the books and magazines you read. The context of a new word in a sentence or story
was often enough for you to guess the meaning. Meeting the word again and again in your reading helped you learn it for use in your own speaking and writing. Doing lots of extra reading for pleasure - both fiction and non-fiction - is an excellent way to learn new English words, too.
But choose books that you find quite easy to read. Difficult stories or texts that you struggle
to understand will not help you to develop your vocabulary the natural way.
But remember: to learn new words from reading you have to read A LOT!

More information about learning words
The vocabulary you know can be divided into two groups - passive vocabulary and active vocabulary. Passive vocabulary contains all the words that you understand when you read or listen,
but which you do not use (or cannot remember) in your own writing and speaking.
Active vocabulary is all the words you understand, plus all the words that you can use yourself.
 Your active vocabulary, in English and your own language,
is probably much smaller than your passive vocabulary.
The more you work on learning a word, as suggested above, the more likely it is that
it will become part of your active vocabulary.

Things to know about the words you learn
Usually the first things you learn about a new English word are what it means and its translation
in your own language. But there are other things you need to find out before you can say
that you know a word like a native speaker does. For example, you have to learn:
*how it is spelled
*how it is pronounced
*how it is inflected (i.e. how it changes if it is a verb, noun or adjective)
*other grammar information about it
*how it collocates (i.e. what other words are often used with it)
*if it has a particular style or register
*the context in which it is most likely to be used
Native speakers learn these things about words by hearing them and reading them again and again. This is the best way for you to learn them, too.

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:        gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life              which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.       just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”   

Friday, 25 March 2016

Who’s afraid of lesson observations?

Beech nut case.

Who’s afraid of lesson observations?
Joe Kirby

“Shoot an apple from the boy’s head. If you miss, your own head shall pay the forfeit.”
Wilhelm Tell, by Friedrich Schiller, 1804.

In the 14th century, Switzerland was ruled by the Habsburg Emperors of Austria.
From 1300, Gessler, the Austrian ruler of Swiss Altdorf on Lake Lucerne, raised a pole in the village’s central square, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the townsfolk bow before the hat.
In 1307, William Tell, mountaineer and expert crossbow marksman, walked by the hat with his son and refused to bow to it. Gessler, infuriated by his defiance but intrigued by his fame,
arrested him and devised a cruel punishment: execution unless he could shoot an apple
off his son’s head with a single crossbow shot. Tell split the apple, struck a blow for liberty,
and sparked Switzerland’s successful rebellion for independence.

The fearful prospect of a missed target
Ask any teacher for their experience of summative observations, and it’s likely their answer
will involve various expletives. It’s no surprise that The Guardian’s Secret Teacher guest bloggers, given a choice of any topic, have several times chosen to fulminate about them, asking: 
is the system of judgment on teachers counter productive? 
why do we continue with this outdated system of pre-planned lesson observations? 
surely schools can find a better way to assess teaching and progress?
Four of Britain’s top education bloggers, Tom Bennett (‘why we need an observation revolution: being formally observed ranks just below self-immolation as an activity of choice’), Andrew Old (‘there is a big problem with this obsession: the quality of teaching is impossible to judge objectively’), David Didau (‘where lesson observations go wrong: why do we insist on grading lesson observations?’) and Tom Sherrington (‘the snap-shot observation process is flawed’),
 have asked similar questions.
To my mind, there are four problems with our system of summative observations:
1. High-stakes judgements create undue pressure and stress.
2. Numerically graded labels lead to over-prepared performances.
3. Criteria and targets are often unhelpful or counterproductive.
4. The one-off observation model is a chronically narrow snapshot of actual teaching.

This blogpost, all I want to do is collate what teachers are saying about the current system of lesson observations. Anecdotes and comments from across the education blogosphere tell their own story:

1. High-Stakes Judgement: Under The Microscope

“The stress that this causes some teachers desperate to please is damaging to so many.
The work load and target setting is ridiculous and it solves nothing”.

“If we tried to meet the outstanding criteria in every lesson every day the teaching profession
would end up having a mass nervous breakdown.”

I can honestly say that this was the cause of me leaving my post in July. As an accomplished AST, head of department and recently appointed SLE, me and my team’s classes did well and lessons
 were generally graded positively. Results were outstanding but this was never good enough. However, the constant observations, enforcement of policies decided by SLT without
any consultation, lesson format, learning objectives and the like created such an environment
that I just lost interest. As teaching is all I’ve ever wanted to do, my sudden decision to quit surprised me as much as my Head. Something needs to happen before more teachers give in, like I have”.

“My colleagues and I work in a climate of fear. We see people crying in their cars; not able to come in for fear of the day ahead. People crying in corridors after years of successful teaching,
demoralised and mystified by bad observation feedback. The big difference is that
these days judgements are accompanied by dangerous consequences for individuals.
Since September we come to work every day with fear in our bellies. We jump through every hoop
we are given. Yet, whatever we do, it never seems to be enough and sadly I am starting to see
some of my colleagues begin to give up, lose confidence and go on Prozac”.
“I have been teaching for nearly 30 years and I have never felt so stressed. I, for one, am sick
and tired of the endless observations, monitoring, scrutinies. Why are teachers so mistrusted
in the UK? I am looking for out as I personally cannot think of much longer working in this madness”.

“I recently retired from headship. Two periods of stress and other health complications
led me to decide enough is enough. I miss many aspects of the job but I do not miss the demands
on school leaders to be an “enforcer” rather than a “supportive” leader.”
Under the microscope
“This year it seems like I have been observed within an inch of my teaching life.  
It has not been an easy process or one full of much joy. There has been a great deal of tears
and much soul searching after a succession of ‘Requires Improvement’. 
“…My Head of Faculty walked in with a member of SLT.  The anxiety levels cranked up. 
The judgement was a Grade 3 ‘Requires Improvement’. Feedback began with the,
‘How do you think it went?’ question, and being very much negative in my thinking,
and relentlessly self-critical, I picked out the flaws in the lesson. 
“This lead to feeback delivery being in the tone of a doctor delivering news of a terminal illness,
and was relentlessly critical for what seemed like forever, to the extent I stopped the conversation demanding some positives. I was so angry. I then spent a good hour in a different SLT member’s office sobbing, and sobbing, and sobbing. 
“…The process? Vampiric in its demands on your mind, body and soul.  

2. Numerical Grading: A Game of Twister

“We have so many priorities and so many different focus areas that we all have stress paralysis.
We have no idea where to start. A basic lesson is now no longer good enough.
We try and shoehorn all our priorities into one lesson when Ofsted arrives, but, alas,
trying to get them all in means you now spend too much time talking!
Your lesson, despite your best efforts, still ‘requires improvement’.”

“When I observe my teachers, I am reduced to grading a teacher on a 1-4 tick box sheet.”

“Outstanding becomes so unattainable you give up trying, it’s like playing a game of twister.”

“Spot on, simply impossible to attain ‘outstanding’ without literally working 14+ hours per day, everyday”.

“I recall the weakness of formal lesson observations from my own experience as an observer.
 (I reluctantly did them to play the OFSTED game) I watched a good teacher produce a lesson
that was inadequate – she was teaching a demanding concept to a low ability class – she had taken
 a gamble to try something difficult. I couched the feedback into a something more positive unconvinced that labelling her inadequate would do anything than undermine her confidence
as a practitioner. I then went back a week later and dropped in on the follow up lesson.
Far from giving up because the first lesson did not work she re-taught that concept
making adjustments gleaned from her experience of the less good lesson. The students had grasped a concept many would have thought well beyond such a group. To me that teacher was not,
and should never have been left, with a message that she was inadequate”.

“I went from being an outstanding teacher (in an OFSTED observed lesson) in July
to a notice to improve in a peer obs lesson in October. I was given a ‘pep talk’ by my line manager informing me that if I didn’t get at least a grade 2 on my next observation I would be put on capability proceedings! This is madness – one bad lesson does not make a good teacher incapable. Anywhere else this would be an off day and nothing else. Incidentally, I got a grade 2
in my next observation but the damage has been done. I have decided that I cannot stay in this profession any longer and am leaving teacher at the end of this year”.

“14 days ago I delivered an inadequate lesson after 8 years of solidly good and outstanding teaching but more importantly after dedicating my life to 100’s of children at the expense of my own 3.
I was then watched again to deliver another inadequate lesson unsurprisingly though as I was terrified of not “pushing the more able” and ended up teaching something far too complex.
I just don’t get it …what is the magic formula? It’s not as if myself and my colleagues want to be awful, we wouldn’t spend all our waking and sleeping hours on the job. I might as well have sat
at the front of the class and eaten my lunch during my observation 2 weeks ago. The verdict would not have differed. I am now a shadow of my former self trapped and exhausted
and well on the way to capabilities. Teaching is a living nightmare.”

“If teachers are waiting to find out what grade I think their lesson is they won’t hear very much else. And as soon as I’ve told them, they’re either too relieved or devastated for any kind of developmental conversation”.

“Can we define an outstanding lesson? No. ‘Outstanding’ is a chimera.
You can’t bottle lightning and you can’t show someone how to be outstanding”
“During a short observed segment of a two hour double lesson, I was judged requires improvement because “I didn’t see you assess their progress, you knew you were being observed
so you should have played the game and done a different lesson that ticked all the boxes.”

“Good and outstanding are arbitrary, subjective judgements made of students performance.
If all we’re interested in is an ability to respond to familiar cues then, really, what’s the point?”

“When I was training I didn’t get a 1 because “I didn’t stick to the timings that I wrote on my lesson plan” – they were personal little reminders to keep the pace as I certainly never expect a lesson
to run by a minute by minute timing guide! The second was that to get a 1
I needed “to create more humour” in my lesson. Didn’t realise I needed to be a comedian to teach!”

“I agree with you about the arbitrary and subjective nature of “outstanding” judgements.
Two examples of terribly frustrating feedback from SLT:(My lesson – HOD English- Y10 poetry
using drama): that was enjoyable, fascinating and an inspiring lesson. However, although last week you would have got a 1 (beware HT who has been on Ofsted training), this week you are a 2
because there was not enough differentiation. Me- I did differentiate the written response.
HT- yes, but you should have differentiated the drama. Me – How? HT- I don’t know.
(Colleague’s lesson, a teacher I rate as outstanding in every way): that was a “good” lesson.
It wasn’t a 1 because Courtney had her head down on the desk for 3 minutes.
(Never mind the poor kid’s headache in 30+ temperatures as the windows won’t open
for H&S reasons…and her later involvement in the lesson.)”

“The day I realised that applying ‘interpreted’ and disaggregated OFSTED criteria for single lesson observation was nonsense:“It’s a 1 for everything except progress in the lesson
which has to be a 2 – so it’s a 2 overall. The students have made the expected progress
but not necessarily ‘outstanding progress’ in this lesson.”

“Because I talked too much, did not include half a dozen necessary ‘priorities’, did not have the aims and objectives on the board, it was a Grade 3 – “requires improvement”. I was told that I must now undergo mentoring to improve my performance, to which I said “Bollocks – show me how to do it, then”, (and the demand was promptly dropped). These students, so badly let down by my teaching, went on the score 8xAs, 7xBs, 9xCs and nothing less in the subsequent exam”.

3. Ever-Shifting Sands: Unhelpful Criteria…

“I was observed by my head with a Year 7 DT class. Normally they would be busy making
 their little wooden toys with great enthusiasm and the room would be buzzing.
However this lesson would not tick the boxes so it was a whiteboard, objectives,
AFL and differentiation! The system is on its knees!”

“I am fed up with being told what to do. I cannot be as passionate about ticking boxes
as I can about demonstrating science”.

“I’m sick of the half-witted box-ticking exercises which simply get in the way of teaching
and learning.”

“Classroom teachers know that the ‘outstanding’ criteria are unsustainable on a lesson-by-lesson basis, as do middle and senior management. As must OfSTED. However, we all play along
with performance management targets, classroom observations, and inspections
which assume that we are all working towards these externally set ‘success’ criteria.”
“Right now I spend nearly as much time documenting as I do doing”.

“As a primary headteacher, where I have a huge issue is with the outstanding rating.
If you look at the Ofsted criteria, the difference between good and outstanding descriptors is frequently the odd adjective or adverb, often fairly meaningless and open to wide interpretation”.

“The general feeling I’m getting is that, in many cases, the observation process is actually hampering teachers’ self-confidence and ability to do the job well. The flow of learning across a longer period
of time is disrupted as teachers tie themselves in knots attempting to demonstrate all the strategies, skills and outcomes dictated by the ever-changing criteria against which they are to be judged”.

“One school I worked in decided lesson objectives simply weren’t enough. There should be a “WALT” (We Are Looking To) -a short description of what the students were hoping to have achieved
by the end of the lesson – and a “WILF”. WILF turned out to be a description of three different levels of achievement and the academic grades they corresponded to, all of which were to be explained
to the entire class. This was promoted as something that would help the school pass OFSTED.
When OFSTED did arrive they ended up complaining that the teachers spent too much time
talking to the class.”

“Hideous ever-changing goalposts don’t reflect any trust. We are losing the inspiring teachers
and this is unforgivable.The system has gone beyond just weighing pigs to measuring every conceivable aspect of the pig irrespective of it adding any value to the learning”.

… and Unhelpful Targets

“Having sat through many an inset day presentation on how to ensure an ‘outstanding’ grade
in a lesson, I think I know the drill:
• Always do group work and never ever have the students writing for any length of time
as this is boring and therefore ‘inadequate’.
• If the teacher talks for more than five minutes at a time, this is boring and therefore ‘inadequate’.
• You must demonstrate progress every 10 or so minutes through some sort of questioning
or feedback. If an observer walks in, then you should stop the children from working
and immediately ask them to tell you what they’ve learned.
I have issues with all of these.”

“Kids weren’t allowed to read aloud in class as it wasn’t a challenging activity.
It would have been better if they had got out of their seats”.
“Told to foster independence with no further guidance as to how. Told not to talk so much.
Told the lesson not outstanding because 2 students didn’t take enough ownership of their learning”.
“Quality of explanations are literally never commented on.
At worst you’re told to eliminate the explanation which enabled them to do the work.”
“Simple straightforward practice is labelled boring. Apparently 5 questions would have been enough for my low ability year 9s to master simplifying fractions and then I should’ve moved on. Rather than giving them 10 of the same questions, couldn’t you give them maybe 3 or 4, and then start putting
in something that requires more effort, like a reverse problem? My blunt answer was no.”
“If I were to teach a lesson where I told them what iambic pentameter was
and made them practice looking at examples, I’d probably get no more than a 3”.
“I was told there was not enough AfL in my Maths lessons because there were no mini-whiteboards.”

4. Flawed Snapshot
“Announced observations create a false impression”.

“I used to treat observations like a driving test. You don’t fail your driving test for not looking
in the mirror, you fail because the examiner did not see you look in the mirror. I would tell them,
via the students, exactly what I was doing. “I’m not going to share the exact objectives today
as I don’t want to destroy the discovery…” “Obviously, I can’t teach you anything without knowing what you know so ….” and 20 minutes later “I wonder if you have made progress, let’s find out ….” It was a whole nonsense performance, but proved to be very effective in getting “Outstanding” grades. Never assume the observer can see what you are doing”.
We need a new approach to lesson observations
“A former colleague told me they’d spend hours planning a lesson for an observation by their boss. Resources had been perfected, an incredibly detailed lesson plan written and an overly-complicated PowerPoint produced. Why? The opinion of their boss matters, as it should, and they were aiming for an outstanding judgement. But isn’t this twisted logic? Not all lessons can be planned and prepped
to this level of detail, so the question that needs to be asked is: is the system of judgment on teachers counter productive? What about the other lessons that week?
If I can achieve an outstanding after five hours of prep, but usually I plan lessons in 20 minutes,
is it fair to class me as an outstanding teacher?”
“The idea of observing one lesson which forms a series of lessons to make a judgement,
is entirely flawed. It shows a lack of understanding of sound pedagogy.”
“…and not only one lesson but a part of one lesson, during which you are supposed to demonstrate all the ‘priorities’”.
“Any single lesson exists in a wider context. Teachers need to have the confidence to plan lesson sequences where learning and progress are evidenced over time, not in artificial bite-sizes
 just to satisfy the accountability process. One-off lesson observations are very limited in value.
We need more points of reference”.
As a headteacher, I watched a lesson alongside an observer taught by someone who I believe is
 a cast-iron teaching expert, who year on year secures extraordinary outcomes and who I feel knows their subject so well that if they think teaching a certain way is appropriate, no-one bar none
(and certainly no inspector) could really argue. So how on Earth did we end up accepting that
this lesson segment was judged ‘Good’ without running the observer out of town? 
I’m ashamed of myself for allowing that to happen. Not enough differentiation?
Get away…..  Nothing about the overall, long-term experience of learning in this teacher’s lessons
is less than outstanding; it was the snap-shot observation process that was flawed.

What’s so problematic about our observation system?
In sum, summative observations are high stakes, high stress, high pressure.
They judge teachers by grading lessons on a 1-4 number scale, unhelpfully labelling them.
They encourage over-prepared ‘performances’ and don’t enable anyone to build any kind of picture of what learning is actually happening day-to-day.
The criteria don’t often help teachers improve. The feedback is unhelpful or counter productive.
The whole process of taking a one-off snapshot is flawed.
As Old Andrew says, “the key problem here is that something that should be informal 
the monitoring and support of teachers – has become formal. As ever the education bureaucracy
has decreed that good practice only counts if it generates a paper trail. I welcome any teacher coming into my classroom, but the moment they are bringing forms to fill in,
they have ceased to be anything but a nuisance.”
As Tom Bennett says, “High stakes observations help no one; they turn what should be beautiful opportunity to learn and train into a gauntlet… Observations stifle good teaching, when they should be helping to generate it. As a teacher, being formally observed ranks just below self-immolation
as an activity of choice. Careers are moulded by such things, and broken too. Observations are
a powerful lever to enact change, especially when they are linked to career progression,
pay increments, and performance management measures. The thirst for hard data
to feed the maw of the evidence machine perverts and vivisects the practice of teaching…
It is a death by a thousand ticks.”
As David Didau says, “Lesson observation, if it is to be productive and actually help teachers improve, needs to focus less on making judgements and more on teasing out teachers’ expertise”.
The most striking questions from the comments on the Secret Teacher articles ask, with urgent insistency: “If we can see the stupidity of all this then why aren’t we doing something about it? Why teachers don’t argue their case more?” “Why are we continuing to let this happen?” 

You can TCR software and engineering manuals for spontaneously recall – or pass that exam.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube  
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:         gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life               which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.        just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


Hi. Welcome again to 
I'm Adam. Today, we're going to look at some vocabulary that gets students confused, 
because the words are so similar that people don't know what to do with them.

Let's look at these words. First, listen carefully to how I say them. As a verb: "live". Of course, 
the noun is: "life". The adjective: "live". Verb: "live"; adjective: "live"; adjective, a different adjective: "alive"; a noun: "living"; an adjective: "living"; a gerund: "living". Okay, so here are your words. 
Now, people will often say: "What's the different between 'live' and 'alive', or 'live' and 'alive'?" 
Okay, so let's look at all of these.

First of all, what does it mean to live? So I'll add this here. "To live". Basically, "to live" means to not be dead. Very simply put. Right? To live means to eat, to drink, to breathe, to go to a club and dance, to sing. Whatever you think is living. For example, you go to work, you make money, that is your life. You live your life to help your family or your friends, or your community. Okay?

"Life" is everything, everything that we do. 
From the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep. Well, even in your sleep, it's still life. Right? You're still living. So, from the minute you're born to the minute you die, that's life.

Now, "live" is completely different from "live". "Live", when we say something is live, we mean at the same time and usually in person. For example, you go to a concert, a music concert, you're seeing the band perform live, in front of you, at the same time. Anything else, if you listen to music on your iPod, or MP3 player, or your phone, then you are listening to a recorded performance. You're listening to recorded music. If you're at the stadium and you're seeing the band on the guitars, and drums, and whatever, you're seeing it live. Now, if you're on Skype and you're speaking to someone on the other side of the planet. Is this conversation happening live? Yes, because you're doing it at the same time. But if you record your video message, send it to your friend by email, he or she opens it and sees the video, then it's not live. Then it's a recording.

"Alive". "Alive" is the state of living, of being not dead again. Right? Usually it's a feeling, 
it's an adjective. It talks about a feeling or a state of being. I'll give you an example in a second.

Now, "living" has many uses. Oh, I forgot to add one here. We'll start with the verb. As a verb, 
it is basically the continuous form of "to live". For example, in the present perfect, continuous: "
I have been living in my apartment building for three months." It means three months I started... Three months ago, I started to live there, and I still live there now. The continuous.

As a gerund. We can use "living" as a gerund. "Living with cancer is a very bad way to live." Basically. "Living with cancer is very difficult." So, again... Let me just write this out, 
because you might not know this. A gerund is the "ing" form of a verb, but we use it like a noun. 
Okay? "Living in Canada is sometimes difficult because it's so cold, but other times, it's nice."

As an adjective. We use "living" as an adjective to talk about something that is alive. Right? So, for example, a living creature. Any living creature is anything that can die. A rock is a nonliving creature. This marker is a nonliving creature. I am a living creature. I hope you are living creatures, too.

We can also use "living" to describe somebody's state. For example: "A living legend." When we talk about a person and we call him or her a legend, it means they're very famous, and their story is very long, and everybody knows it. And if we say: "A living legend", then this person is still alive today.  So, for example, some people think that Nelson Mandela is a legend, what he did in South Africa. 
So he is a living legend. We can learn from him directly. Good.

This one may be a little bit surprising: "living" as a noun. We say: "You make a living." Notice the article "a". What does it mean if you're making a living? "Living" here means income. Every day, you go to work, you work hard, you get a paycheque to take home to your family. You are making a living.

Great. So, now we know what all of these words mean. Let me give you some example sentences.

"To live". Okay? "It is important to live life to the fullest." Basically means live every day 
like there is no tomorrow. Sing, laugh, love, dance, shout to the skies if that's what works for you. Right? But live life every day like it's your last; enjoy it.

You can TCR music, poetry or self development material for internal knowing.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

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The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Why I'm Not Impressed with Effective Teachers

Burdock aka sticky burr as the seeds travel by hooking into fur or clothes.

Why I'm Not Impressed with Effective Teachers

I was making a presentation about how to raise reading achievement. I was taking my audience through research on what needed to be taught and how it needed to be taught if kids
were to do as well as possible. I was telling about my experiences as director of reading
of the Chicago Public Schools at a time when my teachers raised reading achievement.

When I finished, a teacher approached me.
“What do you think is the most important variable in higher reading achievement?”
My answer was, “The amount of teaching—academic experience—that we provide to our children.”
 She stared at me, horrified. “Not the teacher?”

We hear that a lot these days, that the trick to high quality education is excellent teachers.
Who in their right mind could be against excellent teachers?

For example, the Center for American Progress (CAP) just released a report showing the importance of quality teachers in Pre-K through Grade 3, particularly for kids from low-income families.

However, I’m more interested in verbs than nouns. The focus on effective teachers—teachers,
a noun—makes it seem like we just are attracting the wrong people into the profession.
Man, if teachers were smarter, more teacherly, better, then our kids would do great.

Contrarily, my focus is on teaching—teaching, a verb—which shifts my attention to what it means
to be effective. Effective teachers are not just nicer people to be around,
but they do things that less effective teachers do not.

For example, effective teaching employs instructional time more wisely.  It is teaching that gets started right away—no 30-minute circle times, no large portions of class time devoted
to getting a head start on the homework—and such teaching keeps kids productively engaged throughout the day. Observational studies have long showed that effective teaching
avoids long wait times by the kids; avoids disruptions; encourages more interaction
per instructional minute; follows a sound curriculum intelligently; gets a lot more reading into
a lesson; explains things better; notices when kids aren’t getting it and does something about it.

What’s the difference?

I can’t teach you to be an effective teacher. But I can teach you to do the kinds of things effective teachers do. We can figure out what makes them so special and can emulate their specialness. Driving a car like Tiger Woods won’t make you a great golfer (sorry General Motors),
but if you can get at what makes him great, then perhaps you can emulate
that golf behavior successfully. Experts drool over his golf swing—squaring the head of the club
up to the ball time after time. You might lack Tiger’s nerves and reflexes and his muscle memory developed through long hours of practice, but you can work on developing a fundamentally
sound golf swing—just like Tiger’s—and that will make you a better golfer.

If the issue of educational effectiveness turns on effective teachers, then you either are one
or you are not. If it turns on teaching effectiveness—knowing how to model effectively,
to explain things clearly, to guide practice effectively, to let go at the right moment
to let the students try it themselves, to review wisely—then we all have a lot to work on. Great teachers aren’t born, they’re made. Effectiveness isn’t a feature of a person, it is a goal to strive for.
Labels: effective teachers, Teaching, teaching research

You can TCR specialist and language dictionaries that are spontaneously accessed.
I can Turbo Charge Read a novel 6-7 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
I can TCR an instructional/academic book around 20 times faster and remember what I’ve read.
Introduction to Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
A practical overview of Turbo Charged Reading YouTube 
How to choose a book. A Turbo Charged Reading YouTube
Emotions when Turbo Charged Reading YouTube

Advanced Reading Skills Perhaps you’d like to join my FaceBook group ?

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:        gives many ways for you to work with the stresses of life              which takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.        just for fun.

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”