What works well and nettles

There’s an interesting UK site (which is relevant to Australia as well) entitled What Works Well as it contains a series of case studies from schools and has a very good structure to each case study in that teachers and TLs can examine the case study at an overview level or in more depth. For example, in the To develop higher order thinking skills in year 5 Maths lessons    case study, there is an introduction which explains the reasons for the case study e.g. students appeared to lack certain skills or had not been taught these skills. You can follow this up by finding out who was involved, what did the teacher do and  what impact the teacher’s actions had on the students. There is then a Summary category of the case study. This is worth a closer look as it can be a source both for TLs to learn and a source to pass on to your teachers.

On rejoining the Poetry Book Society, I was given a copy of Answering Back edited by Carol Ann Duffy (Picador 2007). The book is based on a great idea by Duffy who asked 50 other poets to choose a poem from the past and respond to it with a poem of their own. Today I read Tall Nettles by Edward Thomas  (“I like the dust on the nettles, never lost/Except to prove the sweetness of a shower) and the response is by Gillian Clarke (“Nothing but an old compost heap/warmed to a simmer of sickly pungency”). Poets and poetry make you look at everyday things in a different light, so next time you see nettles, give them a closer look and you might see, as Clarke did “young peacock butterflies, just hatched”.

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