Decluttering pedagogy – creating space to spark curiosity

I'm about three years late reading Marie Kondo's Joy of Tidying Up. The thesis of the book is that if an item doesn't spark joy, then dispose of it. To an international school teacher, living light is a necessity.  Sentimentality goes in the bin along with your unwanted possessions when you are under a strict... Continue Reading →

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Ending my love affair with the laminator

Primary teachers have a love affair with laminating machines. Wall displays, name cards, cards. No job is too small for the laminators. It makes things bright and shiny. Primary teachers love bright and shiny. I often used to joke that the only real question they need to ask would-be primary teachers at Teachers College is  'do... Continue Reading →

Binary question – a thinking enviroment

A few months ago on Instagram, I came across the concept of a binary question by @braddodaddo. He puts together a question with two possible answers for students to answer using counters. I love the idea of starting of the week with something to get children thinking. The idea of two choices so simple, yet... Continue Reading →

What do the walls of your classroom really say about learning?

In between the consumption of vast quantities of delicious food, I've been spending a lot of time meandering around art galleries in Europe. I've seen the grand masters - Picasso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Dali, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas. Too many - I was sensory overload. A lot of the works of art have just blended in to... Continue Reading →

Is it time to get rid of the teacher’s desk?

 A few years ago I wrote about getting rid of half of the desks in my classroom. The result of the experience was a more agile learning space that constantly evolved to meet the needs of the learners. I forgot to write about the most important classroom desk I got rid of in the process,... Continue Reading →

10 tips for First Year Teachers

1. Don't talk over the kids If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it is  this. Never talk over the kids.  You might have to wait a long time for their attention and on occasion you might have to stop and wait. Be patient. Allowing the kids to talk over you... Continue Reading →

2013 in review – 13 from 13

A bit late for a year in review but with moving countries I've been a tad busy. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog which I've included below. However I've decided to do my own round up of my favourite posts from each month and my all-time favourite post of... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Minecraft, MLEs and Quadblogging! Oh my!

I've become a huge quadblogging fan. For those not in the know quadblogging is when a group of four classes take turns to read and comment on individual blogs. The quad can be international or national. After a few false starts, the quad I've been involved in this year has been nothing short of awesome.   I... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Creating space

For someone who loathes interior design with the fire of 1,000 suns I spend way too much time thinking about classroom layout.  After my initial move away from student desks, I had another classroom re-configuration at the start of the year when I was the lucky recipient of new  classroom furniture. Yet here I am back... Continue Reading →

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