About Me

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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Round up for October

It's that time again already! Here's a round-up of what's been going on over the last month, both here and at my website.

October Reviews

4 YA (2 fantasy, 2 realism), 2 kids' (1 fantasy fiction, 1 non-fiction) and 2 adults' (1 lit fid, 1 crime fic).

Other posts for October

Material on my website this month:

My website is focused on the teaching of English A Levels, especially Language, and is built around a collection of revision notes for students. I recently began a big revamp project, including new material which is updated weekly - a series of features for students, along with tips/activities/ideas/resources for teachers. The notes are fairly extensive at this point; this round-up will focus on the regularly updated content.

For teachers: a record of the students' features (with occasional linked resources) and teaching tips:
  • a no-prep end-of-topic starter activity
  • a tip about getting Language students writing about meaning as well as showing off their new-found terminology
  • a discussion of How Much Grammar students need for Language A Level
  • a tip on using exemplar essays

On the students' page:
  • Features on: child phonology; NaNoWriMo; semantic weakening (is it really 'epic'?); new words as a sign of the times.
  • Vocabulary pieces on: guiding the reader; being tentative about meaning; avoiding the vague adjectives 'positive' and 'negative'; using connectives logically.
  • Books for wider reading: Dante's Inferno; Jenefer Shute's Life-Size.
  • Reads to relax with: The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish; Dark Parties by Sara Grant; The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis; Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings.
My other big website announcement of the month is that I have collated all my 'Frameworks' notes (the key terms for English Language or English Language and Literature A Level) into an ebook and self-published it in Kindle format. Should you know anyone this would be helpful for, please do send them to my Frameworks pages for more info. The notes will continue to be freely available online, but the ebook version may be more convenient on the go.

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