Hindsight is always 20/20

Delete, Substitute and Keep: A Practical Guide for Teaching Summarising and Note-Taking

Summarising and note-taking require students to condense information into a concise form. Meaningful notes will also identify connections between the ideas contained within a passage of text. Generating notes and summaries is difficult for students because they struggle to tell what is and isn’t noteworthy.  I often read that the Cornell system offers a practicalContinue reading “Delete, Substitute and Keep: A Practical Guide for Teaching Summarising and Note-Taking”

Mapshock: Avoiding Cognitive Overload when Introducing Graphic Organisers

I posted a blog this morning about using graphic organisers to support reading and writing during remote learning. @memneon — someone I enjoy engaging with on Twitter — asked this question: In my blog, I explain how graphic organisers can support reading and writing during remote learning. I propose that graphic organisers allow students toContinue reading “Mapshock: Avoiding Cognitive Overload when Introducing Graphic Organisers”

Using Graphic Organisers to Support Reading and Writing During Remote Learning

Clear writing comes from clear thinking (F and G Andrews, 1996). Investing time in rehearsing and planning can improve students’ confidence when writing. A direct writing route and knowing where to start can elevate the quality of a student’s writing. Reading can be complicated. Students can encounter difficulties in decoding words, recalling what they haveContinue reading “Using Graphic Organisers to Support Reading and Writing During Remote Learning”

Organising Knowledge: Ausubel’s Advance organisers

The Situation  Expert teachers create and maintain, almost automatically, complex networks that link concepts, ideas and facts within their domain (Ambrose and colleagues 2010 P.43). Furthermore, experts have richly connected and meaningful knowledge structures which allow them to use knowledge more efficiently and effectively. In contrast, most of our students have sparsely connected knowledge structuresContinue reading “Organising Knowledge: Ausubel’s Advance organisers”

Connection Cues

I’ve been thinking about how I use retrieval in the classroom, and how over time, this has become a much more responsive process, with a sense of automaticity that was certainly not there in the earlier years of my teaching practice. I thought it might be useful to share my thinking on how to setContinue reading “Connection Cues”

Free Template for Creating Booklets

Here is a free template I use to create booklets and other educational resources: If you’d like to know how to create your own, visit: And for tips on how to create graphic organisers, visit:

researchED Surrey 2020

I, like many others, have greatly benefited from the researchED movement. Standing on the shoulders of giants we have been privileged to learn from Ruth Walker, Mary Myatt, Kate Jones, Tom Sherrington, Oliver Caviglioli, Adam Boxer, Paul Kirschner and many more. If you want to know what generosity is, look no further than researchED Home.Continue reading “researchED Surrey 2020”

Searching for Meaning using Graphic Organisers

Humans have always been tools users. During the Stone Age, humans made tools for hunting and chopping down trees. Laptops, smartphones and stationery are all examples of modern tools designed to help us accomplish predetermined tasks. The tools we use have purpose and come with their own rules. These rules might be considered guiding principlesContinue reading “Searching for Meaning using Graphic Organisers”


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