I have written over 23 blogs so far in 2023. Before I sign off for summer (I have a book to finish off drafting and some sun to bask in), I wanted to reshape my 10 most popular blogs:

1. Crafting Great Sentences.

My most popular new 2023 blog so far this year – with over 11k views – is this practical post on how to craft great sentences in the classroom. It focuses on four key areas of sentence crafting drawn from my book: 1) Sentence combining 2) Sentence shrinking 3) Sentence combining 4) Sentence signposting. The blog shares multiple worked examples and practical approaches. READ THE BLOG HERE.

2. 7 Helpful Vocabulary Websites.

This blog does what it says on the tin – sharing a range of handy vocabulary websites, from old stagers like Vocabulary.com, to exciting newcomers like Rewordify.com and the debate inducing ChatGPT. READ THE BLOG HERE.

3. Adaptive Teaching and Vocabulary Instruction.

What is ‘adaptive teaching’ (the new, more popular update to differentiation) and how might vocabulary instruction lend itself to skilled, adaptive teaching? This blog attempts to explore and define ‘adaptive teaching’, before offering practical examples of how vocabulary approaches can offer meaningful and manageable adaptations to ensure all pupils can access the curriculum. READ THE BLOG HERE.

4. Write Less; Read More.

This polemic makes the case for different approaches to reading and writing in schools. Perhaps we are doing too may ‘big writes’ so that pupils aren’t able to focus their writing goals or understand their feedback? Maybe we aren’t simply reading enough, and that stripping away the exam-style questions could open up valuable reading time? The blog got a decent reception, so maybe it poses some timely questions. READ THE BLOG HERE.

5. What Should We Do With WAGOLLs?

A WAGOLL – ‘What a good one looks like’ – is a common feature in the teaching of writing – most typically in primary school. Whether it is WAGOLLs or worked examples, there is a set of useful principles to consider when using them in the modelling process that are shared in the blog. READ THE BLOG HERE.

6. The Struggle with ‘Writing Stamina’.

With the issues of post-COVID writing outcomes being down, and teachers recognising issues, ‘writing stamina’ has been cited as an issue. But what exactly is it? And what can we do about it anyway. This blog breaks down ‘writing stamina’, before then posing some useful practical approaches to take. READ THE BLOG HERE.

7. Is the ‘Instructional Coaching’ Wave About to Crash?

In the past couple of years, ‘instructional coaching’ has risen in prominence. But what is it, why might it be promising, and how do we avoid it becoming the next wave that washes away? The blog explores this area of PD, the common issues, as well as useful questions to positively steer this area of practice. READ THE BLOG HERE.

8. Prioritising Writing Progress.

This blog poses 9 key areas to proiritise when it comes to targeting writing development in schools. Areas include: handwriting fluency, secure spelling, modelling, systematic assessment, and more (including a free PDF resource). Writing may be identified as an issue, based on national data, but without a precise understanding of the problem we are solving, we may miss the mark. READ THE BLOG HERE.

9. 5 Free Research Reads On… Professional Development.

Early this year, I started a series of blogs that shares seminal research in key educational areas. The most popular of the series so far has been on professional development. It features researchers such as Mary Kennedy, Dan Willingham, Dr Pam Grossman, Susan Michie, and the EEF guidance report. READ THE BLOG HERE.

10. 5 Free Research Reads On… Teaching Spelling.

Another top 5 research reads that proved popular was the topic of spelling. This is a perennial issue, but there are also annual questions that attend this tricky area. The blog balances some research and theory on why spelling still matters, to a more practical explainer on ‘why teaching spelling?’. READ THE BLOG HERE.


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