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Is your child hopeless at spelling? Don’t panic…

The Telegraph – Tom Payne

“There are many strategies for developing confidence with spelling. One is, start early. Do everything you can to encourage reading in the home – in this way, many children will develop an eye for what looks right and what looks wrong. However counter-intuitive it seems to pronounce “friend” the way we do, we become used to it. That’s something to try on everyone, but children do learn in a big range of ways. Plenty find that parts of the body other than the eyes are helpful.”(more)

How to teach … flowers

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“We use flowers to mark all kinds of moments – celebration, remembrance, romance (or, for the more suspicious among us, a hint that the flower-giver has done something wrong). But at this time of year, they signify one thing above all else: the fact that spring is here and winter is finally on its way out. So, as the blooms begin to break through the ground, here are some ways to use nature’s signal of warmer days ahead to explore a variety of topics with your students.”(more)

How to teach … the steel crisis

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“Steel is big news at the moment. Last week’s announcement that the Indian firm Tata wants to pull out of British steel-making, risking 15,000 jobs, came as a shock. The move has sparked fiery debates about government responsibility for business, renationalising the industry and the devastating impact that will be felt by communities that rely on steel manufacturing. The news is one way to hook your students into a discussion about steel – from how it is made to its socio-economic impact – but it’s complicated so how can you help your students understand it?.”(more)

Sexist bullying ‘can make bright girls feel unfeminine’

BBC – Judith Burns

“Girls feel they have to choose between being attractive or clever because of sexist name calling in schools, a teachers’ union leader has warned. It can lead to lessons “with boys talking and girls listening”, said Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Girls too often feel they are on a tightrope, Dr Bousted added. Students at both mixed sex and all-girls’ schools were internalising society’s views of women, she warned. “There are so many names girls can be called – far more than for boys,” said Dr Bousted, speaking ahead of the ATL’s annual conference in Liverpool next week where the issue will be discussed.”(more)

How to teach … mental health

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“One in 10 young people between the age of five and 16 suffers from a diagnosed mental health problem – on average, that’s three pupils in every class. Being able to talk about difficulties is essential, especially since cuts to children’s mental health services mean schools are taking an ever greater role in offering support. So how can you start these conversations with your students?.”(more)