National geographic offers all expenses paid trip for teachers – apply here


Marking Essentials

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Dark chocolate, London calling candle, rubric, green pen and most importantly my favourite tea for marking Roobios. It’s black, subtle, sweet and delicious. Also caffeine free to ensure a great nights sleep. You can drink it with milk or as I am tonight black with honey. Now I just need to find the perfect playlist.

Student Projeqts

Ms. O' Dwyers College Blog


“Dynamic presentations for a real-time world.”

I stumbled across Projeqt when researching new web 2.0 tools for my masters module, and what a little gem it is. Projeqt is a new way to share ideas and communicate stories. Perfect for getting students to working on class projects.

My guide to Projeqt

Getting Started

QbaseProfile: Add a title, description and tags to your project.

Security & Sharing: Projeqt has the necessary security setting for student work. Options for private or public projeqts.

There is also an option to enable a guest account.

Sharing is optional with just a tick of the box.

Comments can be enabled or dis-enabled.


Personalize your projeqt


As a non-linear storytelling platform, Projeqt gives you ability to add style and personality to your unique project.

Layout: views can be changed, from filmstrip to grid view, and there’s a full-screen option.

Colour Palette: background can be customise to…

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How best to teach: knowledge-led or skills-led lessons?

Joe Kirby's blog

“Let truth and falsehood grapple:

who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?”

John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644


Knowledge lessons prioritise memory, instruction and practice;

Skills lessons prioritise engagement, collaboration and reflection.

Last week I (and others, here and here) argued that a debate on skills and knowledge is worth having in education. I see a knowledge-led curriculum with mastery assessment and effective instruction as a frontier that has the potential to tackle the long tail of underachievement, particularly in challenging English schools with disadvantaged pupils.


The question of how best to teach is hotly contested. There are distinctive and fundamental differences in pedagogy between those who advocate a knowledge-led approach and those who advocate a skills-led approach.

The purpose of the skills-led approach is to prioritise and develop transferable skills like collaboration and empathy. The content studied is…

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Letter Writing

We recently taught a lesson on letter writing. Initially I was worried that our students would not be able to connect to the subject. I really like the resources that the BBC provide across the board for English education. So I turned to them for ideas and came across a real gem. A flash based program to introduce letter writing. It has animation, information, games and is HILARIOUS! As much as my students would not like to admit it they LOVED it. I tried my best to imbed it here, but wordpress would not have a bar of it. So here is the link:

It has some great characters including a robot with a South African accent. What’s not to like. Another site I like to use is
Students can go on, enter their e-mail addresses and they write a letter to themselves. The website will send it back to them in 12 months time. A really nice activity that my husband does every year.

After the activity my students wrote letters for their homework and they did a great job so the activity was a success!