colin tollervey

colin tollervey

Location Uk



  • Thank you for the useful links and ideas, I will be putting these into practise.

  • Many useful points and links. I hope that I am now better prepared to identify students with SpLDs as by the laws of probability I must have taught some before ,but was unaware. It is good to know that many techniques are good practise for all students.

  • It has been an interesting four weeks and reminded me that many problems can be solved by incorporating good practise into the lessons for the benefit of all students. I am sure that I have taught Dyslexic students before ,especially at the beginner level, but was unsure about what was involved, but now that if my lesson plans are good enough then I should be...

  • The message about positivity is important and how students can lose interest. At school I had a maths teacher who when given a wrong answer liked to tell the student they were stupid, before moving on to the 'brighter' students. We 'stupid' children quickly worked out that it was easier to be called stupid than actually doing any maths. To this day my brain...

  • Scaffolding and pre learning vacabulary and grammar before reading lessons is useful for all students.
    Above it states 'Learners with SPLDs should not be asked to read out loud.', but I thought that previously the opposite has been said, tailoring the reading according to ability.

  • I always like to break up the text into smaller segments, not only does it make the exercise less intimidating ,but also breaks up reading time. If an article that takes five minutes to read is broken up into five section, then there is less 'dead ' time for the faster readers.( of course it will be the same, just wont be as obvious).

  • Prelearning and checking the meaning of new words in text is what I normally do , but I have not used sentences ,where you infer meaning and think that some quite interesting lessons could result from that exercise.

  • I do not use music and song as much as I should,but often use song as a gap filling exercise.
    I do try to get students to use rhythm in English ,because many students can be very flat ,so using sentences like 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' and getting the class to recite them.
    It is easier to use song with younger children ,because they are more...

  • I often work with minimal pairs using the book 'Ship or sheep'. ( I have always liked that book!) and have used sound boxes with younger children ,but did not know that they were called Elkonin boxes.

  • Good idea to get the students to make up their own mnenomics, and unfortunately from what I remember the inappropriate ones were the ones which have stuck in my head!

  • I prefer the second activity as the first could be quite chaotic and the choice of words that the students pick might not be that suitable.
    Drawing and making nonsense or silly sentences always seems to go down well.

  • Interesting lesson but definitely for smaller groups, especially as the book and teachers guide are not cheap.
    The power 'e' can be a useful guide line.

  • Useful practise and Bingo always seems to go down well with both adults and youngsters.
    The fact sheet was informative.

  • Some interesting methoods and tools. The use of the slider would be useful.
    However I can see that while this would be useful for begineers, or young learners, as mentioned in some of the comments below.
    I can see problems when you come to words with two vowels ,when you you have to say that what you learnt before ,now you have to forget and pronounce as in...

  • looking foward to an interesting subject.

  • Some useful links above. Just read the article on mnenomics , would they be useful for students with SpLDs? Sometimes i find that the mnemonics can be more confusing than just remembering the facts.

  • Helpful week, useful reminders and the lesson plan and feedback worked well.(was not sure how well that was going to work remotely).
    Plenty to think about.

  • This week has helped by reminding me to use and think about using multisensory teaching for all students.

  • The lesson plan enabled me to think through some ideas and recieved some helpful tips from the review, also the reviewers lesson plan definitely contained ideas for future lessons.
    I found it to set the level of difficulty for the lesson, maybe trying to teach too much, as the students were imaginery and I don't know their actual strengths and weaknesses. It...

  • Some useful ideas. As I mentioned before,I keep meaning to use Cuisenaire rods to teach sentence structure, but never have got around to it. I shall stick a note on my fridge!

  • These techniques could be used to present vocabulary for many to[pics.

  • Cards can take a long time to prepare and be confusing,whichis where whiteboards and IT come in handy. Similar activities using IT can save a lot of preparation time.
    Slightly off topic, but relates to a discussion held with some teachers this week. The second teacher uses the contracted form of 'what is your', do the contractions present extra difficulties...

  • Mind maps can be useful ,especially for note taking. Many students have already been taught them in other subjects and already use them.

  • visualisation could be a useful trick to teach students to use themselves with difficult vocabulary.

  • Cuisenaire rods mentioned again. I will definitely have to try to use them to teach sentence structure!
    In mixed ability classes I can see the problem of different rates of learning ,but hopefully I try not to introduce too much new material so that should apply to everybody.

  • Interesting article. I keep meaning to use Cuisenaire rods to teach sentence structure, but never have got around to it. I should make a start!

  • THe message seems to be keep it fun and interesting ,which would apply to all students and will also keep the the teacher having fun ,which will feed back to the students and everyone benefits. If you have to teach grammar ,do it at the start ,give out a worksheet and then practise and play related games.

  • Thank you . Very useful.

  • Thank you. very useful and helpful.

  • It is always useful to learn more and to get more resources. It is good to know that some of the methods that you have already been using are good practise and to learn new methods.

  • Thank you,some useful resources and links.

  • It is always good to talk to your colleagues,and also to listen. Often they will mention a problem which maybe I had not noticed was affecting me too.

  • I have found it is easier to teach refugee students from different communities ,because they have to communicate in English and they are more willing to share experiences and problems ,than in groups made up of their own nationality.

  • Some useful links and resources. I like the idea of combining speech bubbles and drawing.

  • I think I would try to find out how much of the story is from the childs life and I think the idea of asking what happens next is a good one.
    Once in a mixed class I had a similiar experience, where asking students to describe a memorable trip a mature student gave a graphic account of crossing the Turkish border, where his friends were gunned down and he...

  • colin tollervey made a comment

    I do not mind doing singing activites with younger children as they dont know I have a terrible voice and they will shout over me anyway. There are some good songs out there. Pop songs with gap fill activities can be usefull with young adults ,but you need to be mindful of the lyrics and you will always be out of date.

  • Miming activities are always good fun, student has to act out the activity. For a group of young adults the game Alibi seems to popular, but the subject matter might have to be carefully chosen.

  • Dance and drama are not only ways of allowing people to express themselves,but also to learn more about their fellow refugees and to join in with their festivities.

  • I have found that student reugees can often open up because they are removed from their usual social group. Syrians can talk with Congolese and Afghans, often having similiar experiences,especially in dealing with red tape!
    Young adults are often freer to talk because they are away from their family circles.

  • If i can , I prefer the horseshoe shape, but depends on numbers.

  • Sometimes drawing activities can give a clearer view of what the child is thinking.

  • I have not experienced examples of projection or transference,but it is more likely that I did not recognise them!

  • Btreathing techniques are useful for calming and relaxing. However I have always liked my internal dialogue and dislike being empty headed. As long as you can break out of negative spirals it should not be a problem. Once I have cleared my head as soon as I start thinking again the same problem come back again.

  • It is important to give yourself time and to remember that you do not need to do everything. The world will continue without you ,so take a break.

  • It helps to talk to other teachers and colleagues and to listen to them. They may have experiences and feelings which you were not aware of having yourself.

  • Interesting talk and will look up for more information. What is the connection between high blood pressure and stress?
    The information on oxytocin seems to be mixed and maybe not as simple as it was presented in the TED talk.

  • Thanks, some useful links

  • Many of the lessons learnt here will also apply to the wider student population.

  • Some useful ideas and links.

  • Some interesting resourses ,but possibily too high a level for my students.
    Comics are a useful way of learning and they certainly helped me to learn to read.
    For younger children a comic strip with a blank panel to fill in can be a useful fun activity. Also gap filling in the speech bubbles can be an activity. (Easy to do ,take any comic and tippex over the...

  • The internet has opened up vast resources and lesson plans which help so much. Do not use it much in the classroom ,but using a QR code to link to homework has been useful.
    How well do students with SpLDs interact with mobile phones?
    Use of mobile phones in classrooms does depend on the school policy, but when teaching English I allow it because people...

  • A multi-sensory approach should benefit all students and could help make lessons more fun, which always helps.

  • Talking to your co workers is important and listening to them.

  • Thank you. There are some useful links to base lessons on.

  • Good to remind oneself to be positive and to have fun. It is always helpful to remember what it was like when you were that age ,especially dealing with teenagers.

  • Recently I had a class with a boy who enjoyed being the class fool and even though he was bright, he was disruptive. So I started to tell him to do it in English, and asking the class to correct him. This worked by involving the class and blunting his comments ,and he also started to think before opening his mouth. It also meant he could still joke and be the...

  • Many of my classes are voluntary so often the students are self motivated by needing to get on in life and understand that learning another language will help them . Often they will be doing the translations for the family ,so it can be helpful to have lessons about how to book flights ,how to use transport etc.
    I have had lessons with women where the...

  • There will also be the transistion from the 'less serious' primary school to the senior school . Pressure might be put on them from parents about now they need to achieve something. This can start from an earliy age. The buddy system helps and as before keeping lessons fun always helps.

  • It is always a difficult period of adjustment for any student , let alone a refugee. The student is also going from an environment where they are the oldest students in the school to being the youngest age group. there will be the real possibility of bullying by older students.

  • When doing exercises from books or worksheets it is better to describe the exercise before handing out the sheets, or else they will be trying to read them rather than listening to you.

  • Games and play are always good ,it is nice to know some of the reasons why.
    Some of the 8 play based strategies are useful.

  • The activities outlined in the developing social and emotional skills pdf are useful and have done variations of them in classes, and they can form a good basis for a lesson plan.