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Pass It On

Have you made a simple but incredibly useful discovery which saves time, quietens the class on a wet afternoon, or - last but not least - helps the children learn? Please share it with your colleagues across the country.

Primary teachers have a tough job, so anything to make it easier is bound to be welcomed. We hope this new column of tips passed on from teacher to teacher will help.

The first suggestions come from primary teachers who received gongs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List: * Some under-fives start school with speech difficulties like lisps or stammers. Singing nursery rhymes helps speech as well as language development. While they are singing there is no sign of the lisp or stammer, and with time some of these difficulties are overcome. Singing a rhyme just before lunch is a good way of calming them down after the morning's activities.

Eileen Long, nursery teacher, Dunraven primary school, Mid Glamorgan * When teaching geography, use the sticky labels on apples, pears and other produce to find the country of origin on a world map. Pupils can then discuss the journey of the fruit.

Bring a wrapped box to school. Tell the children you received it in the post. Open it to find, for example, an Australian banksia nut. What country is it from? How could you tell from the packet (stamps)?

Mary Kenny, early years geography teacher, St Michael and St Martin's school, Hounslow, Middlesex.

* One way to stop the children charging into classrooms first thing in the morning is to play some soothing music. We have speakers along the corridors piping out a wide variety of music from 8.45am until start of assembly. We ask the children to think about and listen to the music. This has a calming influence, and we have a relatively quiet entry.

As part of our whole-school behaviour policy, older children are asked to fill in forms detailing their bad behaviour. We get them to think about why they reacted the way they did, and to explain what they think they have done wrong. This helps them to try to resolve their problems.

Gilly Taylor, infant teacher, Sudbourne primary school, London SW2 Please send tips for Pass it On to Maureen McTaggart, TES, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. A free copy of Ted Wragg's Guide to Education (out in August) for each tip published.

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