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Pass It On

Teachers share their tips. Have you made a simple discovery which saves time, quietens the class on a wet afternoon, or helps children learn? Please share it with other TES readers

* When saving pupils' work on computer disk, always start the file name with the child's initials. Then all their work will be listed together and will be easier for them, and you, to locate. Put all children's work into a directory of its own, and not with the program files.

Nigel Ford, Hastings, East Sussex

* Children enjoy "playing" games, and do so with an enthusiasm which might be lacking if given written practice to do. A useful one to reinforce understanding of what an adjective is, is an oral "round the class" game which can be played in the classroom, on the bus to swimming, when lining up, or during any spare time. The child says: "My cat is a cuddly cat" (the child gets to choose the adjective). Next pupil must choose an adjective beginning with "c" too: "My cat is a cautious cat". No adjective can be used more than once, which encourages listening skills. This can be adapted for nouns: "I have just seen a beautiful baby," with the next child to substitute a noun beginning with b for baby. I am always amazed by the ingenuity shown in choice of words. And less able children, who might be daunted by readingwriting tasks, can participate with enjoyment.

It is a useful way of assessing their comprehension of the terms "adjective" and "noun".

OFSTED Inspector, Edingale, Tamworth * A useful tip for the primary class teacher aiming to bring a wider geographical context to hisher class: using a blank map of Europe (easy to make or cheap to buy), get some children to make name labels and flags on pieces of card, of countries, main seas and rivers and a few major cities.

Invent games where children have to match the labels to places on the map. These can be played with the whole class or as an end-of-lesson time filler for a few. European awareness and knowledge soon develops as interest grows over half a term or so.

Neil Sledge, class teacher, William Gladstone CE Primary School, Seaforth, Liverpool

* Grouping children in different permutations for different activities can be as simple as keeping their workbooks in piles. When a particular group finishes, the pile is collected and returned to base. This gives the teacher a better chance to monitor progress than by allowing them to hide in the depths of the children's desks or trays until parents' evening arrives to embarrass you.

Jon O'Connor and colleagues at Parkside First School, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

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