Author on Tes: Enhancing classroom teaching

Jill Creighton
24th April 2018
author-on-tes-jill-blog

English guru Jill Creighton, aka TeachingWEase, reveals how sharing high quality resources can enhance classroom teaching and subject knowledge.

Tell us about your professional background.

My passion for English and teaching started from a young age and I did all I could to secure a place on a post-graduate course including working with disabled children at a summer school and as a teaching assistant in a learning support department. Working with young people who needed their learning individualised as much as possible made me much more creative in my approach, something I then took to my English classroom.

 

What do you enjoy the most about teaching?

The moment that a student finally achieves something they’ve been working hard on can’t be beaten. But my stand out teaching moment was when one of my students proudly carried a sunflower he’d been growing home for his mum; months before he’d been at risk of being sent to a residential unit, but through my work with the Eco-Team, he found a love of gardening. Teaching doesn’t always have to be about the academic moments.

 

Which resource are you most proud of?

During my time teaching, many teachers I spoke to were worried about their own subject knowledge. It was something I knew I could help with, and although it started as a few notes on scrap pieces of paper, I soon wrote The Big Book of Grammar Teaching, which was accompanied by The Grammar Gang and Punctuation Aliens. I’ll never forget opening the box and seeing them in print – definitely one of my proudest moments. And this was the beginning of Teaching With Ease. Through my research of other curriculums and approaches, I realised that many teachers were being bogged down in teaching grammar, and this motivated me to create a range of grammar and spelling games that could be printed out, laminated and used again and again; like my Year 6 Sats preparation pack which has 20 comprehensions, 10 spelling and 6 grammar checks in one easy download. Teachers have little time as it is, and the satisfaction I get from making their lives just that little bit easier is huge.

 

What are your top tip/s for creating high quality resources for English?

For those of you wondering how to make stand out products, I’d give one piece of advice: be unique. Teachers want products that will enhance their teaching and keep students engaged. Spelling snakes and ladders was requested by my Year 5s during wet playtimes, and now hundreds of other teachers use it with their own pupils. Dictionary conqueror was designed to be multi-purpose, either as a starter or by the students themselves because I couldn’t fit enough vocabulary tasks into my own teaching. Be inspired by what your own classes love. I guarantee others will enjoy the same things.

 

Quick Links

TeachingWEase's shop

Year 6 Sats preparation pack

Spelling snakes and ladders

Dictionary conqueror

Year 6 SATs Preparation Pack (reading comprehensions, spelling, grammar)

Get your class ready for the English SATs with our complete Year 6 preparation pack; perfect for use in the run-up to the important week.



Includes:

- 20 reading comprehension texts with a range of text types, dedicated grammar and vocabulary tasks, textual analysis and comprehension questions. It comes complete with a handy 7-page tracker, which will allow you to identify the reading skills taught and give you the evidence you need for your folder.

- 6 grammar progress checks, which will increase your students’ familiarity with the question styles they will be given during the grammar exam. Includes a class tracker. Each 20-question check has been condensed on to 4 pages to save on your printing.

- 10 spelling tests; five using the LKS2 words and five using the UKS2 words from the UK National Spelling Appendix. Each test has a pupil answer sheet and a teacher sheet with example sentences. There is also a class tracker.



Answers are included.



Bought separately, these resources come to £32; they are yours today for just £25. That’s a saving of over 20%!



*Please note, you will need to extract/unzip the files after downloading to ensure they all open correctly.
By TeachingWEase

Spelling Snakes and Ladders

Make your way to the top of the board without treading on any of those treacherous snakes. Land on a spell square for the chance to get ahead by proving your spelling knowledge.

The game includes word sets for Years 1 to 6 based on the National Spelling Appendix with 40-54 words per year group.
By TeachingWEase

Dictionary Conqueror

Master the dictionary, collect the most books and race to victory in this 2-6 player board game.

Dictionary Conqueror has been designed to students the practice needed to be competent dictionary users. In this game, they are challenged to locate words, give dictionary definitions and use the words correctly in sentences. Special race cards give students the chance to be the first to find a word, earning them extra points. Words have been chosen to expand their vocabularies as well as improving their dictionary skills. For an added level of difficulty, Dictionary Conqueror can be played against the clock.

Level 1 – Players are given two words and they must say which would come first in the dictionary (frog/egg, hat/hello)
Level 2 – Players find simple words in the dictionary (apple, happy, bird)
Level 3 – Players find more difficult words in the dictionary (carpet, tulip, sword)
Level 4 – Players find tricky words in the dictionary and put them into sentences to expand their vocabularies (haggard, proprietor, cower)

Contains 44 pages.
By TeachingWEase

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