Mrs Humanities

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Resource – SpACE Peer Assessment

resourceHaving shared ACE peer assessment, I was recently introduced to a step up on the concept. Taking ACE to SpACE simply by adding spelling to the assessment criteria thanks to Kim (@HecticTeacher) for the inspiration to step it up.


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Resource – ACE questioning display posters

resourceA few months a go I shared a strategy I’ve been using for a while called ACE questioning 

ACE questioning differentiation

It’s working exceptionally well in my new school, however we have two week timetables and therefore some classes I only see every other week. To help students remember, I’ve created these simple posters as a reminder.

ACE questions.png

I’m going to be placing them in some old frames I have from Ikea and will hang next to my board.

Feel free to download the word or PDF versions and adjust to suit your needs.


Mrs Humanities



Developing Independent Learners – The ‘Help Yourself’ Resource Station  

help yourself resource stationThrough the course of the last academic year one of my aims was to develop more independence in my learners.

I tried several approaches which I’ve documented in other posts, including seating plans, GCSE help yourself display and attempts at flipped learning.

I’ve learnt so much from the process as have my students, particularly those in year 7 and 8.

The ‘Help Yourself’ Resource Station was probably the most successful approach.

What is it?

Quite simply the ‘Help Yourself’ Resource Station is a table and display board with resources that will support my students in their learning.

It includes a wide range of resources and templates that students can access freely to support their learning.


What’s included?

The display board contained resources for each year group on the topic they were currently studying. These could have been in the form of information sheets, activities or worksheets.

In addition students had access to DIRT sheets and a support sheet for using historical sources and later the 5 Minute Help Yourself sheet.

At times, other useful information got added to the space on the board such as project sign up sheets and reminders.

The table contained a wide variety of relevant resources that students can help themselves to in order to scaffold and support their learning.

Resources included

-Literacy mats

literacy mat
– Timelines support sheets

-Note taking laminatenote taking laminate
-Key word lists

key word lists
-Topic support mats (placemats)

topic placemats

-Humanities Skills Mats such as the Using Sources Support Mat

skills mats.png

-Self and peer assessment sheets

self and peer assessment

-Templates and blank maps for classwork


Along side the resources there were whiteboard pens and equipment available for students to access when required.

How is it used?

Once set up the resource station runs itself, you will need to monitor and replenish now and then but on the whole it’s pretty simple.

Students  collect the resources they need based on their own decisions or your guidance. At first it took some training but by the end of the year students were happily helping themselves to the required resources.

For example I had some students that needed spelling support, they’d help themselves at the start of the lesson to the key word list and their literacy marking would focus on the correct spelling of those key words. If they spelt the word incorrectly, they would use the key word list to find the correct spelling and write it out 3 times and within a sentence. at first it took some reminding but eventually they become independent in the approach (with fewer spelling mistakes).

Often main activities in my lesson have an opportunity for choice in presentation and format, the templates and blank maps work effectively for this allowing students to make their own decisions in how they present their work.


Personally I feel it’s enabled many of my students to become more independent in their learning, in particular the high and middle ability. I felt low ability students needed more encouragement to use the resources available to them but eventually some of them were accessing them without prompt.

If I were to change anything I’d add a challenge section with generic activities that could be applied to any topic.

The Resources

I’ve uploaded a load of the resources I’ve used here. Many of them I have not made from scratch and instead have used or amended resources I’ve collected over the years. If one of them is your, please let me know and I will add credit where credit it due.

If you have any questions about the ‘Help Yourself’ Resource Station, just ask.

Hope you’ve been inspired.

Mrs Humanities






Sharing Resources – TES


Since I’m moving on from my current role and won’t be needing many of the units of work and resources I created over the past two years, I’ve decided to upload and share them for others to access and use freely.

Although I’m happy for the new Head of Department to have them, I also want others to benefit from the time and effort I’ve put into making them (and there’s been a lot).

So to view the full units of work and download any of the resources follow the links below

I will add more links to this post as I upload to the TES.

The Powerpoints are all my work, most of the resources are but some I’ve edited and reformed into pieces suitable for my classes. If I’ve failed to give credit where credit is due (more than likely) please let know and I will amend.

Feedback is always appreciated as I like to know how to improve my work, however please don’t moan about the use of Open Dyslexic font (yes, it’s happened).

You can find other resources of mine through my TES shop (although everything is free).

Hope you find the resources of use.

Mrs Humanities


Need to Know Learning Matrix

learning matrixThis year grades 1-9 were  introduced into the tracking system for Key Stage 3. I struggled at first, in fact I still am, but the Need to Know Learning Matrix were my approach to tracking progress over the term for each of topics studied.


Not only does it allow me to track progress, outline Schemes of Work to the students and provide feedback, it encourages independent learning and reduces the time i spend marking and writing extensive feedback.

I started the year with simply listing need to know questions and success criteria but then realised that by coding the criteria I could provide quality feedback without the extensive write comments in the students books.

I simply use two different colour highlighters, fill in the key and highlight the coded success criteria. Firstly I highlight the criteria achieved in one colour, then highlight the criteria I would like the students to attempt in another; once this criteria has been achieved I simply tick it off.


I quickly l took to writing WWW and listing the criteria codes followed by the level up steps and the criteria codes I wanted the student to work on during DIRT. Sometimes I just write the criteria code with a tick to indicate it’s completion.


For lower ability students I may write questions to support them in achieving the coded criteria with a box to indicate the expected length of the answer.

level up2

If this has intrigued you can download my Need to Know Learning Matrix template here.

I’ve also uploaded a number of them on to TES, feel free to download and leave feedback.

Hope they’re of use.


Mrs Humanities


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Presentation Police 

I shared this idea today which I always do at the start of a new year. I continue it every lesson for the first term and then every now and then the rest of he year to keep students in heir toes. 
If  student doesn’t meet the expected presentation standards set by the school e.g. Writing the the date, title and L/O and then underlining it, Students receive a presentation warning. 

In my classroom this is simply a tally at the back of their book, however a ‘presentation ticket’ could easily be given. If my students are issued with 5 presentation warnings it results in a detention.

Here’s an outline of how it works

Students usually respond well their peers checking their work and presentation. 

Hope you like the ide? 


Before and After Topic Review


Last week I shared the following tweet on a before and after topic review sheet I use.

It’s quite a simple but effective approach to student self-assessment.

At the start of the topic students RAG rate their understanding. Not only does this allow for the student to assess to their prior learning but allows the teacher to identify areas of confidence and thus areas to challenge the student.

Then at the end of the topic students RAG rate again. I like to do this before a DIRT lesson, this then allows me to focus a students attention to the areas in which they feel less confident and therefore allows me to close any gaps in their knowledge.

Here’s a template for the document – I print the two pages on one sheet.

Topic Review Before

Topic Review After

Hope they are of use.


Mrs Humanities


Magpied Pedagogy

Magpied pedagogy

Recently I started thinking about the great ideas I see on twitter, like and the  forget about.

Most of the time these are ideas I think I can incorporate into my own lesson planning but never do.

I started to consider how I could keep the tweets in one place so I could could search through them when I’m stuck for ideas. Then the idea came to me – a simple blog.

One that would mean I wouldn’t be the only one to benefit from the collation of all those great ideas being shared by teachers on twitter.

And that’s how Magpied Pedagogy came about. A place to collate as many of those ideas as possible.

It’s a simple concept, embed tweet into blog post, tag it with the subjects it could be applied to and publish.

Each post is affiliated with the owner of the tweet meaning there sphere of influence is made greater.

What make it great is that you can simply search for the subject you are teaching and a variety of pedagogical practice will into your lap.Magpied Pedagogy Be Inspired

Already I’ve received some great feedback.

If you see any great ideas out there I’ve not added yet, please feel free to contact me and let me know.

If you’ve reached this part of the post then I recommend you now head over to the site to see what it’s all about.


teaching and learning secret missions


50 T&L Secret Mission Cards

50 T&L Mission Cards

After having introduced the idea last term in my original post on the T&L Secret Mission Cards, I’ve only gone and made a set of 50  T&L cards for you. A bit of #socialCPD

50 cardsThe mission cards range from activities to carry out to materials to try and incorporate. There’s a wide variety of ideas for you to try using. missions

Feel free to download, share and use the 50 mission cards, if you don’t have an outlook account you can also download from here .

Feedback welcomed.

Mrs Humanities

Useful link – Making GIFs in the classroom

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How to… make visual hexagons

I’ve had quite a number of people ask how to make visual hexagons.

Here’s a very simple tutorial video based upon Word 2013.

Click here to download a template.
Hope it helps.

Mrs Humanities