This is a great FREE¬†desktop app for teachers. It includes all sorts of whizzy things you can use on your whiteboard e.g. group score boards, image spinners and student selector. See my blogroll for a link or click below, download it and give it a go! I’m not sure it’ll be free for long so hurry up…


Collapsing text the easy way!

I went to a fantastic AQA course on using the AQA Digital Anthology recently. The course was run by Chris Warren and I discovered that the collapsing a poem technique was his idea! You can see my previous post about the purpose of collapsing a poem but it is a technique I have used many times in the classroom.

Here’s a link to Chris Warren’s collapser which is a much quicker way of collapsing a poem. It can also be used in other ways e.g. reconstruction exercises, exploring a section of prose etc.

I’ll also add the collapser to my blogroll. I hope you find it useful!

Preparing for writing a film review: What to include in a film review


I asked students to mindmap what they thought needed to be included in a film review. Most came up with a synopsis and opinion but some key ingredients were missing so after discussion I showed them the slide with the kind of information they might want to include.



I gave students an Alex Zane film review (The Sun) and modelled how I wanted them to annotate it (see slide with purple annotations). for the key ingredients. Zane’s¬†reviews are usually short, accessible and humorous but contain a surprising amount of the key ingredients. Students then annotated their review and answered the questions about what they thought of the review and whether or not it made them want to watch the film and why/why not.


I asked them to think about what they thought were the 3 key ingredients. Get students to imagine that they had to write a review using ONLY 3 of the ingredients.

What to include in a film review

Alex Zane Reviews