Faded Support Terminal Velocity Writing Scaffolds | BenRogers

Explaining terminal velocity is a classic piece of GCSE writing. The cognitive demands are high:
recalling the sequence;
structuring the text;
phrasing the sentences.

I have designed this sequence of faded scaffolding to take place over several weeks (making use of spaced practice). It follows on from direct instruction style teaching.
Model response to task, demonstrating some tricky sentence structures.
A pdf of the full sequence is here: Terminal velocity frames (variation theory)



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The Origin of Species Packet | BenRogers

Four years ago I adapted the first four chapters of Darwin’s The Origin of Species for my year 6 classes (see here). We used the adapted text following careful teaching of Natural Selection. They already understood the ideas before we introduced Darwin’s text.

I have now updated the teaching activities for using the text and created a packet: Adapted Origin of Species Packet

I think it would be useful for any learner who had already studied Natural Selection. My dream is that some more learners progress to reading the full text.
The Origin of Species: Charles Darwin

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A Knowledge Curriculum, Informed by Cognitive Science with a Disciplinary Literacy Focus | BenRogers

Colleagues at Paradigm Trust are developing a KS1-3 curriculum. It is a knowledge curriculum, informed by cognitive science with a disciplinary literacy focus. So far, we have written material for science, history, geography and RE.

I have just completed a year 6 packet that I’d like to share. It isn’t the full curriculum, just a sort of textbook for the unit.

How Astronomers Learnt that ‘The Heavens’ Are Not Perfect Y6 Aut2.2

We’d appreciate feedback.


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Characteristics of Science Vocabulary and Some Classroom Tools | BenRogers

I’m really excited to be part of a sequence of blogs – a symposium – on writing in science coordinated by Pritesh Raichura. Pritesh started the sequence last week in his post (here). 

This post is on the atoms of scientific literacy: words. Beck, McKeown and Kucan in the definitive vocabulary book: Bringing Words to Life (2002) categorise vocabulary into tier one, tier two and tier three words. 

We use tier one words all the time: they don’t need explaining. Words like: house, cat, climb are tier one.

Tier two words are sophisticated words, not necessarily used at home, but often used…

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A Quick Translation of a German Year 10 Physics Exam | BenRogers

In 1992, I completed my physics degree. Out of a cohort of 80, less than 5 of us found physics jobs. It was a bad year.

I went to Berlin to teach English. I couldn’t speak German and I couldn’t teach.

For two years, I took a subsidised German for foreigners language course at Volkshochschule Lichtenberg in East Berlin with 20 Russians and Poles, a Brazilian photographer and a glamorous Spanish woman, Carmen, who arrived late to every lesson, sat next to me and demanded, “Benjamin, what are we doing?”

In the evenings, I taught English at the same school.

After two years my German was…

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The Privileged Status of Story – Energy – | BenRogers

I wrote my book for novice physics teachers and I’ve had some very kind feedback about it. Chapter Zero in particular seems to have gone down well.

No one has mentioned the narratives. Daniel Willingham writes about the privileged status of story – stories go in better. I wrote the stories help the ideas go in.

So here is an audio version of my energy narrative – beautifully read by a kind year 9 student. I hope you like it.


Joule’s Experiment

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