SPaG – a dead acronym

SPaG – a dead acronym.

WHY? Because each of the disciplines requires serious dedication to master, and it’s ridiculous to lump them under one roof.

Here’s a plan of action for the 3 disciplines to get students to an acceptable standard of use. Each bullet point could require numerous teaching sequences depending on the level of attainment.


  • Focusing on Latin and Greek root words is sensational for thisScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 10.33.02 PM
  • Explicit teaching of Latin and Greek prefixesScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 10.30.56 PM
    • Multiple lessons on suffixes
    • A natural by-product of the above is an expanded vocab, and explicit focus on new words based on texts studied furthers developmentScreen Shot 2017-11-11 at 10.52.37 PM


  • Explicit teaching of how to study and revise spellings and new words
  • Spelling and vocab meanings embedded into quizzes and starters
  • Spelling tests (10words) every 3rd or 4th lesson
  • Tests available to redo online


  • Focusing on sentence structure – often poor punctuation is due to a lack of understanding how and why sentences are constructed.
    • Nouns – without them there’s nothing
    • Verbs – nouns moving
    • Subjects – make up of a sentence
    • Pronouns – helps to keep subject-verb agreement
    • Connectives – compound sentences
    • Compound sentences
    • Complex sentences – subordinate clauses


  • Commas
    • In compound sentences
    • Position of subordinate clause
    • Restrictive and non-restrictive subordinate clauses
    • Other comma usage
  • Dialogue

I’m @edmerger

Marking in 30 seconds

Marking doesn’t have to be laborious. Follow this advice.

Frequency of marking

Because you wander the room checking progress, and making suggestions along the way, and because you ask excellent questions that check for learning also, you only need to

  1. Mark one piece of work that is a culmination of things learnt.
  2. Don’t mark again until the student has acted on the feedback

 What does feedback look like?

  1. Tick if it’s correct. Double tick if it’s great, 3 if it’s insightful.
  2. Only if necessary, provide strategies to adjust work – no more than 3.
  3. Don’t provide EBI – that’s your next lesson.

What else do I say about marking?

I’m @edmerger