Product News

30
July
2014

Making the BEST use of Macrat’s BONES REVISION SERIES.

Bones Revision Timesavers help learners revise efficiently and intelligently, and give them plenty of study tips and other useful hints for exams, like using mnemonics to remember keywords about characters etc. Perfect for revision and brushing up on knowledge just prior to an exam!

Categories: Product News

22
July
2014

Why use Macrat Study Manuals?

“Because they are the best!”

Macrat’s intention is not to do the work of the teacher or the learner; instead the manuals are designed to make learners think about the inner workings of their literature titles so that they can answer any question that might come their way. Background information etc is readily available at the library or on the internet. Macrat rather concentrates on why things happen, how and why characters react the way they do and what the intention behind the novel might have been. Learners who consider issues and formulate sound arguments around these issues are the ones that succeed!

What about Macrat’s Study Manuals for language?

The CAPS cover a wide range of language structures which should, ideally, be studied in context. But all teachers complain that the textbooks do not include enough exercises. Completing one or two examples does not form a solid grounding on which to build. Macrat’s language Study Manuals provide many exercises where learners can test and challenge themselves, and they can revise all the concepts that they should know.
In grades 8 & 9 it is particularly important to make sure that the learners – often from a diverse group of primary schools – have a good language base on which to build. Macrat’s ‘Firm Foundation’ series offers many, many exercises which can be used to revise most of the concepts introduced in the classroom. Available either as a workbook or as a set of notes which you can copy for your learners: a small investment guarantees a bright future for your learners’ language skills.
Contact one of our offices if you need any advice.


“Often study manuals give too much information, or are thin on details.
Macrat gets it just right!”


MacMo

Categories: Product News

15
April
2014

Do any words conjure up school poetry for you?

When I hear the word ‘perched’ (which, admittedly, I don’t hear too often) a poetry verse immediately pops into my head … ‘Perched on my city office-stool, I watched with envy while a cool and lucky carter handled ice … and I was wandering in a trice ...’

Did you ever read ‘The Ice Cart’ by Wilfred Gibson in primary school? The lines of this poem, and many others, ring in my ears regularly, triggered by commonly used phrases or words. Expressions gleaned from school poetry gift us a richer vocabulary and form an important part of our general knowledge.  Yet I can’t help but wonder how many people today would understand the connection when someone refers to a tiger ‘burning bright’ or quotes ‘When fishes flew and forests walked’ after seeing a donkey.

When compiling Macrat’s new poetry pack (Poetry Time) for grades 8 and 9, we were conscious of the CAPS requirements, but, more importantly, we wanted to put together a ‘worthwhile’ selection – a selection of poetry that would introduce learners to some of the timeless ‘old favourites’ and also expose them to more modern, local poets.

At grade 8 and 9 level, the CAPS refer to poetry and short stories regularly. For this reason, Macrat has also compiled a set of short story worksheets suitable for these grades.  The worksheets were previously published in the Ratpack but are now in a ready-to-use, all-in-one resource pack (Short Story Time) and cover a selection of timeless short stories, many which will be read and enjoyed by students around the world.

These new resource packs offer you a wonderful selection of worksheets which will inspire both you and your learners. They also include useful links to websites making your job that much easier. Consult the full list of the poems and short stories covered in the packs on our website and put in your order today!

And don’t forget to let me know if you have any trigger words that transport you back to your poetry classroom.

MacMo

 

Categories: Product News

03
March
2014

Do you find that the CAPS limit your creativity?

While I appreciate that the CAPS are intended to help busy, and perhaps inexperienced teachers, I wonder whether they have any negative, unforeseen consequences. Do the CAPS put a damper on creativity, for example? Please let me know what your experience

As an English teacher, I know that we can be impulsive, frivolous or flighty. This doesn’t mean that the work doesn’t get done; but perhaps the paths that are followed are less travelled by teachers of other subjects. Give 10 English teachers the task to teach a certain aspect of the curriculum, and you will probably encounter 10 very different, yet equally exciting lessons!

When it comes to the basics, we have found that textbooks don’t always contain enough exercises and activities to meet the requirements of the CAPS in a satisfying manner. Macrat has published a series to enhance the Grade 7 English teaching experience within the parameters outlined by the CAPS.

The Mac-7 series offers excellent supplementary material that fits into the CAPS programme. This affordable option is a ‘must’ for busy teachers who need a ‘pick me up’ in the classroom!
Take a look at our website for more details and a sample worksheet that you can download and use in the classroom.

MacMo

Categories: Product News

27
February
2014

“Matric is not the be-all-and-end-all”

At the beginning of each year, matric results are mulled over, digested and chewed, but very little new is said, and hardly ever are options offered to those who didn’t pass.

It’s all very well to offer the learners who failed supplementary exams, but what if they should never have written the exams or embarked on an academic career path in the first place?

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13
February
2014

What is the value of teaching Creative Arts?

Dr Rena Upitis of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario offers the following answer to this question:

‘Experiences in the arts offer many intrinsic and extrinsic benefits to elementary children. Intrinsic benefits include opportunities to develop creativity and imagination, and to experience joy, beauty and wonder.  The arts also present occasions to make the ordinary special, to enrich the quality of our lives, and to develop effective ways of expressing thoughts, knowledge and feelings.  There is also evidence of extrinsic benefits as learning in, about and through the arts contributes to increased engagement in learning in other subjects areas, and to the development of students’ self-confidence, social skills and metacognition … [The] workforce requires employees to think critically and creatively, solve problems, communicate well, adapt to changing circumstances, and continue to learn throughout their careers. And education rich in the arts nurtures precisely those skills and attitudes that are required in the contemporary workplace.’ ~ Dr Rena Upitis, ‘Why do the arts matter?’

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10
February
2014

“Most of our teachers can’t teach reading.”

These are very strong words, spoken by Nick Taylor, head of a unit which reports directly to Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. He based his opinion on classroom research conducted in urban and rural areas. (Click here to read more about the research.)

Categories: Product News

13
January
2014

To e or not to e? That is the question!

Are you considering using e-books rather than printed books at your school?
Many teachers feel overwhelmed by the prospect of using e-books in a teaching environment. For those of us who did our teacher-training in the 20th century, the move to digital books at a high school level might seem unnecessary and daunting. For those digital natives who have become teachers in the 21st century, teaching ‘old-school’ without the aid of the latest technology might seem archaic. Schools therefore might find themselves in the situation where some staff are pushing for exclusive use of e-books and some don’t really see the point. Inevitably, the move to digital will take its natural course, but if you are unsure of which way to go, and what options there are here is a quick summary of the two types of digital formats offered by Macrat:

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