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on 14 April 2014
Too many of the 'outstanding ideas' were simply stating the obvious and certainly didn't give me a deeper insight into 'Outstanding' teaching. Some of this is simply lazy - filling pages with 'marking is important' 'set some rules' 'speak to the students about targets'! It really doesn't provide any new or exciting ideas.
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on 29 December 2013
Ross has managed to distil really grounded, sensible practice with a dollop of sparkle. This is so hard to do and yet he has pulled it off. Any busy teacher at any stage in their career would get masses from this book. They would either be reminded of an important strategy or get plenty of inspiration for new ones. And there is just enough background to remind us of the bigger picture behind these strategies. Accessible, ready to go and terrific fun!
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on 13 November 2013
I bought this book reading numerous reviews on twitter I am going to b a NQT in my final placement in primary school and this book is a god send. Awesome ideas and just a constant reminder in my bag if I am stuck with anything behaviour planning etc ....definite worth buying
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on 4 January 2014
I enjoyed the book, but much of the stuff is what we coo in our school so wasn't as inspiring as I expected. The ideas are well presented and to the point making it a must for new/student teachers. It brings together lots of good practice ideas.
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on 7 December 2013
This book is a compact, accessible and packed with valuable insights into improving any teacher's lessons. The ideas are simple, but very effective, just as teaching should be. I really think that every teacher should have a copy of this book.
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on 21 June 2014
#100 ideas, 1 per page. Easy to dip into for sensible advice on all aspects of teaching from classroom management to how to effectively use your TA. That's not all, Ross also give you ideas on how to add a little va va voom to your lessons. A must buy for those new to the profession and old hands easy to dip into to get new ideas or refresh your memory about oldies but goodies that you had forgotten!
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on 6 January 2014
Before I talk about the book I wanted to give a little background about myself that might put the review into perspective. I like reading and I read a lot of books, but nearly all fiction. I find non-fiction and research material tedious and slow going. I've had a number of books about assessment in schools sat on my shelf waiting for me to start reading them - and I've never got more than a chapter or two in. This could have influenced my view of the book, as could the fact that there are lots of ideas in the book that I either use already or can't use in my setting.

Anyhow on to the book. I decided to order a copy of this book because my twitter stream was full of people who had purchased the book. Others were saying how they had used some of the ideas from the book and had good observation feedback as a result. I decided to part with my cash - opting for a paper copy rather than buying for my Kindle (I think reference material is better on paper).

The book arrived and the first thing that struck me is the size - it's a compact paperback with small print. The pages aren't full of text but instead the main text flows down the centre of the page in paragraphs with `tips' and the odd hashtag (yes - hashtags in a paper book!) down the sides.

My initial feeling when flicking through the book was one of disappointment - I didn't think the book lived up to the `hype' on Twitter, although you can't fault the book for that. When I go on CPD I always look for things packaged up that I can take away with me and slot straight into my own teaching. I did like some of the ideas in this book but the majority of the book left me feeling distinctly unimpressed.

If you follow lots of teachers on Twitter (like I do) then you come to pigeon hole some of the more prolific posters into certain stereotypes. Reading this book made me think of the `trendy' teacher, using ideas and terminology that is in fashion. That might just be my opinion (I am getting a little long in the tooth now and my teaching styles are starting to look a little old school) but a review is an expression of one's opinion. The title also made me think that the book would be 100 teaching ideas but instead some the ideas relate to the culture you build that leads to outstanding learning - an important but subtle difference.

Some of the chapters were of little use to me - for example the chapter 23 is called #bananas. After a page full of text we learn that it might be useful to use your marking to inform planning (perhaps next a chapter about teaching your granny to suck eggs?). Another chapter talks about the gherkin in a burger. I read this expecting some tangy tasty tip I could throw into my lesson - but the chapter concludes with a short list suggested by tweeting teachers about lesson planning.

Other chapters that I didn't find useful referred to strategies and ideas that I already use like mini-whiteboards (these are hardly new, they appeared with the National Strategies). A chapter is devoted to Bloom's taxonomy which all staff at our school use when planning (we starting to move out of special measures). Another chapter refers to Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce (which Dylan Wiliam explains well on Youtube) which I've run training on in my own school.

I'm painting rather a negative picture of this book and that doesn't mean that it isn't useful to others (and Twitter will bear witness to this). My setting (special education) means that some of the ideas in the book aren't relevant to my teaching, and the nature of my students means we do a lot of hands-on practical activities.

If you are the type of teacher who needs to be told how to use a TA (perhaps by involving them in planning...) then this could be the book for you. I've tried returning to this book several times in case my opinion changed and unfortunately it hasn't. I have several teachers and school leaders in my family and when we were catching up over Christmas the topic of this book came up. I wasn't sure if to be relieved or disappointed that we shared the same opinion of it.

Don't let this review put you off - I'm in a different position to lots of teachers having accessed and run CPD for teachers, ASTs and school leaders I doubt I fitted into the target audience for this book. I will continue to flick through this book and share it with my colleagues at work who might find it more useful than I did.
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on 23 February 2014
Ok for NQTs or those new to the profession needing tips.

I expected so much more from this book after reading all the hype online. There are better books on the market. Many that offer more value for money. I feel this should be priced no more than £3.
Perhaps my expectations were too high. I expected 100 T&L ideas to use in lessons. This book does not offer that. The tea drinking tip or speak with a different accent when teaching are hardly outstanding tips. Health & Safety rules in school ensure mugs of hot tea in corridors or classroom are not allowed.
I wanted more practical activities to move learners to outstanding learning. This book offers nothing new - a flash in the pan offering that will be out of date in 12 months when the teaching/learning bar is raised again.
As an AST I was not overly impressed & staff room debate over this book confirms this view.
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on 28 October 2013
I am considering buying copies of this book for every subject team in school. Just a five minute 'dip' over a cup of coffee could provide inspiration. As an old timer, I winced once in a while as I was forced to confront my bad habits, but the book has left me feeling positive and ready to plan. As I read it, I could visualise myself using the ideas with my groups and suggesting ideas to colleagues. I will have the book on my desk when I plan and use an idea for every lesson. At the very least it will prevent me from being boring. I am hopeful that it will result in better engagement and learning too.
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on 12 October 2013
This book is different from many others on teaching, for it presents ideas that can be quickly incorporated into lessons. They don't require lengthy making of resources, nor rely on certain relationships with pupils. Ross includes quick and easy to implement tips on making a class more productive, receptive and controlled, thus optimising the learning of the pupils. This comes as no surprise given Ross' background in Design and Technology - I think teachers many subjects can learn a lot from his expertise in organisation and discipline.
There is also a lot of references to the Internet and where to find out more about the ideas. Like any outstanding lesson, the book is differentiated for all.
I recommend this to anyone and to use the tried and tested techniques the very next day, or even hour!
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