Where would we be without technology? Interactive whiteboards, teaching apps and even parent-to-teacher messaging systems have erupted onto the teaching landscape with varying effectiveness.
With all these online resources, it can be difficult to find some that are useful to your students. There could be 10,000 lesson plans and resources and you may only find one that works for you.
That’s why we’re here. In this blog post, we’ll examine five resources that could make a positive difference to your life as a teacher. We’ve tried to be general here, so there are no subject-specific websites or resource portals.
Every teacher needs a helping hand at some point, so we’ve got both arms outstretched to get you back on your feet.
For tutors and early morning lesson planners
Teachers often state that the first lesson is always the hardest. Your students may be tired, or they may have arrived late, which could affect their ability to jump into fractions or complex sentences.
Your teaching ability may be slightly impeded due to early morning traffic or your own children. Chances are, we’ve all been there, so we need something to ease both ourselves, and our students, into those dreaded early morning lessons.
This is where Daily Starters comes in. It uses American terminology, but you should be able to tailor it to your students. It provides daily facts and tasks to do with certain topics, such as language, maths and ‘teachable moments.’
You can use these facts to start a topic of discussion while you prepare yourself for the lesson, or you could get your students talking about something that they’re interested in, such as the origins of football. It’s a great way to start the day right.
For teachers short on ideas
You might be a purveyor of lesson planning, but there are times when inspiration just doesn’t strike. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us, and there are plenty of resources out there for those that struggle.
One such online resource is the aptly named Teaching Ideas, which has bundles of lesson plans, PDFs and printouts for a whole host of subjects.
The resources are mainly used by students under 11 years of age, but there are examples for those in secondary school too.
From a division pack for those learning maths, to some fact cards about the ancient Greek civilisation, you’ll find a whole host of colourful creations, scenarios and posters. Everything is free too!
For those looking for a handy tool
Now, technically we’re going to mention two resources in this section. Rewordify is great for tailoring lesson plans to students of different learning abilities, as it changes complicated English to make it easier to read. It’s a free tool that anyone can use.
Simply paste a complicated sentence into the text field and it’ll change difficult words into manageable alternatives. It even changes certain medical terms too!
We’d also like to mention ViewPure, which is especially useful if you use YouTube in your classroom. You’ll be well aware of the potential for embarrassment, as suggested videos and advertisements could cause an uproar. This helps you avoid that problem altogether.
Simply place the URL into the text field, and the adverts will magically disappear. You’ll have to remember to use it each time, but it’s helpful if your classroom consists of younger students.
For teachers that need advice
As a winner in the UK Blog Awards 2018, the Teacher Toolkit online resource provides classroom ideas, school resources and teacher training. It pioneered the 5 Minute Lesson Plan, which was an immediate hit with teachers throughout the globe.
Podcasts, teaching resources and articles about current events in the industry are available. A lot of their resources are free, but some have a price tag attached.
It’s usually no more than £3 per resource, and if they improve your teaching capabilities, then it’s money well spent. Explore their website to find something that suits your needs.
For those that need help with marking
Teaching apps are controversial in some schools, as many people are apprehensive of new technology. A recent report showed that 86% of children aged 12-15 possessed a smartphone, and the number has been growing year-on-year.
In any case, the potential for their use as a learning tool is growing, which is why we’ve seen a rise in marking and reporting applications.
This site provides a handy list of marking applications for teachers. From quiz creation to test score aggregation and marking, these apps have a wide range of helpful features.
There are even apps that track attendance and test scores, which could help with your marking process. We’d advise exploring these options yourself to find hidden gems that work for you.
Find your favourite
We hope that you’ve found something useful within this blog post. But if you’re still searching, we have one last trick up our sleeve. Online resource Teach.com provides a daily ranking of the best teaching blogs, so you’re sure to find useful information there.
About the author: Gavin Doyle is an educational recruitment consultant at REESON Education, London’s premier teaching recruitment industry. Originally from Truro in Cornwall, Gavin now resides in Kingston-upon-Thames and has worked in recruitment for 11 years. Prior to this, Gavin spent six years teaching PE in schools across Cornwall.