With the on-going development of modern-day technologies including televisions, computer games and game consoles, grabbing children's interest with the 'standard' classroom lesson has grown into a much more difficult task. However, with the addition of a variety of teaching resources to the classroom, this task turns into something that is simpler and more achievable.
So, why start using teaching resources?
Teachers should deliver both lively and stimulating lessons to make sure that their pupils not only participate in the learning process, but want to engage in it. Needless to say, a teacher's skill does play a significant role in lesson quality and enjoyment. Nevertheless, the additional help of teaching resources does increase the teacher's chances of getting students more involved in the lessons, and learn more from them as a result. By undertaking sufficient research online, teachers will discover a wide range of teaching resources out there which will give their lessons the excitement, variety along with the 'interest' factor.
Teaching resources are advantageous not only to the pupil, but to the teacher also. The definition of 'teach' is to 'show or explain to (someone) how to do something.' Consequently, if the students don't understand what they've been shown, then in theory, the teacher has failed in their task. By using teaching resources, there exists some level of guarantee that the pupil will grasp at least some fundamental degree of understanding - consequently increasing not just pupil satisfaction but teacher satisfaction also.
What teaching resources are available?
There's a wide range of teaching resources available, for different subject areas, different age groups and different ability levels. Given below are a few advice on what sort of teaching resources should be used (and the way they should be utilised) for young groups of learners.
1. Teaching resources should imitate items that catch the attention of children.
If you try to teach your pupils numeracy with ordinary numbers or literacy using the normal alphabet only, young children in particular aren't going to see any good reason why they should learn about these topics. They will immediately see them as uninteresting or useless, and have no motivation whatsoever to get involved in the learning process.
Nevertheless by making use of teaching resources that imitate their favourite food or favourite animal for instance, they should want to pay attention as well as show some interest into what the lesson is actually about (undoubtedly more so than if they saw a normal number or letter on a standard whiteboard anyhow.)
Try food for example. We all like food (kids particularly) and it's something they come face to face with every day. Using teaching resources that imitate their favourite sweets, cakes or ice-creams will stimulate their minds (it's something they're experienced with) and grab their focus immediately. What's more, the learning process continues away from classroom time whenever they see or experience those particular objects. It's also worth making use of teaching resources which imitate healthy food also, such as fruits and vegetables, so as to promote the healthy eating concept.
2. Teaching resources should be bright and colourful
Throughout life, regardless of what age, colourful objects are always more eye-grabbing as well as interesting to observe compared to objects that are dull and drab (and consequently boring.) This fact applies all the more so to younger children. As a way to trigger the learning process, eye-catching teaching resources should be put into use by the teacher.
When teaching numeracy for example, a number line with lots of different colours (perhaps a different colour for each number from 1-10 or 10-20) is going to be a much more appealing teaching resource than if it was in black and white only. A multiplication table could be colour coded, helping youngsters remember different sets of their times tables. Without the colour element, children just aren't likely to want to learn.
The same applies for teaching literacy - a bright and colourful alphabet on the wall will be a lot more interesting to look at than an alphabet that is plain and 'text-book.' Reading verbs or short sentences (which can be quite challenging for young children) is made more exciting with a variety of colours. If a teacher wants to succeed, then he/she must employ teaching resources that are vibrant, vivid and full of colour.
The author works closely with Sweet Counter, a company that design colourful child-centred teaching resources to teach particular key concepts. They're designed as a fun and hands-on approach to learning so as to bring lessons alive.