Back To School Toolkit
There are some things that I can’t do without, whether it’s at home or at work in the classroom. These objects have either made my life much easier or have provided fun and inspirational ways of approaching learning. All the items on my list have been tried and tested over the years.
A Decent Dictionary
For many years I used to have a tiny pocket dictionary in the house which was actually a free gift when I opened my first bank account. It was well used and handy as it was small enough to carry around. However, it was just a dictionary and not dictionary/thesaurus, the writing was too small and even after looking up the meaning of a word, I often found it difficult to comprehend.
Things have changed a bit since then. I would definitely recommend getting a dictionary which is also a thesaurus. The ones we use at our centre are by Collins and are available to buy here.
We use these daily to help children who need help with number work. What I love about this one is that you can draw all over it with a dry wipe pen and wipe off again. Every home should have one if they have young children and every primary school should have one too. There are hundreds of ways of using this as a teaching and learning tool. Click here for ideas.
A World Atlas
With the development of “Google Earth”, atlases seem to be going into extinction. But I think that nothing beats turning the pages in an atlas, and looking for places of interest. At our centre, we have a map of the world on the wall, and both children and parents never tire of looking at it. I have this one at home, and its simple and easy to use.
Pictionary is a board game where you have to draw a picture of a word shown on a card. the other players have to guess what it is. But I use it in a different way. I use it to develop vocabulary and thinking skills. Children have to tell me things about the object without saying what it is. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but excellent for getting kids to think. Try this word: engine.
I use playing cards as a visual and kinesthetic stimulus for children doing maths. Here are some great ideas on how to use playing cards to help your child with maths.