When I first started teaching online, I was convinced my lessons would be stale and boring. How could I bring all the hands-on activities into an environment where I am sometimes hundreds of miles away from my students?
This troubled me for a long time, it even delayed me making the leap into tuition! I didn’t want my students to be bored, passive learners. I wanted them to be active, I remember during my teacher training being told, planning is where you do the work, in the classroom the children get the work out, this always stuck with me, I didn’t want faces staring at me as I talked over a PowerPoint. Recreating that interactivity online was going to be tough…or was it?
I spent a lot of time on Google, how did others teach online? What did they use? I stumbled upon Nearpod. It brought discussion, quizzing, matching pairs, interactive boards and more back into my teaching. It was perfect, apart from the very limited colours, but, I could adjust to that. Then I discovered TeacherMade, the ultimate interactive worksheet, perfect for comprehensions and assessments. I have also discovered that you can create your own worksheets in there. Some of my students love a worksheet, the sense of fulfillment at completion. They are also perfect for practising the fluency of a given skill.
I have mentioned it before, but Prodigy has become a go to resource for me, low stakes assessment to know what a student needs from me and also a reward for hard work in a lesson. I found I can set question types, create assignments and more, generating extra practise that my students love. This is also boosted by Twinkl Go and TopMarks.
This was all great for my younger students, but, my GCSE students needed less bells and whistles and more practical working environments, along came group whiteboards. I set my classroom up in advance, students have their own working space and with a click of the mouse can see mine. I can watch their progress in real time and join their boards if they need additional support, it’s like walking around the classroom, but, I don’t move…not so great for the waistline!
On top of this there are a plethora of digital maths resources that my students access in each lesson to complete their work and develop their understanding. They are able to create their own notes, to remind themselves of all the necessary steps to solve a given problem.
Just like my students need resources to learn, I need resources to teach. Those resources up-level my teaching, which in turn up levels the learning of my students. There is a world of resources out there, designed to help you to help your child release their inner mathematician.