Collating Resources

This is just a short post as I have been going through several iterations about how best to collate and store links to the resources that I would like to make use of in my teaching. Here’s a quick summary of some of the options that I’ve been through up to this point:

  • Emailing myself a link – this is a great option if you see something ‘the night before’ and just need it for a lesson the following day. Very quick to do, easy to use in the morning, but the link is then quickly lost in the interminable inbox so I am unlikely to remember it next time I teach that topic.
  • Use ‘go to’ sites – there are some sites that are incredibly reliable for having materials ready to run: the Standards units, the MARS packs, nRich and, more recently, CMEP. I have some vague mental notes about the Standards unit having some useful materials on surds and quadratics; MARS on cubics; nRich on complex numbers etc but each year I still have to Google for the sites and scan through their resources to get the one I remember. (See also the notes on @mathsjem‘s resourceaholic site below.)
  • Moodle VLE – we use Moodle as our VLE platform and so I experimented with saving links into categories there. It works as a way to collate them all, topic-by-topic, but unless you write a long description it’s hard to remember exactly what’s what among the resources. Also it becomes difficult to share these pages outside of school.
  • Scheme of Work hyperlinks – under a new HoD, our schemes of work are slowly developing and, ideally, a good scheme of work links to useful teaching resources. Sadly though, I find this as cumbersome as Moodle. The hyperlinks are fiddly to create and a short piece of link text is not sufficient to describe resources well enough.

The latest incarnation:

  • Pinterest – finally, I think I may have found something that works the way I do. I’ve begun by creating boards for each of the broad AS topics that I’ll be teaching in the first half term. What I like is that I can still link to all the usual resources, but there is a visual clue (usually in the form of a screenshot) as to the gist of the resource. What’s more I can add to them wherever I am, and I can share them.

Although I have included links to some teaching resources (Standards unit, MARS etc), another key focus for me is finding interesting stretch and challenge problems and investigations. If you look at the boards, you will see a bias towards those. My main sources for materials are:

Resourceaholic

If you don’t already know about @mathsjem‘s resourceaholic site then (a) I’m very surprised and (b) check it out right now! Jo does a fantastic job collating teaching resources for all areas of the curriculum, and certainly not just A level. Much as there is an inevitable small overlap between our collections, I guess the essential difference is my focus on stretch and challenge problems and proofs.

My Pinterest Boards (so far)

Feel free to take a nose around them and see if you discover any resources that you can use with your own classes. Let me know if you have suggestions for other sources of similar problems and activities!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Collating Resources

  1. This is a great idea to use Pinterest!

    I can definitely relate to the problems of emailing links, using hyperlinks and Moodle (which should be much better) for sharing resources. Will try using Pinterest and see how it goes.

    Do you plan on sharing the boards with your students or just staff?

  2. Thanks for your comments! I’m actually tempted to share them with students, too. A homework activity could ask them to choose and investigate any problem from the relevant board. The only real downside I’ve found to Pinterest so far is the need to sign in to view the boards properly. That’s a potential barrier to getting the students engaged independently.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s