Tired of creating your own resources? Need inspiration? Look no further – Teach Starter is a fantastic website which provides educational teaching resources for Australian primary school teachers.
If you’re like me, signing up to websites like these can seem like a waste of money because the resources just aren’t up to scratch or aren’t what you need. Teach Starter is different. Even for a perfectionist like me, the teaching resources, classroom games and educational posters can be downloaded and used in the classroom the very next day.
Not convinced? Here are a few ways that I have used Teach Starter resources in my classroom. Click on the titles for direct links to the resources.
The problem solving mat has changed the way I begin my maths lessons. I started the year introducing the problem solving strategies (one strategy per week) and then my students used the problem solving mat to solve the provided problems and select an appropriate strategy to help them solve it. The problem solving mat ensured the students were reading the question carefully, selecting a strategy, working out the problem and recording the answer. I simply laminated the mats and the students wrote on them using whiteboard markers. Problem solving time is now one of their favourite times of the day!
I was so surprised to see how excited the students were to complete the polygon puzzles. We used the addition puzzles to improve our addition skills. The students were incredibly motivated to complete the puzzle correctly. I had the students working in groups of two or three and the teamwork was amazing. I asked each group to ensure they shared the pieces out equally before beginning to piece them together. Students who normally prefer to work alone were talking to their group about which piece should go where and why. Each time the students worked on the puzzle, they became quicker and quicker at putting it together. It made addition a lot of un! Tip: print on different coloured paper or label the back of each piece (e.g. 1A) so you can easily identify the sets if they become mixed up.
Teach Starter has so many activities that are perfect for Guided Reading rotations. Successful Sentences and Dressing Up a Sentence are two great examples.
Successful Sentences help the students to write complex sentences. Students use the colour coded common nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions and punctuation marks to create their own complex sentences. (Tip: don’t use all of the words provided – select a few to start with and place each word type in their own zip lock bag. This ensures the students aren’t overwhelmed, they are using words they know and the words don’t get mixed up).
Dressing Up a Sentence is a pack of boring sentences (e.g. The dog sat) and the students need to insert adjectives, verbs and adverbs to make the sentence interesting. The students were so proud of themselves when they made their sentence more interesting.
The editing passages are fantastic and there is a pack for each grade. You simply download them as a PowerPoint and they can be printed and used as a class activity or Guided Reading activity. The sentences provided have spelling and punctuation errors and the best part is that at the bottom of every card the number of spelling mistakes and punctuation marks that are missing is noted (e.g. find 2 spelling mistakes and add 2 capital letters and a full stop). This helps the students to know what they are looking for and edit effectively. Answer cards are also provided. There are a number of ways these cards can be used. As well as a Guided Reading activity, these cards can be read out as a dictation which encourages students to listen and record the sentence. The sentence can then be revealed on the board and the students can edit carefully. Their listening and editing skills of my students have improved dramatically.
Teach Starter also provides great activities for special occasions and holidays. Not long ago, I was looking for a resource to promote kindness in my classroom and Teach Starter had a simple and effective friendship flower template which the students absolutely loved filling in. We put them together to create a class vase and referred to it on a regular basis. It provided great discussion about what kind of person we should try to be each day.
Teaching our students about having a growth mindset is so important and the posters Teach Starter provide are just fantastic. The students love them and were inspired to create their own posters about growth mindset and positive thinking.
Teach Starter provides many resources to effectively teach students how to write a narrative. I especially love their setting prompt posters, character trait posters and other great resources such as a character profile worksheet and quality texts. These resources have helped me to teach writing more effectively and the students are so much more engaged.
The comprehension task cards are beautifully designed. They provide a text and questions to match. There are a variety of packs to download, including summarising, making predictions, recalling facts and details and finding the main idea. I am yet to use these task cards yet and hope to use them this term!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up to Teach Starter today.