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Keep it up your sleeve

Creative ideas that teachers can't manage without Mark Finnemore, a secondary maths teacher in Middlesex, on his Escher jigsaws made from a set of posters (pound;5 for six from a remainder bookshop) "There comes a time in all of our lives when we realise that we think more like teachers than mere humans. For me it was when on seeing a pack of Escher posters I did not think 'Mmm, nice', but 'Oh, if I laminate those and then cut them up they'll make jigsaws to use in class'. This flash of inspiration has been a godsend for use with English as an Additional Language pupils, students who have finished other and for those 'fun' lessons. One word of warning, one of the posters feature nude me. Beware!" Janice Wetherell, a Year 3 class teacher at a Middlesex junior school "I should like to commend the humble plastic snap-lid fod container. After years of putting PVA glue in yoghurt pots that split, spilled and dried, I followed a colleague's recommendation and bought a set of the smallest size of container (50p each) from my local market. They are stable, strong and easily cleaned and the snap-on lid means that the glue stays liquid much longer. In such small ways is sanity maintained."

Saskia Heasman, a part-time adult education and prison education tutor in West Sussex, has been playing Bingo to teach languages for more than 30 years "We play it in the target language as soon as the students have learnt numbers up to 100 and then for revision. You can get a cheap set in any toyshop, or get children to make their own cards. It works equally well with children or adults and can be made into a special occasion with prizes."

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