Resources of the week

7th November 2014 at 00:00
Three subject teachers recommend a high-quality resource that they have tried and tested in their own classrooms


San Gaku

What is it? San Gaku are challenging geometric puzzles based on a traditional Japanese format. To solve them, students will need an understanding of Pythagoras' theorem, angles and quadratic equations, as well as a spark of genius. Thankfully, uploader danwalker has provided the solutions so you won't be caught out in front of your students.

How can it be used? These puzzles are perfect for high-ability GCSE students who have developed the required skills but have trouble using them out of context. I am going to get my Year 11 students into small groups and give them a few minutes to think about one of the puzzles before we share ideas as a class. It will be great practice for demanding GCSE questions, especially once I emphasise the importance of setting work out clearly to justify any conclusions.

Craig Barton is an advanced skills teacher at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton and a TES secondary maths adviser. Find him on Twitter at @TESMaths


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

What is it? Regardless of whether you have seen Simon Stephens' stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this rich resource pack, produced by the National Theatre, will enhance your teaching of Mark Haddon's novel.

How can it be used? I would incorporate aspects of this pack consistently throughout the course of a term. With so much high-quality material, there's no point throwing it all away in one or two lessons. The synopsis and character profiles are a real help to students and the background reading on autism will allow teachers to approach a tricky topic with confidence. It's also satisfying to let your pupils know that they are partaking in drama exercises that were used by a professional company in rehearsal.

Jon Sellick is an English teacher and head of sixth form at Range High School in Formby, Merseyside


Classification of vertebrates and invertebrates

What is it? This week's science resource comes from MarkLindenCole and is aimed at key stage 3 students studying classification. This ready-to-go lesson includes a PowerPoint, a card-sort activity, a branching key task and a colour-coded mat listing important vocabulary.

How can it be used? There is enough here to fill a whole lesson, but the resource can also be distributed throughout a scheme of work on classification. I used it to great success with a Year 8 class. The keyword mat made an excellent plenary for testing students' learning; I suggest printing it in colour to really maximise its potential. The class responded well to the alien-classification task. Since many invertebrates do indeed look like aliens, this was the perfect way to make the subject a bit more exciting.

Aimee Mckeon is a science teacher at St Andrew's CE School and Sixth Form in Croydon, South London

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