Resources of the week

21st November 2014 at 00:00
Three subject teachers recommend a high-quality resource, available on the TES website, that they have tried and tested in their own classrooms


Online linear equations test

What is it? In this interactive online test shared by David Smith, students race against the clock to answer as many linear equation questions as they can. The answers are then automatically marked - pupils can print out their results and hand them to their teacher.

How can it be used? I have set this as a homework task, asking students to print out their best scores to add an element of competition. More recently, I have also used it as a question generator in class. I go around the room asking students for answers, giving the class three lives in order to get through as many questions as possible. It's perfect for the repeated practice that students need to become fluent in solving linear equations.

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


Desert island plane crash debate

What is it? In this dramatic speaking and listening activity from MissLMLovatt, pupils are provided with a list of 28 characters who are in a plane that is about to crash. The plane is flying over a small island; only 10 parachutes are available and pupils must decide who gets one. The passengers are an eclectic group, including a 28-year-old Icelandic psychologist with a fear of flying and a 55-year-old Russian investment banker. The stories of the characters bring up some interesting dilemmas.

How can it be used? The worksheet instructs pupils to make notes on their choices, which can then be fed back to a small group or a larger audience. This activity lends itself well to persuasive writing and is also ideal for developing thinking skills. Try assigning characters to individual pupils and asking them to develop arguments for why they should be saved, irrespective of their personal opinions.

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


Electromagnets investigation

What is it? This week's science resource comes from Hamish1979 and is ideal for key stage 3 students studying electromagnets. It includes a PowerPoint presentation, a lesson plan and a practical investigation. The presentation is particularly impressive, with guided instructions, powerful visuals and structured lesson objectives.

How can it be used? The resource gets students to make an electromagnet and use it for various tasks, such as finding out what it will pick up and testing how strong it is. The activities should encourage children to take an active interest in the topic (which can be a bit dull). This was a huge success with my Year 7 class and will hopefully be just as popular with your students.

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

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