Resources of the week

19th December 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


Adding four fractions in a line

What is it? In this simple task, students pair up to play a game of Connect Four. The catch is that they may only claim a square if they are able to make the value that square contains by adding together two fractions from a fixed selection. This is a chance for students to practise fundamental skills in a competitive but fun environment.

How can it be used? As it stands, this resource will consolidate skills in adding fractions. However, once students have mastered the task, learning can be extended by asking more complex questions, such as which squares are the hardest to cross off or what is the smallest fraction they can make. With modification, this resource could be used to practise subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions, or many other mathematical topics.

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


Writing to describe

What is it? This time-saving resource is a pre-packaged lesson that is ready to be taught without any accompaniment. It takes a lively and thorough approach to descriptive writing and doesn't fall into the trap of presuming that students remember the basics. All the familiar descriptive techniques are here - similes, adverbs, effective use of the senses - alongside a challenging yet manageable task and visual prompts for creating a longer piece of writing.

How can it be used? Although the lesson is aimed at key stage 3, I recently used it with a Year 10 class as a revision tool to prepare them for their descriptive writing controlled assessment. I added an element of reflection by giving each student a set of the first 10 slides and asking them to assess the work of the person next to them, as well as identifying the techniques used. It worked a treat.

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


Evolution and national selection revision grid

What is it? This week's science resource was produced by TES website user ghfrdsa and is aimed at key stage 5 biology students studying evolution and natural selection. It consists of a simple six-by-six grid, in which each square contains a thought-provoking question. The board-game format lends itself well to displaying the eye-catching images included.

How can it be used? I used this resource by splitting my students into teams and providing them with dice. The aim of the game was to move around the board, answering as many questions as possible. A further challenge could involve identifying links between pairs of squares - for example, the connection between the ideas of Darwin and Lamarck. My students enjoyed the competitive nature of the game and carried on playing after the school bell had rung.

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

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