Resources of the week

19th September 2014 at 01:00
Each week, three subject teachers recommend a high-quality resource that they have tried and tested in their own classrooms


The maths of texting while driving

What is it? This resource addresses skills related to the tricky topic of speed, distance and time; it also conveys an incredibly important message about the dangers of texting while driving. In the main activity, students time themselves typing a text and then calculate how far a car would travel in that time. Chris Smith's true-or-false starter activity is useful to illustrate the risks, and the eye-opening statistics and infographics he has included really bring the message home.

How can it be used? Take the lesson further by asking pupils to represent the most shocking statistics in their own infographic, designed to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. This reinforces the theme of the lesson and demonstrates how powerful statistics can be when presented in an engaging and accessible way.

Find it here: bit.lyTextingMaths

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


Colour and sound

What is it? Too often, sensory language is treated as a mere bolt-on to writing that has already been crafted. nadia.marken's well-structured resource makes it clear from the outset that appealing to each of the five senses can have a powerful impact on the reader. The presentation format makes the work accessible to all, but the resource also features technical terms that are ideal for pushing higher-ability students.

How can it be used? This simple PowerPoint can be incorporated into a variety of schemes of work. The fact that it progresses to analysing the use of sensory language makes it even more versatile. At the end of last term, I used it to bolster the creative-writing skills of my Year 9 class. And if your students can stomach hearing a few bars of Justin Timberlake's My Love, you could even use it to liven up a lesson on GCSE reading papers.

Find it here: bit.lySenseWriting

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


Thermal decomposition

What is it? This resource is aimed at key stage 3 students and covers the thermal decomposition of metal carbonates. Uploaded by clund, the PowerPoint displays clear learning objectives to be met in practical investigations. A well-scaffolded practical write-up sheet is included to allow students to record their results and conclusion and to evaluate how well the experiment went. An extension element will stretch able students.

How can it be used? Characters from the film Despicable Me engage students with the topic. The presentation is already skilfully designed to allow pupils to meet the lesson objectives, but why not encourage your class to really get involved in the narrative of the resource. You could even throw in a clip from the movie to make the most of this highly accessible lesson.

Find it here: bit.lyDespicableDecomposition

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

To offer suggestions, please email

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today