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Tips of the trade 48. Resource box

I find it useful, whatever age group I am teaching, to organise my class so that each table or small group of desks has a resource box.

For younger children, I put in lists of key words, a simple dictionary, alphabet, number lines and multilink or similar cubes for counting. Extra resources, such as clock faces, could be added to combine with a particular topic. Older children's resources for maths could also include multibase cubes as, even by the end of primary school, some children still need concrete examples when using numbers, or multiplication squares as an aid to memorising times tables.

Children should be encouraged to fetch other resources as needed, and keep them in their box. Each group's resources are clearly labelled.

I also carry a "toolkit" with me. This contains spare (sharpened) pencils, pencil sharpener and rubber, a small packet of felt tips, pens, a glue stick, roll of Sellotape, paper clips, drawing pins, whiteboard pens, and a pair of adult-sized scissors. Magnets are useful for fixing posters and diagrams to magnetic whiteboards.

I label everything, making sure it all returns to the box at the end of the lesson. This is especially useful when moving from class to class - no more desperate searches in desk drawers.

Angela Pollard teaches maths at Crescent school in Rugby, Warwickshire.

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