Jacqui Bannister, TES Author highwaystar, shares her experience of creating topic and Spag resources for primary
My professional background
Since qualifying in 1997, I have taught all year groups from nursery to Year 6 as a class teacher and ICT coordinator. I have also been a county ICT consultant, promoting the use of digital technology in the classroom. During my career, I have watched technology in schools develop from the old BBC computers to interactive whiteboards, and now there is a range of digital influences in the classroom. I currently work as an educational advisor and resource writer.
What I try to achieve with my resources
My past experiences have helped me understand how using technology for teaching and learning helps students, in particular those learners who regularly struggle. I always try to incorporate a mix of learning styles into the resources I create. As well as accommodating the students’ needs, I try to look after the teachers’ needs too by including additional resources, such as word lists and web links.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation resources
I first created spelling resources after being asked by a school. Before producing them, I spent a long time getting to grips with spelling, grammar and punctuation. These resources have been adapted to fit in with the 2014 national curriculum, so there is now content to match each objective for every year group. I find these extremely useful when I occasionally do supply teaching, as I know there is very little preparation I need to do.
I initially found some of the objectives in the spelling appendix quite difficult to understand, as was the case when creating this lesson* about adding suffixes beginning with vowels to words of more than one syllable. When using this resource in the classroom, I found that the visual clues combined with the oral explanations helped pupils to see how this spelling rule worked. Before using the interactive questions at the end, I asked the class to point to the rule which should be used for each word. This helped me to assess learning and identify which students needed extra coaching.
Topic resource packs
These resources involve a lot of research, from sourcing relevant images to making sure that there is as much relevant information as possible for each age group.
I particularly like my KS1 toys topic resource pack*, which has evolved from the old QCA “Toys in the past" topic. I have changed it many times to bring it up to date, ensuring that it is cross curricular and applicable to children today. It includes images of toys from ancient times to modern times, with an adaptable planning document, activities and display resources.
I have found that these resources help to immerse children in the topic and bring it to life for them.
Year 3 and 4 Spag lesson: Suffixes*
KS1 toys topic resource pack*
Highwaystar’s TES Shop
*This resource is being sold by the author
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