Scott Stein, TES Author ScienceSpot, talks about how he turned a classroom distraction into an engaging teaching tool
I became a TES Author in early 2016, but I have created resources to use within the classroom since I became a teacher in 2007.
Encouraging my class to be engaged in a lesson is very important as it allows students to take ownership of their own learning, as well as creating an environment where education can be fun! The best example of this that I use in the classroom would have to be a cootie catcher, also known as a fortune teller or a chatterbox.
As an author and content creator, I am only satisfied with high quality resources that develop learners' understanding of the subject matter, as the cootie catcher does. As well as science, I also create these resources for English, history and math.
How I developed my resources
I decided to create my own cootie catcher, but, rather than being a distraction or telling fortunes, it described important terms relating to photosynthesis, the topic we were studying at the time. Although I was nervous about how learners would respond to it, I found that after a few minutes, the entire class was excitedly quizzing each other on scientific terminology. I realised how engaging it was when one of my students exclaimed; “You tricked us into learning!”
From that day forward, I started creating cootie catchers for all of the topics I teach, ranging from the water cycle to habitats to the solar system and many more. I found that my class would get excited when we moved on to a new topic as they knew another cootie catcher would follow.
Top tip for aspiring authors
My message to all readers: If you wish to become a successful TES Author, you must find a unique way of developing resources which engage students and “trick" them into enjoying the learning process.
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