I am a PGDE Primary Student at the University of Strathclyde.
During the initial lockdown, my sister was facing the challenge of home schooling my 7 year old nephew whilst caring for her new-born baby. She was understandably exhausted and so I tried to find ways to make home schooling a little easier for her.
After sending her a number of amazing resources that fellow practitioners had created and shared online, I decided to create my own. This was great experience ahead of beginning the PGDE course in August as I was taking the time to go through each of the experiences and outcomes and benchmarks for his level.
I used these to help me create a set of first level maths home school challenge cards which contained a separate answer sheet so that he could work on the questions independently. As there were over 100 different cards, he could choose a few different questions to complete each day and the format allowed him to treat it like a challenge or quiz so that it did not feel like he was doing typical schoolwork.
He seemed to quite enjoy doing them and so I made a copy for the other children in my family and posted a picture of the cards on Twitter. As someone who hadn't even begun my teacher training, I was hugely surprised at the influx of positive reactions to this tweet.
So many teachers asked if I would be willing to share the file that I couldn't keep up. Someone recommended that I post them on TES so that people could download them rather than spending hours emailing them to everyone and over 1,500 people have done so. I was happy to share the cards as teachers have such a busy schedule and if the cards could help in any way then this was a bonus, the cards were already created and sharing them did not take any more effort.
I enjoyed making the cards and so a few weeks later I decided that I would make something to support my own journey on the PGDE, which led to the creation of my planner. Again, I shared the planner on Twitter and hundreds of people have since downloaded it.
I think it's useful for practitioners to share the resources that they have created as it helps to save others time in creating a similar resource and sharing your work could help to inspire others.
I developed these resources using both Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. I used the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes and benchmarks documents to support this.
From using these resources, practitioners can gain access to high quality learning materials without having to spend the time creating the resource. They are readily available to download and are free to access. Although they were created with home schooling in mind, they can be adapted to suit the classroom environment and can further be adapted to meet individual needs.
Since I initially created the resources for personal use, I did not see the project developing anything past that. However, now that I realise the impact that sharing such resources can have, and have seen how beneficial they can be, I will continue to share anything that I do create with fellow practitioners.
The resources could have easily been created without incurring any costs, however, I decided to pay for a specific font that I wanted to use. It was only a couple of pounds and in my opinion, it was worth it.
I didn't seek the help of any organisations/partners, however I did use both Twitter and TES platforms to help me share the materials.
If you are thinking about sharing your resources – go for it! Don't worry if you think they aren't good or pretty enough, they will be used and appreciated by anyone who downloads them and can always be adapted!
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