For busy teachers who need quality resources, there are probably two sites we turn to. One is Teaching Ideas and the other is Teachers Pet. Though, if I am honest I have them both on separate Chrome tabs when I am on the hunt for something for my classroom. In the past, I was probably quite snooty about sites that offered labels, word banks, posters and the like to teachers. I though teachers should make their own. But, that view was held when I was working as a consultant and I actually didn’t have my own class.
And now I am a teacher again, marking and planning take up most of my time, as indeed they should. I don’t have the time to make my own posters about parts of speech,magnets, materials, space travel or story writing. Though I may create a very interactive whiteboard file or Powerpoint on the topic, it can often be a very ephemeral resource. I often find I want to return to a topic or a teaching point a few days after I first flashed it up on-screen. Having effective and well placed visual descriptions in the room can offer a longer term reminder of key facts for my class and an aide memoir for me. They help and prompt me and my pupils during lessons on a mostly daily basis.
The resources I use from Teachers Pet are bright, colourful and very clear. I use them around my classroom and point them out during teaching, particularly at the moment when we are focussing on strengthening our understanding of parts of speech.
So, now it is even easier to browse for these resources. Now we have an app, or at least a soon to be released app from the TPet Team. I was asked to test a version of the app last week and I have since spent some time playing with it. As I was testing I was looking for bugs and glitches , but there weren’t any that I could see. Pages turned smoothly, buttons behaved, screens rendered very quickly and search boxes delivered as they should. Perhaps I had missed something.
This app is effectively a regularly updated index of thousands of useful and essential classroom resources.But then so is their website. However, I am struck by how much more natural it feels to flick and browse through these on a tablet. For regular iPad and IOS users like myself it feels so much less like work to pick up the iPad on the sofa and skim through for a space poster or writing targets , rather than powering up the ageing laptop or PC. Yes there is so much here, but the app still feels clean and tidy with lots of white space and not a hint of advertising or distraction. I think I’d like to see a similar app offering from the TES Resource bank and the collected works of Pie Corbett and then I may not have to power up my computer very often at all.