This past weekend the New York Times ran a story on a fabulous site where teachers can share resources. Of course this site is TeachersPayTeachers, more affectionately known as TpT. (Click here to read the full article.) The end of the piece sums it up for me:
She added that many teachers considered TeachersPayTeachers credible because they can find ideas from more experienced teachers who face the same classroom challenges they do. “That is what ground-level teachers are able to do that textbook publishers can’t,” Ms. Randazzo said.
And herein lies the truth. Classroom teachers are in the trenches; publishers are in the war room. Classroom teachers write warm ups, lesson plans, worksheets, projects, labs, quizzes, and tests, (to name a few), to help their students learn the material. Experienced teachers know what works and what doesn’t work based on years worth of trial and error. What teachers need are engaging resources that get students excited about learning and help them master the content. These must be easy to reproduce (i.e. photocopy) and ideally require minimal preparation on the teachers’ part.
As a classroom teacher with 25+ years experience, I have had a lot of fun writing mathematical circuits and my students have had fun doing math in the circuit format. (See previous blog posts for a description of mathematical circuit training and/or visit my TpT store.) An unpredicted bonus to this adventure has been that several of my friends have taken this ride with me and have not only proofread my circuits, but have begun creating and posting their own.
About a month ago, two of my colleagues opened their own virtual stores on Teachers pay Teachers. You can see some of Mark Kiraly’s algebra 2 and calculus circuits by clicking here. You can see Nicole Lang’s 2nd grade, arithmetic, and college algebra circuits by clicking here.