Resources are an absolutely vital part of any classroom. They make learning engaging, fun and accessible for all learners, if planned and prepared properly.What this means however, is that we can spend a lot of our time planning and preparing resources! So it’s really important that we work collaboratively with our colleagues and the wider educational community to access resources that may already be out there. There have been times when I’ve been in school and I’ve a resource being used in one classroom that would be really useful in another, but when I’ve asked about this the teachers and TAs weren’t aware of its’ existence.So how can we work together more collaboratively to share and use our resources?
- Learning walks – this sounds really formal, but it doesn’t need to be. A quick trip to someone else’s classroom can be really beneficial, to see what they’ve been doing and what’s in their classroom. Even as short a time as 5 minutes can be really useful!Meetings – make a specific agenda item to discuss useful resources. This could be physical resources, websites, activity ideas – anything. As long as it’s something you’ve used that’s had a positive impact on learning, and how you used it to achieve this effect.
- Shared drives or online classrooms – uploading any resources to a shared drive can be a really quick and easy way for everyone to access them. You could sort this by year group, and topic. So you could have Year 4 – Mathematics – Data Handling – Bar Charts. That way everyone can upload and access during their planning.
- Social media – social media is a fantastic way both to share and access ideas and resources from the wider educational community. You can follow blogs, Twitter pages, Facebook pages and YouTube channels. This has changed the way practitioners can work collaboratively – you could be in Germany, but using resources from a school in Japan! Be careful with copyright and intellectual property rights though!
Have a think about your school, and your own practice. How do you share resources at the moment? How often do you ask your colleagues about resources? Are there more effective ways you can work collaboratively together?