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How Do I Choose the Best Teaching Materials?

By Emily Espinoza
Updated May 23, 2024
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To choose the best teaching materials, you need to consider what age group you are teaching, what subject matter you are teaching, and what your personal teaching style is. Children of different ages respond very differently to the materials you use, so you want to make sure that you have supplies that are appropriate for the age of your class. Some teaching materials are for general use in a classroom, but there are also some that are helpful for specific topics or subject areas. Even when you have narrowed down your choices, there are still a lot of options for materials that you can use and a big factor in which ones are best for you is personal preference.

Think about the children you are going to teach and consider what is interesting to them. The best teaching materials are the ones that help you keep your students engaged, so it is important to make sure that you pick things that will be interesting to the children you teach. If you are trying to entertain preschoolers and use something that they can't yet understand, they will quickly lose interest. Likewise, if you use materials that are too simple with older children, they will likely become bored and stop paying attention.

Having thematic teaching materials that coordinate with the subjects you are teaching can help you to more effectively get your message across to your students. If you teach only one subject, it should be easy to narrow down your options and find materials that feature your subject area. If you teach multiple subjects, try to find a few good selections for each subject that you teach and a few that work well for general classroom management as well. It might also be helpful to get materials such as posters or signs that you can quickly change as you change subjects. This can especially be helpful with younger students, as it gives them a visual cue that helps them understand the change in topic.

Every teacher has his or her own personal teaching style, and the teaching materials you use should complement the way you like to work. Some people may feel more motivated and positive with lots of bright decorations in the classroom, while others like to have a simpler environment with just the basics. Think about how you like to work and what materials will help you be most effective in the way that you work and teach. Organization can also help you work more effectively in your classroom, so be sure to think about materials that will help you organize supplies, paperwork, or even your schedule and to-do lists.

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Discussion Comments
By Ocelot60 — On Jun 03, 2014

Today, many teachers have to provide some of their own teaching materials for their students. This is a labor of love to teachers, because they want their students to learn. However, teachers still need to save money.

This is why it is a good idea for teachers to look at discount and value stores to find the teaching resources they need. Many of these stores have huge sections geared towards students, and the prices are great for people who are trying to save money or those who have to buy for a large number of students.

By Raynbow — On Jun 02, 2014

My best friend's mother is a teacher, and I know from spending time with her that teaching materials are almost unlimited. Though you may think of these types of materials as being pencils, paper, rulers, books, notebooks, and similar items, so many more objects can fit into this category.

For example, if a teacher in giving her students a lesson about nature, she may bring plants and small animals to class to help them learn. If she is teaching a class about rocks and minerals, she may bring samples to class to give the students hands-on knowledge about the different varieties and their appearance.

Children respond very well to seeing things in person to help them learn. It's a little like show and tell, which is always a learning experience. This is why the best teaching materials are a matter of each individual teacher's imagination.

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