Teaching Resources: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


Reading through one of my favorite education blogs today I stumbled across an article titled, “What makes a good teaching resource?”  You can access the article here: http://www.rsc.org/blogs/eic/2016/04/good-teaching-resource-education


The author describes in this article how a good teaching resource is one that’s accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.  The author also describes how a resource should show where it came from and clearly list who made it.  When you know something about the origin of a resource, you can know if it is potentially relevant to the standard the student is learning.


In my practice I have my “go to” list of resources for developing early reading skills, vocabulary building, mathematics, science, SAT / ACT preparation, and even gifted test preparation (WISC-V, in addition to WIAT-III or Woodcock Johnson tests of Achievement).  While gifted test preparation resources are a bit of a unique category, suggested teaching resources I recommend for the development of basic educational standards meet the criteria of being accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant.


From my prospective there are additional criteria that must be met before I recommend a resource:


1. The student must be able to learn from the resource with minimal parental intervention. I’ve learned that the best resources to supplement a student’s education often require little or no monitoring from the parent.  This can include learning games on the computer or tablet, or other learning activities such as flashcards that can be played alone.  Workbooks and worksheets that are engaging to the student can be helpful as well.

At one point in my career I recommended Leapster games to parents to create a foundation for basic reading and math skills.  Today, tablet games have taken the place of Leapster games.  I do encourage the use of educational games for targeted activities as learning can occur autonomously and the child gets instant feedback on their progress.


  1. The teaching resource must teach to the standard. The standards can change over time. In Florida, you can easily identify your child’s curriculum standards by going to this website:  http://www.fldoe.org/academics/standards


  1. Activities should be relevant and build off other skills.


  1. Teaching resources should be offered with the child in mind. Some children struggle with confidence and need additional practice to build confidence, while other children may bore easily and need to be challenged.


Often your child’s teacher can be your best resource.  Teachers can be skilled at recommending learning materials and even may be able to supply additional resources.  Also don’t forget to check with your child’s school or your local public library.  You may be able to connect with online books at no cost through the school’s library of local public library.


As an educational consultant I am happy to complete an educational evaluation of your child using standardized testing instruments with computerized scoring in order to develop an appropriate and effective plan for supplementing their education.  As the summer approaches, parents often contact me to develop a comprehensive summer learning plan.  If this service would be of interest to you please don’t hesitate to contact me at 813-454-1050.