As teachers, it’s really easy to end up reinventing the wheel. At my school, like many others, we have mountains of schemes of work, resources and worksheets. Like many other schools, I suspect, finding the best resources to use for any given lesson, at any given time, can be a challenge. For my KS3 students I often use a book I’ve had since my placement to help kick off lessons.
101 Red-Hot Science Starters is easily worth the fiver or so it costs. Organised by topic, the ideas are quick and simple to put up on a board, and include answers as well as differentiated outcomes. If you’re organised, you could put a series together on a powerpoint if you’re lucky enough to have regular electronic whiteboard access.
It’s not, I hasten to add, that you couldn’t come up with the ideas yourself. On the contrary, my book has many scribbled additions of my own. Instead, it’s that coming up with starters (or plenaries – many are versatile) takes time which most of us are short of. This gives me, I reason, another five minutes per lesson to plan a main activity.