How To Work with Teaching Aids

Learning the alphabet

A teaching aid is something a classroom teacher uses in her class to help students improve reading and other skills, reinforce a skill, or to make learning fun.  Teaching aids can be used in any of the core classes.  There are several types of teaching aids to be utilized in your classroom.

  1. Chart:  A chart is something that shows a group of facts in the form of a diagram, table, or a graph. Teachers can use small alphabet charts on student desks to aid in learning the alphabet.  Charts can be large enough to mount on a wall.  Wall charts can be used for whole group lessons; the teacher can write an outline or word definitions on the wall chart.
  2. Flash Cards: A flash card is part of a set of cards that has numbers, letters, pictures or words on it.  They are commonly used for drilling students on facts.  Flash cards may also be used to enhance student memory. Try playing a memory game with the facts on the cards.  This is a great and fun way to help students memorize. 
  3. Flip Charts: Flip charts are useful for teaching large groups at one time.  A flip chart is a large group of papers that are attached at the top so that the papers can be flipped over one at a time to show a new page of paper.  Flip charts are often placed on an easel, which allows the teacher to easily move it.  A teacher can use a flip chart when she is showing different parts of a lesson, stages in the process of something, steps of something, or the progress of a story as it unfolds.  Flip charts are very versatile and can be used for all classes.
  4. Maps:  Maps are something teachers can use for various projects or lessons.  A map is something to use when a teacher is describing where a city, state, country, or continent is located.  Teachers can show students different types of terrain, the population of a specific state or country, or the amount of precipitation in various areas.  Maps are great for social studies and science and give students a great understanding of spatial relations. 
  5. Calendar: A calendar is a chart that shows dates in each month of the year.   Teachers can use calendars for teaching days of the month and the months to her class.  Using a calendar that is in a different language is also a unique way to teach days of the month in that particular foreign language.
  6. Newspapers:  Many teachers may not know that a newspaper is a great teaching aid.  Newspapers can be used for any of the core classes.  Teachers can use them to teach about people, places and things in language arts.  Newspapers can be used for math activities, such as clipping coupons and doing basic math.  A teacher can use a newspaper for finding parts of speech, teaching about life skills, or to keep kids current on news events. 
  7. Graphs:  Graphs are a wonderful teacher's aid and can be used for any subject.  Teachers can make their own graphs and use them to compare population growth in social studies, numbers or ratios of objects in math class, or even use them for charting student growth.  Teachers can make their own graphs using computer programs or can choose to go the old-fashioned way and use graph paper. 
  8. Surveys:  These are another great teaching aid.  Teachers can make their own survey to pass out to the class.  On that survey, the teacher may ask the students to answer yes, no, multiple choice, or short answer questions regarding a recent teaching unit, the overall performance of the teacher or the school in general.  Surveys are a great way for a teacher to get feedback and use that feedback to improve teaching skills or change future lessons for more success!

Teaching aids can add to lessons, show students specifics of the lesson, or improve basic skills.  There are so many teaching aids available to teachers today; the possibilities are endless!


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