The Relief Teacher Toolkit – Book 1 provides convenient resources to assist relief teachers with classroom planning and organisation on a long term basis. The photocopiable worksheets cover the learning areas of English, mathematics, science, health/values, geography/history and art/DT.
The series is also a valuable resource for the classroom teacher, as the worksheets may be used to introduce, consolidate or assess topics being taught.
The lessons consist of a teacher page, which tells you the resources you need. It gives a concise lesson plan, and additional activities. It also gives curriculum links. I think the lesson plan section is so helpful, it will really help guide the lesson and give it structure. It gives eight or so steps to cover in the lesson. I love this aspect of the resource book. The additional activities provide you with ideas to integrate the worksheet into other areas of the curriculum. One lesson alone has six or seven additional activities ideas. I have bought many resource books before but I don’t have any which provide such a comprehensive teacher page. Most don’t provide any teacher page so this is a big positive for me. The resource guide is helpful too because it provides you with a list of what you need for each lesson. One can easily see the night before if they have the appropriate resources for the lesson or not. By way of example, one lesson in book four is called ‘My Journey’. The resource list simply lists: magazines and travel brochures. (I knew I was saving those brochures for something!) The resources aren’t necessary for every lesson but the concrete materials do make it much more meaningful for the children. I think, in my own opinion, that it may well be possible to stretch worksheet topic to cover almost the whole day. I am mentally planning in my head what I could do with each topic, and I think it would be best to use the follow up activities to integrate learning throughout the whole day. The topics are of a wide scope so this should indeed be possible. I LOVE integrating and linking lessons, so this is a big selling point for me! Some examples of the worksheets in book three are, early explorers, (My favourite theme!), book reviews, reading comprehension pages, exploring ancient Egypt, exploring food, review poster, ideas for creative text, and so on. There are a total of forty two lessons/worksheets in this book. I hope to integrate all subjects to each worksheet, apart from Maths and Irish. There are lots of maths lessons too, including time, mental maths, operations etc. I am hopeful that this one book will serve me for many, many years in teaching. I spent far too many nights panicking the night before subbing at short notice, trawling through the internet for lessons. Now, I can simply flick through my ‘Relief Teacher Toolkit’ while having a cup of tea, and pick a lesson/topic to cover. It will make life much easier! I always find too that when teachers leave work to be covered, it rarely takes the full day to cover it. So I will always carry my Toolkit book, just in case.Múinteoir Valerie