How Do I Choose the Best Teaching Materials?

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  • Written By: Emily Espinoza
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 April 2014
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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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