Teaching Supplies

Written by Sierra Rein
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Most psychologists agree that the most challenging aspect to the job of being a teacher is to hold the attention of the students long enough to teach them one more kernel of knowledge before their mind drifts away. Another challenge is to facilitate creative thinking and develop teaching techniques that reflect the students' variant learning styles. This is even greater for teachers who home-school their students, especially if a particular child has a learning disability.

In any case, teaching supplies should be custom-chosen based on the specific needs of the child or class in question. If the teacher notices that many students are "concrete" learners (that is, those who absorb information through direct experience) or "abstract" learners (those who process information by observing and analyzing the data), she may adjust her teaching style and utilize teaching supplies that strike a balance between intuition and sequential problem solving. Other children might be "active" processors who immediately need to apply their newfound knowledge immediately, while a second "reflective" group may need to take the time to think about the new experience before fully understanding it.

A teacher should have a collection of teaching supplies to help all four of these groups learn equally. Most successful teachers use multimedia presentations with sound, music, dance and art to stimulate concrete learners and active processors, while giving abstract learners and reflective processors tools they can take home and use on an everyday basis. For example, when teaching about how to tell time, an educator may ask the class to draw their own clocks on pieces of cardboard during school time, and then give them practical time-teaching watches to reflect on and use when the students are at home.

Teaching Supplies That Double as Gifts

Like the items found in zoo gift shops and museum stores, many teaching supplies can be purchased as children's gifts for birthdays or holiday parties. These are particularly effective if the parents are looking for unique and fun ways to become more involved in their child's education. They can also be wonderful additions to after school programs, camp activities, and day care groups. Teaching supplies can also be welcome if the babysitter is having trouble finding new ways to get the child away from the television and into a more productive learning mode.

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