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The most popular PAT teaching resources in 2023

The most popular PAT teaching resources in 2023

Feature 7 minute read

The PAT Teaching Resources Centre is a treasure trove of evidence-based teaching activities and annotated questions across a range of domains, including Maths, Reading, Science and Critical Reasoning. Here are some of our most popular teaching activities from 2023, available for free!

Most popular Maths teaching activity: Newman’s error analysis

'Newman's error analysis', a Maths teaching activity from our Thinking Mathematically range, was our most frequently used resource once again, and with good reason! Despite its classification as a Maths tool, it has broader applications across subjects as a way of working out where students may be going wrong in their process of answering questions.

Problem-solving is one of the 4 proficiencies in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and is recognised as a key 21st-century skill crucial for the workplace of the future. However, it is notoriously difficult to build this skill in the artificial environment of the classroom. Anne Newman's work shows that about 50 per cent of incorrect answers can be attributed to a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. And that’s before the student even gets to the ‘maths’ in the problem. Her error analysis gives teachers a structured, proven method of unpacking what students are thinking, and of identifying where they’re going wrong.

Most popular Reading teaching activity: Classifying from a list of words without visual support

The Reading teaching activity ‘Classifying from a list of words without visual support’ is designed to help teachers focus on the reading skill of classifying and categorising information. Students must be able to recognise and understand different categories to make connections and identify key information. This allows them to manage or organise information within and across texts.

In this highly scaffolded activity, students work in pairs or groups and as a whole class to identify different ways that information can be organised.

This activity has familiar and accessible content for students. It develops an important skill for everyday living, but also contributes to building future reading comprehension skills where students need to classify and organise much more complex information. Classifying or categorising information is often a first step in interpreting and making judgements about information.

The different sections of this activity support teachers to gradually build students’ skills through reinforcing the key concept and then introducing increasingly complex aspects of the same idea.

Most popular new teaching activity: Recognising the purpose of a paragraph in a persuasive text

This Reading teaching activity focuses strongly on a familiar text style – persuasive texts. Persuasive texts and persuasive language are important aspects of the curriculum at all levels, especially in the senior secondary years. Therefore, the activity ‘Recognising the purpose of a paragraph in a persuasive text’ builds on students’ existing familiarity with persuasive texts and also supports students’ future learning in this area.

The activity includes a persuasive text and provides 3 potential activities for students: a memory game set out in a familiar style plus 2 alternatives. Teachers can choose the appropriate level of difficulty, with the possibility of using 2 or 3 of the options within the same class to provide differentiated support for students. The extension activity is based on an engaging text that incorporates several persuasive techniques and allows for whole-class discussion and teacher guidance.

Most popular video: How to improve reading comprehension – Video 1

Our professional support exemplar videos show teachers using selected Reading teaching activities with a small group of students. These videos show how teachers respond to, prompt, encourage and guide students.

This video is focused on building students' skills in understanding complex sentences and how they are used.

Publisher’s choice for new Critical Reasoning teaching activity: Biscuit thief

Critical thinking is increasingly being recognised as an essential skill to cultivate in students, as it allows them to negotiate the kinds of complex, multifaceted problems they are likely to encounter in future study and work. The Critical Reasoning teaching activity, ‘Biscuit Thief’, provides a fun and accessible example of a rich problem-solving context, in which students must employ multiple critical thinking skills to work out which member of a family is responsible for the theft of a jar of biscuits. The activity presents students with statements from various family members, which include conflicting claims, irrelevant details, as well as useful information that can be synthesised to support various hypotheses about the culprit(s). Students are invited to explain their theories, critique the logic of others, and reflect on the thinking that underpins their conclusions.

Publisher’s choice for new Science teaching activity: Plants are living things too!

The Science teaching activity ‘Plants are living too!’ addresses the difficulty some primary students have with identifying plants as living things. Here we provide videos to supplement theoretical knowledge to show plant movement and how plants interact with their environment. This is reinforced with activities, where students (with the assistance of their teachers) choose an experiment to investigate how abiotic factors (non-living things) such as salt, water and light affect plant growth. These experiments allow students to learn how to make a fair test and begin to understand the processes of science inquiry. 

Thousands more resources like these are available in the PAT Teaching Resource Centre. Find out more and request a 30-day free trial for your school:

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