In the absence of a textbook to take away and use at home, I encourage GCSE students to tab their exercise books. These can easily be made with plain stickers (which students cut and colour code) or post it tabs. They tend to come up with their own systems but often separate into vocab, topic and grammar. They also use both the front and backs of their books.
How I store resources and teaching ideas
Over lockdown, I have spent time organising my resources including any screenshots I have taken from ideas and infographics on social media. As an apple user, I have iCloud so thought that for now, this would be the best way to store everything as it means that anything I save or screenshot on my iPad, iMac or iPhone is automatically available on all of my other devices. It has been brilliant so far and while I have been teaching remotely. I'm just not too sure how it will work back in school as I can't access my iCloud from the school network. I take my personal iPad into school so can email resources to myself but I think for now I will have to continue backing everything up onto USB or use one drive.
Strive for 5 and have some PRIDE
My colleague, Nick, discovered this brilliant checklist on social media a few years ago (message if you know who shared it so I can credit) and since we have been using it, we have noticed a massive improvement in students' presentation of work/their exercise books. When we mark their books, as well as marking their language etc, we also give them a PRIDE score out of 5 which relates to this checklist plus a comment on what they need to improve on for next time. So after our usual comment and next steps etc, it would then say something like:
PRIDE 3/5 - Remember to rule off your work and use every space in your book and always include a date and title.
I find it works brilliantly and is an easy addition to your marking comments!
I love using my iPad and Apple Pencil for work. I luckily managed to get hold of a second hand (fairly new model) iPad so it didn't cost me too much but unfortunately I did have to splurge on the £100 for the pencil. BUT I use it every day! I take all meeting notes on my iPad, keep notes of CPD courses, plan out any CPD courses I am delivering and also use it for when I am learning French online. The two notes apps I use are notability and good notes. They are both very similar and I can't decide which one I prefer out of the two of them. For me, notability is more like having a folder whereas good notes is like having a set of exercise books. Check out my blog post on how I plan digitally too using idoceo.
Desk in a Bag
My ever popular desk in a bag. I should seriously go into business selling these! Not having my own classroom and having to commute between sites means that this bag is a lifesaver! I saw the idea on Pinterest years ago and knew I had to have one! The bag itself is from US company Thirty One. The first one I had to import from America but you can now find them on E-Bay as an organising tote bag. You then just need an A4 sized box file (mine is an expanding file organiser). The pockets can be filled with whatever you wish! I will create another post on what I include in mine.
UPDATE: Here is my desk in a bag for 2020/2021. I have filmed an IGTV video too about how I set it up. Head over to my instagram page @_leolanguages.
I include the following:
The main file divider includes a divider per class, one for my form group, useful sheets (where I put spare vocab lists etc), marking to hand back, C+R (consequences and rewards - so here I keep detention letters and rewards stickers) and then spare paper (including different coloured for students who need work printing on different-coloured paper).
In the pockets, I keep board pens, a board rubber, purple pens (for working on targets), dice, marking stamps, stickers, paper clips, stapler, post-its, a roll of stickers (I find these so useful) and this year a mini-printer.
Swag Bag for Writing
This idea was shared by a colleague a few years ago and I have used it ever since. I encourage my students to create a swag bag. Basically a list of useful phrases to learn which could be used to improve a piece of writing. Lower ability students have a few sophisticated phrases to rely on and higher ability students will probably have quite a long list.