I often encounter NQTs who are eager to prepare resources that will engage and inspire and plan lessons that are dynamic and memorable. Whilst of course this is great to see, it often results in a huge amount of hours planning, printing, searching the web and laminating; only for the resource to be used once and put in a drawer until next year. In a profession that is constantly seeking to minimise workload and simultaneously offer the best education every child deserves, can we be more creative with the recycling of our resources?

Why reinvent the wheel if we can customise, adapt and fine tune and still achieve maximum impact?

“Time lost is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin

I set myself the challenge of coming up with 10 uses for a staple in every teacher’s toolkit; the humble card sort.

Can you meet the challenge for another resource? I would love to hear your ideas.

  1. Matching  – definitions to terms – dates to events – solution to problem etc
  2. Prioritising – prompting deeper thought – what are the most significant events of…..
  3. Debating – most prominent qualities of Lady Macbeth, most important event of…
  4. Categorising – students can be given predetermined groupings to place cards in to or stretch and challenge pupils by asking them to come up with their own categories
  5. Beat the teacher – can they think of a term/definition/event/solution/device etc that is missing?
  6. Sequencing – placing events in chronological order – step by step process for a practical or maths solution – plot of a play/novel etc
  7. Revision material – present the information as a poster or Wordle to be used for revision
  8. The BIG question –  pose an exam style question and students to select key points/processes from the card sort – application of knowledge and a good opportunity to assess student understanding.
  9. Peer Quiz – using the card sort as flashcards students test each other
  10. Fill in the gaps – Only half the card sort is handed out and students write the other half on mini white boards

card sort.jpg




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