Tag Archives: gadget

222. Gadget of the week

In an ideal world you would issue a homework sheet with a deadline and then dutiful students would hand in beautiful pieces of work on the specified date.

In reality:

  • the work is handed in
  • the work is handed in late
  • the work isn’t handed in because they’ve lost it
  • the work isn’t handed in because they’ve left it at home
  • what homework, I’ve got nothing in my planner?

I have a standard practice of printing 10% (or more) extra worksheets than I need given the track record of some of my students. Let’s just say lunch detentions happen so regularly for certain bods that they are referred to as ‘lunch dates’, much to the amusement of their friends! The annoying bit is finding/handing out the spare sheets and chasing deadlines. There is also the classic response of ‘I couldn’t get a new sheet because I couldn’t find you, Miss’.

I found this genius gadget in my local Asda (Walmart), but you could recreate it with laminated card and a pin-board.


  • In each day section I record the homework set on that day – addresses the issue of not knowing there was homework.
  • Each week I transfer last week’s deadlines across – no excuse for not knowing when work is due in.
  • Underneath each day I pin a plastic wallet with the spare copies (but not the master copy) of the worksheet set – students can access spare sheets whenever they need to and I can find them quickly too (no more rummaging in folders/drawers)
  • The board is stuck on the wall, near the main board so it is in the eyeline of the students – a constant reminder.

I’ve been using it for a month now and students are already helping themselves when they lose sheets. It’s also a much quicker reminder for me too.

The last word of this post has to go to my Year 11 frequent homework dodger:

‘We’ve got no excuse for not doing our homework now, have we Miss?’

196. Gadget of the day 6

It’s been a while since I’ve had a gadget of the day. Today is more of a stationary item of the day. I’m a fan a moleskine books and the number of index markers mine have hanging out of them is a standing joke.


Now I’ve discovered Leuchtturm 1917 books.


Just like basic moleskine books they come in plain, lined and squared paper versions. Just like moleskine they are hardback, have an elastic closure and wallet in the back cover.


Unlike moleskine books, they have a blank index and every page is numbered. This makes finding specific notes really easy and doesn’t require excessive sticky tabs. You can also get pen loops, so you don’t lose your favourite pen. I definitely think my notes look more professional/organised now: Left has 17 sticky tabs, right has an index.


You can purchase both moleskine and Leuchtturm books from most big stationers or online.

111. Gadget of the day 4

If you are one of the many teachers who can’t stay late at school to do your marking, then this is for you. No more soggy books on a rainy day, split bags spilling books everywhere, collapsible crates that collapse half way across the car park or welts on your hands from carrying heavy bags with narrow straps.


This is the Hi Gear folding picnic basket. It has a double ended zip that goes around three sides of the top forming a showerproof lid, padded metal handles and it folds down flat. I can fit a class set of books in half of it, leaving space for more books or essentials such as your lunch, raincoat, excess paperwork and a big cake. It is just the right size to fit in the boot of a car (mine is tiny and it fits).

It costs between £7.99 & £15, depending where you get it from. There are also several colour versions.

Go Outdoors

90. Gadget of the Day 2

Those of a slighty OCD clean-freak nature will love this:


It’s a microfibre cleaning/dusting mitt. And it’s brilliant for cleaning the whiteboard with. No smears or marker stains! You don’t need to worry about looking a fool using it – you’ll never get the chance. My pupils argue over who wears it and gets to clean the board. It’s also washable, which makes it a bit more eco-friendly.

This one was from JML and I bought it from Asda for £2.99. You can get them from Amazon, ebay, JML etc.

82. Gadget of the Day 1

What are these?


I came across them when I was making a circle skirt and it occurred to me they’d be a great teacher tool. They’re generally known as a yardstick compass. You attach the pointy end to one end of a metre (or yard) stick and the pencil end at your desired radius. Each end has a cap which tightens to the height of your ruler. Hey presto – a giant pair of compasses! Never again will you search high and low for something big and circular to draw around or try using a drawing pin and a piece of string.


There are lots of American websites that sell them, but in the UK I’ve only seen them on Art supply sites eg Handover.co.uk