Adobe Illustrator Is Transforming How I Develop Teaching Materials

Screenshot 2015-09-04 16.21.47

I’m really slow at this, but I’m enjoying how using Adobe Illustrator is changing and improving how I go about developing teaching resources.

There’s a lot jammed on this page, but it’s also high definition. It’s designed to be printed at A3 or larger if possible.

This is everything that my students need to know about the requirements for the biggest assessment in our course. It’s also the assessment that confuses people the most often.

What this conveys (hopefully), is that the teaching component boils down to 8 activities that sit under two learning outcomes. And all of this has to be backed up with supporting evidence that they’ve done the work.

This is not something I’d use as a slide obviously. But I’m a big believer in giving out one-page handouts.

Even if it’s an enormous one page.

How To Develop Great Teaching Materials In 5 Steps

Screenshot 2015-08-25 22.11.00

It’s no secret that I love the process of developing new resources. That’s something that hasn’t changed over quite a few years of teaching and training.

My process for materials development has changed quite a lot of the last few years though.

I have 5 rules for myself for this process. Well, they’re more like guidelines.

  1. Solve a problem. My students tend to drive new resource creation. They just don’t know it. Most of my resource creation happens as a reaction to common problems in the learning process.
    • At the moment, many of my students are stuck on Assessment 4 in the course that I teach. In this assignment they have to collate several different kinds of evidence. I have a checklist, but I wanted to create something visual. Here’s the checklist. For my poster though, I’m only interested in the far left hand side.
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 21.56.19
  2. Start analog. I make a point of starting with my non digital tools first. I like to get the shape of the idea sketched out on the white board or in my journal. Or usually both.
    • Here’s my first draft of a poster for Assessment 4 on the white board. I started portrait and then redrew it in landscape on the left.
    • Here’s my second draft. I want people to see the different kinds of evidence they have to collect. And then make the links to their Study Guide and Assessment Guide. This time I’ve redrawn the poster in my notebook.
      Journal 2
  3. Finish digital. From the white board and journal, I move on to the digital tools. Currently, I’m learning to use Adobe Illustrator. This is a new tool for me and I’m still figuring it out.
    • Here’s a couple of printouts from early versions of the handout that I was working on.
  4. Iterate as fast as possible. I go through many different versions before I’m happy with the final product.
    • Here’s the current version in Illustrator.
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 14.27.52
  5. Realise that it’s never finished. One of the things I realised early on in my teaching career was that my resources needed to be dynamic. The content needs to evolve, rather than remain static.
    • Here’s a screen shot of the PDF of the resource (for now anyway).
      Screenshot 2015-08-25 22.11.00

More Maths and Numeracy Jigsaw Puzzles – Multiplication and Division

I’ve posted our ALEC subtraction jigsaw puzzles here if you want to download and print, or if you want to tinker with them yourself you can also download the original word doc files as well.

Here’s the rest of them below… they’re all based around the standard 10 x 10 multiplication and division tables. You can get your learners to work them out alone or in pairs or groups.

One great thing about them is that there is only one way to solve them, but what happens is that as your learners get better they will most likely focus more on solving the problems and less on the shapes of what fits. But you’ve got the advantage of working with the shapes if you need the support.

  • Just a note: These work best if you print on thick card A3 size

Green – Easy: 1, 2, 5, 10 x

jigsaw 3

Purple – Squares

jigsaw 4

Red – Harder ones

jigsaw 5

Blue – 9 x

jigsaw 6

If these are useful, or you turn them into something cool for your own training then give us a shout out in the comments.

Try These Maths and Numeracy Jigsaw Puzzles – Subtraction

jigsaw subtraction

For those of you who have attended our literacy and numeracy professional development workshops, you might have seen these cool maths jigsaw puzzles.

If not, we’ve done the hard work… all you need to do is print them, cut them out, and use. Learners can complete individually or in pairs. Let me know how you get on.

There are links below to download both PDF versions and Word doc versions for practising subtraction problems. I’ve got more for multiplication and division tables and I’ll put them in another post.

If you’re printing, just use the PDF versions. If you want to modify them or create your own (hopefully contextualised) versions then open the Word doc versions.

  • Just a note: These work best if you print on thick card A3 size
  1. Easy Subtraction
  2. Harder Subtraction

If you like these, please pass on the download link to someone else and give us a shout out in the comments.

You can find another four multiplication jigsaws here.