Thursday, 28 August 2008

Freebies from NIACE / Basic Skills Agency

I've been updating my links pages - a mammoth task that is only tackled once a year. There are three links pages (each with 200+ links) on skillsworkshop - and, thankfully, now just one of them left to check.

The Basic Skills Agency merged with NIACE (National Institute for Adult Continuing Education) sometime ago. This morning, whilst editing and removing the dead links to these sites, I was inadvertently diverted and sidetracked (you know how it happens!) into taking a look at some of the 'old' BSA resources. Now archived, these resources can be reached via the NIACE site and purchased online with a credit card (or by phone if you want to be invoiced).

Don't miss out on the free PDF downloads that are scattered amongst their more pricey cousins. To find these, select the 'Free downloads only' button in the 'Product search' area. Tip: no not select 'Resources from England' or you will miss out on many resources that are published in English and Welsh (within one document) including most of the resources I'm about to mention...

KS3 Text Type posters' is a set of 2 x 5 A4 posters (English/Welsh) - as depicted at the top of this page (click on this picture for a larger view). Great for classroom display or for passing around and general discussion. Aimed at secondary school students but perfectly OK for adults (Entry 3 upwards). There are also two related booklets for teachers, rather ungrammatically entitled: 'How to teach Information Text' and 'How to teach Instruction and Explanation text'.

'How to measure at KS3' is another good one for teachers. Common problems and misunderstandings are discussed and there are useful resource sheets such as this one (right) relating common objects to metric measures.

Last but not least is the 'Help yourself' maths pack - 20 pages of facts, clear explanations and questions for learners to improve and then check their understanding.

Note that if you don't have the facilities or the desire to print out glossy colour copies, most of the free downloadable resources can also be ordered online. The postage is fairly reasonable - especially if you are ordering many items (e.g. 1 item £1.50, up to 4 items £2.00, up to 10 items £3.50, etc.).

This is just a taster - there are many more freebies in the BSA archive.
If you discover any gems do share them by leaving a blog comment or emailing me via the site. ... likewise if you find any dead links on the skillsworkshop links pages!

Links pages
Useful links for tutors - professional development, teaching and learning, good books and software, government agencies and departments (inc. links to the on-line interactive curricula and resources), learning difficulties and disabilities, study skills, and more.
Printable resources for adult basic skills - our most popular links page (approx 2000 visits per week). Lists other resource sites with free printable resources suitable for adults. These are arranged under 6 categories: realia sites for good examples of real-life texts, educational clip art and web graphics, pre-entry, literacy and numeracy, literacy only, numeracy only, and ESOL.
Embedding ILT (information & learning technology): interactive sites for adult basic skills tutors and students - hundreds of links arranged under: general computer skills and accessibility issues, pre-entry, literacy and numeracy, literacy only, numeracy only, and ESOL.

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