Is it worth the time… by @ASTSupportAAli

I have been battling with myself as to whether spending time preparing a ‘snazzy’ PowerPoint and the accompanying resources is simply worth it? I guess, with my role, I don’t know if I can justify spending time doing this… BUT

I have been considering:
  • Does it make a difference to the actual learning?
  • Does it show I have made an effort and I expect that from my students?
  • Does it make no difference what so ever, and therefore a waste of time?
  • Does it raise engagement with the lesson as a stimulus?
  • Does it create a personal element to the lessons?
  • Visuals are clearly necessary for SEN/D students or in MFL for example.
  • Is less more?

I guess, what I mean by snazzy isn’t an overload of animations and transitions. It is not an abundance of colour and busyness of slides.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 19.22.35

(I am fully aware of the difficulties some students with autism face, or some students with visual impairments and so on.)

What I mean by my term- snazzy, is the care to select a particular font, high resolution image, separation of information through shapes, sizes, colours and so on. It is adding background to the PowerPoint, creating a change in colour schemes and so on.

Or is simply a black and white PowerPoint accompanied by high level questioning and inspirational teaching enough?
But, then what about a ‘snazzy’ PowerPoint and high level questioning and inspirational teaching? Will that make even more difference?

How do observers feel if they walk into a lesson with a plain presentation and resources? Or, to a whole staff CPD with similar?

Why do companies brand and market? Why do schools? Should we do similar in our classroom? Our lesson, our style, our bench mark?

I realise this post is effectively just a load of questions, but I am just thinking out loud…

My class blog contains some PowerPoints I use in my lessons- Is it time best spent, editing them to make them look ‘snazzy.’

Shouldn’t we all just use generic worksheets instead of personalised ones?

Let me know what you think?



  1. I tend to put slightly coloured background on as it helps some children focus better on the text…those who need coloured overlays when reading books and the rest are OK. I don’t add gimmicky stuff…yes it entertains but distracts from learning.

  2. my powerpoints are all on my blog, feel free to have a look.
    They are plain and boring black and white, big enough to see, or to prompt me. They are the same each week, so the students (MLD school) know what is coming next. I also use communicate in print to enhance for the non readers – although the symbols are often somewhat misleading!

  3. I think it’s important, not so much snazzy but professional. It’s how I was trained as an NQT, all slides had to have L/O, AMS objectives etc. Now school expects the above and a list of key words on every powerpoint as well. To save time I use the same style and format day in day out. L/Os at the top, key words at the bottom and then coloured text boxes for rest. Light colour boxes – blue = info, cream = task, lilac = S&C and green = AFL. Each colour chosen with Irlens and SLCN needs in mind. The kids know what each colour text box means and can direct themselves. I usually use opendyslexic font, sometimes century gothic or comic sans dependent on needs and age, for ease of reading for all students. Rarely do I use animations on power points unless to emphasise something as it distracts and there’s never slanted text, when i taught a high number of SLCN students I was told it was a no go and have never done it since. If another teacher uses my templates kids will often comment that someone used it. Guess it’s my classroom signature. From my experience it’s worth the time and effort as the consistency every lesson helps with independence. You can see a few examples on my blog if interested. Thanks for getting me to reflect on why I do it with this post.

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