Last month - perfect timing with the new school year beginning and the frantic hunt for new projects to get the kids interested ! - the opportunity came up to review the Twinkl website - a portal offering a whole host of classroom tools, printable worksheets and educational resources that are just as useful for early-learning teachers and childminders as parents, whether or not they are home-edders. It's a huge website, full of interesting ideas, so I've been having a good look through the different resources available, trying to get a feel for the whole website, and I have to say I'm impressed.
The first thing that leapt out at me as a teacher was the Classroom posters section. I printed off lots of Classroom Signs and Labels, as well as lovely photos with labels (the London ones tied in perfectly with the theme I was researching) and, if you print them out on a printer with coloured ink then laminate them, they look really good on the walls. The kids all keep looking at them and asking questions or pointing things out to their friends which shows how well they do their job !
The next thing I whiled away many a free period browsing through was the topic area. It has been a much-appreciated timesaver not just for me as a teacher, but also a mum, because I managed to find some pictures and information sheets to print out to help my 11-year-old daughter who needed to decorate her exercise books with relevant pictures for each subject and illustrate her project work. Big smiles all round. The first topic I wanted to investigate was the Olympic Games and I found everything I wanted, as well as other ideas and resources to develop it further, for example leading on to discovering London. As well as providing information and ideas, there are numerous worksheets tied in to each theme, developing numeracy and literary skills in fun and engaging ways.
I was also pleased to see that they regularly update content (or at least flag it up) so that you can constantly uncover new resources that tie in to current affairs or the different events throughout the year. In the September newsletter, they suggested resources on Autumn, Harvest, Bonfire & Fireworks Night, Ourselves, Light and Dark and the Great fire of London, all of which look interesting and easily exploitable.
As a teacher, it provides the two most valuable things possible - it's a source of constantly-changing inspiration and a timesaver. As a parent, it is also very useful, for inspiring projects and providing interesting and educational worksheets to keep the kids entertained during wet weekends ! The best part is, a large part of the site is totally free. I was given a complimentary Premium account for the purposes of writing the review but for some reason, I keep forgetting my login details so I've been using it from school without logging in most of the time ! Definitely worth a look if you're on the lookout for educational resources.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £29.99 for a premium subscription but most of the resources are free
for more information : www.twinkl.co.uk
Disclosure : I received a Premium Subscription to Twinkl in order to write an honest review.
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