Pinning your interests – why Pinterest is my new educational obsession

I like finding things in the Internet but in the past I often emailed myself a link to it or printed the page out now I simply add it to my space on Pinterest.

My boards within Pinterest are organised and make rediscovering my online educational gems much easier.

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I have boards for curriculum areas, whole curriculum skills, professional development etc.

It ultimately saves time and jogs my memory when looking for those great ideas once more.

So feel free repin anything that might interest you!

http://pinterest.com/curriculumni/

Twinkl Twinkl little teacher

How many times have I thought it would be great if there were 25 hours in a day or 8 days in a week? Millions of times, I can tell you.

Most teachers spend hours making and producing resources for their classroom. For those savvy teachers who are like me and don’t have time to start from scratch there is Twinkl.

Twinkl Premium is £29.95 per year. Equate that to the time you would spend (unpaid I should add!) you have a very good deal.

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Resources

The premium resources are of a high quality and they have over 12,000 premium resources in addition to their 78,000 free resources so it more than likely you will find what your looking for. If something isn’t available the lovely team at Twinkl will consider creating it for you!

Until recently, I thought Twinkl was very focused on early years teachers however I have recently noticed the growing resources aimed at Key Stage Two. My favourites being the World War Two Resources and the wonderful grammar pack.

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From quality classroom management resources to imaginative topic packs this site can save you hours!

Parents

Twinkl’s best kept secret is that they also create resources for parents.

They have super resources for supporting parents and guardians. I was especially delighted to see a school preparation section as many parents are anxious before they start school and want to prepare them as best they can.

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I’ve downloaded a few of their reward charts for my own children. My daughter who at five still wanted me to dress her is now on a getting dressed yourself smiley chart (I’ve had not sad faces to report since using it!)

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The Twinkl Community

They have a growing Facebook and twitter community who they regularly assist with teaching resources dilemmas. They also have forums where you can ask the Twinkl team or other members for advice. They also encourage teachers to gain Twinkl rewards for sharing good practice.

One of the things I am most impressed with is their newsletter. This is sent out monthly and is full of ideas for the classroom. I would recommend all primary school teachers and assistants sign up. You will be truly inspired by their creativity!!

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Bored? Not on my watch… Ideas to develop creativity

We’ve all said it as children

I’m bored

My children say it too despite the house being filled with toys and technology.

As I read the BBC website the findings of Dr Belton, I was delighted to see that being bored develops and nurtures creativity.

The academic, who has previously studied the impact of television and videos on children’s writing, said: “When children have nothing to do now, they immediately switch on the TV, the computer, the phone or some kind of screen. The time they spend on these things has increased.
…..children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them.

I love my gadgets and devices, as do my children but we all know sometimes the best fun can be derived from boring situations. We should actively pursue time out to observe the world around us and playfully engage with it.

For the sake of creativity perhaps we need to slow down and stay offline from time to time

Good old fashioned play!

Cardboard boxes, blankets and a few chairs can produce hours of fun with a bit of creative thought. Climbing trees, beach walks and digging up worms all have a place.

As a parent, this may fill you with dread. If you need a bit of help of get your creative juices going the websites below should give you a few ideas.

Imagination Tree

The imagination tree will transport you into a creative world full of ideas.

This website is run by a teacher who shares her love for play on a daily basis.
It is fabulous example of how simple household items can be used to spark creative play.

Her play dough recipes are easy to follow and there are plenty of craft ideas that would keep any child happy for an hour or two. This site is easy to navigate and ideal for those seeking inspiration.

Dinkytot

An excellent new website by a Northern Ireland mummy whose teaching past should inspire all. She has plenty of tried and tested ideas that should keep little minds busy. Although the website is in its infancy, I think it will be one to watch. Her Facebook page is updated regularly and is worth a like. http://m.facebook.com/dinkytotpage?id=408517129203707&_rdr

There are hundreds of ideas on pin interest. This is my favourite http://m.pinterest.com/raspberrypop/craft-ideas-for-preschool-children/

If you can think of further examples of good sites free to leave a comment.