Thursday, 18 July 2013

Review - Twinkl Teaching Resources

Twinkl Teaching Resources is home to thousands of free and unique printable teaching resources. They aren't just aimed at teachers, they are also great for parents, nurseries and childminders. The resources cover the Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2. While many of the resources are free, a premium subscription gives you access to a further 10,000 resources at an additional cost of £29.99 per year. I was given a free premium subscription so that I could try out some of the resources and share them with you.

I've not really done a lot so far to teach Harry his letters and numbers. He starts school this September, and while he can write his name and Mia's name, he can't reliably recognise or write all the letters. I'm starting to think now that he is quite capable of learning them, and in fact it wouldn't do any harm to start stretching him a little ready for school. It's also good practice for him to get into the habit of sitting down and concentrating on something for a little while.

I headed straight for the Parents section of the Twinkl website, and a huge range of resources caught my eye - not just for formal teaching but also downloads like reward charts, chore timetables and household routine printables. Here I found some excellent colouring sheets which are all to do with starting school. Harry is getting really good at colouring and it was a good opportunity for us to sit down together and have a chat about starting school while he was colouring (not that he is anxious in any way about it at all - that's just me!)

I also wanted to find some resources to concentrate in particular on letter recognition and first writing. First I printed out a set of letter formation posters, which were really helpful to refer to when looking at letters and will probably find their way onto the walls of his bedroom. Many of the resources are themed, and there is a lovely unit which is themed around Under the Sea. In this unit I found some Pencil Control Worksheets which were perfect for Harry's stage of writing. They broke down each different shape that is used to make up a letter - zig zags, curves, circles and so on, and then the child can trace over them. We used this in conjunction with the letter posters and Harry really enjoyed doing this.

Review - Twinkl Teaching Resources downloadable printables

I also wanted to do a bit of work with numbers and counting, and I found some number worksheets which were very simple and just the right level for Harry. He had to count up the sea creatures and write the number in a circle at the end of the row. Then we moved on to some very simple addition worksheets. He really enjoyed doing these worksheets, and I could almost see the little cogs in his head going around as he worked them out!

Having access to these resources inspired me to think of ways that I could develop them myself and other ways in which I could use them. For example, you could laminate the letter formation posters and use a wipeable pen to go over the shape, use play dough sausages to fill out the letter shapes, or bury them in a shallow salt or sand tray and use a finger to trace out the letters.

Review - Twinkl Teaching Resources downloadable printables

The obvious thing to remember about the Twinkl resources is that you do need access to a printer to print them. In a school or childcare setting there will be a budget for this, but as a parent you do need to consider the cost of the printing. I did find though that although it was nice to print in colour, black and white was perfectly adequate.

I think that premium service is excellent value. While there is plenty available on the website for free, there is so much more that is available to premium users.

I received a Twinkl premium subscription to review, but I'd really recommend checking out the website as there are plenty of free resources to download!

6 comments:

  1. AW what a lovely review thanks Jennifer! Those letter formation worksheets are fab and I use them with my little boy too. Thanks again!

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for letting me try them out!

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  2. Thanks for that Jen - I had been looking for some resources for Laura to work on during the holidays (don't want her to forget everything!). Emily might be able to have a go at some as well, excellent.

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    1. Have fun, there is plenty there to look at, there will definitely be something there for younger ones too.

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  3. These look really great and I wish we had such things when my children were little.
    Just as an aside on printing costs, I have spent some time on analysing this as it can be difficult to estimate (how many letters on the page, colour or black etc) and published costs are not that accurate. My HP laser colour printer costs about 18p to produce one side of not too intense colour printing. The Canon inkjet with not much use seems to need new colour and black cartridges after 4-5 weeks, and the cost per page is similar. I always use the branded cartridges for both as have had mixed results with compatibles. Hope that this helps!

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    1. They are lovely resources, really imaginative and pitched perfectly for young children.

      Thank you for the information about printing costs, that's really helpful. It's worth thinking about printing in black and white and also maybe reducing the size of the document (they are .pdf files so it's easy to do)

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