My First Blog Post!!

Hi everyone,

Eeeeek! So I'm finally typing up my first blog post after months of procrastinating! What an unfamiliar feeling this is!
I've decided to start off by keeping things simple - mainly until I get more clued in with how all the functions on this blog even work... for example I just logged out and it took me nearly half an hour to find my way back in (*hangs head in shame*).

So here are my current Top 5 recommended teaching websites for downloading or using handy *free* day to day resources...quite frankly each play their own significant little parts in making my teaching life a little easier.

5. Seomra Ranga - http://www.seomraranga.com/

Seomra Ranga is an Irish teacher's website. It can appear a little dated when you visit the site initially however it is worth having a hunt through the different sections as they have some very useful worksheets and activities for free download. I recently discovered some great early reading activities for my infants. We're at the stage where we know our phonics but the peg games I downloaded from Seomra Ranga are great for practicing sound recognition and pronunciation. They have sections for every class and it's worth having a hunt through each!

4. SparkleBox - www.sparklebox.co.uk 

I can't imagine there are many teachers in the UK and Ireland who aren't familiar with Sparklebox. I know it is unavailable in some schools due to our browser safety settings but it's totally worth bringing the laptop or memory key home every so often to stock up on their *FREE* downloadable resources. Most of their material is aimed at the younger end of the school, they have fabulous material for literacy, phonics, maths and fairy tales. However they also have some lovely topic packs for History, Geography and Science which I made great use of when I taught 4th, 5th and 6th class. If, like myself, you're a self confessed laminating addict (and proud) this site is wonderful as it has enough labels and classroom management materials for you to deck out the whole classroom. I particularly love their Subject Banners, which are a lovely feature to add to your bulletin boards. SparkleBox also has some lovely SEN resources and also even has some Irish display materials which are often hard to come by.

3. Teacher's Pet - http://www.tpet.co.uk/ 

Teacher's Pet is another teacher resource site rich in display materials. It's easy to navigate and has it's own search system which allows for quick searching. This site has lots of lovely themed writing templates which I regularly make use of. The site has a variety of free and paid resources.  

2. Twinkl - http://www.twinkl.co.uk/

Twinkl claims to have 216,000 exclusive resources available on their website. Now before you get too excited, they are not all free! But those that are, are great. Twinkl is a site that I find the resources are updated a lot, they are constantly adding to their resource bank. For me, Twinkl is great for downloading resources for my role play areas for structure play / Aistear. You need to log in to download items and the different groups, gold, platinum or free are well highlighted.

1. Starfall - http://www.starfall.com/ 

This year I moved all the way down from 6th class to infants, literally jumped from 12-13 year olds down to the babies! What a shock to the system that was! Naturally I went into full scale panic! My best friend teaches in a Junior School and she recommended Starfall to me, and boy am I grateful! IT is a fabulous site, particularly for learning to read. The section 'Learning to Read' is something I have been using four days a week since February. The stories focus greatly on CVC words and each story has a game and a little video to support the content being taught in each story. My class love them and I find the stories definitely enhance literacy retention. Definitely worth checking out!

I could list more, but these are definitely the websites that I would use almost every week. 

Happy surfing!

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