LemonsLemonsLemonsLemons · 14/05/2018 18:36
Hi everyone, I was interested in the recent thread where the OP mentioned a student’s over-reliance on Twinkl.
For me, Twinkl has been an absolute lifesaver in terms of resources, and has actually really helped my teaching in terms of seeing what plans should look like and how resources can link to planning. I also think it’s great for having an overview of general coverage.
I’m a new-ish teacher, and am starting at a new school next year. Do people really think badly of Twinkl in terms of planning? I don’t really know where else to turn - I think the TES resources are extremely hit and miss and often full of errors. How do people create resources from scratch? Do you have any tips?
Thanks. The idea of being judged for using Twinkl has made me nervous, and I don’t want to start off my new job being thought of badly, so I’d be really interested to hear what other people do.
toomuchicecream · 14/05/2018 18:43
I think it's like everything - a well chosen resource that meets your needs is fine. Just printing off Twinkl sheets regardless of their suitability for your class is not.
The last 3 or so years I was a class teacher I bought most of my foundation subjects from Planbee. I decided a couple of pounds a lesson was money well spent on my quality of life, and the children got far better lessons than they would have done if I'd been trying to plan and resource everything myself. I was just careful to make sure that I only used 2 Planbee lessons a week (alternating subjects each half term) so that it didn't get too boring for the children.
Cynderella · 14/05/2018 18:46
I suppose the Secondary English equivalent would be Teachit, and while most English teachers use their resources, over-reliance does scream NQT. They have powerpoints and worksheets that are useful to adapt or to leave as cover.
I create resources from scratch but have been teaching a long time, and to be honest, I often end up planning the first few lessons and then winging it. The next time I teach that text or unit, I'll extend my original resource with other bits and pieces and then add a bit more. After a couple of years, I have a complete unit and then GCSE or A' Level spec changes meaning I have to start again.
I'm not saying what I produce is any better than what I could download but it's adapted to the way I teach and the groups I teach. If I plan a unit for a top set, I will edit it if I need it for a bottom set.
noblegiraffe · 14/05/2018 20:02
God don’t worry about using published resources if they’re decent - too many teachers quitting over workload to worry about originality. Reinventing the wheel isn’t as important as your work-life balance.
cansu · 14/05/2018 21:57
The twinkl resources are v good quality and are professionally produced. Why would you not use them? I think some teachers seem to think that spending hours on their own resources makes them better teachers. I use twinkl for y6. I pay a subscription and select and tweak accordingly.
thefishwhocouldwish · 14/05/2018 22:50
It's the displays that get me - so many different schools, so many identikit classrooms. Some lack imagination, I think.
noblegiraffe · 14/05/2018 22:52
Does it matter if school X has the same display as school Y when the kids go to only one of them?
Teachers should not run themselves into the ground trying to outperform each other.
RainbowFairiesHaveNoPlot · 15/05/2018 09:23
I never really used the previous big player before Twinkl that we don't really talk about any more (SB) just because actually I quite enjoyed fiddling about on the computer on a night making my own resources as a semi-wind-down activity. Would be my dream job to be honest - getting to make everyone else's resources and do all their displays!
That's me though - other people would run away in terror from the idea of making their own resources - I just used it as a creative outlet.
Doesn't half make all the classrooms very "samey" though - but then when you add in the school non-negotiables they tend to have in terms of display requirements as well - schools seem to be moving toward that.
WhoHidTheStapleGun · 15/05/2018 17:21
Everything in moderation. I like Twinkl for some things (their phonics resources have improved recently) but don't like the numeracy worksheets.
I miss handdrawn worksheets that focused exactly on what you wanted to teach.
WombatStewForTea · 15/05/2018 18:33
Rainbow twinkl regularly advertise for teachers to design content for them.
I like some twinkl stuff but don't rate the planning at all. If doing a book scrutiny and all I saw was twinkl worksheets I'd think the teacher wasn't adapting for the needs of their class
BossWitch · 15/05/2018 18:38
I think you can definitely be over reliant on materials from twinkl etc. What if you're asked to write and resource a scheme of work, and you're not used to creating stuff on your own?
Equally though, there is no need to produce something original if there's a resource available that does the job- so long as it's appropriate for the class.
I wouldn't ever use bought / downloaded resources for an interview or a scheduled observation though.
noblegiraffe · 15/05/2018 18:45
I had to look for some primary resources recently and I was horrified by the paucity of free resources. There was loads of stuff, but you had to pay for most of it.
As a secondary maths teacher, any topic that I google has millions of free worksheets available. Maths resources on TES are mostly free. Exam boards churn out schemes of work, assessments, worksheets. I think if a primary teacher/school has paid for Twinkl then they should absolutely get their money’s worth because it seems like it’s that, make your own or pay for something else.
WhoHidTheStapleGun · 15/05/2018 19:23
I think that's part of the problem with Twinkl. It's so expensive that you do want to get your money's worth but that can't be at the expense of the key skill you're teaching.
cansu · 15/05/2018 19:56
The worksheets on twinkl are often differentiated and are all editable so it is very easy to adapt them or add to them for the needs of our class. I completely agree with noble that we need to stop wearing ourselves out trying to make our own resources to teach exactly the same things.
Rockandrollwithit · 15/05/2018 20:01
Like PP have said, everything in moderation. Of course check that the resources are suitable for your class.
Some of the stuff I think is there for the sake of it. For example I would never print a topic word bank as this is something I like to do with the children as we go through the lessons. I have seen lessons where the children are literally drowning in paper.
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