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  • Writer's pictureMr D

Resource Round-Up 2021

It's that time of year again when we pay homage to the resources that have inspired us over the last year, and what an unbelievable year it has been! Just when we thought 2020 was tough, we were faced with lockdowns, remote learning, bubbles and even those CO2 monitors that don't charge properly!

The entire profession stepped-up with resolve, ingenuity and determination to get children learning through the hardest period education has endured, certainly in my living memory. From the teacher who went above and beyond, the deputy head trying to help with bed poverty, the headteachers feeding their community, to all the plans, preparations, virus testing, isolating, bubble-popping, lesson covering and shoulders to cry on, it really has shown people, parents and those in power what respect the whole school community deserves.

So what resources have caught our eye this year? Here are our top 20 of 2021 in absolutely no particular order. Some are free, some aren't, but they are all fantastic and we're not being paid to promote any of them. We just found them useful this year and we hope there are a few gems you can click on and find useful too.

This set of printable fluency checks for addition/subtraction, along with multiplication/division have helped countless teachers across the country help those children with gaps in their number bonds. Once these basic skills are mastered, it opens up working memory and a whole new world of maths for those that struggle. It's oh so simple!

A superb podcast by Kieran Mackle for those interested in the practical aspects of primary education and how it links to research with particular highlights including '7 ways to improve your teaching of spelling' and 'How do you solve a problem like...struggling mathematicians'. A treasure trove of listening awaits!

Well, go on then! Our new set of resources we're most proud of this year include a range of Sentence Skills booklets which include a double-page of information linked to a geography or history topic (with more to come, including science), a quiz, planning and 3 weeks worth of 15 minute sentence-building skills similar to those in The Writing Revolution.

The KS1 ad KS2 books took Twitter by storm this year and the website continues to spend its time creating model texts for a range of topics in the curriculum. These are incredibly useful as starting points for planning as well as allowing children to see what a good one looks like before constructing something similar themselves.

Spelling guru Jason Wade has been busy creating this wonderfully crafted free resource. It's well worth reading his blog posts and downloading this as a go-to bank of resources when discussing etymology and morphology with your KS2 class.

Another outstanding free resource is this fantastic magazine, put together by Andy McHugh. His aim is that he 'wants to share best classroom practice and effective school leadership strategies far and wide'. It's a great read filled with useful articles.

I've always had a normal academic diary. It does the job. No need for anything over the top. Then I thought I'd try a diary from here. Unbelievable! Pages for assessment, interventions, calendars, time tables, meetings and so much more. It genuinely has helped me stay more organised and on top of things in the classroom. Pricey but, very, very good!

An amazing resource to get your classes talking. Not only does it promote oracy in the classroom but also in assembly too. The voting system at the end and sharing which organisations or companies have heard children's opinion also gives those conversations real purpose.

Anyone into Lego, then this is a MUST have free app. Scan all your old pieces of Lego and it will work out what you can make and even deliver the instructions to build it. Technology at its very best!

A wonderfully designed printable timeline which places suitable texts along with history topics. A perfect resource which blends English and history which should be up in every classroom. Having the books available would be an even bigger bonus!

These took off in lockdown and gave children the chance to listen to chapters of books read by authors. Cleverly designed and really accessible, it provided a great resource for those who did not have access to as many books at home.

Rob from LiteracyShed has created a simple, easy-to-use quizzing site. Sign the children up for an account, make or set them quizzes and then check the results. We've also added all of our multiple-choice quizzes to the site that you can access through our knowledge organiser pages.

This is an online fantasy map world builder first brought to my attention by author Vashti Hardy on Twitter. The potential here for building worlds for children to explore, write about, code or use for geography could be extensive. I'm certainly looking forward to giving it a go next term.

This has become a go-to website for writing this year. Their aim is to help all young people become passionate and successful writers by sharing information about the 14 principles of world-class writing teaching which can be found on their site. Well worth looking at!

A simple but effective campaign fronted by Stephen Fry at the start of the year was promoting the use of using subtitles on television. There is a growing bank of research to suggest having subtitles causes automatic reading behaviour amongst adults and children, even when children have only partial letter-to-sound correspondence. Have a look and get promoting to one and all.

Mr Bee has been kind enough to share some great maths display resources. Some of these are superb visual representations to keep up on display and constantly refer to throughout the year. Free from Year 1 up to Year 6.

The site is already well-established but the content is growing. Download the 3D software and sign up. In a free account, you can open up to 5 3D scenes a week and there is so much to explore from Viking settlements, Egyptian tombs, layers of the ocean and more.

Mr F's WordPress site has become a real treasure trove of resources from example texts, crib sheets, vocabulary, arithmetic papers and cheat sheets for various parts of the curriculum.

19. Audible

Not that Amazon need any more press, but Audible has been an amazing avenue in which I can listen to more books on the go. In the car, pushing my little one's pram or listening whilst working means I can try to keep up with new releases and work my way through my own tbr pile during those times I can't sit and read.

If you haven't already signed up to this great digital resource, then do it now! The aim is to get children thinking like scientists and discussing a range of prompts such as Zoom In, Zoom Out, Odd One Out, What's Going On? and What If...?

There we have it for another year. I'm sure you've found some great resources that have fit into your own classroom so do come and tell us here or on social media and keep sharing the all the great ideas!

Until 2022!

Matt :)

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