5 Websites for the beginning of the school year

With all primary schools in Ireland now open for the 2014/15 year, I thought I’d share 5 web sites that I really like that might be of some use to you in your new classroom. There are hundreds of great websites out there, which are brilliant but these are the five that jumped out for me in the last year or so. If you have a web site that you think should be here, add it to the comments and I’d love to check it out.

1. Calm.com

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If your class ever need some mindfulness practice or just some chill out music in the background, Calm.com is one of the best web sites I’ve ever come across. I even use it at home. In the web site, you can choose a backdrop, a type of music and the time you’d like for the meditation section.

2. Class Dojo

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Class Dojo started off as a small but cool concept for behaviour management in the classroom. The teacher sets up her class and can reward points to individuals, groups or whole classes for positive behaviour. (You can also subtract points for lesser desired behaviours) Many teachers already use this free web site for their classroom management already but if you haven’t, you really need to start! There are lots of new features added since it began, which are also well worth checking out.

3. Multiplication.com

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It’s fairly easy to guess what this web site does. I find it great for consolidating multiplication facts once they have been taught well. There are tons of games to choose from, which is great so children have a huge choice of games to play.

4. Edmodo

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For me, the best way to describe Edmodo is that it is Facebook for a classroom. It’s a great place for a teacher to keep a virtual classroom community where all the pupils in the class can work in a virtual classroom. Edmodo supports the flipped classroom model brilliantly and it’s really easy to use and very safe too! There are a few primary schools using Edmodo and it’s well worth checking out.

5. Scratch

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As most teachers know, Scratch is a programming language for young people. Scratch V2.0 has been online for a while now and is just a great resource for all aspects of the curriculum. There are so many ways to incorporate it into education that I’d need several articles to do so. You can read some of them here.

6. POD

Only joking. The Primary Online Database has a very very long way to go before being useful to any school. Until it does, when it comes to student management information systems, you can’t go wrong with Aladdin.


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