Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants: A Year in Review!
Welcome back to our final blog post of the academic year! What an unexpected yet still amazing year it has been in Junior Infants! I’d certainly love to be writing about what we got up to in our final month of school – our school tour, Active Schools Week and Sports Day but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead I’ll be reminiscing on the wonderful times we spent in Junior Infants and the memories we made over the course of the year.
I look back at these photos from the children’s first day in ‘Big School’ and smile! All the boys and girls were so excited to be starting school. I, on the other hand, may have seemed all smiles on the surface but was very nervous underneath it all! I need not have been though, as the children took it all in their stride! This was my first year teaching Junior Infants and I was equipped for the worst – I remember talking to my colleagues in amazement that I’d had no tears (among the kids of course!). Looking back, there was no need to worry as the children were so ready and well-prepared to learn and make new friends! This was the start of great things to come!
Every morning in school we had Aistear and a chance to play in our roleplay corner. I think, hands down, that the children enjoyed October’s roleplay corner the best! It was ‘The Halloween Fancy Dress Shop’ and the children got to try on and buy different costumes from the shop. I think they would have happily played away in it all year long! On the last day before midterm, the children came into school dressed in their Halloween costumes and we went to a cake sale. This is always a manic day but one I hope that they will always remember! The excitement of wearing a costume to school, having a child from an older class bring you to the cake sale and getting a sugar rush from eating lots of cake! Every child’s dream!
November was a fantastic month because we learnt all about food and we made pizza! We even got to eat it in school, it was really tasty! We also had a special visitor, one of our parents – Aoife, who made cool soaps with us! Who knew these would come in so handy just a few short months later!
Hmmm….what happened in December? Oh yes! Only the best performance of ‘Our First Nativity’ ever!! We practised tirelessly for about five weeks to put on a fantastic show for our parents and families. We sang our hearts out and danced our socks off on stage for our audience. There are definitely some rising stars in this class, watch this space! You know you’ve done a good job when you get a message from your Elf on the Shelf congratulating you too!
There were no January blues in this class! We got straight into learning about ‘The Polar Regions’ this month. It always fascinates me how children are literally like sponges absorbing information from all around them. In this case the information they were absorbing were facts about penguins! They were absolutely brilliant at recalling facts about penguins including the names of different types of penguins, how they walk and swim and how they care for their young! The children were so enthralled by penguins, we even wrote our ‘Write a Book’ about a cheeky penguin called Cheeko! It was also Grandparents’ Day and the children loved singing songs and saying poems for them. We sang our favourite song, ‘Boa Constrictor’, which our grandparents found very funny!
In February we learned about doctors and our bodies. It was our second turn to perform at assembly and we sang some songs and said poems. Everyone really liked our performance! It was also Valentine’s day and we made these gorgeous, ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back’ cards for our parents. It was also ‘Pancake Tuesday’ and we had yummy pancakes in school! Probably the biggest thing to happen this month too was…we started READING!!!
Our month was cut short but we definitely packed in an enormous amount in the short two weeks we were in school! It was book week and we had lots of exciting activities including a visit from a storyteller, paired reading with third class, a story with our principal, Mr. Fingleton and of course the book sale whereby we dressed up as our favourite character! We also had a visit from ‘The Bergin School of Irish Dancing’ and…drumroll…’The Sam Maguire Cup’!
April? May? June?
I’m not going to lie the last three months have sort of all rolled into one! School moved online to Seesaw and we had to adapt to this new way of life. Through these challenging and unique times, the children showed their resilience and just got on with it! I was amazed at their efforts to keep up with school online and the amount that they have progressed. Of course, I have the parents to massively thank for this. This would not have been possible without their help and support in keeping this going. If you didn’t get a chance, read April and May’s blog posts below which gives an insight into what life has been like for the children.
I assigned a final writing task asking the children to write about their favourite memories! Here are some responses:
Memories I will treasure: “Winning the art competition and dress up days!” – Lauryn; “Playing with my friends!” – Lucy; “Halloween Bake Sale!” – Naoise; “Playing games, learning to draw pictures, my first day, my teacher, birthday parties.” – Molly
What I loved most about this year: “Making new friends and learning new things!” – Lauryn and Lucy; “I loved playing with my friends. I loved Ms. Olson reading books!” – Naoise; “When I first met my teacher!” – Molly
I have loved teaching this class, they genuinely have been one of my favourites over the course of my career and I am sad that we didn’t get to finish out the year in school, although, I hope they will have many fond memories of their unique time in Junior Infants. I hope you all have a lovely summer and I will leave you with some of the amazing work that has been going on in the homes of these fabulous children!