April News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
Although April was a short month with our Easter Holidays, we packed a lot in! Our theme for the month was ‘Animals and the Farm’.
In Aistear, we enjoyed acting out the story ‘The Scarecrows’ Wedding’ by Julia Donaldson in the Farm Home Corner. We made ‘jewellery’ for Betty O’Barley from the story using beads and buttons in patterns. We designed a wedding cake for Harry and Betty using shapes in patterns and we loved playing with the farm and the farm animals in small world! In week two we constructed fields and animal pens using stickle bricks and sorted the farm animals into each field. We created a group picture of a farm with lots of colourful rainbows 🙂 and we learned about the life cycle of a chicken in preparation for our own hatching chicks! Finally, in week three we loved buying fresh produce from the Farm Shop! We also enjoyed doing jigsaws, learning about the life cycle of a frog and making farm animals out of playdough.
In English, we have really taken off with our reading! We have finished our Jolly Phonics and now we are revising our consonant and vowel digraphs and learning about the magic ‘e’! We practise our tricky words and blending each day which is really helping to improve our reading skills too. We love taking books now when we have finished our work and we read them to our friends as well as to our teacher. Our writing is coming along great too! We love Fridays as we do free-writing when we can write about whatever we like unaided. Monday to Thursday we do writing stations – we do one station each day. Usually our stations are: news writing; word families (e.g. -at words); sentence writing (we build the sentences with flashcards and then write them into our copies) and a CVC worksheet (consonant-vowel-consonant three letter words e.g. cat). Before we start our stations we love listening and watching our word family videos on YouTube. We listen to the Jack Hartmann ones! At the end of the day we love story time – this month we read the stories ‘Farmer Duck’ and ‘The Pig in the Pond’ by Martin Waddell. We also finished off ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ by Roald Dahl and on recent rainy days we watched the movie adaptation at lunchtime.
In Gaeilge, we’ve enjoyed learning phrases, songs and poems surrounding the theme of Éadaí (Clothes). In Maths, we continued to revise combining for 4 and we started doing some simple sums! We enjoyed playing maths games including ‘Make Four’ and ‘Dikki Dikki Dox’ to reinforce our stories of 4. We also started comparing sets of objects and identifying which had more and which had less as well as calculating how many more / less they had. Towards the end of the month we started learning about money. Money is a tricky topic to grasp especially in relation to the idea that a 2c or a 5c coin is more valuable than a 1c coin even though they are all single coins! To teach this concept, we start out with coin tokens instead of real coins. A coin token has dots on them to denote whether it is a 1c, 2c, or 5c coin. We played a fun exchange game whereby we exchanged 1cs for 2cs and when we had enough – for 5cs too.
In S.E.S.E we enjoyed learning about the signs of Spring and singing our four seasons song. We learned about farmers, animals and their young, animal homes, vets and identified what pets we had. We learned about the lifecycle of a frog and a hen in preparation for our own hatching chicks. Hatching our own chicks was the biggest part of our S.E.S.E learning but you’ll have to wait to read all about it next month in our May blog!
In Art, we made lovely scarecrows in response to our story ‘The Scarecrows’ Wedding’ by Julia Donaldson and we made hatching chicks in honour of our own hatching chicks! Take a look!
In Music, we continued to start our day with a song and we particularly liked the song ‘The Three Bears’ as it was all about Goldilocks and the Three Bears! In S.P.H.E we started our Stay Safe Programme and finally in P.E. we loved doing ball skills, playing playground games outside in the sunshine and learning a dance routine to ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from the Lion King. Thanks to Catherine Casey School of Dance for the routine. You can watch our performance on our Twitter page @MsOlsonsClass.
That’s all for now, check back in a couple of weeks to see how we got on in May with our lovely chicks!