Wow! What a year it has been in Junior Infants! We have learnt so much and are now ready to go into Senior Infants at the end of August. We might have missed a couple of months of school in our second term but we surely made up for it online and when we came back to school. We ploughed full speed ahead with our literacy and we are now competent emergent readers! Everyone has made so much progress this year and it has been lovely to watch the children’s growth and development throughout the course of the year. Although the month of June symbolises the end of the year and a wind down to the holidays, we packed an awful lot of content in!
In Aistear, we loved playing in the Ice-Cream Parlour Home Corner. We pretended to be the shop assistants serving delicious ice-creams and sundaes and as customers we found it so tricky to pick our ice-creams from all the mouth-watering flavours in the ice-cream fridge! At the construction station, we enjoyed building ice-cream vans and making ice-creams out of playdough. We learnt about the life cycle of a butterfly through story and a cut and stick activity and we packed our suitcases with clothes for our holidays the following week with another cut and stick worksheet. It was great fun heading off to the beach in small world and making jellyfish mobiles using paper plates, paint, strips of crepe paper and bubble wrap at the art table. Probably our favourite stations of all were the exploratory play stations – we loved doing free play with sand, water and magnets!
In English, we continued to revise our Jolly Phonics, we learnt about the magic ‘e’ and we loved singing along to Jack Hartmann’s word family songs on YouTube as well as the letter songs from Have Fun Teaching. We continued with our writing stations and worked really hard at our free-writing this month. We are now able to write our news with very little support from our teacher! Our theme for the month was ‘The Sea / Summer’ and we read so many great stories this month including ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ by Giles Andreae, ‘Winnie at the Seaside’ by Valerie Thomas, ‘The Rainbow Fish’ by Marcus Pfister and ‘Tiddler’ by Julia Donaldson. We also enjoyed reading our own stories and we are progressing through the levels of our Oxford Reading Tree books at a great rate! If anyone would like to continue reading these over the summer, you can access them at https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/.
In Gaeilge, we finished off Éadaí (Clothes) and Siopadóireacht (Shopping) and have lots of fun singing the songs, learning the phrases and playing the games on Bua na Cainte. In maths, we revised lots of the topics and concepts we have learnt this year including sorting, 2D and 3D shapes, pattern, width and length, addition within 5 and 10, capacity and we had lots of fun doing a Maths Trail. We adored learning about spatial awareness with our friend BeeBot. He is a little bee robot that we had to code or programme to travel to certain places. Each day our table was given a new mat to navigate BeeBot around – these were a 2D shape mat, a 3D shape mat, an alphabet mat and an adjustable maze. You can check out some videos of how BeeBot is programmed on our Twitter feed @MsOlsonsClass.
We did lots of fun S.E.S.E in June! In geography we learnt about the weather and recorded a week long weather diary. We had four days of lovely sunshine and one day of clouds! We also identified the signs of Summer and went back over what we knew about the four seasons. We learnt about clothes and sorted clothes according to season suitability and we learnt about the sea and some sea creatures. However, most importantly we learnt about water, and water safety. In history, we looked at how we have grown and changed in relation to clothes, we identified what kinds of clothes we wore as babies and what we wear now. We really enjoyed doing lots of science experiments this month. We investigated our shadows outside in the yard, we identified items that we magnetic and we did some fun static electricity experiments with balloons. We made our hair stand up, we stuck a balloon to a wall, we picked up pieces of paper with a balloon and we even changed the direction of water! We also learnt about heat and the effect of water on materials.
June was a great month for making crafts! We made lovely painted butterflies, jellyfish mobiles, Father’s Day cards and a fingerprint keepsake to remember our Junior Infants Class. In Music, we sang lots of songs and listening to some classic pieces of music to identify their moods and tempo. Our favourite song to sing was ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.
June was a special month in our school because it was Active Schools Month. We had so much fun doing lots of sports in June with a special thanks to Ms. Woods for all the organisation of the activities. We had a fantastic sports day where we completed eight different activities. These were sack races, hurdles, long jump, target throws, an obstacle course, penalty shoot outs, egg and spoon races and teddy bear relays! It was so much fun despite the rain and we all got a medal at the end!
Throughout Active Schools Month we continued to do our P.E., ball skills with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA and dance with Catherine Casey School of Dance but we also got to do some other fun activities including obstacle courses with Grainne and we had a very cool session with Bar Monkey!
We also had lots of fun in the sun during June with the good weather allowing picnics and great fun in the yard!
On the second last day we had an absolute ball on our school tour to Stonebridge Fields. We did lots of activities and played many games including an obstacle course, parachute fun and games, football, throwing and catching, skipping, chasing, Duck Duck Goose, Stuck in the Mud and during our freeplay we had fun making obstacle courses with the equipment and playing with the hula hoops! We also had a lovely picnic in the sun with some yummy crisps and ice-creams!
Here we are on our last day of Junior Infants – silly faces and all, how time has flown!
What a fantastic year it has been despite Covid! I will miss having this lovely class but I know that the children will have a wonderful time with their new teacher next year. I wish you all a lovely summer break and the very best of luck in Senior Infants!