June 30 2023

Eggcellent News for Our Final Month in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

We had a very eggciting month in June as our baby chicks were born! We incubated chicken eggs for twenty one days and they hatched into two fluffy chicks called Stardust and Sonny! Our eggs were incubated at 37.8 degrees celsius inside a manual incubator and we had to ensure there was enough water in the gauge to keep the humidity at the right level. Each day we turned the eggs at least three times and we numbered them on one side and put an ‘x’ on the other to ensure we knew which egg was which! We did all of this to minic what would happen in real life with a hen! Usually a hen sits on the eggs and keeps the eggs at the right temperature as well as turning them several times a day with her feet to ensure that they develop properly. The hen’s feathers are slightly damp underneath which ensures the correct humidity for her eggs too! After about eight days of incubation we were able to see some veins inside our eggs when we candled them. This involving shining a torch through them in a dark room.

On day fourteen we candled them again to reveal much larger dark shadows that were beginning to move! We did our final check on day eighteen which showed our chicks having great fun moving around in their little eggs.

For the last three days, we didn’t turn the eggs anymore in order for the chicks to get into the right position for hatching. On day twenty-one our first egg pipped and the second soon followed. A ‘pip’ is when the chick makes its first crack of the egg with its egg tooth (a little tooth on the top of its beak which breaks off post hatch – specially designed for cracking shells), it does this to give itself more air to breath. Inside the egg, there is an air sac which the chick will breath from before it pips. After the chicks pipped their shells, it took about ten to twelve hours for them to fully hatch. Making the first pip is hard work and they need to have a good rest, absorb the rest of the egg yolk through their belly buttons (their food) and conserve their energy for their big hatch. The hatch itself doesn’t take too long, maybe an hour at most! The chick has to work its way around the whole shell before using its back, neck, wing and head to push itself out of the shell. Inside the egg, the chick’s head is tucked up underneath its wing to protect it – hence why you might have seen the wing come out of the shell first in our Twitter videos – @MsOlsonsClass.


The chicks did not come out of the shell looking all fluffy! Their feathers were actually soaking wet!


We left them in the incubator until they had dried and fluffed up and then we transported them into a suitable box. We hung an infrared heat lamp over the box to keep them cosy and gave them lots of food and water. A normal lamp wouldn’t work as well as the little chicks would find it too difficult to sleep with the harsh light. The chicks grew so quickly and began to get their wing feathers after only a couple of days.

They could often be seen preening themselves to change the fluff to feathers! After a week our chicks went to a lovely new home with lots of other chicken friends but every student in the school had the opportunity to visit them before they left!


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 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 and Beach Shop 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! We also picked up buckets and spades, swimsuits and surf boards in the beach shop! At the construction station, we enjoyed building ice-cream vans and making ice-creams out of playdough. We packed our suitcases with clothes for our holidays with a cut and stick worksheet and it was great fun heading off to the beach in small world. We loved playing with the sand and searching for magnetic letters to make words and we enjoyed making lovely ice-cream sundaes too. We also enjoyed learning about the life-cycle of a butterfly and taking the barbies swimming during water play.


In English, we continued to revise our Jolly Phonics and we loved the letter songs from Have Fun Teaching. We continued with our writing stations and 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 a great story this month ‘Winnie at the Seaside’ by Valerie Thomas. 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 had 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, number formation, more and less and addition within 5 and 10. We also learned about spatial awareness and prepositions and did a fun guided drawing activity to learn these.

We did lots of fun S.E.S.E in June! In geography we identified the signs of Summer and we learnt about the sea and some sea creatures. Most importantly we learnt about water,  and water safety. In history, we looked at how we have grown and changed in relation to what we can do now that we couldn’t do at the start of Junior Infants and when we were babies! We really enjoyed doing science experiments this month. We did a water cycle experiment and investigated our shadows outside in the yard – we made funny shapes with our bodies and drew around our shadows in chalk. We returned later on in the day to see how our shadows had changed! We learnt about the life cycle of a butterfly through story and did a cut and stick activity. We also got to see real caterpillars in their cocoons! It was really cool! We had a special planting sessions with Tanya who taught us all about minibeasts and let us take home our own wildflower bombs! We also learnt about light and heat and tested materials to see if they were waterproof or not.


In Art, we made lovely painted butterflies a fingerprint keepsake to remember our Junior Infants Class.


June was  extra special because we had Active Schools Week. We had so much fun doing lots of sports in June with a special thanks to Ms. D’Arcy for all the organisation of the activities. We had a fantastic sports day where we completed ten different activities. These were sack races, hurdles, long jump, target throws, an obstacle course, penalty shoot outs, egg and spoon races, climbing wall races, bean bag races and teddy bear relays! It was so much fun and we all got a medal at the end! We loved dancing in the lines each morning and we had two activities a day for Active Schools Week. We enjoyed yoga with Ms. Treacy, ball skills with Coach Steve, dance with Ms. Casey, ball skills with tennis balls and a game of rounders to finish off the lesson, circuit training with Ms. Hegarty and finally parachute fun!


On the Friday of Active Schools Week, we had our Family Fun Day! Our parents came to see us have great fun doing some of the activities from our sports day as well as a three-legged race. We had great fun having a go at it with our parents too! We loved soaking people with sponges too and finished off the great day with a picnic and treats!

We had an absolute ball on our school tour to Tick Tock Farm despite the torrential rain! We enjoyed going on the coach and sitting beside our friends! We loved petting bunnies, exploring the school bus which was full of toys, going on all of the swings, slides and seesaws, riding around on bikes and push vehicles and of course meeting and feeding all of the lovely animals!


Here we are on our last day of Junior Infants – ice-creams, silly faces and all, how time has flown!


What a fantastic year it has been in Junior Infants! 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!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on Eggcellent News for Our Final Month in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
June 29 2023

May News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

In May we were learning all about transport. Each week our Aistear corner changed into a different vehicle! We had lots of fun playing in the bus, train and aeroplane! We constructed different vehicles using a variety of different materials including Lego, Duplo, polydrons and stickle bricks. We mapped out journeys in small world using our mats, vehicles and trains to travel around the town and we did some cut and stick activities including matching road signs, completing a transport paper jigsaw, sorting vehicles by air, land and sea and labelling an aeroplane. We also enjoyed creating prints with the wheels of vehicles on our tuff tray and investigating floating and sinking!

In English, our reading is steadily improving day by day and we are really enjoying reading our books. We are continuing to revise all our phonics, tricky words, Dolch words and blending words to enhance our reading skills even further. We love reading each morning with our fifth class buddies! We are making great strides with our writing too. Monday to Thursday we do writing stations – we do one station each day. Usually our stations are: news writing; complete the sentence; sentence writing (we build the sentences with flashcards and then write them into our copies) and our handwriting book.  We are working on dictation at the moment, each morning we practise writing a few words and on Fridays we put those words together to make a sentence. We also love to do free-writing when we can write about whatever we like unaided. This month we focused on stories involving journeys. We liked listening to ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and ‘The Snail and the Whale’ by Julia Donaldson.

In Gaeilge we are continuing to learn our songs, poems and phrases about An Aimsir (The Weather) and Éadaí (Clothes). In Maths we revised sorting and sorted shapes for up to four properties – colour, shape, size and thickness. We also did lots of addition sums within 5 and 10, practised our number formation, made sets within 10, learnt about weight and revised our 2D and 3D shapes. We also learnt about data and gathered and represented data about boys and girls in the class, eye colour, hair colour, shoe colour and favourite treats. We represented the data on pictograms. Our favourite thing was learning about spatial awareness with BeeBot, our programmable bee robot!


Most of our S.E.S.E learning this month was learning about our chicks as we incubated chicken eggs but we also learned about vehicles and transport and we looked at transport in the past.


In Art we made egg box Dublin Buses. Take a look!


In P.E. we enjoyed having Coach Steve from Shankill GAA for our ball skills sessions. We also did had a few more gymnastics sessions with Deirdre and we had some free play with P.E. equipment in the yard with Ms. Aivalikli’s class! We enjoyed creating our own games and we ended our session with a picnic!


Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on May News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
June 1 2023

April News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

Although April was a short month with our Easter Holidays, we packed a lot in! Our theme for the month was ‘Clothes and the Weather’.

In Aistear, we enjoyed acting out the story ‘The Scarecrows’ Wedding’ by Julia Donaldson in the Farm Home Corner. We also enjoyed having the wedding breakfast and party! 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 started creating our own Betty and Harry scarecrows. In week two we enjoyed our time in the weather station. We pretended to be meteorologists and we gave the weather forecast on the television for our classmates. We made beautiful cloud and rainbow mobiles and we dressed paper dolls for the correct weather with a cut and stick exercise. We enjoyed dressing baby dolls depending on the weather. We loved engaging with water play too! We had lots of bubbly water, cups, jugs, bowls, spades etc. and enjoyed filling containers and pouring the water out! We enjoyed messy play on the tuff tray with rainbow shaving foam clouds and we used playdough to make outfits for different weather conditions on paper dolls.


In English, we are loving being able to read independently. We read our differentiated readers when we have finished our work. We have finished our Jolly Phonics now and we spent the time revising our vowel and consonant digraphs. We are working hard at our letter formation and we are beginning to write our news independently too. We enjoyed reading and engaging with the story ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ by Julia Donaldson and loved the kindness displayed by the Giant to people in need. 

In Gaeilge, we’ve enjoyed learning phrases, songs and poems surrounding the theme of ‘An Teilifís’ (Television). In Maths, 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. Once we had grasped the idea of the tokens, we used real coins to play the game. We also had great fun investigating what real coins looked like, what symbols they had on them, how the coins differed on the back and we looked up where all the coins that we had came from! We also did some coin rubbings pictures, and played shop with Ms. Olson using real coins.

In S.E.S.E we finished learning about animals and the farm and made our own butter. We shook cream in a jar until it started to whip before solidifying into butter. We poured off the buttermilk, added some salt and spread it on some bread. It was very tasty! We were very lucky to go and visit the school pond to see our newts and water minibeasts too. Thanks to our caretaker, Ogie, for showing us! We also learned about the weather.


In Art, we  completed our farm frieze and are scarecrows that we had begun in Aistear. Take a look!


In P.E. we started learning how to play hurling with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA.

That’s all for now, check back in soon to see how we got on in May and June with our lovely chicks! 

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on April News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
June 1 2023

March News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

We had lots of fun exploring our theme ‘Animals and the Farm’ in March.

In Aistear, we started learning about ‘The Vet’. We had lots of fun playing in the veterinary surgery – we had to pretend to be receptionists, vets, veterinary nurses and we brought our pets to the vets. We used teddies as pets or sometimes we liked to pretend to be the animals ourselves! We practised our cutting and sticking skills too as we learned about the life cycle of a frog. We watched a cool video about it first and then cut out pictures of the life cycle and stuck them in the right order. We had great messy fun playing in the jelly and chia seed frog pond in our tuff tray and we enjoyed making farm animals for our farm frieze. We were very lucky to be invited to Mr. Ryan’s class to see his tadpoles and frogs too!


In week two, we enjoyed a week of the vet visiting the farm home corner where we enjoyed pretending to be farm animals on the farm! We also constructed fields for the farm animals and sorted the animals into the correct fields on our tuff tray. We decorated our farm shop pop up stall and we also 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 planted and harvested vegetables in our tuff tray, we did a cut and stick activity where we matched the animal to their home and we enjoyed exploring with magnets.


In English, we have really taken off with our reading and we have nearly finished our Jolly Phonics! We practise our tricky words and blending each day which is 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 literacy stations – we do one station each day. Usually our stations are: two phonics games, news writing and a cutting skills worksheet. 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. World Book Day occurred in March as well and we brought in our favourite books to show our friends and we had such fun dressing up as our favourite book characters! We went to the Book Fair and were able to get some new books. There was also a competition for the best costumes – won by a jellyfish and a dragon! We also made lovely bookmarks!

In Gaeilge, we were learning all about ‘Lá ‘le Pádraig’ (St. Patrick’s Day). It was Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) and we had such fun doing Irish dancing and performing at our concert. We sang the songs  ‘An Leipreachán’ (The Leprechaun), ‘Lámha Suas an Féidir Leat’ (Hands Up) and ‘Sín do Lámha’ (Stretch Your Hands), ‘Tá mé ar mo Shuigh ar mo Chathaoir’ (I’m sitting on my chair) and ‘Beidh Aonach Amárach’ (There will be a Fair Tomorrow). In Maths, we continued on with our partitioning and combining within 3 and 2 and we really enjoyed playing games where we had to add on one and two. We also enjoyed learning about money and looking at coins with magnifying glasses before doing some coin rubbings.


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. We also enjoyed learning about the story of St. Patrick and sequencing his life.

In Art, we made lovely St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun pictures with our faces. We also made lovely Mother’s Day cards using cupcake liners to create a flower. We also made kitchen roll bunnies and potato stamp cards for Easter.

In P.E. we loved our sessions with Coach Steve for ball skills. We also did some hockey with our teacher.


On our last day of term, we had a lovely Easter egg hunt with the other Junior Infants and we enjoyed colouring Easter pictures! 

We packed a lot in to Junior Infants in March, tune back in soon for our April news!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on March News from Ms. Olson’s Class!