Merry Christmas from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
What a great month December has been in Junior Infants! We did lots of fun activities surrounding our theme – Christmas, and we were visited by our elf – Rudolph!
In Aistear, we absolutely loved playing in the Post Office / Santa’s Workshop Home Corner. During the first week in December, we wrote our letters to Santa and posted them to the North Pole in our very own postbox. We had to buy stamps from the Post Office first. Afterwards, the Post Person delivered the letters to Santa and his elves. Santa designed the toys in his workshop and the elves made and wrapped the toys. Once checked off by Santa, he packed his sack and delivered the toys to all the children. His reindeer helped him to fly his sleigh! In week two, we focused on sending Christmas cards in the Post Office!
We also enjoyed playing Small World in Aistear. The children set up their town and pretended that the post person was coming to deliver letters and parcels. In week two, we constructed Santa’s Workshop out of stickle bricks and pretended to be Santa and his elves working away making all the presents. We liked our playdough station as well, we made lots of cookies and cakes for Santa! We loved filling our stockings with toys from the Smyth’s Catalogue at our cut and stick station and we worked hard at making our Christmas cards and other art projects. During the last week of school, we had freeplay and enjoyed choosing our own toys to play with!
In English, we continued learning our Jolly Phonics sounds. We are improving everyday at learning our Tricky Words and our blending is coming along so well too. Soon we will be able to read little books! We enjoyed reading lots of Christmas and Winter themed books including ‘Bear Snores On’ by Karma Wilson, ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Buttersworth, ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ by Allan and Janet Ahlberg and ‘Stickman’ by Julia Donaldson. Our handwriting is really coming along too, we enjoyed writing a short letter to Santa as well as simple sentences in our copy books.
In Gaeilge, we enjoyed learning about ‘Caitheamh Aimsire’ (Hobbies) and ‘Ócáidí Speisialta – An Nollaig’ (Special Occasions – Christmas) using our Bua na Cainte programme. We love singing the songs, playing the games and listening to the stories.
In Maths, we learned about time. We focused on learning the days of the week as well as sequencing stories such as ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. We enjoyed playing lots of time challenges and we timed them by counting the number of claps it took to complete the challenge. We compared the times it took to do two different challenges when we played the game, ‘Who Finishes First?’. One child had to do an activity such as building a tower of unifix cubes whilst the other child had to do a physical activity such as jumping jacks. We had to guess who would finish first and then test out our theories! We also learned about the 3D shapes – cube, cuboid, cylinder, sphere, cone and pyramid. We did lots of different activities including shape hunts, the feely bag game, shape sorting, work with the BeeBots and constructing the shapes with playdough and sticks. We also revised our 2D shapes and length and practised our patterns on the iPads by playing a Topmarks Christmas Patterns game!
In S.E.S.E, we learned about the signs of Winter as well as learning all about the story of Christmas. We explored toys too – we compared toys from today and toys from the past, we investigated which toys are pulled and which are pushed and we even designed our own toys in groups before constructing them out of materials found in the classroom. On our last day of school, we made fake snow using poly sodium acrylate – the non-toxic substance found in nappies!
We did lots of Christmas art this month including Christmas elves, stained-glass Nativity scenes, cardboard angels, handprint robins, Christmas wreaths and Christmas cards! Take a look at our creations.
In Music, we learnt lots of lovely songs including ‘Jog Along Little Donkey to Bethlehem’, ‘Féach ar an Máinséar’ and ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’. In S.P.H.E., we learned about our senses and our families. We had lots of fun exploring our sense of touch by feeling different materials with and without a blindfold on! In P.E., we had lots of fun with Coach Gráinne – our favourite lesson being developing skills using balloons! We also did a fun run to raise money for our Student Council.
We also baked real cookies for Santa, but we decided they wouldn’t last until Christmas so we had to eat them ourselves!
As if all of that wasn’t enough, we performed our Christmas play – ‘Our First Nativity’ which we had been working so hard on for several weeks. We recorded it for our parents so that we could sit and watch it together. It was a roaring success! Afterwards, we had a lovely party to celebrate!
Thanks for reading our blog, we hope you enjoyed it. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you next year!