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!
February 2 2023

December News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

We had such fun in December in Junior Infants! We did lots of fun activities surrounding our theme – Christmas, and we were visited by our elf – Sparkle!

 

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 ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Buttersworth 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 ‘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!

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 and we investigated which toys are pulled and which are pushed.

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 learnt about our senses and our families. We had lots of fun tasting different foods to identify different tastes including sour, bitter, sweet and salty.

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. It was so nice to have a full audience once again and our parents, teacher and SNA were so proud of us! It was a roaring success! Afterwards, we had a lovely party to celebrate!

Thanks for reading our blog, we hope you enjoyed it!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on December News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
December 7 2022

November News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

In November, we explored the theme of ‘Food’. We had a lovely mid term break but we were delighted to be back and engaging in Aistear again! We visited the Pizzeria, the Bakery and the Supermarket in our home corner this month. We enjoyed playing the roles of the chefs, bakers, customers, waiting staff and shop assistants. In the pizzeria, we were greeted by the waiting staff, who showed us to our table and gave us our menu. When we had ordered our food the chef made us delicious pizzas. Afterwards, we had to pay our bill and if the service was good, we gave them a tip! Some people decided to order their pizza over the phone for delivery so the waiting staff had to answer the phones too. In the bakery, we enjoyed eating delicious treats baked by the baker – there was the option to sit in as well or you could browse the selection and get the cakes for take away. In the supermarket, we enjoyed using the shopping baskets to carry our food that we had selected from the shelves. We then put it all on the conveyor belt and the shop assistant scanned it for us and put it in to our shopping bags. We had to make sure that we got our receipts too!

We also enjoyed constructing the pizzeria using Lego, Duplo and Sticklebricks. We used the small world people to play with our constructions afterwards. In Small World, we set up a town and acted out our journey to the supermarket. We did some great cut and stick activities  as well this month including ‘How to Make Pizza’, sequencing the story of ‘The Little Red Hen’ and ‘How to Make a Jam Sandwich’ and we coloured a pizza according to shape. We loved our Autumn tuff tray! We went on a nature walk to collect the materials and then we used magnifying glasses to investigate the different Autumn materials including leaves, berries, conkers and seed shells. We even found a few minibeasts amongst the materials. Afterwards we enjoyed making lovely leaf prints. We also enjoyed making playdough pizzas and we used real dough to make cookies and cakes for the bakery.

          

In English, we continued on with our Jolly Phonics. We are getting very good at blending short words now and we  are learning our Tricky Words! Soon we will be ready to start reading little books of our very own! Our writing is steadily improving and we are enjoying playing our phonics games and doing our fine motor stations each day. We read some great stories this month including ‘Pizza at Sally’s’; ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ and ‘The Little Red Hen’. We have also started writing little sentences in our copies.

In Gaeilge, we have been enjoying exploring the theme ‘Bia’ (Food) using our Bua na Cainte interactive programme. Our listening skills as Gaeilge are greatly improving and we are finding the games much easier to play now! We enjoyed singing along to the food themed songs and learning simple phrases. We love when our puppet ‘Rolaí Polaí’ comes to visit us and we have conversations with him as Gaeilge, we count with him and we learn our colours too.

In Maths, we continued to focus on number work, engaging in activities such as counting games, number formation, making sets of numbers, learning about ordinal number (first, second, third etc.) and playing maths games to develop one-to-one correspondence. We learnt about 3D shapes and engaged in sorting and shape hunts to learn about them. We even constructed a cube, cuboid and pyramid out of cocktail sticks and playdough. We learnt about length too! We did lots of timed exercises to see who could make the longest object with the materials provided within the time. We made objects of varied lengths using playdough, beads and thread and interlocking cubes.

In S.E.S.E our focus was on food and people at work! We looked at how pizza is made, who makes it and where it originates from – Italy. We then tried our hand at making our own pizza! We had lots of fun going to Ms. Woods’ class to learn how to make the dough. We learnt how the yeast makes the pizza dough rise. We left our dough to prove by the radiator and were amazed at how much it grew! We added our toppings and our margherita and pepperoni pizzas were delicious!

In Art, we made paper plate pizzas. We also made some clay hedgehogs. In Music, we loved learning little songs including ‘The Farmer has an Orchard’. We also started learning the songs for our Christmas play!

In P.E., we had great fun doing gymnastics with Deirdre. We are finished our ten week block now and have learnt so much!

Thank you so much for reading our blog, tune in next month to read about all things Christmas! It’s sure to be a cracker!! 🙂

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on November News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
November 20 2022

October News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

Welcome back to Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants Class blog! We were so busy in October and had such fun exploring our themes – Space and Halloween!

In Aistear, we loved launching our rocket into Space in the home corner. The mission control manager would complete our take off checklist and then we would countdown from 10 and shout ‘BLAST OFF’ as our rocket hurtled into Space. We loved shaking the rocket and banging the tin foil to replicate a noisy rocket! Once we had landed on the moon, it was time for the astronauts to put on their space suits, helmets and jetpacks and see what they could find! We also enjoyed our other Aistear stations – we made solar system jigsaws, made playdough aliens and astronauts, sequenced our nursery rhymes and played with rockets and astronauts at the moon sand tuff tray station! We were very creative when it came to the art station as we made alien spaceships and decorated them with stars and gems!

   

During the last two weeks of October, we had so much fun in the Halloween Fancy Dress Shop. The shop assistants had to answer the phone and help the customers find a good costume. The customers tried on the costumes in the fitting room and paid for them at the till. Sometimes they had to return their costume so they had to make sure they kept the receipt! We enjoyed playing small world too as we set up all the houses in the town and played trick or treating! We did some nice creative activities too including sequencing ‘The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin’, making Halloween ‘CVC’ words and designing a Halloween costume.

   

In English, we continued to learn our Jolly Phonics and we started to learn some tricky words! We love singing along to the Tricky Words Songs on YouTube. We also enjoy playing our Jolly Phonics matching games and finding the sounds and tricky words that our teacher hides around the classroom. We are getting very good at blending little words too and we use our ‘tap and stroke’ method to do this. We tap out the sounds on our hand and stroke them together to blend! We are continuing to practise our fine motor skills each day and we are enjoying learning how to write the letters with our sand, whiteboards, playdough and rainbow letters stations. We are also getting very proficient at writing our names! This month we read and explored the stories – ‘Whatever Next!’ by Jill Murphy and ‘Room on the Broom’ by Julia Donaldson.

In Gaeilge, we explored the theme ‘An Scoil’ (School) and ‘Oíche Shamhna’ (Halloween). We love singing the songs, listening to the stories and conversations and playing the games on our interactive programme – Bua na Cainte.

In Maths, we have been doing lots of work on our counting and practising the concept before and after. This month, we were learning how to sort objects, make patterns and make sets of objects and identify which sets had more / fewer or the same number of objects. We also continued to develop our one-to-one correspondence by matching numbers to the correct set of objects and enjoyed playing the button game, animal hunt and snail trail to practise this skill. We continued to practise our number formation and learnt about the 2D shapes. We had great fun programming our little robot, BeeBot, to go to our selected 2D shape. We also ran a ‘Have you got Maths Eyes?’ competition in our class and had lots of amazing entries. Thanks to all of the children and their parents for working so hard on these and congratulations to our winners!

      

In S.E.S.E, we learnt about our solar system and the names of all of the planets. We explored the life of Neil Armstrong and watched cool videos of the moon landing in 1969 as well as current videos of life in space as an astronaut. We did some rocket experiments too – we used a balloon, a straw, some sellotape and a piece of string to explore how the force of air can propel the rocket along the string and we used a fizzy vitamin tablet to create a film canister rocket. You can watch the videos of our experiments on our Twitter page – @MsOlsonsClass. We had a special visitor in to talk to us too – a big thank you to nurse Siobhán for answering all of our questions. In the second part of the month, we learnt about the story of Halloween and its traditions. We worked as a team to create a skeleton and we tasted some Barm Brack and one lucky person found the ring and got to make a wish! We also learnt about pumpkins and the life cycle of a pumpkin. We even had a few pumpkins in our class!

         

We did lots of Art this month. We made autumn trees using broccoli to print the leaves, alien spaceships, rocket ships, silly pumpkins, wicked witches and flying ghosts! We also made lovely Halloween bookmarks for a competition. Take a look at all of our lovely artwork!

        

In Music, we enjoyed learning nursery rhymes and songs. We particularly liked ‘Zoom Zoom Zoom – We’re Going to the Moon’ on YouTube. We also learned plenty of spooky Halloween songs about witches! We did a little Halloween concert for assembly and you can see the videos on our Twitter page. In P.E., we’ve had lots of fun with Coach Steve practising our ball skills and with Deirdre during gymnastics.

On our last day before the midterm break, we had a brilliant day in our fancy dress costumes! We went to the cake sale and bought lots of tasty cakes. We also watched the film, ‘Room on the Broom’. What a month in Junior Infants, we hope you enjoyed reading our blog!

 

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on October News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
October 12 2022

Our First Month in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

Wow! We can’t believe we have completed one whole month in Junior Infants! We are loving being in school, have settled in so well and made lots of friends. On our first day, we were delighted to walk into our new classroom with our parents and we had lots of fun playing with the toys with our new classmates. Here are some pictures from our first few days of school.

 

In September, we learnt all about ourselves and the doctor. Every morning we do Aistear, which is structured playtime. There are four stations per week and we play at one station each day. We love playing in the home corner! This month, we enjoyed playing in ‘The Doctors’ Surgery’, ‘The Toys’ Hospital’ and ‘The Opticians’. We were given a role to play and had to act out the part that we were given. We also enjoyed playing in small world. In small world, we had to set up a town and act out different scenarios using wooden people. Some of the scenarios included going to the doctors or calling an ambulance to our home. Another station that we enjoyed doing was playdough. We were given themed playdough mats and had to add playdough details to them. We had to make doctor’s instruments like a stethoscope and we had to add glasses to people’s faces! We usually have a cut and stick station too to practise our cutting skills such as sequencing the nursery rhymes that we are learning. We also made cool glasses when we were learning about the opticians – we coloured them, cut them out and added some nice stickers to them! Sometimes we have a construction station. We made hospitals out of stickle bricks this month. In our final week of September we enjoyed playing with the baby dolls. We learned how to change their nappies, change their clothes, feed them and hold them carefully! On Fridays, we have freeplay. This means we can play with any of the toys in the classroom. We just love playtime in Junior Infants!

 

In English, we started learning our Jolly Phonics! We love listening and singing along to the Jolly Songs as well as listening to the sound story and answering questions about it. Sometimes our teacher hides the sounds around the classroom and we have to find them and think of some words that contain that sound. We also love playing ‘I Spy’ when we are learning our sounds. We have started to learn how to write these sounds too. We learn the formation through different stations including writing the sounds in sand, using playdough to make the sounds, doing rainbow letters and covering the sound with counters! When we finished the first group of Jolly Phonics, we started blending little words and learning our Tricky Words! We love the Tricky Words songs on YouTube. We are also doing lots of activities to develop our fine motor skills. Building up our hand muscles will make us excellent writers! We do fun activities each day such as cutting, writing our names, threading beads, playing with polydrons, pegboards, links, connecting cubes, chopsticks, jigsaws and playdough. We also love story time at the end of the day, some of the stories we read were, ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’, ‘Owl Babies’, ‘The Berenstain Bears go to the Doctor’ and ‘The President’s Glasses’.

We love our interactive Gaeilge programme, Bua na Cainte. We explored the theme ‘Mé Féin’ (Myself) and ‘Lá Breithe’ (Birthdays) in September. We learn songs as Gaeilge (in Irish) and listen to the conversations. We like learning little phrases that we can say to our friends and our teacher. We love the games on Bua na Cainte as they develop our listening skills! We also like when we get a visit from our dog puppet ‘Rolaí Polaí’ who only understands Gaeilge! He has been teaching us some simple conversation starters!

In Maths, we have been doing lots of counting games and we learnt how to sort objects into sets according to colour, shape, size, number and type of object. We learnt how to make patterns with two colours and two sizes (ABAB) and we’ve been learning how to write some of our numbers. We enjoyed playing maths games including ‘Happy Faces’ and ‘Sweetie Jar’ as they help us to develop one-to-one correspondence! We made sets of two items and we learnt the names of the 2D shapes – circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval and hexagon. We played a fun feely bag game with the shapes and we went on a shape hunt around the school.

In S.E.S.E. (Geography, History and Science), we learnt about our families, our school and our journey to school. We had lots of fun learning about our school as we got to go for a tour of the school and we were given a personal tour of the principal’s office by Mr. Fingleton himself! Afterwards we worked together to draw an aerial view map of the school. We also learnt about the work of a doctor and an optician and identified lots of other professions and the places where they work.

In Music, we were learning lots of lovely nursery rhymes. We particularly like ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ as we marched around the classroom as we sang! We love doing actions to all of our songs too. In Art, we made lots of lovely things including, self portraits, X-ray hands and Owl Babies pictures. We used a print technique with cotton pads to create our Owl Babies.

   

In P.E., we are very lucky to have Deirdre coming in to us each Tuesday to teach us gymnastics! We have been learning how to do different types of rolls, the forward roll, the backwards roll, cartwheels, the beam and the vault! We love Fridays too as Coach Steve from Shankill GAA is back in with us teaching us ball skills. We are learning lots of skills including bouncing, catching, throwing and even GAA solos! In S.P.H.E., we have been learning all about being a good friend and using our ‘Kind Hands, Kind Words and Kind Feet’ in school. We learnt that we are all different, special and unique – we investigated our fingerprints and handprints as a way of showing this.

   

We hope you enjoyed our blog, tune in next month to hear about what we got up to in October!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Our First Month in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
May 31 2022

Eggcellent May News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

We had a very eggciting month in May as our baby chicks were born! We incubated ten chicken eggs for twenty one days and they hatched into six fluffy chicks called Fluffy, Little Timmy, Cheddar, Nuggets, Sockie 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 rest 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 five days 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 and were given a chance to name them!

Besides all of the chick news, we actually did so many other things in May that we need to tell you about too! 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, racing car, 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 labelling a car, sorting vehicles by air, land and sea and labelling an aeroplane. We created our own small world group pictures and labelled all the vehicles. Finally we made 2D shape vehicles by drawing around shapes and creating a picture with them!

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 were so lucky to be invited to paired reading with sixth class in our brand new outdoor classroom! We really enjoyed it! 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 a CVC worksheet (consonant-vowel-consonant three letter words e.g. cat).  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 we are about to start Siopadóireacht (Shopping). 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 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.

Most of our S.E.S.E learning this month was learning about our chicks but we also learned about vehicles and transport and we looked at transport in the past. We learnt about the life cycle of plants and sunflowers before planting our own sunflowers too.

 

In Art we made egg box Dublin Buses and paper plate sunflowers as well as the couple of pieces we made in Aistear up above. Take a look!

  

In Music we learnt songs surrounding the theme of horse and ponies. The songs were lots of fun and we liked pretending to be horses whilst singing! In P.E. we were so lucky to have Coach Steve from Shankill GAA back in with us to do a few ball skills sessions. We also did gymnastics with our teacher and learnt how to do a forward roll as well as having our weekly sessions with Coach Ed.

We hoped you liked reading about our time in school during the month of May. We will have our final blog of the year up during the last week of school. We cannot believe our time in Junior Infants is nearly over! We are getting so grown up! Finally, here are pictures of hopefully many more picnics to come!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on Eggcellent May News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
May 30 2022

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 ‘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. Finally, we loved engaging with water play! We had lots of bubbly water, cups, jugs, bowls, spades etc. and enjoyed filling containers and pouring the water out!

   

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. We had a lovely time dressing up as our favourite characters and bringing in our favourite books for Book Week. 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 Dogman and Little Red Riding Hood!

    

In Gaeilge, we’ve enjoyed learning phrases, songs and poems surrounding the theme of ‘An Aimsir’ (The Weather). 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 too. Thanks to our caretaker, Ogie, for showing us! We also learned about the weather and the water cycle. We enjoyed learning about different types of precipitation and investigated the different states of water – solid, liquid and gas.

 

In Art, we farm animals using paper plates and Easter cards for our families. We created a nest of eggs using potato stamps and decorated the eggs with little gems. We made finger print Easter Bunny silhouettes as well. We also completed our scarecrows that we had begun in Aistear. Take a look!

 

In Music, we continued to start our day with a song and we particularly liked the song ‘Cúig Ubh’ and ‘Jig-a-Jog Jig’! In S.P.H.E we completed the Stay Safe Programme and in P.E., we finished our dance sessions with Catherine Casey School of Dance and enjoyed learning our fundamental skills with Coach Ed. We also started doing gymnastics with our teacher. After our warm up, we do four gymnastics stations working on our jumping, hopping, rolling and cartwheel skills. We love doing ‘Jelly Belly’ as a cool down too!

On our last day of term, we had a lovely Easter egg hunt and we enjoyed colouring Easter pictures!

That’s all for now, check back in soon to see how we got on in May with our lovely chicks! Here’s a sneak peek!

    

 

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