December 22 2021

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!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Music, Drama, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Merry Christmas from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
December 15 2021

November News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!

We had another busy month during November in Room 17!
In maths, we spent the month working on fractions – equivalent, improper, mixed number while also learning to add and subtract them. Lots of practice with real life problem solving with fractions helped us develop our understanding of this concept.

In English, we looked at the theme of narrative writing with the story ‘Out of My Mind’ and then explored explanatory writing through the theme of ‘volcanoes’. We learnt lots about how volcanoes form and erupt and even wrote our own explanations about volcanoes. We also practiced some more explanations about a variety of topics when working in groups – how does a chicken egg hatch, the water cycle, the lifecycle of a butterfly, the lifecycle of a frog and how do tadpoles grow – excellent explanations by all!

  

As Gaeilge, bhíomar ag foghlaim faoi na topaicí ‘An Scoil’ agus ‘Éadaí’. Bhí scéalta agus léamhtuiscintí againn bunaithe ar na téamaí seo. Bhíomar ag dul i ngleic leis na Briathra neamhrialta san Aimsir Chaite chomh maith le tús a chur ar an Aimsir Fháistineach. Bhíomar ag cleachtadh conas an chlog a léamh as Gaeilge freisin.

In SESE, we completed a lot of work based on the theme of ‘volcanoes’. We learned about how volcanoes form and the inner structure of them while also researching them using the iPads and completing a fact file about a chosen volcano.

 

We used the iPads to research facts about Italy and Roman life and completed fact files about each of them. We did another excellent job on our projects based on a figure from The Renaissance, with lots of wonderful research and presentation skills on show.

   

As part of Science week, we researched a famous scientist and completed a fact file about them. We also wrote some wonderful ‘Science week’ themed acrostic poems. We really enjoyed the ‘Balloon car challenge’, where we focused on the concept of forces. This month, we also learnt about the structure of the eye and the functions of these parts.

     

The highlight of the month was definitely the clay volcanoes we made and painted and then erupted by creating a chemical reaction.

 

We really enjoyed spending some time completing some ‘Hour of Code’ Minecraft tutorials on the iPads to introduce many of us to the world of coding.

We leant the song ‘Pompeii’ le Bastille i nGaeilge agus ‘Fanfaidh mé ortsa’ le Mumford and Sons freisin. 

In SPHE, we have been looking at the concept of ‘Friendship’ – exploring the benefits and the challenges faced within them. We also explored some scenarios to extend our thinking while also identifying what we look for in a friend.

In Art, we designed some Roman inspired mosaic artwork and Winter/Christmas themed snow globes.

In PE, we were very lucky to have Jonathan in from Leinster Rugby teaching  us some rugby skills and playing some fun team games to practice our skills. We also started cycling with Tony and Graham and we are really enjoying learning how to cycle safely.

Category: Fifth Class, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on November News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!
December 2 2021

Food Glorious Food in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

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’. We also enjoyed making playdough 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 such as ‘Is maith liom ___’ (I like ___). 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 board games to develop one-to-one correspondence. We also explored different patterns such as ABAB and ABC patterns. We made these patterns according to colour, shape, size and random objects.  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. We’ve been enjoying having the iPads on Fridays, we play fun maths games from Topmarks.co.uk.

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 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 make some clay hedgehogs and autumn trees. In Music, we loved learning little songs including ‘The Farmer has an Orchard’ and ‘Down by the Station’. We also started learning the songs for our Christmas play!

     

In P.E., we had great fun with Coach Gráinne learning lots of different skills including running, jogging, rolling, throwing, catching, kicking and bouncing. We love doing warm up games, relays and pair work during P.E.

   

Finally, in S.P.H.E, we have been learning all about our five senses. We did a taste test to identify our four different tastes – sour, bitter, sweet and salty. We tasted the foods – natural yogurt, lemon, a jelly sweet and crisps to identify the different flavours. Some we weren’t so keen on!

   

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, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Food Glorious Food in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
November 18 2021

October News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!

October was another busy month in Room 17!

We were focusing on writing letters at the beginning of the month – highlighting reasons why schools should have drinking fountains. At the end of the month, we wrote some excellent Halloween acrostic poems and some spooktacular Halloween themed narratives for Ms Travers’ writing competition. In addition, we definitely have some future politicians amongst us as we presented some excellent arguments during some informal debates.

Sa Ghaeilge, bhíomar ag leanúint le na scéalta agus ag cur snas ar ár dtuiscint don Aimsir Chaite agus briathra éagsúla. Freisin, bhí an-spraoi againn le foclóir Oíche Shamhna a fhoghlaim agus roinnt dánta a ghabhann leis an téama seo.

In maths, we focused on the themes of Time and Lines and Angles and concluded this topic with some tangram work which we really enjoyed.

In SESE, we were busy learning about The Normans, The Solar System and examining the surface tension of water and the effect of acid. We also had great fun designing, making and testing our egg protectors for the ‘Egg Drop Challenge’ – with varying degrees of success! Although the definite highlight was the amazing projects we completed about ‘World Changing Women’ – great insights shared into many inspirational women!

     

We continued to learn some new songs -‘An t-Ádh Night’ by Pharell our latest addition. We’ve really been enjoying the music resources on DableDoo too!

We created wonderful self-portraits this month using our drawing skills and symmetry with wonderful outcomes. We also created some haunted scene artwork using our different paint mixing techniques and silhouettes.

Finally, as part of the school’s Well-being initiative and for this month’s theme of ‘Talking Care of my Body’ we made some wonderful dreamcatchers and made some tasty fruit skewer treats to enjoy!

We showed off our wonderful Halloween costumes on the last day before the Midterm – lots of happy smiley faces!

Category: Fifth Class, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on October News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!
October 17 2021

September News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!

Hi everyone!

At the end of August, we started our 5th Class journey in Room 17 and we’ve had a busy September! We can’t wait to share some of the highlights as part of our monthly blog post!

We were busy focusing on the ‘Recount’ genre for the month in Literacy – reminiscing on our summer break and creating some news reports.

Sa Ghaeilge, bhíomar ag cur béim ar scileanna agallaimh – ag cur agus ag freagairt ceisteanna bunaithe ar ‘Mé Féin’. Chomh maith le sin, scríobhamar ár mbiachlár féin agus bhí an-spraoi againn le sin.

In maths, we looked at some revision work to start as well as some work on adding and subtracting bigger numbers    , some number theory work and place value (place value bingo – a definite highlight!)

In SESE, we were exploring ‘The Digestive System’ and ‘The Food Pyramid’ – drawing our own models of the different parts. We also looked at the story of ‘King Midas’ and designed some comic strips for some of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. We also completed a ‘Counties Project’ based on the Counties of Ireland and designed our own coat of arms for our county.

     

We created some lovely artwork too – paper hot air balloons, Picasso self portraits and a colour wheel eye display that all look amazing!

 

We created an ‘Aspiration Tree’ at the start of the year to share some of our goals and wishes for the upcoming year. We also did some work on positive affirmations and made some wonderful affirmation collages.

 

We also started to learn some new songs – ‘Lig Mé Saor’ le Aviccii agus ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ – lots of enthusiastic singers in Room 17!

A great start to the year for all!

Category: Fifth Class, Literacy, Numeracy, S.E.S.E, Art, S.P.H.E | Comments Off on September News from Ms. Treacy’s Fifth Class!
October 8 2021

Our First Month of Big School in Ms. Olson’s Class!

Wow! What a month in big school for Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants! We are loving being in school, have settled in so well and made lots of friends. On our first day, we walked into school all by ourselves and had lots of fun playing with the toys with our new classmates. Here are some pictures from our first day 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 Lego and Duplo this month. 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, straws, chopsticks, popping bubble wrap, 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’, ‘Froggy goes to the Doctor’ and ‘The President’s Glasses’.

   

We love our interactive Gaeilge programme, Bua na Cainte. We explored the theme ‘Mé Féin’ (Myself) 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. Sometimes we play with little picture cards and ask our partners some questions as Gaeilge. We also 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!

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 (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 and three 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 then we worked together to build an aerial view map of it! The green pages represent the yards with trees, the yellow hexagons are the classrooms, jenga blocks are the corridors and the red shapes represent other classrooms and the stage in the hall. We also learnt about the work of a doctor and an optician and we learnt the names of all of our body parts. We made a skeleton as well in groups. We cut out all the bones and stuck them together. They are also coming in handy as our Halloween decorations!

 

 In Music, we were learning lots of lovely nursery rhymes. We particularly like ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’ and we love doing actions to all of our songs! In Art, we made lots of lovely things including, self portraits, X-ray hands and Owl Babies pictures. We used a print technique with pom poms to create our Owl Babies. In P.E., we have been playing lots of playground games, doing relays, developing our hopping and skipping skills and working on our throwing and catching skills with beanbags. We are very lucky to have Coach Gráinne coming in to us each Wednesday! 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, we know it was quite long but we did so much in September and we wanted to tell you all about it! Tune in next month to hear about what we got up to in October!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Drama, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Our First Month of Big School in Ms. Olson’s Class!
June 30 2021

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

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!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on Our Final Month in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
June 9 2021

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 ten fluffy chicks called Toast, Big Foot, Eggbert, Pickle, Sunny, Sunshine, Lucky, Snowy, Egg and Potato! 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 each class in the school got to visit them before they left and were given a chance to name them!

    

We were lucky enough to be sent updates too! Look at how much they’ve grown after only a week or two!

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, train and aeroplane! We constructed different vehicles using a variety of different materials including Lego, Duplo, polydrons and stickle bricks. We enjoyed making a runway for our aeroplanes to land and take off from too. 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 creating an aeroplane. Finally we made 2D shape vehicles by drawing around shapes, cutting them out 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 like doing our stations each week and we are making great strides with our writing too.  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 Éadaí (Clothes) and we are about to start Siopadóireacht (Shopping). In Maths we continued to learn about money. This time we used real coins and had great fun investigating what they 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 played the coin exchange game from our last blog using real coins, did some coin rubbings pictures, played shop with Ms. Olson and Mr. O’Connor using real coins and made towers of unifix cubes to denote each coin value! We also revised sorting and sorted shapes for up to four properties – colour, shape, size and thickness. Sorting for one property at a time was two easy for us so we sorted for two and three properties at the same time! We also did lots of addition sums within 5 and 10, revised before and after, more and less and revised our 2D and 3D shapes.

Most of our S.E.S.E learning this month was learning about our chicks but we also learned about vehicles and transport during Aistear time and we planted sunflowers too. Look at how they’ve grown – unfortunately they got a little bit dry over the bank holiday but we’re hopeful they’ll spring back to life (fingers crossed!!)

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 S.P.H.E. we completed our Stay Safe Programme and in P.E. we were so lucky to have Catherine Casey back in with us to do a few dance sessions as well as ball skills with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA. We also did gymnastics with our teacher, practising our jumping and rolling skills!

     

That must have been a record long blog but we had to tell you all about our chicks! 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!

 

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Music, Drama, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Eggcellent May News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
May 25 2021

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!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Science, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on April News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
April 22 2021

March News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

We were absolutely delighted to return to school in March! It was so exciting to see all of our friends again and to get back into our school routine. We missed out on some great Aistear themes in January and February so we decided to do them in March instead.

For the first two weeks, we loved learning about the Polar Regions. First, we explored Antarctica and it was such fun playing in our igloo and searching for penguins in the home corner. In small world, we created group pictures of Antarctica sticking on cotton wool for icebergs and pictures of Antarctica animals. We investigated floating and sinking and we labelled the parts of a penguin. Then, we moved to the Arctic! Again, we loved playing in our igloo but this time we were in search of polar bears! We also built snowmobiles out of Lego and Duplo, created igloos with playdough and labelled the parts of a polar bear.

 

For the last two weeks of March, we explored the theme of ‘Homes and Houses’.  Our home corners we based on stories for this fortnight. We enjoyed acting out the stories of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. In small world, we acted out the story of the ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and we did a sequencing the story cut and stick activity. We also made the three houses using straws, sticks and bricks. In the last week of March, we loved acting out ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ using our puppet theatre! We also constructed different sized beds and chairs using Lego and Duplo and did another sequencing activity.

In English, we continued on with our Jolly Phonics sounds – playing games and activities; and we really got to work at learning our Tricky Words by playing games and listening to Tricky Words songs. We also started our reading books. We were reading books online at home but it was so nice to be able to read physical books again! We are getting so good at our reading now. Our blending skills are really improving as we are practising our word boxes in school and at home for homework. Another thing that we have been really working on is our writing! We love to write our news and we are enjoying practising our letter formation and free writing. During free writing, we write about whatever we like totally unaided and then our teacher scribes what we have written underneath. Our blending skills really help with this as we sound out words to write them! We love storytime at the end of the day in Junior Infants and we have been enjoying listening to ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ by Roald Dahl. We’ve also read ‘The Emperor’s Egg’, ‘Lost and Found’, ‘The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud’, ‘The Three Little Pigs’, ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’.

 

In Irish, we’ve enjoyed learning songs and simple phrases surrounding the themes of ‘An Teilifís’ (The Television); ‘Lá ‘le Pádraig’ (St. Patrick’s Day) and ‘An Cháisc’ (Easter). In Maths, we revised the content that we had been doing online on Seesaw – partitioning and combining for 4 and 5. We liked using the baseboards to sort objects into subsets to make the stories of four and five and we enjoyed playing maths games to reinforce these concepts. We’ve also been learning about data. We collected data in our class about eye colour, hair colour and number of boys and girls and represented it on a pictogram / pictograph.

   

In S.E.S.E, we learned about the seven continents. We adored listening to and singing along to ‘The Continents Song’ on YouTube! We learned about the Irish explorer – Tom Crean, who went on expeditions to Antarctica as well as identifying lots of facts about penguins and polar bears. We were fascinated to learn that penguins can hold their breath underwater for up to thirty minutes and a polar bear’s fur is actually translucent – it just appears white! We also loved looking at pictures of icebergs and the northern lights! When we explored the theme of ‘Homes and Houses’, it was fun to identify what type of home we lived in and to chat about the different rooms in a house and the items you might find in each room!

In Art, we made some lovely cards including an ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back!’ card for our mums for Mother’s Day and a potato print ‘Eggs in a Nest’ card for Easter. We also made a St. Patrick’s Day headband and an Easter Bunny picture. Each morning, we start our day with a song and there were so many songs we loved singing this month, however, our favourite had to be ‘Boa Constrictor’ because it is so funny! We did a little St. Patrick’s Day concert for our parents singing  ‘An Leipreachán’ (The Leprechaun); ‘Lá ‘le Pádraig’ (St. Patrick’s Day) and ‘Lámha Suas, An Feidir Leat? (Hands Up, Can You?). The videos can be found on our Twitter page – @MsOlsonsClass.

It was great to get back doing our GAA Ball Skills with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA and we’re having great fun learning a dance routine to ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King!’ from the Lion King. We will perform this soon and put it on our Twitter page! To finish off a great month back, we had a eggcellent Easter egg hunt on our last day of school! We are back for our last term now after our Easter holidays and are straight back to work! Stay tuned to hear about our April news! Bye for now! 🙂

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