January 24 2021

Christmas in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

We had a fantastic month in December as we were doing lots of fun activities surrounding our theme – Christmas, and we were visited by our elf – Snowflake!

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 reindeers 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. At night time, Santa came and delivered all his presents. We liked our playdough station too, we made lots of cookies and cakes for Santa. We also baked real cookies for Santa, but we decided they wouldn’t last until Christmas so we had to eat them ourselves! 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 Postman’ and ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ by Allan and Janet Ahlberg.Our handwriting is really coming along too, we started our handwriting workbook and 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 how to sort objects according to two properties. We also 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, 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. All of the Fourth Classes made houses and created a Winter Wonderland! We got to visit it, it was so pretty.

      

In S.P.H.E., we learned about our senses and our families. In P.E., we had lots of fun doing Ball Skills with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA and we started doing dance with our teacher. We started learning a dance routine to ‘I just can’t wait to be King!’ from ‘The Lion King’.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, we also 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. Hopefully by the time you read our next blog, we’ll be back together in school again!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Drama, Physical Education | Comments Off on Christmas in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
December 6 2020

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 and supermarket using Lego, Duplo and Sticklebricks. We used the small world people to play with our constructions afterwards. Some of our constructions had take-away only facilities replicating our lives at the moment! We did some great cut and stick activities 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’, ‘The Little Red Hen’ and ‘The Enormous Crocodile’.

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 ___)

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 ABC and AABB 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, stickle bricks, interlocking links, beads and thread and interlocking cubes. Towards the end of the month, we had great fun with our friend BeeBot developing our spatial awareness skills as well as number and shape work.

    

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 learnt about the seven continents through singing the continents song on YouTube and discovered that Italy is shaped like a boot and is in Europe. 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. In Music, we loved learning little songs including ‘Miss Polly Had a Dolly’ and ‘Down by the Station’. We also started learning the songs for our Christmas play!

In P.E., we had great fun practising our ball skills with Coach Steve from Shankill GAA. We are now learning how to do solos as well as bouncing and catching the ball. We also enjoyed doing games with our teacher. We were learning how to balance beanbags on rackets and how to control a beanbag and ball using a unihoc stick. We did some team relays with the rackets and unihoc sticks. It was great fun!

  

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, Gaeilge, 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 15 2020

October News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants 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 countdown from 10 and we would all 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 creating a space scene on a big piece of paper and using the small world people to explore it! We were very creative when it came to the playdough station – we made aliens and rockets and finally in construction we made rockets out of Lego and Duplo. 

In the last two weeks of October, we had so much fun in the Halloween Fancy Dress Shop. The shop assistants had to answer the phones 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 cut and stick activities too including sequencing ‘The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin’.

In English, we continued to learn our Jolly Phonics and we started to learn some tricky words! We love playing different phonics games each day like Bingo and matching. 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, whiteboard, counters 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, ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman, ‘Winnie the Witch’ by Valerie Thomas and ‘Room on the Broom’ by Julia Donaldson.

In Gaeilge, we explored the themes ‘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 compare 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 animal hunt and snail trail to practise this skill. We learnt a new pattern – ABC and had fun making those. We continued to practise our number formation and we also learnt about the 3D shapes – cube, cuboid, sphere, cone and cylinder. We went on shape hunts around the school, did feely bag games with the shapes, constructed 3D shapes out of marshmallows and cocktail sticks and had fun programming our little robot, BeeBot, to go to our selected 3D shape. 

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. In the second part of the month, we learnt about the story of Halloween and its traditions. We enjoyed learning about the signs of Autumn and we went on a nature walk in search of these signs. We also learnt about pumpkins and the life cycle of a pumpkin. We even had a pumpkin in our class – it had a minion carved into it!

We did lots of Art this month. We made alien spaceships, rocket ships, Autumn trees, leave prints, clay hedgehogs, silly pumpkins, wicked witches and hanging bats! 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! In P.E., we’ve been working hard at our ball skills and playing playground games both with our teacher and Coach Steve from Shankill GAA. In S.P.H.E, we’ve been learning all about growing and changing. We looked at how we started off as a baby and how we have already grown so much!

 

On our last day before the midterm break, we had a brilliant day as we knew this Halloween would be a bit different to others! We started our day with a little Halloween sing-a-long. After playtime and ball skills, we had a ‘Room on the Broom’ themed treasure hunt and we located the treasure chest full of treats in Mr. Fingleton’s office! Then we went trick or treating around the other Junior Infants classes and Maria’s office! Finally we made some Halloween green slime and watched the film, ‘Room on the Broom’ and ate some of our treats. 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, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on October News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants Class!
October 22 2020

News from Ms. Woods’ Junior Infant Class!

The children in Ms Woods’ class have settled in to school very well and have done great work in their first half term in Junior Infants.
The Aistear theme for September was the doctor’s surgery and the toy’s hospital and for October we were off to the moon in our rocket and then on to the Halloween Fancy Dress shop. The children had great fun getting into roles for each theme while simultaneously expanding their vocabulary and developing their receptive and oral language skills.
Apart from role play there are three other stations in Aistear with each group doing a different activity including sequencing stories by cutting and sticking, construction of lego, duplo or stickle bricks and art and craft. We also do small world which means the children use small figures and houses etc to act out different scenarios relating to our theme.
At the end of Aistear, each child reports back to the class about their activity and they also ask each other questions.
The children love learning their Jolly Phonic sounds and are beginning to blend them together to make words. The class often sing, say or even dance to our nursery rhymes.
In maths they are counting, sorting and learning about pattern and sets while having great fun as they play games every day.
The class are working hard to make their hands stronger by cutting, using play dough, pegs and peg boards and making trees with clothes pegs.
 
The children are learning about myself, school and Halloween in Irish and already know lots of songs and poems.
P.E is always outside and the children are developing co ordination while throwing, catching and balancing. Steve from Shankill GAA comes on a Friday.
Despite Covid 19 the children of Junior Infants 2020 have had a wonderful start to Big School and are progressing well. We are dressing up for Halloween on Friday. It is going to be a fun filled day of baking, playing treasure hunting, trick or treating, singing, dancing, story telling and generally having a great time.
Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, Art, Physical Education | Comments Off on News from Ms. Woods’ Junior Infant Class!
October 18 2020

Our First Month in Big School!

Welcome to Ms. Olson’s Junior Infant Blog. Wow, we had a very busy September but we are settling in so well to big school and we have been having so much fun! Our first day was a bit different to other years but our parents and our teacher were so proud of us walking into school all by ourselves! We had lots of fun meeting our new friends and playing with all the toys in our classroom. Take a look at these photos of our first day in Junior Infants!

  

In September, we were learning 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 and the opticians. Another station that we enjoy doing is 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. We like sequencing the nursery rhymes that we are learning. 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, on whiteboards, doing rainbow letters and covering the sound with counters! When we finished the first group of Jolly Phonics, we started blending little words! 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, 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’ and ‘Owl Babies’. 

We love our interactive Gaeilge programme, Bua na Cainte. We explored two themes in September – Mé Féin (Myself) and Lá Bréithe (Birthday). 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!

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. We also made 2D shapes with pegboards and lollipop sticks as well as making 2D shape pictures.

In S.E.S.E. (Geography, History and Science), we learnt about our families and our 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! We learnt about the work of a doctor and an optician and we learnt the names of all of our body parts. Finally we learnt about the stages of the human life cycle and how we grow from a baby to a child to a teenager to an adult! 

 

In Music, we were learning lots of lovely nursery rhymes. We particularly like ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ as we get to march around the classroom! In Art, we made lots of lovely things including, self portraits, x-ray hands and Owl Babies pictures. In P.E., we have been playing lots of playground games and working on our throwing and catching skills with beanbags. We are very lucky to have Coach Steve from Shankill GAA coming in to us each Friday to do Ball Skills with us too! 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 hope you enjoyed our blog, we know it was very 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, S.P.H.E, Physical Education | Comments Off on Our First Month in Big School!
April 6 2020

March News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

March was unfortunately a short month for us in Junior Infants as our school was closed for the second half of the month, due to Covid-19, however, we had lots of fun and did lots of work in the first two weeks!

In Aistear we were 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 also played ‘The Vet’ using small world toys. 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.

In English, we continued to practise our Jolly Phonics, tricky words and silly sentences. We read the story, ‘Farmer Duck’ by Martin Waddell. We really liked this story because it was quite funny. It was about a lazy farmer who makes the duck do all the work. We also did lots of writing in March, we are getting really good at writing our news. We use a ‘Who?’ and a ‘What?’ template to help us. March was a special month because we had book week. Each day we had a fun activity to celebrate it. We were very lucky to have a storyteller come in to visit us. She told us a story about a snail and another story about a little girl called Lucy who went to visit her Granny. Another day, Mr. Fingleton, our principal, came to read us a story. He read us the story, ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers. It was so funny and we had to try and remember all the things that the little boy got stuck up in the tree! One day, we brought in our favourite books to show the class and third class came down to read them to us! We also had a drawing competition where we had to draw our favourite character from a story and there was an Easter egg as a prize! The best day of the week was Friday, as we dressed up as our favourite book characters and again there were Easter eggs as prizes for the best costumes!

In Gaeilge, we were learning all about ‘An Aimsir’ (The Weather) and ‘Lá ‘le Pádraig’ (St. Patrick’s Day). It was Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) and we had such as treat as Aimee from the Bergin Academy of Irish Dancing came in to teach us some Irish dancing! It was a lot of fun! We were also practising songs for the St. Patrick’s concert that was planned for the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day but unfortunately it didn’t go ahead as we were closed. We were learning the songs ‘An Leipreachán’ (The Leprechaun),‘Tá Mé i mo Shuigh ar mo Chathaoir’ (I am sitting on my chair) and ‘Lá ‘le Pádraig’ (St. Patrick’s Day).

In Maths we continued on with our partitioning and combining within 5 and 4 and we really enjoyed playing games where we had to add on one. In Art, we made lovely St. Patrick’s Day headbands. We used a cork to print shamrocks on to the band and we attached a rainbow with a pot of gold on to the top. We added shiny green shamrocks on to them too. We also made lovely Mother’s Day cards – they had a Mother’s Day poem written inside a flower pot on them and we used our handprints to create the flowers. We were also very lucky as the Sam Maguire Cup came to visit the school and we got to take a photo with it, have a look!

Covid-19 might have stopped us from going to school but it hasn’t stopped us from learning! We have now moved to using distance learning and are using the app, Seesaw, to do this! Stay tuned to see what we get up to next month and fingers crossed we’ll be back in school soon. Thanks for reading, stay home and stay safe!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, Art | Comments Off on March News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
March 8 2020

February News from Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

We’ve had a very busy month in Junior Infants as we had many sick patients in our Doctor’s Surgery Home Corner! We enjoyed signing in at reception and reading books in the waiting room whilst we waited for our appointment with the Doctor and the nurse. We even brought our babies to the doctors for their check-ups and injections. We enjoyed constructing hospitals using Lego, Kapla Sticks and Sticklebricks. We did some cut and stick activities where we had to label the parts of our bodies and create a skeleton as part of a group. Aistear is definitely our favourite part of the day!

In English we continued on with our Jolly Phonics, tricky words and silly sentences however, we have progressed so well that we have started getting class readers each night for homework! Our buddies from Fifth Class come down to us every morning to do paired reading with us. We read our reader to our buddy and they ask us comprehension questions about the books and pictures. We really enjoy it! We completed our ‘Write a Book’ entitled ‘Cheeko the Cheeky Penguin’ and sent it off to be judged by another school!

In Gaeilge we continued on with ‘Caitheamh Aimsire’ (Hobbies) and we started a new topic ‘An Aimsir’ (The Weather). An Aimsir was very apt this month with all the storms we experienced so we had loads to talk about ‘as Gaeilge’. We are getting very good at chatting and answering simple questions ‘as Gaeilge’ especially ‘Cén saghas lae é atá an inniú?’ (What kind of day is it today?) In Maths, we continued on with our partitioning and combining of five and we moved on to the story of four – 0 and 4; 4 and 0; 1 and 3; 3 and 1; 2 and 2.

In S.E.S.E, we learned about the work of people in the doctor’s surgery and about our bodies. In Art we printed some lovely owl pictures in response to the story ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell. We used a clothes peg and a pom pom to print them with paint so they looked nice and fluffy. We also made lovely ‘I love you to the Moon and Back’ Valentine’s Day cards for our parents. Finally we made lovely x-ray hand pictures – we drew around our arms, coloured them in using chalk and stuck cotton buds to them to make them look like bones.

It was our turn to perform at Assembly again this month. We performed a poem and two songs, one ‘as Gaeilge’. We performed an extract from ‘Sick’ by Shel Silverstein; we sang ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’ and ‘Teidí Beag Aláinn’. Everyone enjoyed our performance and were very impressed with our poem as it was very long! Finally we had a very special treat this month as we had pancakes in school on Shrove Tuesday. We learned how to make pancakes and sequenced the recipe.

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

 

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March 8 2020

The Polar Regions in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!

In January, we learned all about the Polar Regions in Junior Infants. In Aistear we had lots of fun playing in both the Arctic and Antarctica home corner. We were polar explorers searching for different animals, we had to set up camp in the freezing climates and build igloos. It was lots of fun. We had fun playing with small world based in the Polar Regions and we did lots of cut and stick activities to learn about penguins and polar bears. We learned about floating and sinking and tested out different objects to see whether they floated or sank. We also worked as a group to create an Antarctica poster. We used twistables, pencils and cotton wool to create our posters and stuck pictures of different animals native to Antarctica on them.

In English we continued to learn our Jolly Phonics and we enjoyed playing phonics games. We have also been learning our tricky words and making silly sentences with them, which we read each day. We enjoyed engaging with the books – ‘The Emperor’s Egg’ by Martin Jenkins and ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers, both books being about penguins. We found ‘The Emperor’s Egg’ to be very informative and we learned many facts about penguins. We also started writing a book for the ‘Write a Book’ competition. We decided to write our story about a lost penguin. We all contributed a sentence to the story and then wrote it out in our neatest handwriting and drew a lovely picture to go with it.

In Gaeilge we enjoyed learning about ‘An Scoil’ (School) and ‘Caitheamh Aimsire’ (Hobbies). We liked learning about ‘Caitheamh Aimsire’ as we learned new vocabulary and sang songs and rhymes relating to toys! Toys were definitely on our minds in January straight after Christmas! In Maths we took a giant leap forward as we started learning how to partition and combine within five! We have been learning our number stories for all the ways we can make five: 0 and 5; 5 and 0; 1 and 4; 4 and 1; 2 and 3; 3; and 2. We also enjoyed learning about time and weight. We learned the days of the week; we did lots of sequencing activities, timed games, sorting items according to weight and did some heavier / lighter hunts and challenges.

In S.E.S.E, we revisited the theme of toys and we worked together in groups to design and make a toy which we then presented to the class. We learned all about Antarctica and the Arctic – we especially liked learning about penguins and polar bears. We learned about the Irish explorer, Tom Crean, who almost made it to the South Pole. We learned the names of the seven continents and we had such fun singing the continents song on YouTube.

    

In Art we made beautiful penguin and polar bear collage pictures.  In Music, we sang some lovely songs – our favourite being ‘Boa Constrictor’ which we sang for our grandparents on Grandparents’ Day. All of our grandparents thought the song was so funny as it is about being eaten by a boa constrictor! We also learned how to use body percussion to create music and using this we performed the rain song using just our hands to make the sounds!

We hoped you enjoyed our blog this month – stay tuned for February’s news!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Gaeilge, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Music | Comments Off on The Polar Regions in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants!
January 22 2020

December News from Ms. Olson’s Class!

Our theme for December was Christmas of course and we were delighted to be joined by our Elf on the Shelf – Snowflake and we loved opening our Advent calendar each day!

In Aistear, we absolutely loved playing in the home corner as it was the Post Office and Santa’s Workshop! First we had to write our Santa letters and post them in our very own post box! Then Santa himself read the letters and told the elves what they had to make in the workshop. The toys went through some serious quality control too before they were wrapped and put into Santa’s sack to be delivered to all the children. The Head Elf even had her clipboard out at one stage and sent some toys back as she wasn’t happy with the wrapping!! We also enjoyed playing small world as Santa had to deliver all the presents to the children with help from the reindeer on his sleigh. Those elves were getting quite hungry from all their hard work too so we made some playdough cookies for them to munch on in another Aistear station. Towards the end of December we actually made real chocolate chip cookies for Santa, however, we thought they might get a bit stale before he came so we had to eat them ourselves. Oops!! Finally we made 2D and 3D shapes out of marshmallows and cocktail sticks.

   

In English we continued to learn our phonics and practise our letter formation. We are also beginning to read short words using our tap and stroke blending method. Soon we will be ready to start reading short books! We enjoyed engaging with the stories ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Buttersworth and ‘Bear Snores On’ by Karma Wilson. We also wrote our own Santa letters as our handwriting is improving so much! In Gaeilge we were of course learning about ‘An Nollaig’ (Christmas). We especially loved singing the song ‘Tá Daidí na Nollaig ag Teacht Anois’. In Maths we continued to learn all about number – doing counting games, number games and writing our numerals, however, we also started learning about time. We loved learning ‘The Days of the Week Song’ and recording the time it took us to do an activity by counting the number of claps it took!

In S.E.S.E, we learnt about the signs of Winter. As it was Christmas we explored the theme of toys. We spoke about play spaces and keeping them clean and tidy, we discussed our favourite toys and we learnt about the differences between toys now and toys from the past. We sequenced the story of Christmas and spoke about Christmas traditions and we also explored and experimented with our five senses. We tasted different foods, we smelled different items, we played the feely bag game, we investigated sound with a tin and a rubber band and we played games to realise how important our eyes are and how we need to look after them. As a final little activity we made fake snow using the non-toxic substance from nappies – poly sodium acrylate.

We were very busy making Christmas in December. We made elves, Christmas wreaths, Christmas tree decorations, stain glass effect Nativity scenes, winter robins, angels and Christmas cards. Take a look!

 

In Music we sang some lovely songs including ‘Jog along Little Donkey’; ‘Féach ar an Mainséar’ and ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’. We also listening to some pieces of music and responded to them through discussion and movement. We loved doing Dance with Ms. Casey in December – some of our dances can be found on our twitter feed @MsOlsonsClass and we got to perform on stage at assembly in front of Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class! We said a poem – ‘A Chubby Little Snowman’ and sang the songs ‘When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney’; ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Jingle Bells / Bualadh Bos’. It was a lot of fun! Finally, probably the biggest thing that happened in December was we performed our Nativity play – Our First Nativity, for our parents. It was a roaring success and everyone was so proud of us because we had been practising so hard since midterm to put on a great show! We can’t believe that we are now in our second term of Junior Infants already but stay tuned as there is so much more to come in 2020!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art, Music, Drama | Comments Off on December News from Ms. Olson’s Class!
December 19 2019

Food Glorious Food…and Pizza of Course!

Welcome back to Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants Blog! In November we explored the theme of food. In Aistear, we had great fun playing the Pizzeria, the Bakery and the Supermarket. In the Pizzeria, we pretended to be customers, waiters and chefs. The waiters showed us to our table, gave us our menu and took our orders. Then the chefs cooked the delicious pizzas and once we had finished we had to pay the bill. In the Bakery, we pretended to be bakers, shop assistants and customers. There were plenty of yummy treats to buy in the bakery. Finally in the Supermarket, we filled our baskets with food and brought them to the till where we placed them on the conveyor belt to be scanned. Unfortunately there were a few spillages and lost children at our supermarket so we had to announce these events over the intercom! We also enjoyed playing small world whereby we acted out going to a restaurant or we constructed furniture to go into our restaurants. We liked playing with playdough making pizzas and cakes. We also did a lot of cut and stick sequencing activities to practise our fine motor skills including ‘How to Make a Pizza’ and ‘The Story of the Little Red Hen’.

In English we continued to learn our Jolly Phonics and we wrote about our favourite food in our copies. We read the stories ‘Pizza at Sally’s’ and ‘The Little Red Hen’ to learn more about pizza making and bread making. In Gaeilge we learned some simple songs and phrases relating to the theme Éadaí (Clothes) and Bia (Food). We loved singing all the ‘cotá’ songs such as ‘Cuir ort do Cóta’; ‘Bain díot do Cóta’ and ‘Croch Suas do Cóta’. In Maths we continued learning about number – playing number games, counting games and writing our numbers. We also started learning about length. Some of the activities we did included making different lengths of objects such as threading beads, unifix cubes, playdough snakes and interlocking links within a given time. We then compared these lengths to see who built the longest / shortest length etc. We also went on a length hunt to find objects taller / smaller than a certain object. We continued to learn about pattern extending our knowledge to three step patterns such as ABCABC and AABBCCAABBCC.

In S.E.S.E, we had so much fun learning all about pizza. We were so lucky to make our own pizza. We were invited to Ms. Woods’ class to learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. We then watched it prove in our classroom, we had to put it in a warm place to ensure it worked properly. The next day we rolled out the dough and added toppings to the pizza before cooking it in the oven. It was so delicious! We were also so lucky and grateful to have a fantastic visit from Aoife who made soap with us. We learnt how important it is to look after our environment and one way to do that is to ditch the plastic soap containers and make our own soap! We added our own scents to the soap mould before setting them in the freezer.

 

 

     

In Music we enjoyed learning the songs ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’; ‘Down by the Station’; ‘Mise an Traein’ and of course all of the songs for our Nativity play – ‘Our First Nativity’. In Art we had lots of fun making paper plate pizzas – they looked good enough to eat! Finally in drama – we were very busy preparing for our Nativity Play which we performed for our parents in December!

Category: Junior Infants, Literacy, Numeracy, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on Food Glorious Food…and Pizza of Course!