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!
March 7 2021

Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants’ Wall of Fame!

We are all delighted to be back in school in Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants. We love playing with our friends and getting back into our school routine. We worked very hard at home for the past two months doing our online learning using the platform Seesaw. We did lots of literacy, numeracy and Gaeilge as well as a couple of Art and S.E.S.E activities. Usually in school, we would get to showcase our work to the rest of our classmates and to other members of the school community, however, we didn’t get to see anyone’s work whilst we were working online. Here is a selection of photographs of the fantastic work that was done at home whilst the school was closed. Sincere thanks to all the parents / guardians / grandparents / minders for facilitating this! Everyone should be very proud of themselves for working so hard on Seesaw! I hope you enjoy this ‘Wall of Fame’!

English – Writing and Sound Work

 

    

Maths

Art

    

Construction

    

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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 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!
June 25 2020

Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants: A Year in Review!

Welcome back to our final blog post of the academic year! What an unexpected yet still amazing year it has been in Junior Infants! I’d certainly love to be writing about what we got up to in our final month of school – our school tour, Active Schools Week and Sports Day but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead I’ll be reminiscing on the wonderful times we spent in Junior Infants and the memories we made over the course of the year.

September

I look back at these photos from the children’s first day in ‘Big School’ and smile! All the boys and girls were so excited to be starting school. I, on the other hand, may have seemed all smiles on the surface but was very nervous underneath it all! I need not have been though, as the children took it all in their stride! This was my first year teaching Junior Infants and I was equipped for the worst – I remember talking to my colleagues in amazement that I’d had no tears (among the kids of course!). Looking back, there was no need to worry as the children were so ready and well-prepared to learn and make new friends! This was the start of great things to come!

October

Every morning in school we had Aistear and a chance to play in our roleplay corner. I think, hands down, that the children enjoyed October’s roleplay corner the best! It was ‘The Halloween Fancy Dress Shop’ and the children got to try on and buy different costumes from the shop. I think they would have happily played away in it all year long! On the last day before midterm, the children came into school dressed in their Halloween costumes and we went to a cake sale. This is always a manic day but one I hope that they will always remember! The excitement of wearing a costume to school, having a child from an older class bring you to the cake sale and getting a sugar rush from eating lots of cake! Every child’s dream!

   

November

November was a fantastic month because we learnt all about food and we made pizza! We even got to eat it in school, it was really tasty! We also had a special visitor, one of our parents – Aoife, who made cool soaps with us! Who knew these would come in so handy just a few short months later!

December

Hmmm….what happened in December? Oh yes! Only the best performance of ‘Our First Nativity’ ever!! We practised tirelessly for about five weeks to put on a fantastic show for our parents and families. We sang our hearts out and danced our socks off on stage for our audience. There are definitely some rising stars in this class, watch this space! You know you’ve done a good job when you get a message from your Elf on the Shelf congratulating you too!

January

There were no January blues in this class! We got straight into learning about ‘The Polar Regions’ this month. It always fascinates me how children are literally like sponges absorbing information from all around them. In this case the information they were absorbing were facts about penguins! They were absolutely brilliant at recalling facts about penguins including the names of different types of penguins, how they walk and swim and how they care for their young! The children were so enthralled by penguins, we even wrote our ‘Write a Book’ about a cheeky penguin called Cheeko! It was also Grandparents’ Day and the children loved singing songs and saying poems for them. We sang our favourite song, ‘Boa Constrictor’, which our grandparents found very funny!

 

February

In February we learned about doctors and our bodies. It was our second turn to perform at assembly and we sang some songs and said poems. Everyone really liked our performance! It was also Valentine’s day and we made these gorgeous, ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back’ cards for our parents. It was also ‘Pancake Tuesday’ and we had yummy pancakes in school! Probably the biggest thing to happen this month too was…we started READING!!!

  

March

Our month was cut short but we definitely packed in an enormous amount in the short two weeks we were in school! It was book week and we had lots of exciting activities including a visit from a storyteller, paired reading with third class, a story with our principal, Mr. Fingleton and of course the book sale whereby we dressed up as our favourite character! We also had a visit from ‘The Bergin School of Irish Dancing’ and…drumroll…’The Sam Maguire Cup’!

 

April? May? June?

I’m not going to lie the last three months have sort of all rolled into one! School moved online to Seesaw and we had to adapt to this new way of life. Through these challenging and unique times, the children showed their resilience and just got on with it! I was amazed at their efforts to keep up with school online and the amount that they have progressed. Of course, I have the parents to massively thank for this. This would not have been possible without their help and support in keeping this going. If you didn’t get a chance, read April and May’s blog posts below which gives an insight into what life has been like for the children.

I assigned a final writing task asking the children to write about their favourite memories! Here are some responses:

Memories  I will treasure: “Winning the art competition and dress up days!” – Lauryn; “Playing with my friends!” – Lucy; “Halloween Bake Sale!” – Naoise; “Playing games, learning to draw pictures, my first day, my teacher, birthday parties.” – Molly

What I loved most about this year: “Making new friends and learning new things!” – Lauryn and Lucy; “I loved playing with my friends. I loved Ms. Olson reading books!” – Naoise; “When I first met my teacher!” – Molly

I have loved teaching this class, they genuinely have been one of my favourites over the course of my career and I am sad that we didn’t get to finish out the year in school, although, I hope they will have many fond memories of their unique time in Junior Infants. I hope you all have a lovely summer and I will leave you with some of the amazing work that has been going on in the homes of these fabulous children!

  

Category: Junior Infants, Aistear, S.E.S.E, Art | Comments Off on Ms. Olson’s Junior Infants: A Year in Review!
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!