Monday, 30 January 2017

Chinese New Year Art

The 28th of January marked Chinese New Year. 

To change things up from the standard Chinese Lantern we decided to create some animals based on the story of the Chinese Zodiac. 
We also looked at the story of Chinese New Year and which animal represented our birth year. 

We used a variety of materials including cardboard, egg cartons, ribbons, paint, glitter and coloured card to create our animals! You name it we used it! 
The presses were well and truly raided! 

Most of the children opted for the dragon! 
But we had a few roosters, rats and snakes! 

One group created a bigger dragon!

This lesson falls under the Construction Strand. 
Its a nice lesson which allows the children to get creative and imaginative.

Here are some pictures of the created pieces and the work process! 
They might inspire your art this week! 



Sunday, 20 November 2016

Top Picks for iPad - Kahoot!

Kahoot! is fast becoming one of my favourite educational tools in the classroom. 

Quite simply it is a highly engaging and interactive quiz perfect for use on the iPad with the whole class. 

Here's how it works:

  • Choose a multiple choice quiz already created from one of the thousands online or alternatively create your own on any subject of choice. 

  • Share the code with your class on the interactive whiteboard as in the example below. 

  • Children input the code. Quiz questions appear on the IWB, with four possible options. 
  • The four colours representing the four answers appear on the children's iPads. 
  • The children must choose the correct answer as fast as they can. 
  • A fantastic way to revise content in any subject with the children and a huge variety of quizzes already created online. 

It's a winner with every class and great fun! 
Be warned though! 
It can create some great excitement and competition in the class!


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Foil Embossing Art Lesson

I've had so many questions about the foil embossing lesson over on my twitter page.
 I said it'd probably be easier to write a blog post rather than keep repeating myself! 

This art went down a STORM both online and in school! 
It worked excellently with sixth class, but I can't see why it wouldn't be possible with a crafty fifth! 
It's simple and looks great! 

Step one: 
Get some old cardboard boxes.  Cut out the main panels.

Step 2: 
Draw out a pattern or picture of your choice with pencil.

Step 3: 
Using PVA glue paste down the wool on top of your pattern. (Don't be afraid to use lots of glue!)
Leave this to dry overnight.

Step 4: 
Cut out a large piece of tin foil slightly larger than the piece of card you've been working on.
Loosely place it down on top of the card. Press it down into the corners.

Step 5: 
Colour with markers! (Sharpies work best!)

A beautiful piece of art for all to admire! 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Maths: Data Investigation in 6th Class

Data is always a fun unit to complete at the start of the year in maths.
However, I sometimes think we underestimate the children's knowledge and understanding of graphs and charts.  We also need to show them the importance of 'interpreting charts' and how to 'read between the lines'.

On the sixth class curriculum the children are introduced to 'trend graphs'.
Some key teaching points are:

  • The names of both the axes and how to label them
  • The significance of a title
  • How to space the graph evenly (Consistency)
  • Using a ruler! 
In groups the children worked on devising their own research questions and carrying out some investigations.  The children had to gather their raw data and represent it using a variety of tables and graphs. 

I created this worksheet to help the guide the children in their work. 
Get it for free here : Data Investigation


The children then presented their findings to the class. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Start of Year Activities for 6th Class

A new year, a new class and the familiar fumble to try and root out last years start of year activities! 

In this post I've decided to compile some resources I've found useful and which I will be using again this year. 

If you've any more to add feel free to comment. 

Here are a number of activity sheets I use on the first day of school and they're all free! 

This is a brilliant little activity booklet.  It has a number of activities in it on getting to know each other, creating a summer image, etc. 
You can pick and choose what works best for you and your class. 
The main activity I'll be taking from this is the 'Class Contract'.  Here the children write down three goals for the year ahead and sign it. 
I like to hold onto this and revisit it in the new year and at the end of the school year. 
I always think its always a good start to be positive and set some goals. I usually use this worksheet after we have discussed the rules for the year ahead. 

This is another great activity to help to get to know the children in the style of a Facebook profile. 

And for a bit of gaeilge! 
This is also in the style of a Facebook profile on the topic of 'me fein'.  
Emer at 'A Crucial Week' has created this for a fifth class, but its also a fantastic first day activity to get the children thinking 'gaeilge'.  

Here's another little activity I've created to help me get to know more about the students.  I like to put this into my assessment folder at the start of the year. 
It helps me see areas the students feel they have strengths or difficulty.  It also helps me understand how they learn. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Reflection Rubric / Self-Assessment for Project Work

Self assessment and reflection are big buzzwords at the moment.
After completion of a project or a unit of work its important that the children reflect on what they learned, what went well and what didn't go so well.

Rubrics are a good way to prompt and scaffold reflection.

Here is a rubric I've created to help the student reflect on their contributions to the group/project.
It may not be necessary to give this reflection at the end of every project, but now and again it's a good idea for students to consider

  • how well they are working as part of a team 
  • and what they need to work on in future projects

Here's a screenshot of the attached rubric.

Link to Reflection Rubric PDF 

Let me know if you give it a shot and how it goes for you! :)


Monday, 20 April 2015

World War One Unit of Work

Check out some of these activities we completed as part of a unit of work on World War One.

Project Work: Children worked in groups on a topic or question of interest associated with WWI.  Some children had some very interesting contributions from grandparents or memorabilia from great grandparents involvement in the War.

These were presented as posters or scrapbooks.
Here are some photos from the groups working on their project.
Some groups also incorporated drama or freeze frames.

Each group reviewed all the presentations and wrote down an interesting fact from each one.  
I will post the project/review sheet I used in my next post! 
This is a great way to ensure the class remain on task during the project work and presentations. 


As part of our art work the children created poppies using pastels and chalks.  
This was our display: 


There is some fantastic world war one poetry which generates some interesting discussion and debates.  

Two of the most interesting we studied were: The Call by Jessie Pope 
and Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen.  
The first explores recruitment for the army and the false hopes and dreams which were portrayed to lure young men to the ranks. 
The second explores the harsh reality of war. 
It's a wonderful activity to explore and compare the tone, imagery and message of both. 

The Call by Jessie Pope (1914)

Who's for the trench—
 Are you, my laddie?
 Who'll follow French—
 Will you, my laddie?
 Who's fretting to begin,
 Who's going out to win?
 And who wants to save his skin—
 Do you, my laddie?

Who's for the khaki suit—
 Are you, my laddie?
 Who longs to charge and shoot—
 Do you, my laddie?
 Who's keen on getting fit,
 Who means to show his grit,
 And who'd rather wait a bit—
 Would you, my laddie?

Who'll earn the Empire's thanks—
 Will you, my laddie?
 Who'll swell the victor's ranks—
 Will you, my laddie?
 When that procession comes,
 Banners and rolling drums—
 Who'll stand and bite his thumbs—
 Will you, my laddie?

“Dulce et Decorum est”

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS!  Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie:  Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.                                              
~ Wilfred Owen

Radio Advertisement/Oral Language

Write a speech recruiting members to the World War Cause. 
Alternatively create a recruitment poster. 

If you've any more ideas you could add, please feel free to comment below.