This is just a quick overview of some things and lessons I’ve been using which have worked well in my classroom this week.
I noticed that sometimes the children in my class took way too long to get organised for the next lesson. So I decided to set a timer to challenge them – I found this ‘Mission Impossible’ timer on YouTube and they love it. When this comes on they know they have 3 minutes to do whatever they need to do. (Usually I write what I want them to do on the board so they know exactly what is expected).
Some tasks might include;
- Tidy table
- Rule your copy (especially maths copy)
- Write down homework (might need a bit longer than 3 minutes for this)
- Put away resources (especially after station teaching).
There are tons of videos on youtube that clearly go through how to make a pinch pot clay monster – especially if you plan on adding additional body parts!
This is the video we used and the children really understood exactly what they needed to do.
I organised the clay in the morning (before the children came to school), I had the clay ready on the clay boards. (29 clay boards in total and then I cut up 29 additional (smaller) pieces of clay to use for eyes/ears/hands/horns etc.
We had 2 rules;
- The clay must stay on the board.
- You must stay in your place.
Overall it was a great success and the children really enjoyed working with clay.
We left the clay to dry for the next 2 days and on Friday, the children painted their clay white. (This was done in small groups of 5/6 children at the back of the room.) I find that if you paint the clay white, before you paint it in different colours – it turns out much better.
I have to be honest and admit that P.E. wouldn’t be my strongest subject but so far this year, it has been working really well. We covered the Games strand in September and began the Athletics strand this week. For the first week, we focussed on running.
We have been completing the ‘Run Around Europe’ challenge in our school and it has been a massive success. The children enjoy running laps of the yard and I input their scores into Excel – we then estimate the total and the average of the class.
During P.E. this week, we did a lot of sprints – the children worked in teams and raced one another. We talked about technique (There is really great material about physical literacy here.)
We also really enjoyed a game of ‘Snatch the Bacon’ which was great for practising sprints!
I’m lucky to have a brilliant SET teacher who comes in for reading strategies and maths every day. This week our focus was on visualising and she had a great poem to use – ‘The Green Giant’
The children listened to the poem, then they drew the giant (Sam) and afterwards they wrote about him – adding details about his family, his likes/dislikes, where he lived etc. It was a great creative writing exercise too.
For the visualising strategy we also used The Cube (which was recommended by another colleague!). This was a really great way to get the children to visualise. (Apparently, it is meant to reveal things about your personality – but we didn’t get into that!) You can read more about it here.
We really enjoyed using these tables boards from ABC School Supplies. They were a great way for children to work on their times tables in a fun way. (You can read my full review here.)
A close friend from college has 6th class in a small country school so we decided to be pen pals. It’s a great way for children to practice letter writing in a meaningful way and to learn about life in another part of Ireland. There was so much excitement when our letters arrived this week!
I like writing these blogposts as it gives me a chance to reflect on what worked well and to share some ideas. What worked well for you this week?