It’s been a while – I haven’t written a blogpost since October which is so unusual for me but here it goes. A quick overview of what I’ve been up to and a few hints of what’s happening over the next few months too.
School has been hectic – as usual. The run up to Christmas was so busy but we had a fantastic hot chocolate treat which the children earned just before the holidays. We had a great singing assembly with the rest of the 5th classes on the last day too which was lovely. Since coming back to school in January every week seems like a year and it genuinely feels like the 58th of the month. I think the dark mornings and evenings don’t help and after the buzz of Christmas January is just a bit boring. But it’s nearly February and the evenings are starting to get a bit brighter too which definitely helps.
My to do list continues to be never ending and some of my displays definitely could do with a change so hopefully I’ll get around to that over the next few days and I’ll share them here. My class are loving all things competition related.
We play tables champ regularly (two children chosen at random – a times table is called – first to answer goes through to the next round and the other child sits down) It’s quick and easy and has definitely motivated the pupils to learn their tables! We started doing dingbats in October and lots of the children didn’t really like them but I decided to stick with them because I think they are great for problem solving and language and different phrases too. My class are now really enjoying them and solve them so quickly too! (I get mine from Quizmasters however they aren’t always suitable so I copy and paste the image and then just put a box over the unsuitable ones and we focus on these only.)
Our theme for this month is based on the Famine which the children are really enjoying. We’re reading ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ by Marita Conlon McKenna. I think a book really makes concepts such as famine more relatable for the children. We’ve had great discussions and investigations about where our food comes from and the causes and effects of famine. Initially the children found it difficult to comprehend the huge effects of the famine in Ireland as they questioned why the people couldn’t just get different food so we spent a lot of time on this.
In Art, we created hot air balloons (construction) using paper and also our New Years art focus was on the night sky with fireworks. We’ve just completed a drawing lesson on daffodils to start our Spring display and also a lesson based on Romero Britto.
In P.E. we started badminton one day a week with badminton coaches and on the second day we have been doing circuits.
Classroom management and behaviour took a bit of getting used to after the holidays but we’re finally getting back into a routine. (I think this is very typical for January and lots of my colleagues feel the same.)
I have also been working in Marino covering optional maths classes to give student teachers the chance to brush up on their knowledge of topics from the 5th and 6th class curriculum. I love working with them every week. I’ve received countless messages from fellow teachers who find certain concepts in Maths really difficult to teach so I’ve put together a few videos on these topics (these are available on my YouTube and Instagram TV channel). I’m hoping to put something else together on this soon.
I have a student teacher starting after the midterm break which I’m very excited about. I have worked with a student teacher at this time of the year for the last 3/4 years. I love having a student teacher in my class for lots of reasons. I think it’s a great chance to watch your class in action – I find it really gives a different insight into relationships between the children as well as how they work best. I also love working and supporting someone at the beginning of their teaching career.
As many of you know, I’m getting married in a few months so things have been very busy in my personal life too. The next few weeks will be manic but really exciting too.
I’m also working on a few other projects in collaboration with two Irish companies but I’ll share more about these when things are more finalised!