Monday, 26 September 2011

New Zealand Station Teaching Pack

Here's a pack of 8 station teaching cards for learning about New Zealand. They're aimed at senior primary school level and would be best suited for Irish primary school teachers.


Friday, 23 September 2011

Looking and responding to portraits

A very happy Friday to you!

Here are some discussion questions I use for looking and responding at art. This one is specifically about portraits and prompts discussion on the colours, lines and shapes. It's very useful for small groups to discuss famous artists' work.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

UN International Day of Peace - Sept 21st

Tomorrow is the U.N. International Day of Peace. This is a lovely slideshow of images to the music of John Lennon's, "Imagine" which I'm going to use in school tomorrow.

I'm also going to ask the children to pick their favourite of these quotes about peace and will create a display with these:

"Peace is possible; when there is Peace is each of us." — Mr. Kamran, MARS Organization, Pakistan

"Peace begins with a smile." — Mother Teresa

"There is no such thing as a good war and there is no such thing as a bad peace." — Benjamin Franklin

"Peace is its own reward." — Mahatma Gandhi

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." — Buddha

Monday, 19 September 2011

Facebook style "Mé Féin" worksheet

This facebook-style worksheet was inspired by Mrs. Tabb from Just Another Day in First Grade. Click on her button to check out her blog. She has fantastic ideas!  

Below is my version of "fifthclassbook" (i.e. Facebook) for use under the téama, mé féin. (For those of you who're not Irish but are curious, this means the theme "myself.")

Click on the image below to view/download in Google Docs.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Substitute Teacher Information Pack - free download

Hi there, 
Having walked into classrooms as a substitute teacher and not had a CLUE of what to do, I thought I'd put together a little information pack for substitute teachers. It looks like a lot of writing (for you, as the teacher) and reading (for the sub) but it could be extremely helpful in putting them at ease. 

Click on the image below to view/download in Google Docs.

If you want me to e-mail you the original, editable PowerPoint version, just leave a comment below with your e-mail address and I'll send it on in a jiffy!

All clipart is from

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

CSI-Themed Science Lesson

I found this lesson on the Discovery Education website and adapted it a little bit. I have previously used this lesson with 10-12 year olds and it went down a treat. It's great to see their surprise when carrying out the experiment, not knowing what reaction to expect as they mix substances!

Here is the original idea from Discovery Education and below are my adapted PowerPoint and the investigation sheets.

Materials needed:
plastic cups, vinegar, water, plastic spoons, labels, PowerPoint presentation (click on the image above to download), CSI video clip, investigation sheets, bags of cornflour, bags of baking soda, newspaper (the tables WILL get wet!), video about arson dogs (extension activity)
Each pair of children will need:

  • 4 cups {two with vinegar, two with water (labelled)}
  • 2 spoons
  • One small bag of cornflour (labelled "Substance 1")
  • One small bag of baking soda (labelled "Substance 2")
  • Newspaper
  • 2 investigation sheets

Click on the image above to view / download in Google Docs
1. Play a clip from CSI (make sure it's not too gory!). If you want to be really cheesy, ask the children to come up with cheesy Horatio-style one-liners or give them a pair of sunglasses to imitate his signature move. Lead a discussion on forensic science.
2. Present the children with the crime scenario on the PowerPoint.
3. Split the class into pairs and follow the organisational procedures as outlined on the PowerPoint for the distribution of materials.
4. Allow the children to carry out the experiment, step by step, as outlined on the PowerPoint.
5. Ensure that investigation sheets are filled in and tidy materials away.
6. Recap on the evidence (as per the PowerPoint) and ask the children to draw conclusions based on this and their investigation sheets. Ask for a show of "Thumbs up/ thumbs down" to show who they think is guilty.
EXTENSION ACTIVITY: If time permits, show a video about arson dogs (plenty of clips on YouTube) and discuss their work.

If you're Irish:
Subject: Science
Strand: Materials
Strand Unit: Materials and change
Oral language developed through discussion
Drama - based on crime-solving

Monday, 12 September 2011

Class Dojo Behaviour Management System

I found a great review on the Seomra Ranga blog. It's about an interactive classroom managment tool called Class Dojo. 

This system is designed for use on an interactive whiteboard. Each child in the class chooses an avatar and then the teacher can add or take away points based on certain criteria. The reasons for adding/subtracting points can be customised so, for example, you could award a point to Pupil X and it would say "1 point earned for being mannerly." You can clear the counters so it's back to zero when you please so it's ideal for daily/weekly/monthly targets.

The author of the review, Nigel Lane made a video walkthrough of the main features of ClassDojo. I've posted it below for your viewing pleasure!

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to visit the ClassDojo site.

Friday, 9 September 2011

More rugby resources (FREE)

I've got World Cup fever! Rugby World Cup that is. It's kicking off as I post with New Zealand's All Blacks taking on Tonga in Auckland.

Here are some simple P.E. activities from the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) website. They're suitable for a variety of ages and you don't have to be a rugby expert by any means!

If you're interested in more free resources relating to the world cup, have a look at my previous post which also contains ideas for thematic planning about New Zealand!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Rugby World Cup FREEBIES

I posted about this in July but now I felt it would be a good idea to re-post as the world cup begins tomorrow.

The rugby world cup will take place in New Zealand until Oct 23rd, 2011. There are some fantastic teaching resources available on the official RWC 2011 Site. 

Here's what's available on the site:

Student Activity SheetsA teaching unit of 20 social sciences activity sheets for
students to use to learn about their adopted team.
Fun PackA collection of fun activities for students to complete including puzzles, crosswords, word finds, a quiz and more!
Teacher ResourcesA resource pack containing background information about Rugby World Cup for teachers to use in their lesson planning.
Ruggerbee Colour SheetsA series of colouring-in sheets featuring the Ruggerbees,
each sporting the uniform and flag of their adopted country.
RWC 2011 Match SchedulePrint out this poster featuring the Ruggerbees for your classroom wall. Students can fill in the scores as the Tournament progresses

The "Student Activity Sheets" are my favourite part of the pack as they contain simple graphic organisers for structuring information about a country. These are great for geography lessons. I love the idea of 'adopting a team.' It also comes with a really cute certificate to give to the children, saying that they have adopted XYZ team.

Of course, with the games being held in New Zealand, what better country to choose as a theme for other lessons. Here are some ideas of things to do:
Maths: Data handling using scores from the world cup matches; currency
P.E.: Tag rugby (There are some fantastic ideas on coaching tag rugby here)
P.E./Music: Haka (Dance; exploring chants, rhythm)
Music: New Zealand national anthem (NZ has two national anthems, one written by an Irish person)
Geography: Maori culture
Art: Maori tattoos (draw on each other with facepaint, washable markers - watch out for any skin allergies!), Maori jewelry, design their own poster for the world cup, design a flag for New Zealand based on what they have learned
Science/Nature: Kiwi birds (national bird)
Drama: Explore the attitudes of locals as the world cup comes to their country; use a Maori legend as a stimulus.
English: NZ legend (here!); write a magazine article about New Zealand, come up with an advert to entice people to go to NZ
Gaeilge: An Haka Gaelach (If you are teaching in Ireland and would like the lyrics to this, just post a comment below with your email address and I'll send it to you!)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Shape & space memory game FREEBIE

Today's freebie could be used to integrate maths and P.E. It's a memory game that involves plenty of running so it could be useful as a warm-up/cool down in a P.E. lesson. Here's how it works:

To prepare: 
Print out these templates (click here to view/download in Google Docs) on four different colours of paper. Each set needs 32 shapes (one with an "x," one without). Laminate them so they'll last for a long time!

To set the game up:
Place four cones in a line as the starting point for four teams.
Lay out 8 hula hoops in a giant semi-circle in front of the starting cones.
Place two shapes of each colour (WITH "x"s) in each hoop.
Place the copies of the shapes (WITHOUT "x"s) in a pile beside the starting cones

How the game runs:
1. Divide the children into 4 groups and assign a colour to each group.
2. Each group stands in a line behind the starting cone.
3. The first person takes a shape and has to run around and find the matching shape of the same colour. They then run back and show it to you. When you confirm that they're identical shapes, they place the shapes in front of their cone.
4. The next person may then go.
(As it's a sort of relay, only four people should be running at any one time.)
The first team to line up the matching shapes in front of their cone (all "x"s in one line, all plain shapes in another line, with matching shapes side-by-side) are the winners.

If you're Irish:
Subject: Maths
Strand: Shape and space
Strand Unit: 2-D shapes
Integration: P.E.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Reminder: Assessment Linky Party

Hello there, followers and stumblers,
Just a reminder that I am hosting an assessment linky party. There, you can share ideas for how to assess children, formally, informally and in a variety of other ways. There are only 11 days left before submissions end so, hop on over there and join in if you have something to share! :)

Here's what my entry was: Two Stars and a Wish:

Two Stars is very simple to use. The children write down two things (stars) they learned about the topic they're covering and one thing (wish) they would like to find out about it. It usually leads to some very interesting "wishes" so be prepared to be surprised!

Click on the image above to view in Google Docs.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

GIVEAWAY: PE and fun games station teaching cards

Hello followers, blog-stalkers and new readers alike!

Earlier this week I shared a freebie of station teaching cards for 6 throwing activities

Today I'm giving away a bigger pack of station teaching cards, some of which could be used for a P.E. lesson, others of which aren't really P.E. related but are fun nonetheless. They might be useful as part of a fun day. I've given tips on how to run it smoothly with a large group of children. Or you could just pick a few and do it more simply. Either way, click on the image below to open in Google Docs. Enjoy!