Monday, 30 January 2012

Peer assessment rubric: Procedural writing

I have been working on procedural writing with my class for the last few weeks using the following topics:

  • How to play maths games on
  • How to make a sandwich/hot chocolate
  • How to make something (arts and crafts) from recycled materials
  • Recipes (sweet, savoury, imaginative and disgusting)
  • Magic Tricks (They LOVED this one!)

This week I'm going to do "How to make a St. Bridget's Day cross" and "How to play Stuck in the Mud." Other ideas for this type of writing are science experiments, make up a new game and accompany with instructions and photographs/illustrations (this last one is great for groupwork)...

Here's a peer-assessment rubric that I have created so that pairs can evaluate one another's procedural writing pieces. Just click on the image below to view/download in Google Docs.

There are some more great free procedural writing resources at It's definitely worth checking those out! I particularly like the transitional words list for senior classes. You could use this as part of a rubric and set it out at the start of the class - "Make sure you use at least four phrases from the transitional words list."

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Class podcast: AudioBoo

Recently downloaded the AudioBoo app as recommended by Ashley at Teaching Happily Ever After. If you're interested in creating podcasts with your class, this is pretty user-friendly, even for the sometimes-technologically-challenged like myself. You can download the app on iOS or Android or use their website with your laptop at

You could use this to record and share songs/compositions from music lessons or have the children do oral presentations on any topic, in English or as Gaeilge. Definitely worth checking out.

Monday, 23 January 2012

FAO Irish Teachers: Sa Bhaile resources

This one's for Irish teachers. I made a resource pack that links with the theme "sa bhaile" for senior classes. It contains two sets of fearas for making class books, "Ár dTithe Idéalacha" and "Tithe Samhraidh." Both have differentiated sheets (two levels) and a cover sheet. There's also a tasc éisteachta and a rólimirt.

Click on the image below to download the pack.
Bainigí taitneamh as!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

10 ways to wake up students

Click here to see an article with 10 quirky ways of re-engaging your pupils. 

Thanks to Ms. Tumelty (also an Irish Teacher Blogs contributor) for this link! 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Make a Martin Luther King book freebie

My class were hugely interested in Martin Luther King Day so we're going to continue with this topic for an English writing lesson and write their own "I have a dream" speeches. I'm then going to add a cover sheet and bind them together to make a class book. Click on the image below to download my templates for the children (one lower ability, one middle-higher level) and the cover sheet.

Also, here is a video about Martin Luther King from the National Geographic website.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Martin Luther King Day

I'm a bit late posting this but it'll do for next year! Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on tomorrow, 16th January, 2012. I found some fantastic resources on various sites.

My favourite ones (and the ones that I'm using in class) are these from If you're not a member of TES, then register immediately. There are fantastic resources and membership is free. This particular set of activities about Martin Luther King are fantastic as they are differentiated into three levels - lower ability (LA), middle ability (MA) and higher ability (HA). 

You can also find more fantastic MLK resources on blogs such as Tara's Fourth Grade Frolics and Donna's Peace, Love and Learning.

And, of course, I'm a big fan of and (the clipart above is from the latter), click on the image below for more Martin Luther King powerpoints and lesson plans.

To stay with this theme, I'll be exploring racism with my class in drama. In order to do this we'll be looking at the poem, "Walking Black Home" by Benjamin Zephaniah. Here are the activities we'll be doing:

  • Picking out favourite images
  • Hotseating of the taxi driver and the narrator
  • Still image representing the relationship between the taxi driver and the narrator
  • Writing a few lines of the thoughts of the narrator or taxi driver
  • Discussion on how the conflict could be resolved
  • Still image showing their relationship following one of these solutions

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

History of T.V. freebies from

Wow, I can't believe it has been nearly a month since I last posted! Things were a bit mad towards the end of the term, getting our winter show piece ready and I then took a well-deserved and well-needed break from all things teaching-related for a fortnight. Anyway, the new term has started and I hope to blast back into the blogosphere again!

Today, I stumbled upon the schools section of the Irish Saorview (digital T.V. service) site. For those teaching in Irish schools, it's definitely worth having a look at the history of Irish television resources, in particular:

And if you're interested in thematic planning. Here are some ideas for integration:
Report writing after conducting the survey (above), reading/ writing reviews of T.V. programmes
Téama: An teilifís
Strand: Data, strand unit: representing and interpreting data (if using the survey above); Strand: Measures, strand unit: time (reading television timetables)
Strand: Human Environments; Strand units: People living and working in the local area,
People living and working in a contrasting part of Ireland (sub-unit: Transport & communication)
Strand: Energy and forces; Strand units: Magnetism and electricity, sound
Drama/oral language:
Activity as described in the "worksheets for a survey" link above
Strand: Listening and responding (to music in silent movies), Strand: composing (jingles for T.V. adverts(
Visual arts:
Strand: Construction, Strand unit: Making constructions (Construct a television set for the activity described in the "worksheets for a survey" link above) 
Strand: Paint and colour, Strand unit: Making paintings (Design a cover for the RTÉ Guide)
Strand: Myself and the wider world, Strand unit: Media education