Saturday, 28 February 2015

Unique & authentic St. Patrick's Day resources - made by an Irish teacher

Today is the last day of February so 17th March is nearly here. This means that lots of teachers are gathering together St. Patrick's day classroom resources. I've seen a lot of resources related to "St. Patty's Day." This is certainly not a name that Irish people would ever use. "Paddy" is the preferred name in Ireland. I've also seen a lot of confusion between shamrocks and clovers. While the four-leaf clover is seen as good luck in Ireland, you are unlikely to see clover decorations hanging in any Irish establishment. Shamrocks are the right choice for Paddy's Day!

So in order to bring authentic Irish resources to teachers "across the water," I've created this 71 page pack. It contains unique resources such as flash cards to teach your students some festive phrases in the Irish language (Don't worry, they're spelled phonetically!), Irish-isms to help your students use Irish vocabulary in an oral language/written activity, a fun folk song and accurate information about the traditions from my native culture. It's got lots of photographs of Irish places and things. There are also ideas on how to create leprechaun tricks in your classroom and spread mischief around the school.

On top of this there are vocabulary cards, reading comprehensions, writing activities, art tasks, fun math worksheets, word searches, crosswords and coloring pages. There are differentiated versions of the math, reading and writing activities, as well as easy and hard versions of the word searches and crosswords. You're sure to find plenty of activities to suit your class level and have a stock of resources on file if you teach another class level in the future.

Have a look at the contents page and preview below for more detail. Click here to purchase it for $4 from my TPT store.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

St. Patrick's Day word search, crossword and colouring sheets

March isn't too far away and, as an Irish teacher, I am firmly focused on the fast-approaching St. Patrick's Day. I've created some differentiated resources (St. Patrick's Day word searches, crosswords and coloring pages). There are easy and more challenging versions of the word searches and crosswords but they still look a little similar. This could be useful for differentiating by ability in a very discreet way.

If you wish to purchase these for just $1 (less than a Euro!), pop on over to my TPT store by clicking here or on the image.

Please keep in mind that I will be adding a big 70-page pack of St. Patrick's Day resources to my TPT store in the next week. This set is part of that bigger pack. If you think you might want to purchase that instead, hang on a little while and keep an eye here on A Crucial Week!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Teach your class Irish phrases for St. Patrick's Day!

This one is for non-Irish teachers or teachers of non-Irish children. 

Want to teach your class some phrases in the Irish language to celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Don't know how to speak Irish? Never fear, A Crucial Week is here!

I've just added a set of 12 flashcards with phrases written in English, in Irish (and also phonetically underneath!). To purchase for just $1, hop on over to my TPT store by clicking here or on the image.

Please bear in mind that this will be included as part of a bigger set of St. Patrick's Day resources (70 pages!) that I will be adding to my store in the next week. If you think you'd like the bigger pack, hang on a little while before purchasing!

Go raibh míle maith agaibh!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Edublogs' Student Blogging Challenge

Do any of you out there have a class blog or individual student bloggers in your classroom? If so, you could consider entering the Student Blogging Challenge hosted by Edublogs. It will begin in March and you can register here. There are three ways your can register; as a mentor allocated to a group of students for the ten week period, as a class teacher for a classroom blog or as a student with a personal blog. The challenge lasts for 10 weeks. Participants will be given weekly challenges.

Even if you're not participating, have a look at the blogs already entered for inspiration and ideas on how your could use blogging with your students. You can keep track of it on Twitter by searching #stubc15

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

10 very real teacher ailments and diseases

I can't understand why these aren't in medical journals!

1. Endoftermitis: This disease normally occurs at the end of term but sometimes afflicts teachers at half-term breaks too. Symptoms vary but usually include exhaustion, shattered nerves and a common cold. 

2. OCLD (Obsessive Compulsive Laminating Disorder): Symptoms include an inability to stop oneself from laminating anything in sight. Unfortunately, there is no known cure to date. Symptoms have been known to diminish during holiday periods, however, they tend to flare most at the start of the academic year.

3. IBS (Irritable Brain Syndrome): This occurs when a teacher has had a busy week, has not had a lot of sleep and, therefore, has a reduced ability to tolerate the constant chit-chat, silly questions and health complaints. Symptoms include a raging headache, low-tolerance (particularly for student complaints that stem from hypochondria) and an impossible-to-quench desire for coffee. When this condition is at its worst, sufferers have been known to reverse their motto that "No question is a silly question."

4. Excessive Hoarding Disease: This affliction involves the inability to throw away certain household objects. Sufferers are known to have stashes of bottle tops, empty toilet rolls and yogurt pots hidden around their houses. Side-effects include frequent arguments with their housemates/significant other.

5. Friday Fatigue: An overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that prevents teachers from being able to function as human beings until they have first had a nap.

6. The Sunday Sads: This condition is brought on (on Sunday evenings) by the realisation of how close Monday is and how much they need to do. It is caused by weekend-long procrastination. Symptoms include frequent panic attacks, a sense of crushing doom and, ironically, further procrastination.

7. Anti-hypochondria: This condition occurs when a teacher is genuinely ill but, according to themselves, not ill enough to be absent from school. It arises from the thought construct that being in school ill causes less trouble, work and confusion than staying at home and recovering. 

8. Acute Classroom Paranoia: This condition occurs when a class has a seemingly out-of-the-blue fit of giggling. As the giggling continues, the teacher begins to ask himself/herself several questions such as "Is there a hole in my clothing?" "Do I have a stain in an unusual place?" "Am I wearing mismatching shoes?" When the condition is at its peak, the teacher cannot bear it any more and demands that one of the "goody-two-shoes" students tells them why they are laughing. Unfortunately, if the cause of laughter was due to something embarrassing about the teacher, Acute Classroom Paranoia continues to aggravate them for the rest of the school day.

9. Report-driven Apocalyptic Complex: This illness occurs just before the due date for students' reports. Symptoms include insomniac behaviours, sheer exhaustion and a fear of impending doom. Medical practitioners have noted that, for all patients, the symptoms disappear on the report submission date.

10. Grammar Nazi Disorder: This is a life-long affliction in which sufferers have a very low tolerance for bad grammar produced by adults. Upon encountering this stimulus, sufferers experience the following symptoms: increased heart rate, surges of anger, recurring  thoughts about how one could make such a mistake and a longing to reach for a red pen. Psychologists have observed that sufferers learn to keep their symptoms within and not to react to others. This tendency stems from previous negative experiences of  correcting others.

*clip art in the image from My Cute Graphics and font in the image is Annoying Kettle from Kevin and Amanda

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Simple dreamcatcher craft

Hi all,

I just wanted to share a very simple craft that my class did recently. We've been learning about the cultures from which different versions of Cinderella have come. Last week we focused on a Native American version, "The Rough-Faced Girl" or "The Invisible Warrior." 

I presented the story using this Powerpoint presentation from PPPST. They then carried out an investigation into different parts of Native American culture, focusing on the Ojibwe people. Following this, they made their own dreamcatchers.

They're simple to make. All you need is pipe-cleaners, wool, scissors, feathers and beads. Simply make a circle from the pipe-cleaner and secure by wrapping the ends around itself. Then tie a part of the wool to the pipe-cleaner and wrap around and around to create a web-like pattern. Add a loop of string at the top for hanging it. Attach some longer pieces to the bottom and thread on beads/ tie on some feathers.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cinderella Dance Choreography Lesson Materials

Hi there!

Clip art from
My class is currently studying the theme of "Cinderella Around the World" as part of our "How We Express Ourselves" unit of inquiry. In the next two P.E. lessons the children will choreograph their own dances. There will be five groups, with each group telling a part of the story.

I have created this sheet to cut in 5 and give to each group. It gives the number of their dance (in order), a description of what is happening and a QR code leading to the music I wish for them to use. My children all have iPads so they can rehearse with their own music. However, if you'd like to use this music to do another sort of activity, the sheet also contains links to the videos so you can play them from your own laptop/mobile device.

Click here to download it for free from Google Drive.