Little Miss Teacher Blog

By Clara Fiorentini

Monday, 29 February 2016

St. Patrick's Day's a coming!

Hello everyone!
Firstly, I hope you all had a good Monday, mine was manic, but I was so busy that it flew!!! Secondly, a  big hello and welcome to all my new readers! Thanks for all your lovely feedback!

I didn't plan on blogging this evening but sure a teeny, little post won't kill me!

We did some nice St. Patrick's day art today and I thought I'd upload some of the poems and rhymes I like to use round this time of year! 
As usual, if you want a free PDF copy just drop me a mail to, comment below or PM on Facebook!

Over & out!

Poems & Rhymes for St.Patrick’s Day

Leprechaun, Leprechaun (Action Rhyme)

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Reach up high.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Touch the sky.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Turn around.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Touch the ground.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Show your shoe.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
That will do.

Can't Catch Me! (to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

No, you can't, you can't catch me!
Can't catch me!
Can't catch me!
No, you can't, you can't catch me,
I'm wearing green, you see!
Have You Seen a Leprechaun? (to the tune of "The Muffin Man")

Oh, have you seen a leprechaun,
A leprechaun, a leprechaun?
Oh, have you seen a leprechaun
That came from Ireland?

Oh, yes I've seen a leprechaun,
A leprechaun, a leprechaun!
Oh, yes I've seen a leprechaun
That came from Ireland!

Where did you see a leprechaun,
A leprechaun, a leprechaun?
Where did you see a leprechaun
That came from Ireland?

I spied him in the forest green,
The forest green, the forest green.
I spied him in the forest green,
The tiniest man I've seen.

How Many Leprechauns? (to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

How many leprechauns do you see?
Do you see? Do you see?
How many leprechauns do you see?
Count them now with me!

I'm a Little Shamrock
to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot" (original author unknown)

I'm a little shamrock, (Hold fingers close together to represent something tiny.)
See my leaves. (Close one eye, and pretend to look through magnifying glass.)
Count my petals, (Symbolize counting on fingers.)
If you please.
If you give me water and lots of sun, (Pretend to pour water.)
I'll bring you good luck and lots of fun! (Smile.)

I'm a Little Leprechaun (to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a little leprechaun
Dressed in green,
The tiniest man
You've ever seen.
If you ever catch me, so it's told,
I will give you my pot of gold!

Leprechaun Dancing (to the tune of "Skip to My Lou")

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the right.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the right.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the right.
Dance to the right,
My green friend.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the left.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the left.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance to the left.
Dance to the left,
My green friend.

Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance all around.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance all around.
Leprechaun, leprechaun,
Dance all around.
Dance all around,
My green friend.

Leprechauns Are Marching (to the tune of "London Bridge")

Leprechauns are marching round,
Marching round, marching round.
Leprechauns are marching round,
How they love to play!

Leprechauns are speeding up,
Speeding up, speeding up,
Leprechauns are speeding up,
How they love to play!

Leprechauns now run in place,
Run in place, run in place,
Leprechauns now run in place,
How they love to play!

Leprechauns are leaping high,
Leaping high, leaping high,
Leprechauns are leaping high,
How they love to play.

Leprechauns are slowing down,
Slowing down, slowing down,
Leprechauns are slowing down,
How they love to play!

Leprechauns are tiptoeing,
Tiptoeing, Tiptoeing,
Leprechauns are tiptoeing,
How they love to play!

Leprechauns are sitting down,
Sitting down, sitting down,
Leprechauns are sitting down,
Sitting quietly! Shhhh!

St. Patrick's Day (to the tune of "Skip to My Lou")

Let's wear green and dance a jig,
Let's wear green and dance a jig,
Let's wear green and dance a jig,
On St. Patrick's Day.

Let's find a shamrock with three leaves,
Let's find a shamrock with three leaves,
Let's find a shamrock with three leaves,
On St. Patrick's Day.

Let's look for leprechauns on their way,
Let's look for leprechauns on their way,
Let's look for leprechauns on their way,
On St. Patrick's Day.

Let's search for gold at the rainbow's end,
Let's search for gold at the rainbow's end,
Let's search for gold at the rainbow's end,
On St. Patrick's Day.

Nine Little Shamrocks (to the tune of "Ten Little Indians")

One little, two little, three little shamrocks,
Four little, five little, six little shamrocks,
Seven little, eight little, nine little shamrocks,
Growing in a field.

They need rain and they need sunshine,
So they raise their pretty faces nine,
Up from the soil and into the sky,
Day after day, me oh my!

Five Little Leprechauns
Five little leprechauns on St. Patrick's Day,
The first one said 'I'd like to play!'
The second one stood beside a rainbow,
The third one waved and said 'Hello!'
The fourth one said 'Good luck to the bold!'
The fifth one said 'Don't touch my gold!'
Plink went the harp and they all danced around,
The the five leprechauns ran off with a bound!

Five Green Shamrocks
One green shamrock, in the morning dew,
Another one sprouted and then there were two.
Two green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree,
Another one sprouted and then there were three!
Three green shamrocks, by the cottage door,
Another one sprouted and then there were four!
Four green shamrocks, near a beehive,
Another one sprouted and then there were five!
Five little shamrocks, bright and emerald green,
Think of all the luck that they could bring!


Saturday, 27 February 2016

Twinkl, Twinkl, you're a star!

Hi everyone,

Any of my teaching buddies know already that I'm quite partial to a bit of Twinkl! I love it, especially since I've started teaching Juniors. Their resources are great and it really is my go to website when I'm looking for any particular resource.

There's just so much on the site, it's obvious that you would never get time to use everything unless you are the Terminator of teachers...... so I've compiled a list of my top ten Twinkl downloads! I've included links to many particular resources which I use and which I think are well worth checking out.

Hope they're useful!

1. A.S.D. Downloads.
ASD is a big feature of my classroom this year and I've found Twinkl's resources great. For example they have information packs for Parents & Teachers, Communication Packs, Communication Support Packs, Social Stories and learning aids.
Two resources I use daily for one particular student are their visual timetable  and 'I can calm myself' reminder.

2. 1916
Did you know Twinkl now has many resources to support the R.O.I curriculum? We're all well aware that the topic of the moment is 1916 and resources for this topic are in high demand. I downloaded all of Twinkl's 1916 resources last week for our school commemorations and they really are excellent.

3. Phonics Activities
I use the Jolly Phonics scheme as a skeleton for my Phonics teaching, supported with various other resources, including activities that I have downloaded for Twinkl, especially when it comes to blending and word recognition.

4. Gaeilge
Twinkl also have some lovely Irish resources which let's face it, can be pretty hard to find sometimes!
There's a few which I particularly like here:
These Restaurant role play resources are lovely, who says Aistear can't incorporate Gaeilge?!
With the Rio Olympics coming up, these Olympic themed sports posters 'as Gaeilge' are lovely!
A browse through Twinkl's Gaeilge resources in general is well worth it, for all classes! Text book lessons kill the joy of learning Irish, and Twinkl have some lovely resources to encourage more active Gaeilge lessons.

5. St. Patrick's Day
Theme packs are great. I love when you find something that has a variety of activities, all in one, ready to print and self explanatory. We're all allowed an easy life sometimes, right?

6. Letter Formation
Without rambling about text books again, I love these letter formation worksheets. They're a handy writing station activity when working on a new letter or sound, or even a nice homework activity. Why reinvent the wheel when it's already there for you!

7. Scissors Skills
Do you ever find that the only time that you are guaranteed a few minutes of actually total calm and engagement in an infant class, is when everyone is busy concentrating on a scissors exercise?
The benefits of scissor skills are obvious. Finding a little time for cutting during the week, even if you can incorporate it into a lesson activity is vital. It strengthens those little fingers so much!
Twinkl has some lovely cutting activities all ready for you to print and let the little ones go snip snip snip!
This is a scissors pack with a wealth of cutting activities to keep you class busy for ages!

8. Developing mindset
Twinkl isn't just for the younger classes. There are some excellent resources on the site for enhancing your lessons in the older classes. I love visual cues, for teachers and students, especially for questioning. We can underutilise our questioning opportunities sometimes which can really detract from the learning in a lesson. Resources don't always have to be for the benefit of the children, even teachers need a little visual support sometimes. I love these:

9. Role Play Resources
With Aistear or structured play, you do need to build up your resources, particularly for role play. However once you have them and laminate them, they'll last an eternity. When I began implementing Aistear last year, I found Twinkle great for role play resources. They have something for almost everything and they speak for themselves. The trouble will be stopping yourself from downloading everything and focusing on what you actually need!

10. Do it yourself with Twinkl Create!
Did you know that you can now make your own resources WITH Twinkl?? Twinkl create gives you the opportunity to make your own resources through lots of different templates. From lettering to poster, flashcards, word mats, borders.....once you start there'll be no stopping you!


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

ATTENTION!!! Ten Techniques for capturing the attention of a chatty class!

Hello everyone,

I've been asked about tips for catching and maintaining the attention of your pupils, especially with a fizzy class, so I've put together a brief list of techniques I tend to use on regular basis with my little chatterboxes.

In the ideal world, we would cruise along from lesson to lesson without ever having to worry about someone who's not looking,  who's not listening, who's fiddling with the twistables or who's gone for a wander around the room! But that's not the reality my room anyway!

For lesson transitions, brain breaks and even to gather some focus mid-lessons, I love to use a variety of songs, rhymes, chants and calls to get everyone's attention.

Here are my top ten:

1. Shake Your Sillies Out
After break, or after a lively activities, we like to shake our sillies out. Children stand and we recite this rhyme while shaking your hands and arms.
"I'm gonna shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
I'm gonna shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
I'm gonna shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!"

If you need to extend it, try 'Tap, Tap. Tap', 'Stamp, stamp, stamp', 'Clap, clap, clap' etc!!!

2. Finish Fiddling
For anyone who's fond of fiddling before you've finished explaining something, I like to recite this:
"If you touch before I say, you will find I take away." (If you're feeling musical, sing it to Rain, Rain, Go Away!)  Repeat as necessary!

3. Criss Cross
We sit on the mats a lot, for plenary before and during Aistear, for reading activities, for circle time etc. To get everyone's attention and to remind everyone of how we should be sitting, we sing:
"Are you criss cross, are you criss cross?
Eyes on me? Eyes on me?
Hands on your lap! Hands on your lap!
Quietly, quietly!"

Or, if there's a little straggler taking their time in joining the class on the mats, we sing:
"We are waiting, we are waiting,
For our friends, for our friends,
To join us, To join us,
On the mats, on the mats."

Both sung to "Frére Jacques"!

4. Call and response
I call a series of statements and the children call the responses. They're fun and lively and the children really enjoy them!

Teacher:                                              Students:
Ready to rock?                                   Ready to roll!
Macaroni and cheese?                        Everybody freeze!
Peanut butter?                                     Jelly time!
Hocus pocus?                                     Everybody focus!
123?                                                   Eyes on me!
To infinity?                                        And beyond!

These suit my current infants but there's plenty more of these to be found online!

5. Hands on top.
If I'm looking for an immediate standstill, I call "Hands on top", to which the children respond, "Everybody stop". I have a few visual cues for this around the room too. 

(image source:

6. Leave it to the Rainmaker

For my first teaching practice placement, (dare I say it, this time eleven years ago!!!) I purchased a rainmaker, in the most random little shop in Derry. I've had it ever since and I've used it every year, no matter what the age group!

(You don't have to buy one, a pringle box and some peas works too!)
Because it makes quite a gentle sound, the children have to listen carefully to hear it (though waving it in the air sometimes just has to be done - guilty!!). It works a treat for signalling the end of an activity or for calling the children to the line, to the mats or to a particular station without ever using your voice!

7. Have a sing-song.
There's nothing like a little routine song for signalling the end of an activity. My infants love this song. Once you model it a few times, they are quite capable singing it aloud themselves if you give them the cue!

"Twinkle, twinkle little star
Time to clean up where you are
Put your work back in its place
With a smile upon your face
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Time to clean up where you are"

8. Freeze frames

This is an easy one, simply shout, 'Ice Pops' or 'Ice Cream' and your little ones have to literally 'freeze'!

9. Salami 

The first time I tried this was a few years back and I'll never forget the look my SNA gave me, I think she may have thought I'd actually finally lost my marbles.
For immediate attention, call "SALAMI" .... it stands for, Stop And Look At Me Immediately!
You'll risk sounding bonkers, but it works!

10. Pirate Call

There's two of these I like. The first being when teacher calls: "Ahoy Ahoy me hearties" and the children respond "Aye aye Captain". 
Or secondly, the teacher calls, "Pirates say?", to which the children reply with "Arrrrrrr!"
Fun but effective!

Hopefully these are helpful to those of you who were looking for ideas! It's nice having a variety, even for your own sanity!

If you have any other ideas or suggestions to have, be sure to share them!

Over & out,


Monday, 22 February 2016

Activities for 1916 Commemorations!

 Hi everyone,

I've had a lot of questions about 1916 recently and how we should be preparing for the commemorations. Initially it seems like we've all been hitting brick walls with ideas but actually once you get going, it's hard to stop all the ideas from snowballing!
 I figured posting a general outline of what I'm planning might be as useful as posting individual ideas back to everyone.

I've been working on the 1916 Commemoration Activities for our school. Each class will have a different area to focus on.
Here is a  rough outline of what we have planned so far:
  • Junior Infants will be focusing on Old & New.
  • Seniors will be learning about our flag and our country. They'll be doing some cutting and sticking exercise - putting Ireland and the flag back together!
  • Some classes will be looking at Yard Games from the early 1900s.
  • 3rd Class - focus on Countess Markievicz
  • 4th Class - focus on Pádraig Pearse - they'll be doing some art work on side profile portraits (just like Pearse liked!)
  • 5th Class - focus on Elizabeth O'Farrell and her role in the 1916 Easter Rising.
  • 6th Class - focus on Thomas Francis Meghaer & the Irish flag & story mapping the 1916 Rising.
We'll be hosting a special assembly on the 15th March like many schools,  for the whole school, with a small history presentation, some songs and enactments before the flag raising ceremony. The work from all the classes will be displayed all around the school hall. The children also have the opportunity to take part in a whole school poetry competition, with Ireland being the theme. I'm also organising a whole school mural of the Irish flag, where each child will have their handprint as part of the flag. (It looks good in my head!)


I've uploaded some of my 1916 resources to, there are some templates, powerpoints, wordsearches, documents - all ranging from 2nd - 6th class. There are some freebies there too. I hope to upload activities for the infant classes before the end of the week.

These are a few links to some of them:

If you've any other queries, be sure to just ask!
How are your preparations coming along? Do let us know!

Happy planning,



The countdown to Easter is on!!

Hello everyone,

Hope Monday went smoothly for everyone! Anyone else feel like that was the fastest mid-term ever?? Today, I had one of those days where I felt like the hours just vanished on me! I also nearly fainted when I looked at the calendar and saw how soon Easter is! Soooo much to do and sooooo little time! I spent half an hour after school frantically digging for my Easter resource pack and was delighted to discover lots of rhymes and songs that I forgot I had!

I thought I'd share them for you, there's a mixture of Easter rhymes and songs -  nice for transitions, performing or linking into lessons!

If you would like a copy, do the usual, drop a mail to or PM me on facebook!

Time is flying!


Easter Rhymes, Songs & Finger-plays
Bunnies are brown
Bunnies are white
Bunnies are always
An Easter delight.
Bunnies are cuddly
The large and the small.
But I like chocolate ones
The best of them all.
Easter Everywhere
Rabbits soft and cuddly
Baby chickens, too.
Easter eggs for baskets
White and pink and blue.
Easter cards of greeting,
Music in the air,
Lilies just to tell us
It's Easter everywhere
Hop, Hop, Hop
Hop, hop, hop,
Hop my bunny hop,
Hop along my little bunny
You look sweet and very funny
On this Easter day.
Look and see,
Where the eggs may be,
Here is on and here's another,
Here's a lovely one for mother.
Let us look and see,
Where the eggs may be.
The Easter Bunny's feet
Go hop, hop, hop,
While his big pink ears
Go flop, flop, flop.
He is rushing on his way
To bring our eggs on Easter Day,
With a hop, flop, hop, flop, hop.

Five Brown Eggs
Five brown eggs in a nest of hay,
One yellow chick popped out to play.
Four brown eggs in a nest of hay,
Another yellow chick cheep-cheeped Good day.
Three brown eggs in a nest of hay,
Crack went another one, Hip hooray.
Two brown eggs in a nest of hay,
One more chick pecked his shell away.
One brown egg in a nest of hay,
The last yellow chick popped out to say,
Happy Easter!
Five Baby Bunnies
Five baby bunnies hopping out to play,
Hopping in the forest on happy Easter Day. The first baby bunny carried his new cane,
He twirled as he came hopping down the lane. The second baby bunny came to the river's brink.
Tasted the cool water and took a long, long drink. The third baby bunny tied her bonnet so new,
Under her chin, a bow of pink, white, and blue. The fourth baby bunny skipped down the shady lane.
He opened his umbrella just in case of rain. The fifth baby bunny said, "Look what I see"
Lots and lots of coloured eggs hiding near the tree.
Mr Bunny
Mr. Bunny, Mr. Bunny,
Won't you stop, stop, stop?
"No," said Mr. Bunny,
I must hop, hop, hop.
Easter is coming, and there is lots to do.
Eggs must be coloured green, pink, and blue.
I'll tie each basked with a pretty bow.
Children are waiting so I must go!"

Some Things That Easter Brings
Easter duck and Easter chick,
Easter eggs with chocolate thick.
Easter hats for one and all,
Easter Bunny makes a call!
Happy Easter always brings
Such a lot of pleasant things.
Secret Information
Would you like to know a secret?
Well, I'll tell you one I know:
The Easter's Bunny's coming,
My mammy told me so.
He'll bring a basket filled with eggs
And leave it in my yard,
And I will find it Easter morn,
If I look very hard.
I shouldn't tell my secret,
But I think it should be shared.
You ought to know that Bunny's coming,
So you can be prepared!
Finding a Treat
Hippity hop, hippity hop,
Will the Easter Bunny stop?
Will he leave a treat behind
An Easter basket for me to find?
I'll look over here, I'll look over there,
I'll look behind things, I'll look everywhere.
I'll look until I find my treat,
And then I'll sit right down and eat.

Easter Surprise
Easter eggs,
Yellow and blue,
Easter eggs,
For me and you.
Easter eggs,
Candy sweet,
Easter eggs,
Are good to eat.
Easter eggs,
Pretty and funny,
Egg Hunt (to the tune of "Clementine")
Easter morning, Easter morning, Easter morning dawning fine
Have to find the Easter eggs now, I've already picked up nine.                            Fill the basket, fill the basket, fill the basket every time
Candy eggs and jelly beans are tucked behind each growing pine.                        Bend and scramble, bend and scramble, bend and scramble, reach and climb.
Find each hidden Easter treat now, pick them up and they'll be mine.                    See them glow and see them glisten, see them glow and see them shine.
Join me with my Easter candy and together we will dine.
He Hopped So Very Quietly
We didn't hear the Easter Bunny
Hopping down the hall ---
He hopped so very quietly,
He made no noise at all.
But on the breakfast table
He left bright Easter toys ---
Downy chicks for little girls
And rabbits for the boys.
Then we found bright Easter eggs
Tucked behind the chairs
Upon the windowsill and in
The corners of the stairs.
Easter Bunny
Easter bunny soft and white
Hopping quickly out of sight.
Thank you for the eggs you bring
At Easter time to welcome spring.
Yellow eggs and blue and red
In the grass and flower bed
We will hunt them everywhere
Is it really you who put them there?

Did you Ever see a Bunny? (Sung to: "Did you ever see a lassie?")
Did you ever see a bunny, a bunny, a bunny,
Did you ever see a bunny, that hops -- so slow?
He hops, and hops, and hops, and hops,
Did you ever see a bunny, that hops so slow?

2.That hops -- So Fast?,                        3, That hops -- Backwards?,

Easter Bunny (Sung to: "Ten Little Indians")
Hop along little Easter Bunny,
Hop along little Easter Bunny,
Hop along little Easter Bunny,
Hop along your way.
                                                                Hide all the eggs and Easter candy,
Hide all the eggs and Easter candy,
Hide all the eggs and Easter candy,
Hop along your way.

I'm A Little Chick  (Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot")
I'm a little chick inside an egg
I'm always sleeping - snoring away
Soon you'll hear a pecking, pecking sound
The egg will crack and out I'll pop.

5 Little Eggs 
5 little Easter eggs,
Lovely colours wore;
Mother ate the blue one,
Then there were four.
4 little Easter eggs,
Two and two, you see;
Daddy ate the red one,
Then there were three.
3 little Easter eggs,
Before I knew,
Sister ate the yellow one,
Then there were two.
Two little Easter eggs,
Oh, what fun!
Brother ate the purple one,
Then there was one.
1 little Easter egg,
See me run!!!
I ate the last one,
And then there was none.

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