Under the Sea!

Hello one & all!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend in the sunshine, I know I did! It's incredible how a few hours of sunshine can just give your system a total boost of energy! Long may it last.

This week we have our school tour! On Thursday, we are going to SeaLife, the aquarium in Bray. So naturally we're all about the fish & the sea this week.

Senior Infants are going too which my Juniors are very excited about because they are generally just in awe of the anyone in an older class. The Senior Infant classes have been deep in learning all about sea life through their Aistear 'Under the Sea' theme! Take a look at their incredible role play areas:

I must stress that my woeful photography skills doesn't even do it full justice!
What I must first point out, is that the children were fully involved in creating their 'Under the Sea' areas...they spent several days planning and preparing their room. For example, here's a little snap of their planning:

So here we have, hand-painted and glittered, bubble wrap cascading from the ceiling!! Believe it or not it's fastened the the roof with thumb tacks! Banner from Twinkl! This is their underwater cave, it's fantastic.
 
 
Hanging from outside and inside the cave you can feel some lovely fabric strips, which are the different textured sea-weeds!
               

Inside the cave the children have lovely picture stimuli of various sea creatures on display!
These are from Twinkl.


Here is a little area where the children display some of their Under the Sea creations they make at home and bring to their play area at school. So cute!


The children have been making various sea creatures which the teachers having hanging on display.
I love this fish with the spikes on his back!
And how cute is this little Jellyfish? 

 So those of you who are familiar with Aistear are well aware of the hazards that go with it for teachers....boarding cardboard of all shapes and forms etc! You really could actually destroy yourself constantly making things for your roleplay area! Why reinvent the wheel? Where possible you really should try to reuse or recycle. Here, the children in one of the Senior Infant classes have made their rocket from last month into a boat! So creative. In the boat you'll find crab pots, buoys, nets, rope and even a little anchor!


Now what's really great, is that the children are learning about money at the moment so they ingeniously thought about setting up an 'Underwater Shop'! So, to use any of the equipment for the boat they have to pay the correct amount of money! Maths galore!

  


 Excuse the blurry photography, but these are a pair of waders, also in the cave for wading into the sea!


Some words on display outside the cave for inspiration!

 More seaweed hanging from the roof...crepe paper..easy peasy but SO effective....this gives the classroom such a lovely, marine feel!

Impressive eh? Thanks to my lovely ladies in Senior Infants for the pics!

As my class are already occupied with the Airport at our role play at the moment, we're trying to incorporate some sea learning in other areas!

Like....our water tank....full of frozen fish, sea shells and all sorts! I got these cute fish ice cube trays in Ikea for like a euro each I think!
Our 'Fishing for words' activity! Subtle learning opportunities everywhere.


 I like to laminate some of Twinkl's maths pages...they're so handy to have for extra practice or early finishers. Whiteboard markers at the ready and off you go! This is a trickier one but there's a few of mine who are well able for these.



I like to have a little specific collection of topic books available for the little ones to choose from for story time and these are what we have this week:

   
In terms of SPHE, The Rainbow Fish, is always a personal favourite of mine for reinforcing the value of friendship and how to be a good friend.
Then at our junk art station during Aistear and in some Art lessons we will be making a selection of marine masterpieces!

Here's some of my inspo from Pinterest:
Rainbow Fish Craft Using Celery as a Stamp - Great craft for kids! | CraftyMorning.com:
I love this stamping activity from craftymorning.com using celery...we're doing this tomorrow!
Cool art project!: `
These scuba diving portraits are fantastic...a sea wash background and their photos....so effective!
Pop bottle jelly fish helped set the scene in our underwater escape!  We just cut the bottoms off of our soda bottles, and added some bubble wrap cut into strips for tentacles.  Hang these from the ceiling with a little fishing line... and voila!    For more Weird Animals decorating tips, visit us at http://www.group.com/vbs:


We're going to make jellyfish this week too....I've a massive roll of bubble wrap which we're going to use! But I'm planning on letting them come up with their own creations at the Junk Art table during the week...I love giving them freedom with their creativity.

Today we were making mermaid tails with our playdough. They loved the opportunity of getting to bring the figurines to the playdough and I was really impressed with their efforts.
  
 

Well I think I'll leave it there before this becomes the longest blog post know to mankind!! If you've enjoyed it or found it useful, or think someone you know might be interested in this post, be sure to give the link a share on FB or Twitter!

Over & out,




Bringing 'Paper Dolls' to life...

Hello everyone,

Hope you're all having a nice week. Mine has been noisy but productive!

Thanks to The Book People I am seriously addicted to buying packs of picture books for my class, but in all fairness they are so reasonably priced...it's hard not to dive into the box whenever they arrives in our staff room! I was thrilled to pick up a pack of Julia Donaldson books last year and in it I discovered this beautiful story, 'The Paper Dolls'.

Now foolishly I thought, hmmm this might be one for the girls....how presumptious and naive of me!
The entire class last year were mesmerized by it, and after introducing it to my class this week for story-time, they absolutely adore it. No exaggeration. 

A brief synopsis:
The Paper Dolls tells a lovely story of a little girl who makes a pretty string of paper dolls and brings them on lots of little adventures around her home until, suddenly, they are chopped into tiny shards by a mischievous little boy! But thanks to the power of memory, the paper dolls reform and stay so forever. The story concludes with the little girl, now a grown woman, making paper dolls with her own daughter. A beautiful introduction to the idea of memories and their importance.

There really is no better scene to watch unfolding, than 19 little faces, mouths hanging open, completely engrossed in a story,,,,hanging on every word, straining their little necks to anticipate the next page. 

Hardest of all, was forcing myself to swallow my giggles when 19 horrified little faces gasped as the paper dolls were chopped into millions of pieces by the naughty boy!



"No!! Teacher, why would he do that? That's not using kind hands!"


THANK GOODNESS there was a very happy ending which allowed the children to get thinking about the wonder of memories...and here we began a very spontaneous but beautiful, reflective few moments! We all closed our eyes, and I recounted the day from start to finish as the children pictured it all....any valuable points that I forgot, like a bird on the window ledge or that very entertaining but painful instance when teacher bumped her knee on the table! There wasn't a peep out of them. It brought a beautiful calming atmosphere to the end of their day. It was a lovely activity to complete the day....and something we're going to keep doing now for the remainder of the year.

In conjunction with our lovely storybook, tomorrow for art, we're making paper dolls. They've already been planning the different dolls they wish to have. It'll be a tricky exercise but if you learn anything from teaching infants, it's not to ever underestimate their capabilities. I'll post some pics of the finished products tomorrow!

 


Have you used this story in class? Or at home? Let me know!

Over & out,







It's all about that Airport!

Hello everyone!

So this week I had that ghastly task of changing over my role play area. It's an awful transition in terms of packing away a hairdressers and transforming it into our Airport! I've been promising the kiddos all week that the airport would be ready by Friday and of course I left most of it all until today to set up. When will I ever learn?



The grand opening is tomorrow and there is serious excitement. I stayed back for a few hours this evening to get it ready for action....and despite nearly destroying the room in the process and having a nervous breakdown, I'm actually really looking forward to seeing their little faces tomorrow!

Here's a sneak peak of what we have set up so far!

 So firstly,  I have a clock for planning our take off times, along with some Travel Brochures and Books & Maps for visual stimuli. I have also stuck up a list of travel times and arrivals for inspiration.


 

Next we have the check in desk. Here the children will have their bags weighed (sorry need to take a pic of the scales tomorrow!), collect their tickets and bag tags! Plenty of subtle writing and spelling opportunities here.



Tickets are from Twinkl!

I love these, I laminated them so we can use whiteboard markers to write down how many bags people are checking in. It went down a treat last year.

Next, the passengers will make their way to passport control, where they will show their passports (which we made today!) and have them stamped. 

Security at Passport control will also check your luggage and scan it. They have to fill in one of these security slips too! Also laminated for re-use!


How cool is our 'x-ray' luggage scanner? The silver foam material is from Recreate.ie
The children are going to love this!


Following security, the passengers will make their way to our airplane, which accomodates, six passengers and one pilot!! I'm thrilled with our plane, three children from 6th Class did the paintwork to transform what was a humongous cardboard box!


  

Is it odd that I love this Exit sign???



I've a feeling with a control panel like this, there's going to be great demand for the role of the pilot. Thank goodness we've mastered the skill of taking turns! 

Can you tell what the steering mechanism is???

(It's a part from my friends old car...with the indicator and lights switches!! See, being a hoarder has benefits?!?!)


While in flight, our Air Stewards will take your orders and serve up some snacks and beverages! Again, these are laminated and the children will use whiteboard markers on them.


Plenty more to come on all things Airport over the next while, but I thought I'd give you a little taster!

Tomorrow's Friday, congrats on surviving another week!!










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