Final Days of School - Activities for Every Class to enjoy

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Hi everyone,

It's hard to believe it's the final week of school already. Some of you lucky ducks might already be finished, but for many of us, we're still going for another few days.

Many of us are packing up and returning resources but without plenty planned for your class it can be a very long last week. Here are some ideas to keep your classes ticking over:

Infants:


  • Teddy Bear's Picnic - why not bring some of their teddies to school and have lunch al fresco? Or even better, bring the Bears to the library and have some nice reading time with their cuddly friends. Library out of action? Wouldn't the teddies be lovely reading buddies for some D.E.A.R time?
  • Visit their new classroom - always makes September less daunting! Why not even invite down their new teacher for a little chat!
  • End of year handprint keepsake - the little ones and their parents always love a little memento.

"My first year of school was special you see,
Everything there was planned just for me.
Here is my hand so tiny and small,
To hang somewhere upon the wall.
To watch it and see as the years go by,
How we grow up, my hand and I."

  • Canvas memento - each year I've had Junior Infants we've made a handprint canvas so as they can have it as a class keepsake when they get to 6th Class. 
  • Revisit memories - put up the photos on the IWB and enjoy reflecting on all the lovely activities and events your class were involved in over the year. Why not even print out some pictures and let them make a nice collage of their favourite memories.


Senior Classes:


  • Make a summer bucket list.
  • Measure everyone with string and let them observe how much they grow between now and the end of the holidays.
  • Record their favourite memories from the past year.
  • Compose a class newsletter featuring all the wonderful activities from the past term.
  • Compose some poetry about their year.
  • 10 things my teacher taught me
  • 10 things I loved about this year
  • Make Keepsake T-shirts or Pillows - get a last bit of use out of those sharpies!
  • Make an autograph book for your classmates to sign and write messages and memories of the year you've had together as classmates.
Here are a few other nice ideas I came across on a Pinterest hunt last night:



                                           The perfect foldable for your 2017 End of the School year fun.  Students will get to write about their summertime fun predictions will decorating the toy of the year.

                            'Fidgety for summer' - fun idea easily adapted for all classes from TPT.

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How much fun does this look? Team challenges are always a fun one for the senior classes with minimal resources required! Picture cred - Pinterest.

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Borrow some tennis balls from the PE store for this handy challenge. Picture cred - 'Teachers are Terrific'

How to Build a LEGO Fidget Spinner - So cool!!! Step by step instructions and the post has a video too.
What about sticking with what's trendy at the moment and challenge your class to make some lego fidget spinners? Picture cred - Pinterest.

End of Year Reflection Activity-Have students come up with something they learned about this school year for each letter of the alphabet.  This can be fun as a whole class end of year activity or small group activity!  More end of year activity ideas in blog post.
A-Z reflection of what your students remember learning this year. Source Pinterest.

Take a picture of students and have them make a mask for their pictures. Add a straw and have students fill out a dive into summer story. I'm thinking info on fish.
I really like this idea. Could be easily adapted to suit any class. Source - Shenanigans In Second.

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Wave goodbye to school - a handy little craft for the last few days of school. Maybe you could attach a little rhyme to each. Picture cred - Pinterest.


Here are a few free resource downloads which could be handy for the next few days:

Summer Symmetry Drawing Activities
School's Out - Activities for 6th Class
End of year activity pack: 3rd - 6th Class
'Pieces of my heart' activity
Wordsearch pack - 5th/6th class
Looking Back at my year - Activity Pack - Senior Classes

Enjoy the last few days!

Fastest. Year. Ever.






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Picture cred - Sarah Holbrook

Literacy Station Activity Ideas

A few people have got in touch recently asking about ideas for literacy stations, for early finishers, for independent learning and for revision.

Here's a selection which I use on a regular basis which can easily be adapted to suit your class:

1. Word Jenga

Got an old game of Jenga lying around? It's easily made into a handy reading activity! We have words on ours at the moment - a mixture of tricky words, CVCs and words we've met recently in stories. Earlier in the year we used it to practice letters and sounds. It always goes down a treat.



2. Matching Letters Activity

I found this on Seomra Ranga a few years back and it's still going strong. It's got lowercase matching, upper case matching and then matching lower case with relevant uppercase letters. You can find this activity for free download here.


3. Jolly Phonic Games

Now I'm far from Jolly Phonics biggest fan but some of their games are very handy for pair work. I send them home for homework challenges too. 


FYI: The little counters were a fab little find from ReCreate.ie on one of my many visits last year!

4. Roll a Sound (Twinkl)


This is one of my favourites and great for revising letter sounds and names.

5. Snakes and Ladders

If you've got an old game of Snakes and Ladders lying around you can easily doctor it to suit whatever you're working on. Stuck for time? On www.sightwords.com you can make your own printable game. You can find it here.
Similarly, Twinkl has some CVC snakes and ladders games for download too. 


6. Word Mats

Word Mats are always a great resource for a literacy station. We like to make games out of ours. For example, by integrating them with maths by:
-Rolling the dice to read a word with that many letters
-Covering words with numbers cards and they can only turn over the number card to read the word when they roll that amount
-Rolling the dice and reading that many words
Endless possibilities!





Other ideas:

Here are another few fun ideas I came across on Pinterest recently:
sight word graphing:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89720217546066174/
Sight Word Connect Four:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89720217548582076/
Primary Junction: First Grade Christmas Sight Word Game:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89720217552359687/

Try using this simple sight word coloring paper with your students who have difficulty focusing on sight words.  Since your children get to color, they have to pay close attention to the sight words in order to choose the right colors:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/257620041161772227/
Make It, Play It, Learn It Sight Word Fun- easy prep sight word activities!:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/823384744343531101/

Hope you all had a nice bank holiday!







Seaside Themed Role Play

I can't believe we are in the midst of our final block of Aistear planning for the school year. I say it every year, but that was definitely the fastest year ever!

We're having a lot of fun in our new seaside role play area. They were nearly in mourning when we packed up the coffee shop but it's a distant memory now. It took us a good week to get it all set up, but everyone helped out and it's been a great source of talk and excitement since we began.




Our first step was to make a nice seaside background for the area. Lots of experimenting with blue tones and a dash of glitter. Ok, a heap of glitter. Yep, it's still all over the place.

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We put all up on one corner of the classroom and livened it up with some nice Twinkl visuals. The Junk Art stations have been making lots of different sea creatures throughout the week and we've been adding them too as we go along.


So far, our bits and pieces for playing at the seaside consists of goggles, snorkles, sun-cream, sunglasses, deck chairs, buckets and spades, shells, nets, sun hats, plastic sea creatures and stuffed sea animals.




I salvaged an old sandpit last year - its legs had fallen off, but it's actually perfect for sand play - as less ends up on the floor!


I'm finding Twinkl Create really handy these days.


I picked up these little bits in Dealz, in preparation last week!


I forgot to take a 'before' shot of the pools today, but these are going down a treat. Picked them up in Dealz. They're a nice way of incorporating some independent water play, while avoiding a classroom tsunami!
 Our little inspiration wall is a series of prompt cards from Twinkl. 

What else is going on?

  • Seaside themed playdough activities & ice cream stall.
  • Seaside themed maths - lots of addition, colour by number, pattern making, capacity, money (buying ice cream)
  • Junk Art - making sea creatures. & boats. We're using up all the cardboard boxes people have been hoarding for me all year!
  • Small World - our small world sea animals are being brought into the role play this month.
What stories could I incorporate?

There are so many lovely picture books you could incorporate into a seaside theme but here are some to get you started:



What else?

I love how much lovely art stems from a seaside thematic unit. Here's a few of the art activities we've done so far:

1. Jellyfish Construction


Octopus, Jellyfish - whatever you think they look like, these were a really fun and tricky challenge for my juniors. I gave them a shape to cut out, a variety of materials to colour with, hole punches to make holes in their jellyfish, and a mountain of bailing twine to make tentacles. Now they look far from spectacular, but this was a great fine motor workout and they loved the challenge of 'tying' the tentacles. Loop, swoop and pull!

 
My strips of googly eyes are from a roll of 1000 googly eyes Mr. Price!

  




2. Directed Drawing Pastel Fish 

Again, like the glitter, the pastels are messy, but the process is worth it! 


3. Celery Printing Rainbow Fish

These are last year's pictures. This is on my to do list for next week. One of my favourite Junior Infant art activities ever! Who knew printing with celery could be so effective .... and therapeutic!

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Endless scope!


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