Little Miss Teacher Blog

By Clara Fiorentini

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Celebrate your class with 'Adjective Collages'

With the end of year in sight, keepsake art is in full swing! Adjective collages are a lovely activity to do with your class to create as a take-home gift for each of the pupils. 

Print an individual page for each child with their name in the centre and have their classmates fill the pages with positive and descriptive adjectives to suit each pupil.

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Do you have any favourites for the end of year? You can tag me or DM me on Instagram and I'll share your ideas on my story!


Hide & Seek Words

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It's revision season and you can never have enough ways of practicing and revising your tricky words.

'Hide & Seek' words is a means of practising reading sight words but incorporates a fun element of mystery and colour!

How to create the hide & seek words?

1. Print your tricky words on flashcards or paper using a candle, a white wax crayon or a pastel. 

2. Colour over them with either crayons, paint or markers to reveal the words.

3. Read the word you've revealed!

Increase the challenge and add a few hidden words to each page!

Easy peasy, minimal prep time, learning packed and nice for the final few days of school!


Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Matters Educational Podcast

I was the guest this week on the podcast 'Matters Educational'. I spoke to the host Darragh Ó Bradáin about all things teaching and education. Such a fun experience! You can listen to the podcast on all the usual apps but here's a direct link.

Do let me know if you tune in!


Friday, 7 June 2019

Father's Day 2019

This year, Father's Day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 16th.

 You can download my free Father's Day Resource Pack here.

End of Year Activities - Junior Classes

I'm delighted so many of you are enjoying the post on end of year activities for the senior classes and in response to the queries for the junior end... here are a few nice activities for the younger classes!

1. Chalk Walk

One of the best things about last year's heatwave was the amount of times I brought the juniors out to the yard with a bucket of chalk. We practised letters, drew around each other, doodled and drew - it was brilliant. 

2. Ice-cream picnic

A lovely treat on a sunny June day - then follow it up with some report or procedural writing! Balance.

3. End of Year Chant

Here's a handy little chant for the end of the year. Add in the current class and future class for a nice rhyme for an end of year assembly or performance! Print it out and use it to create an end of year keepsake with some handprints - a nice little memento to end to year.

4. Student Letters

A little letter to send home with your pupils at the end of the school year is always a nice touch. It's a nice little keepsake for them to remember you by! I have this one available for free download on Mash.

More activities:

  • Print out photographs from during the year of the children; design frames from cardboard or cereal boxes!
  • Plant a keepsake plant - 'Like this little seed, I grew this year!' / 'Look how I've bloomed!'
  • Canvas handprint - I did this with my first ever Juniors! Get a canvas board and take a handprint of each child - pass the board along with the class each year - it'll be a lovely feature for their 6th class graduation ceremony down the line!
  • Photo comparison - then & now! Take photos of the children now and paste them side by side with their first day of school!

Don't forget, TPT is a treasure trove for some really brilliant resources at this time of year, some of which can be grabbed as free downloads. Here are a few lovely ones:

Hang tight, summer is in sight!


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

10 Activities for 'End of Year' season

Summer is just around the corner and end of year season is upon us! It can be hard to keep momentum up, especially with the older classes; so here are a few of my favourites for the month of June from when I taught 4th, 5th & 6th - which feels like a million years ago now! Minimal materials required - just a bit of thought, input and reflection from the pupils.

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1. A-Z of the year
Compose an A-Z list of all the things associated with each letter of the alphabet that relate to this past year with you class. Aztecs, Building bridges, China, Drawing, Experiments, Frog Life Cycle, Gaeilge....etc!! Challenge the pupils to think of as many as possible for each letter.

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2. Create a Class Memory book
I used to like doing this as part of our preparations for the 6th class Graduation Ceremony. Create a memory book of the year. A simple copybooks and a page for everyone to write about their memories of the year gone by! It's always lovely to see which little details certain pupils cherished from the year.

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3. Summer Bucket List
Create a Bucket List for the summer holidays. 
Include thought & discussion provoking topics like: 

  • Things I want to eat...
  • Places I want to go...
  • Books I want to read...
  • Programmes I want to watch...
  • Games I want to play...
  • Things I want to do...
  • Changes I want to make...
  • Things I want to help with...
  • People I want to visit...
  • Things I want to learn...

4. End of Year Poetry
There's nothing like a bit of poetry composition to channel your reflections into. If you're looking for a lively poetry idea, Partner Poems are always fun to do!

5. Year Timeline
Split the class up into groups and challenge them to create timelines of their year in school. See what each group comes up with, compare & contrast - always interesting to see what stood out to the pupils.

6. Create a time capsule
I love this idea. Create a time capsule to bury in the school garden Encourage everyone to write a little piece about themselves to include in the capsule. Choose a few objects from around the classroom which the children believe children of the future may be interested in. Decided on a date when it should be opened. An activity like this brings with it some really wonderful discussion and language development opportunities. If you don't have access to a school garden, a shoebox kept safely in store by the teacher will do!

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7. A letter to next year's class
I always have considered this a lovely idea. Pupils compose letters to the incoming class. Within the letter pupils can advise the future pupils on how best to survive the year ahead, offer some friendly advice and give three tips about the room itself. Not only is it a nice way to end the year, it's a nice ice-breaker activity to share with your new class in September.

8. Memory Wheels
Reflect on favourite memories from the year and record them on a memory wheel. No need for templates or printable; just get the children to design their own - much more purposeful, personalised and meaningful.

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9. Summer Goals
Challenge the pupils to set some personal goals for the summer ahead. Beyond bucket list experiences and trips, what goals are they going to set themselves to achieve? 

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10. Wave goodbye to the year...
One of my biggest regrets when teaching the senior classes is not taking enough photographs at the time. I know phones weren't as good then but still! Above is an example of what I mean by waving goodbye to the year however, with the senior classes, they would have traced and decorated their hand, then filled the background with images, messages and memories of details from their year in that class. A lovely keepsake and a nice display for an end of year ceremony.

Speaking of old photos, I found these from my last 6th class graduation ceremony back in 2014, making me feel extremely ancient!

A Nice poster the kids can make for graduation mass/ceremony!

Nice end of year display for school leavers... Children pick a word that describes how they would like to be remembered :-)


Monday, 3 June 2019

The Story Mountain

Do you have a go-to technique for story telling or creative writing with your pupils? I've often used the First Steps approach when it comes to narrative writing but the Story Mountain approach is something I always found really effective too....and something I found the pupils enjoyed a little more!

It is what it is, a mountain-style writing frame to help with the plotting of the story! It draws focus to the opening, the development, the problem, the solution and the conclusion of the narrative in question. It's a useful brainstorming activity, nice for visualising the various sections, nice for paragraph work and easily adapted to suit a variety of classes / age groups. 

The more techniques, the merrier!

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