Debating in the Senior Classes

Hi everyone,

I hope you are surviving the first week back!

Today’s blog post is for the Senior Classes, ideal for someone on Teaching Practice either. The class were working on persuasive writing before the Easter holidays, while they enjoyed these activities I felt they needed to focus their writing with a purpose. A discussion in Science naturally led to a debate among some students and I decided to cover debating at the start of Term 3.

There are lots of resources online for debating, some of them were not very suitable for my own class. Twinkl had a nice pack with some classroom resources for debating which could be used in class.

However, I really liked The Noisy Classroom for resources for debating. it outlines the structure of a debate clearly and identifies the key steps when preparing a debate.  I used the format from The Noisy Classroom in my own class to prepare for a debate. The children worked in groups of 6, 4 children were then chosen to speak in the debate. This allows some members of the group that might be shy the chance to participate in the brainstorming activities and to learn from their peers. I am hoping as the debating topic continues that these children will become more confident.

Debating is also great for oral language activities and encouraging the children to think on their feet. I really like the Rebuttal Tennis game from the Noisy Classroom. This encourages all children to participate and to think on their feet while also teaching them about rebuttals.

The Noisy Classroom has lots of videos of the children engaging in debating. I watched one with my class and they found it very interesting. They became more aware of the language to use in a debate and were introduced to the formal set up for debating. As the children become more familiar with debating they also began to analyse the videos and identify the positive and negative aspects of their speeches and debates.

The Noisy Classroom is well worth checking out for ideas and videos to support lessons on debating in the class. If you give it a try please let me know!



Term 3 – Restaurant Topic

Hi everyone, I hope you are all enjoying the holidays. I really appreciate the time during the Easter holidays as it often is not as busy as Christmas holidays allowing time to catch up with good friends.

I am finding it so hard to believe we are heading into Term 3! The end of the year is drawing ever closer. It can be scary to think that your little Junior Infants have 3 terms done and are looking forward to being Senior Infants. In multi-class I always found that Senior Infants felt their own level of superiority over the Junior Infant which at times could be quite funny. They knew routines and expectations and felt they were more grown up than the Juniors. At this point of the year those Senior Infants are getting ready for the big transition to First Class and you can sometimes see the gap between the infant classes at this point.

Where to begin in Term 3!

Take some time during the first week back to settle into routines and reminders for behaviour. I also like to work on some revision topics for the first few days before beginning a new topic in Maths or English. They should settle back into routines faster after the Easter break. Reminding them that Senior Infants/First Class is just around the corner can also help to settle them back in.

Checking back over assessments at the end of Term 2 can help suggest reading groups or word lists. In Term 3 I would begin introducing Dolch words to Juniors if you haven’t already started with the reading scheme. As in previous posts I like using Word Attack Pack for teaching Dolch words. I always aimed to teach the Pre-Primer Dolch in Junior Infants.

As there is only 1 week of April in this term. I have split the Term into 3 topics. The first two covering 3 weeks and the last one covering 4 weeks as it can be a busy month with tours and sports day. My suggested topic is the Restaurant and I have to say it is one of my favourite topics. The children can gain so much knowledge from this topic and can apply it in many real life situations.

The restaurant topic is one that can be easily resourced. I asked parents to gather a variety of menus to add to our role play area. We had a toy kitchen, a tea set and variety of plastic food already. I bought a tablecloth and napkins from the Euro shop which added to the role-play area too. The restaurant topic also links closely with other subjects which makes it an ideal topic for anyone on Teaching Practice. I have added a thematic plan to my store on which includes ideas for discrete lessons and some links to useful resources.

If you have any questions on this topic please send me a PM.


April – Easter lessons ideas

Welcome to the final week of Term 2!

As it’s the last week of term I haven’t changed the Aistear theme. So today’s post will include some ideas for Art activities from lots of sites.

Play Resource is a scrap store based in Belfast, however they always have lots of lovely art ideas on their site. I particularly like this Easter garden art idea. The ideas use lots of different art materials and recyclable materials. Recreate Ireland is based on Dublin and offers similar service where you can get a variety of recycled materials from different companies. I personally love the idea of these stores as you never know what you might find. Check out Recreate Ireland here.

As it’s the end of term you might choose to work on revision topics this week. If you are looking for some nice Easter themed activities, check out busy teacher. There are lots of crosswords and other nice activities for Easter here.

If you are planning ahead for Term 3 I have reduced my Aistear Term 3 bundle this week on