Storybooks to link with Aistear topics.

A follower recently asked me what big books I used with my Aistear topics so I decided to compile a list.

Doctor: Topsy and Tim, I can’t recommend this series of books enough.
Dentist: Harry and the Dinosaurs say raah, I also have a non fiction book for my story sack.
Optician: Luna and the big blur and Princess Peepers.
Vet: Six Dinner Sid
Bakery: Gingerbread Man
Clothes Shop: Smartest Giant in Town
Camping: Camping (Usbourne Books) We’re going on a bear hunt
Seaside/Aquarium: Two to a shell, Rainbow Fish
Airport: Busy Airport
Autumn: Owl babies
Halloween: Room on the Broom
Library: Library Lion
Post Office: Jolly Postman
Garden Centre: Oliver’s Vegetables
Farm: Little Red Hen, The Enormous Turnip
Home: Peace at Last
Builders: Three Little Pigs
Restaurant: Mrs Wobble the Waitress
Mechanic: Busy Garage

Have you any other suggestions for story books to link with a particular topic?



Maths Resources in the Infant Classes

An earlier blog post this month was about the Maths resources I like to use in the Senior Classes, today’s blog post is about my favourite resources in the Infant Classes.

I used Ready Set Go in the infant classes for Maths and the children really enjoyed the hands on activities. It is also easy to make and get resources for Ready Set Go.

Each child has their own Maths Pack with large and small 5 frames and 10 frames. They also have digit cards and a blank set card. I have designed my own Ready Set Go Printables which is available in my store.

Aside from the Maths pack I have sorting packs ready for the children. It is important to have random sorting sets too. I collected bottle tops over a few weeks and made my own random sorting bags. However recently I had the opportunity to visit Recreate in Dublin where they had loads of bottle tops which were ideal.

I also made bags for sorting using specific counters such as these from Michael Doherty. Each bag contained about 12 -15 counters so the children could make sets with one property. I made similar bags for two and three property sorting.

To develop critical thinking when sorting I loved using these attribute blocks. I would play different games where the children had to guess my set which could have one or two specific properties. Similar games could be played with older classes.

I think in the infant classes it is more important to focus on the hands on activities when sorting, making patterns or playing number games rather than workbooks and worksheets.

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


Artist of the Month: Kandinsky

Do you focus on an artist each month in your school?

To develop the Looking and Responding Strand we decided to focus on one specific artist each month in Art over a two year cycle. Artists that use different mediums were chosen along with modern artists.

In September we focus on Kandinsky. This is a nice topic for infants. We focused on the concentric circles image. The children can focus on the circle shape and use a variety of colours.

In the Senior Classes I like to look at the history of the Artist. Some children get a mini project to produce a timeline for the Artist. There are lots of different sites and powerpoints such as this one. In the Senior Classes we also looked at concentric circles, we then looked at mixing the primary colours so we then created our own concentric circles image using a pattern of primary and secondary colours. You could also explore complimentary colours within the circles.

There are lots of other lovely ideas to link with Kandinsky here.

Do you have an Artist of the Month in your school?

Share some of your Kandinsky work in the comments.


September: Senior Classes Settling back in!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all settling back to school.

In my Senior class I hope to introduce station teaching for literacy. I hope to include an ICT element to my station teaching.

One station will focus on phonics and vocabulary and that will be differentiated for each group.

Another station will focus on non-reading comprehension. I am hoping to use this resource from Classroom Secrets and encourage the children to think and respond to questions about the picture with the appropriate vocab. This station will be led by the Learning Support Teacher.

My independent stations will be on comprehension cards from Prim-Ed. The children can work on these cards at their own level. They are self correcting which also allows a level of independence.

Another independent station will be using ICT. I have set up Office365 for the children to use and they can work on their writing genres. They will work on this in class and then during station teaching they will get time to type up their piece of writing. They will also work with a buddy to share their writing using OneDrive and I am showing the class how to leave comments so they can engage in peer review. I’ll update you as this progresses. I got this idea from the PDST Assessment in ICT Summer Course. It can also be done when using Google Drive.

Station teaching is timetabled for twice a week at the moment. So I hope that each group will visit 2 stations each day so they can work at each station over the course of the week. I hope to begin next week so I will update as we go.

If you have any questions about my station teaching, please send me an email.




Maths Resources in the Senior Classes

I have a variety of resources for Maths in my classroom, here are some of my favourites.

Maths Box: 

These are from Prim Ed and are similar to their comprehension cards. Each box contains 2 sets of the cards and they cover the different strands within the maths curriculum. My class loved these last year, they found some of the vocabulary challenging at first but soon got to know some of the new vocabulary and applied it to their own maths.

Maths Box 5

Brain Snack: 

I regularly use this in my classroom. It contains a variety of problem solving cards which encourage the children to ‘think outside the box’.  I have one on display on my Maths board each week and the children can attempt it during the week and write the answer on the record sheet behind the card.


I See Reasoning: 

I came across this resource on Facebook from Gareth Metcalfe. It is perfect for encouraging the children to discuss approaches to problem solving and to identify possible solutions. It also illustrates a visual approach to problem solving which the children can apply in other situations.

3 Acts Maths 

I came across this site through the Gareth Metcale Site and I love their approach to exploring maths in everyday situations. There are 3 videos with prompts for the teacher to encourage critical thinking in the class in a novelty way.

Table Board

I have only ordered these and cannot wait to use them in my classroom. They can be used for some fun activities or brain breaks in between lessons or in station teaching. I will post another blog post on these once I have used them in my classroom.

Problem Solving

These cards from Prim-Ed are great to encourage discussion and a verbal approach to problem solving in the class. I use them for pair work and group work and then the groups present a solution to the class.

These are only some of my most used resources for Maths. If you have any questions please send me a P.M.


September: Goldilocks & the 3 Bears

Hi everyone, I hope you are all settling in with your new classes.

If you are following my new Aistear plans for Year 2, the theme for this month is Goldilocks & the 3 Bears. There are many ways to integrate this theme into your Aistear areas and your discrete lessons.

Role-play: The house, the children can act in role as Mammy bear making the porridge. If you have masks they could retell the story.

Small World: Create the house for the three bears, make the wood that Goldilocks walked through.

Construction: Build a house for the three bears.

Junk Art: Lots of ideas here from masks for role play to painting a part of the story.

Sand: Making porridge in the sand.

In other lessons:

English Writing: Write a sorry note from Goldilocks
Gaeilge: Cinnín Óir
History: Sequencing the story
Geography: Mapping the route that Goldilocks took.
Music: Rinne Mamaí Bear leite (D’aon ghuth)
Maths: Capacity and EMA.

These are only examples for discrete lessons there could be many more!

Happy Planning