Artist of the Month: Jackson Pollock

In January our Artist of the Month is Jackson Pollock.

A great artist to explore with children even if it is rather messy!!!!

Jackson Pollock is known for his abstract art and his unusual methods of creating his art.

Twinkl has a fantastic resource to teach the children about the life and work of Jackson Pollock, find it here.

The children love to explore painting like Pollock using string, wool or other implements. Be warned though it can be very messy so make sure the children have their art t-shirts/aprons on!!!

I love the site Deep Space Sparkle for Art ideas, they too have lesson ideas for Jackson Pollock.

The Crafty Classroom also has lots of ideas to incorporate the work of Pollock into your lessons.

If you would like to share any of your lessons using the above resources please email me to include them on this post.

Have Fun!!

A.M.

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Happy New Year

As 2017 draws to a close I just want to thank all my followers for their support in 2017!

I set up Aistear Muinteoir in June 2016 and it has gone from strength to strength since. A huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to like my page and to like and comment on my blog posts. Most of the time my posts are about my own experiences in the classroom so I hope they can give inspire you in your own classrooms.

Here’s to 2018 and to build Aistear Muinteoir even further, I have worked in collaboration with lots of companies in 2017 who have helped me to give away fantastic prizes and I hope this will continue into 2018.

Wishing all my followers a healthy, happy and fun-filled 2018!

A.M.

Junior Entrepreneur Update

So the flag is flying high in my school for Junior Entrepreneur!

I signed up for Junior Entrepreneur this year after a very successful project last year. I had considered the option of every second year as I have a multi-class, however I am glad now that I continued with it as it is that little bit easier as both myself and the class are well familiar with it. (Also I don’t think that my current pupils would have been too impressed if we didn’t do it again this year.)

Step 1: Discover

As one of my classes were familiar with JEP they helped to introduce it to my 5th class. They spoke in their groups about their own experience from last year.
Within Step 1 you introduce the children to entrepreneurs, who they are and most importantly what qualities and character traits you need to be an entrepreneur. Some children were unfamiliar with the term entrepreneur and after some discussion they were able to identify family members who also were entrepreneurs.

We also discussed some famous entrepreneurs such as Dyson, Marissa Carter and Keoghs who were included on the worksheet from Junior Entrepreneur.

Step 2: Ideas

The children completed the hand challenge which is also a great lesson for self-esteem. They drew around their hands and wrote their name in the middle. They passed the hand around the group and others wrote positive qualities about that child on the hand. They also identified their skills and talents which would be useful for our Junior Entrepreneur Project this year.

I also set the children the challenge of brainstorming their idea for this years project and preparing it at home. The children had to prepare a 1 minute presentation for their group which included a brief idea of costing, expected selling price and profit. It was so interesting to hear the language the children used when chatting in their group, at one point I heard a group discuss the unique selling point for their ideas.

The children presented their individual idea to their group. The group then had the opportunity to ask questions. Within my groups I have children from both classes so the 6th Class pupils were able to to chat with 5th class and outline the advantages to their idea but also to explain why their idea may not be suitable for our class due to lack of resources and materials. I think that 5th class accepted the constructive criticism from their peers rather than from me. Each group had a lengthy debating process to choose one idea for Dragon’s Den.

Once the groups had settled on one idea, they then prepared a presentation using Sway in Microsoft Office for their idea. Using Sway they could share it with all group members so they could work on it at home. I also set up groups on Edmodo so they could write comments to each other and ask questions which some groups took advantage of to prepare their product and presentation. Using Edmodo allowed me to keep track of their interactions also.

On the day of Dragon’s Den I have never seen such smart uniforms (not a pair of runners in sight) I held my Dragon’s Den in the final week of term, our play was earlier in December so we had time to prepare (it also kept the class on track for the final week.) The children presented their idea to 3 dragons who were staff and a member of the Board of Management. Their presentations included key slides Product, cost, retail price, profit, market, unique selling point and finally a slide for questions. The dragons were all impressed with the detail of the presentations and also how they had improved from Dragon’s Den last year.

After all the groups had presented the dragon’s then debated on the big idea. It was a lengthy deliberation however I think we have finally settled on our Big Idea!!!!!

What Next:

Inspire: Business Visitor

Our next Step is to invite a Business Visitor into the class to share their experience and it is a chance for the children to ask for advice for their own project this year.

In the meantime the project managers will have to decide on investment, last year the principal invested in the project with a 12.5% return of our profits. This year we will have to decide which path to take and begin the negotiations.

I will keep you posted with our progress, further information on Junior Entrepreneur can be found here.

Christmas Crystals

After a successful lesson making the Light Up Christmas Cards, I decided to make the Christmas Cards with Crystals from Scien-tastic.

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After a quick revision of mixtures and solutions I made a solution with Epsom Salts and  water.

 

The children created very simple snow scenes and there have been some fantastic results. We are not completely finished. But it will be a nice picture to send home at the end of the week.

More information on this experiment can be found on the Scien-tastic page.

Quick Tip: Get a large tub of Epsom Salts!!!!

Using Christmas Ads in the Class

We all look forward to the traditional Christmas ads or ads from our childhood, the Kellogg’s ad has to be one of my favourites along with the Coca-Cola one and the cartoon one from Pennys from many moons ago.

Now there are so many Christmas ads with lots of hidden meanings that can be used in your class in the weeks before Christmas. Here are some ads and how I have used them and plan to use them with my Senior Classes.

Tesco Ad

I love these ads as each person chats about Christmas in their house and thanks those who make it special for them. Last year we watched the video and then the children got to chat in their groups about traditions in their own homes. Then the children got to write a letter to those who they were spending Christmas with, whether it was at home with their parents or grandparents. The children really loved this idea and the letters they wrote were really special. We wrote them out on special paper and each child had the opportunity to take theirs home and share it with their parents or with those they had written to.

Sainsbury’s Ad 2016

I love James Corden and when I heard he was the voice behind the song for this Christmas Ad I had to watch it. In the class we learned this song and sang it at assembly for the whole school. We also had lots of discussion about the real meaning behind this song and how important it is to spend time together as a family.

BBC Christmas Ad 2017

This is my favourite ad this year so far. I shared it on my page recently and judging from the reactions I think a lot of people felt like I did. I am looking forward to using it in my class soon. I hope to let the class watch the video first and then have lots of class discussion about their own feelings and emotions after watching it.

There are so many ads that could be used in the class, these are only some of my favourites. Share yours in the comments.

A.M.

Light Up Christmas Cards with Scien-tastic

Hi everyone,

Christmas is such a magical time in schools, in between the rehearsals for Christmas plays and Carol Services there is such a giddy buzz among the pupils as us teachers also look forward to the break.

In Senior Classes I found it easier last year to keep a routine as much as possible but to link in with different Christmas themed activities as much as you can. This year I am going to use a Christmas theme in my Science thanks to Scien-tastic!!

I recently bought the light up Christmas Cards from Scien-tastic and I am really looking forward to making them with my class next week.

The kit contains copper tape, card templates, card and LED bulbs to create your Christmas Cards. All I had to get was a set of coin batteries in Dealz.

 

The kit also comes with a set of instructions with step by step photos which will be very useful so I know how to do it too!! They could also be shared with the class on the whiteboard to help them to complete the circuit. (You would need to have completed lessons on circuits before beginning this activity with your class).

This set also allows for some creativity so that the children could design and create their own cards which will light up.

I will keep you posted as to how this activity goes during the week.

I am also hoping to use another activity from Scien-tastic to create Christmas Cards with crystal snowflakes. Perfect way to include a Christmas theme across Science and Art.