Last post before the bank holiday weekend, I hope you all have some nice plans and we also see a return of the fine weather.
Today’s post is for those in Senior Classes.
Organising a Senior Classroom can be similar to the infant classroom, I have bought the storage caddies from ABC School Supplies and these will be fantastic for the desks. Each desk will have one and it will contain a variety of materials for the children, mini whiteboards, markers, coloured pens, scissors and glue. It will also contain Irish dictionaries for the children to use themselves along with some prompt cards for verbs etc. The children’s Irish vocab notebook and free writing copy will hopefully be in the caddy too so they can access them easily.
One of my favourite resources in my classroom is the pocket organiser which hangs on the store room door. It has clear pockets and I use it for art supplies, additional markers and colouring pencils. The children love it too as they can access a variety of materials easily especially during Art lessons. I got my pocket organiser from Amazon.
The literacy curriculum is so vast in Senior Classes and it can be hard to pick my favourite resources, however these are my go-to resources in the classroom.
Comprehension Boxes from Prim-Ed are great for independent work in the class, I used them as independent station during station teaching also. This year I had access to two boxes and I used them for fluency practice, the children worked in pairs to read the text while the other followed and then to answer the questions together. They are graded and the additional resources in the pack allow you to differentiate and record the children’s progress easily.
For writing, I try to focus on a genre for half of each term, there are so many online resources for each genre. The PDST has a great book for teachers with ideas and resources for each genre. I created rubrics for each genre so the children could peer assess their writing.
The maths textbook can often be overwhelming for the class so I like to take time out each week for problem solving activities and games. I use the Maths Box and Problem solving cards from Prim-Ed and the class really enjoy them. The Maths Box contains two of each card which allows the children to work in pairs. They can also be used as an extension activity for some children.
At a PDST Numeracy conference last March they discussed recent OECD results for Ireland. While skills such as recalling scored well, skills such as problem solving and reasoning were highlighted as a priority for schools. I bought the book I See Reasoning to use with my class to develop their reasoning and communication skills and I look forward to using it in more depth next year. I See Reasoning has a variety of activities involving identifying mistakes and using pictures to represent problems. The class loved spotting the mistake as it was focusing on the work of someone else.
Another resource I have signed up for this year is Mash Up Math which uses a variety of approaches including pictures for problem solving. Thanks to Edco Primary Maths for the heads up on this resource.
This year I am hoping to use the DPSM Framework for Inquiry to plan my science lessons. After some training last year I became more familiar with the approach and used it with my class. It really focuses on the children’s knowledge and they become more actively involved in the lesson as a result. While Science in my classroom can be a little chaotic, there is so much learning going on.
These are only some of my favourite go-to resources in the class but if you have any questions on them please send me a PM.