September: Settling back in

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the lack of blog posts but it has been a very busy few weeks. I have been adding bits and pieces to my Instagram account from my classroom but haven’t added a blank post.

Whats New for Aistear Muinteoir?

This year I have 6th class and as I had that class last year also it has made the settling in process a little easier. It also has allowed me to continue with activities that worked well for me but also to add new things to my classroom and teaching activities which I know my class will respond to.

My focus during Term 1 in English is reading for vocabulary and comprehension. I am still continuing with my book club approach however I bought a reading response book template on Teachers Pay Teachers and have been using it with the class. In the reading response book there are different sections for responding to text, writing activities and vocabulary work. Each night the class can choose from a menu of books to respond to their book club. It provides a better focus while allowing some autonomy over the activities. I purchased the reading response book from Teach Create Motivate on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I am also using Just Grammar this year from Educate.ie which I really like. I like the layout and the focus each week on one specific grammar topic. Currently we work on a grammar activity each morning and using the additional suggestions for some written tasks in our grammar copy. I am complementing the work in Just Grammar with a new book from Prim Ed Teaching Writing Strategies for homework. It allows me to highlight the importance of grammar and punctuation across all their work. A more detailed review of the book Teaching Writing Strategies is coming soon.

In Maths, I am focusing on more problem solving activities and mental math activities at the beginning of my lesson. I am using a variety of approaches such as puzzles from Mash Up Math, the interactive game Noggle which I purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers and continuing to work from one of my favourite resources I See Reasoning. The author Gareth Metcalfe is also working on a new book I See Problem Solving which I hope to purchase and use with my class. I have made a reasoning and problem solving copy which the class are working on to encourage them to write written responses to reasoning and problem solving activities. I am also using the Maths Box as Problem Solving activities which my class are familiar with and are really enjoying.

It has been so busy setting up my classroom that my focus has been completely on my class, my classroom and getting my own planning up to date. I have developed a new thematic plan to integrate my SESE plan this year which I will add to Mash.ie soon. It might be useful for anyone heading into a teaching practice.

Aistear Muinteoir is also embarking on a new venture with Discover Primary Science and Maths (Science Foundation Ireland). I have recently trained to become a facilitator for their workshops on inquiry based learning. Your school can apply for 3 CPD workshops through Science Foundation Ireland. So watch this space!!

A.M.

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