Thursday, 29 March 2012

How to make beanbags (from old tights and rice)

This is ridiculously simple. You don't even have to be really good at sewing.

What you need:

  • One (clean!) pair of tights
  • Two fistfuls of dried rice (or lentils)
  • Pins
  • One needle
  • Thread (the same colour as the tights)
  • Scissors
Step 1: Cut the toe off the tights. This will act as the bag.
Step 2: Turn inside-out and pin the open edges together.
Step 3: Sew these edges, apart from a gap (to allow enough room to fill with the dry mix).
Step 4: Turn the bag the correct way around (outside-in) and fill most of the way with the dried rice (leave a little bit of space so that the finished product can still be squished.
Step 5: Sew up the gap.

Alternatively, you could make square ones like these from, just click on the picture below to link to the page:

Sunday, 25 March 2012

One to follow:

After a friend told me about a science lesson where the children made simple lava lamps (using justcooking oil, food colouring, water, and effervescent tablets in bottles), I went hunting for a video and came across this one from the Sciencebob website:

Delving further into the site, I found loads of child-friendly fun and simple experiments. Most are really visual and some are edible too. I particularly like this one where the children make diagrams of the moon phases using Oreos.

Two gooey and fun ones are making slime and making bouncy (rubber-like) balls. These both require Borax powder. It can be found in SOME supermarkets in the washing section but, if you can't find it there, it's often stocked in pharmacies.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The circle: Maths and science integration

This is just a quick post to share a lesson that worked nicely today. We were learning about vision (humans and animals) in science so we set about testing out peripheral vision. This active lesson tied in nicely with the topic of the circle that we've been doing in maths. 

We went out to the yard (outdoor lessons are usually popular!). The children were split into groups and each group was given a piece of chalk and some string. They were asked to draw a circle of a given radius. Then, one person stood in the middle of the circle, head and eyes facing forward while another member of their group walked along the line. When the person in the middle could no longer see the person on the line, they marked their initials on the circle. They did this on both sides and repeated for all members of the group.

It wasn't mind-blowing by any means, but it was a nice, hands on lesson so I thought it was worth sharing!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Póstaeir: Ceisteanna

Déan cliceáil ar an t-íomhá seo chun na póstaeir a íoslódáil ó Google Docs.

póstaeir, ceisteanna posters, gaeilge, classroom posters in Irish, classroom posters as Gaeilge, ceisteanna as Gaeilge

Class blog spotlight: Greenlanes N.S.

"Class Blog Spotlight" is a new feature where I'll be blogging about class blogs that I think are worth checking out. 

First in line is Mr. Denis Moynihan's 4th/5th class at Greenlanes N.S. in Clontarf, Dublin. This blog has pictures of some beautiful, well-thought out displays and fun revision games for the children to play, for example Sum Sense and The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits (below). It's a relatively new blog, having started in January of this year. It's looking very good so far!

One post that stood out to me (especially seeing as I currently teach children around the same age) is the "Descriptive Writing" post. The children began by sticking photographs onto paper and extending the pictures. They then wrote descriptive pieces about their partner's extended picture. Have a look at this picture on the left to see the results!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Competitions galore!

There's a competition running at SeomraRanga where entrants can win the wonderful book "The Story of Ireland" by Brendan O'Brien. It's a fantastic resource and has accompanying resources free for download from the O'Brien's Press website. To enter, click here and answer five questions before this Thursday at 5pm.

Also, as mentioned previously, Simon at is giving away the entire Prim-Ed Olympics resource pack in this competition. To enter, register for free on, add content to earn points and once you have 200 points, you will be entered into a raffle. There's only a month left in which to enter so get mashing! 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Póstaeir: Na h-Ábhair Scoile

Dia daoibh!
Déan cliceáil ar an t-íomhá atá thíos chun póstair leis na hábhair scoile a íoslódáil.
Bainigí taitneamh as!

(all clipart has been kindly borrowed

free Gaeilge posters, Irish posters, ar scoil posters, póstaeir

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

St. Patrick's Day Linky Party

As Paddy's Day (FAO Anybody who calls it "Patty's Day"  - that's not how the Irish say it!) is fast approaching, here's a linky party with tonnes of resources and ideas for the day. Just click on the image below to visit it. My contribution is the St. Patrick's Day song by The Speks that I recently blogged about.

If you want to stay with Irish sites for resource-hunting, check out Seomra Ranga and too!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

One to follow: Seomra Ranga

Words cannot express how much I love It's full of fantastic resources, ready-made for teachers. My classroom walls are filled with Seomra Ranga posters and flashcards and I have gotten some great lesson ideas and links to other teaching resources. All resources are free to download but you can make a donation if you wish. 

Although, I think I've yet to meet a teacher who doesn't know about Seomra Ranga, perhaps there are some out here in the blogosphere. If you have never been, go there at once! I can guarantee that you will find some terrific resources/ideas.

Anois, mar tá Seachtain (COICÍS!!!) na Gaeilge fós ar siúl, téigh go dtí Seomra Ranga agus déan íoslódáil ar Tráth na gCeist atá anseo. Is áis sármhaith í!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Free reading (self and peer) assessment sheet

Happy World Book Week! 

To celebrate, grab this free self- and peer-assessment sheet for some reading skills. Just click on the image below to view/download from Google Docs.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Seachtain na Gaeilge: Físeáin

Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge ar siúl faoi láthair. Ní thuigim cé nach bhfuil an t-ainm "Coicís na Gaeilge" ar an eachtra seo!

Caithfidh mé a bheith ag blagáil faoin suíomh idirlín "Lurgan." (GRMA, Ciarraíoch as do mholadh!) Tá a lán físeáin le fáil anseo le h-amhráin nua-aimseartha cosúil le "Cóisir Rac (Party Rock Anthem)," "Praghas Tag (Price Tag)." Is áis an-úsáideach í chun páistí a spreagadh agus an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn. Bainfidh mé úsáid as na físeáin seo i rith na coicíse gan amhras ar bith.

Féach ar "Kids" le MGMT as Gaeilge, thíos:

Modern songs as Gaeilge, new songs as Gaeilge, download pop songs in Irish

Friday, 2 March 2012

My kids are obsessed with!

I can't believe I haven't blogged about Mangahigh before. I came across this site  on during Maths Week 2011. Teachers can sign up for free, upload their children's names and generate usernames and passwords. Teachers can then let the children play the maths games and set specific challenges. The challenges are well laid-out as they are based on the Irish curriculum and organised by strand and strand unit. You can also change the target level (gold, silver and bronze) for individuals/groups of children. 

The children in my class absolutely love it and beg to use it during their computer time in school. I have used it to set homework but don't any more as many children do not have internet access. I have noticed, from checking on the teacher's page, that many children use it almost daily at home. They often come in to school and ask me if I could set a new/higher challenge for them. I love this enthusiasm.

Anyway, I'd definitely recommend this to any teacher. It doesn't take long to register, it's totally free and the children are mad about it.