Tuesday, 29 March 2016

20 realities of playtime duty

1. You have a designated "playtime duty" coat.
image source

2. You regularly find hair clips / hair ties in said coat.
image source

3. You frantically make cups of tea for others on playtime duty in the hope that they'll return the favour for you.

image source
4. You're almost as good as a doctor at analysing if a child's limp is real or put on.
image source

5. You often have to "oooh" and "aaaah" at wobbly teeth.
image source

6. You build up a collection of interesting leaves or unusual stones having received them as presents. You can't throw them away without breaking some little hearts so you end up putting them in your playtime duty coat pocket along with the hair accessories.
image source

7. You've noticed that windy days and crazy playtime behaviour seem to go hand in hand.

image source

8. You have a lot more volume in your hair after windy playtime duties. You often don't see the effect until you get into your house and get embarrassed about who saw you in the supermarket looking like that.
image source

9. You desperately stare out the window on rainy days, hoping that it will ease up, even if just for your playtime duty.
image source

10. You rush to the microwave/fridge before other colleagues, in order to squeeze in something to eat on playtime duty days.
image source

11. You become an expert at identifying real and false claims of needing to go to the toilet.
image source

12. You feel extremely smug when you're not rostered for playtime duty for several days running.
image source

13. You become as experienced as a qualified football referee, even if you have only a passing interest.
image source
14. You hear yourself saying "Well, tell them that the teacher said not to say/do that!"
image source

15. You cross your fingers and hope that you won't be on duty in the infant yard in September and have to teach them how to line up.
image source

16. You bribe an "active" child with the honour of ringing the bell at the end of the break if they have managed to make "good choices."
image source

17. You're well able to roar out "Déanaigí líne!" when someone forgets the bell.
image source

18. You've said the phrase "You'll be alright before you're married" on more than one occasion... and then rolled your eyes because you realise you're sounding like your parents.
image source

19. You hate Monday playtime duty because you miss out on the gossip from the weekend in the staff room.
image source

20. On your duty day, the neighbouring classroom teacher will expect you to pop your head in the door and give that secret look to signal that you're off for your long-overdue bathroom visit.
image source

*clipart in the main image from MyCuteGraphics.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

UEFA Euro 2016 Teaching Resources

"The Euros" i.e. UEFA Euro 2016 Competition is on it's way. It's taking place from 10th June - 10th July. If you want to follow it with your class, download this free A3 wall planner where you can mark in the scores:


I've also created a pack with 90 pages of teaching resources, posters, flashcards, worksheets, sample lesson plans, lesson ideas, bunting, word searches etc. The lesson plans and related resources are most suitable for upper/middle primary school. 

The full contents are:
  • 2 title posters (UEFA Euro 2016)
  • Groups posters
  • Flashcards with names of each participating country
  • Sweepstake kit
  • Bunting for the children to colour
  • Table quiz questions and answer sheet
  • Maths lesson plan, worksheets and self-assessment sheet
  • English lesson plan and prompt cards
  • PE lesson plan and station teaching cards
  • Science lesson plan
  • Geography lesson plan and project template
  • Visual arts lesson plans and ideas
  • Drama lesson plan and related resource materials
  • Music lesson plan and related resource materials
  • Flag hunt sheet and solution sheet
  • 2 differentiated word searches with solution sheets
Here's an idea of some of the contents:

Some things to note:
-The geography project is in the same format as that of my Rugby World Cup 2015 resource pack
-Some of the objectives in the lesson plans include objectives from the Irish primary school curriculum. These should be easily adaptable to any primary school curriculum

If you're interested in this pack, you can get it for $3.50 (about €3.20) from my TPT store.

If you're an Irish teacher - there's also a separate pack with a leagan Gaeilge (Irish language version) of the posters, flashcards, bunting, project template and sweepstake kit available on its own for $2 (approx €1.85) or as a 138 page bumper pack with this English-language pack for $4 (approx €3.65). 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Book Week Ideas, Displays and Activities

Hi everyone,

I was really inspired by the photos and ideas shared for World Book Day last Wednesday. If you're having Book Week at your school later this year, here are some of my favourite displays/ideas.

If you have any more, please free to add them in the comments!

Shelfie Competition: 
This one was shared on Twitter by Aileen Brennan Nevin (@leenbre). The idea is that the teachers take a photograph of their book shelf. The photos are numbered and the children can enter by guessing which teacher owns which shelf. The first correct entry picked from the entry box could win a prize (ideally a book!).
Image source
Decorate your classroom doors as book covers: 
Get the children to write their own Biff, Chip and Kipper book:
Oxford Reading Tree is hosting a writing competition to celebrate their 30th birthday. The closing date is 30th April 2016. Perhaps you could do this during Book Week. Even if your school is not eligible to enter, why not download the template and do it just for fun! Check out more details about the competition here.

Dress up as your favourite book character:
The Guardian has a gallery of some great costumes from World Book Day 2016. Here are two of my favourites.
Aliens Love Underpants
image source

Willy Wonka
image source

Have the older children read to the younger children:
Pair up the classes and let the older children read to the younger children. This is a lovely one for building confidence as the books will be easy for the older children to read.
image from My Cute Graphics
Create an "Our Favourite Books" corner:
Ask everyone (teacher and children) to bring in their favourite book to keep in school for the week. Create an "our favourite books" corner in the classroom which they can read one another's books during the week.

image source: JPS Books

Invite parents to read to the children:
We have done this in our school and invited parents to read in their native languages even if it's not English. The children love it!
image source: PBS Parents

Make some book marks:
I particularly love these monster/owl ones from Red Ted Art. Click here to view the video tutorial on how to make them.
image source: Red Ted Art

Self/peer-assessment of reading aloud:
Model how to use this self/peer-assessment sheet. Then split your class into pairs and let them assess their own reading and that of their classmates. You can download this sheet for free from Google Drive by clicking here or on the image below.

Display famous quotes from books:
You could create a display board of famous quotes from books. Twinkl has a ready-made pack (see image below) but you could also get the children to choose their own favourite quote to decorate.
image source: Twinkl 

 Carry out an author study:
You could ask older classes to do this individually or you could do it as a whole group activity. Here's a nice (free) graphic organiser from Jessica Lawler.
image source TPT: Jessica Lawler's store

Do a book scavenger hunt:
There are lots of different versions you could do. Here are some examples.
image source: Amanda on Writing (Tumblr)

For older children, this "non-fiction features" scavenger hunt from Buzzing With Ms B is great. Click here to view her blog post about it and download it for free.

image source: Buzzing With Ms. B
This one from Twinkl is based on finding specific words/pictures.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Free 100th Day Resources

Hi all,

Today we celebrated our 100th day of school with some cute activities. All of the resources I used are free, so if you're planning on doing something similar, please download!

We have been marking each day of school by placing a star sticker (Tiger's finest!) on a chart that I downloaded for free from First Grade Bloomabilities. We wrote the M, T, W, Th or F on the stars to make sure we didn't forget a day!

First, we made some 100th day crowns to wear for the day. Each child had a thick strip of white card (I cut A2 lengthways) on which they wrote "It's my 100th day of school." I measured and stapled them while they decorated 10 strips of coloured paper with 10 symbols/pictures/numbers/words. They then glued the bottom of each of these to the inside of the white band and glued them all at the top. I would recommend reminding the children to try and make sure the coloured strips are all the same length or you'll have a few wobbly crowns!

After the crown-making, we carried out some investigations based on the number 100. Another hint: Don't use a bag of microwaveable popcorn for the "unpopped popcorn" investigation. It's covered in some sort of lardy substance! I made this sheet to suit my class. You can download it for free from Google Drive by clicking here or on the image below.

While the children were making their hats, they passed around my iPad and used an app called Aging Booth to make photos of how they would look when they are 100 years old. As I don't want to upload any of my pupils' photos here, have a look at mine as an example!

I printed these (It was very quick to paste the pictures into a blank Keynote presentation and email it to myself as a PDF) and the children stuck them into this (free!) "When I am 100 Years Old" writing frame from The Teachers' Guide.

Next, we did 100 exercises. I chose 10 children to suggest an exercise and we did 10 reps of each.

 Finally, we did some 100th day challenges, some of which were from The Brown Bag teacher's free 100th Day resource pack.