This month our theme was The Garden Centre! This has definitely been one of our favourite themes so far because we have been able to play with mucky soil, plant seeds, play with real daffodil bulbs and gardening equipment like watering cans, trowels and rakes too! We have been reading stories like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Ten Seeds and The Cautious Caterpillar that teach us all about how all living things grow and change when they are cared for and loved.
We also learned how seeds grow when they have enough water, soil and sunlight. Each day we watch to see how our strawberry and potato plants are growing thanks to the free materials sent to our school by Incredible Edibles! They sent some seeds, plants and gardening equipment to our home-school teacher Linda who kindly shared them with our class. We have become fantastic gardeners in the process! We want to say a very big thank you to the Incredible Edibles team and to Linda for giving us all the equipment we need to be excellent gardeners!
In January we were told that schools would be closed and we would have to learn from home until schools could reopen safely. Luckily, children and parents had been using our online learning platform 'Seesaw' for homework since the start of the year. While the transition to home learning was a daunting one, it was made a little easier by the familiar layout of Seesaw that families and teachers had used since September.
Parents became overnight teachers and helped their children with tasks, challenges and learning activities online and at home. It was important for parents to remember that they knew their child best and that we understood that each family and home situation was different. We were blown away with the consistent engagement and responses from families during the school lockdown. It was a very difficult time for families and they still managed to submit work, take photos, join Zoom calls and take part in weekly challenges. Thank you once again for your brilliant involvement. The photos and work submissions we got were absolutely wonderful and helped to keep up the connections with children from afar.
We had weekly class calls on Zoom that did not include any formal learning. These calls were purely to socialise, chat, play games and have fun together. We played Simon says, Spot the Difference, engaged in Show and Tell, exercised with GoNoodle video routines and even talked about our pets, toys, hobbies and past times during the lockdown.
Our whole-school Learn Together Assemblies also took place on Zoom each Friday. In school we have assemblies each Friday as part of our Educate Together Learn Together curriculum. This was a great way to keep connected and catch up on news and interesting projects taking place. The highlights were the birthday shoutouts, Susan's weekly outdoor challenges, the OWL nominations (Outstanding Weekly Learner) and of course Colm's Intercolm jokes!!
You can rewatch some of the Learn Together Assemblies here: https://www.eskeretns.ie/learn-together-assemblies
Also, have a look at the Home Learning Hub for Susan's weekly outdoor challenges: https://www.eskeretns.ie/esker-home-learning-hub.html
On December 18th our school had a silly hat day fundraiser that was organised by the PTA. We had a splendid collection of hats and headgear on display... just have a look at some of the photos!
Well done to all who took part and thank you to the PTA for the great fundraiser for our school! We had so much fun and loved dressing up in our silliest hats. What a great way to end the term!
We want to say a big thank you to our wonderful SNA Milena and our fantastic caretaker Barry for designing and painting our lovely sensory maze in the Junior Infants yard!
Now we have hopscotch, froggy jumps, loop the loop tracks, ladders and lots more to keep us busy during our breaktimes outside.
It's been tried and tested by the children in Junior Infants Green and we love it! Bualadh bos agus go raibh míle maith agaibh!!
The CLOVER initiative (Children LOVE Reading) has been a fantastic incentive in our school and we didn't let Covid restrictions stop us from promoting and encouraging a love of reading in Junior Infants! Linda, our home school liaison teacher, kindly gave each child an exciting reading pack at the start of the year. In the goody bags were story books, stickers and crayons to encourage and promote reading at home.
Normally, as part of the CLOVER initiative parents are invited into the classroom to read stories to the children. Even though parents weren't allowed to come in this year, they still read stories to the class by sharing videos of themselves reading stories from home!
The children loved watching and listening to their parents and guardians reading to them and their friends in school. When a child realised it was their parent reading the story that day they were so proud and excited to tell the whole class! They listened to every word and laughed at every joke. It might have been a small task for parents, but it meant so much to the children and the excitement they had after listening to the CLOVER videos from parents lasted the whole day!
Thank you to Linda and all parents and guardians who got involved. It was really lovely to see how excited and eager the children were to read once they saw their families taking part. Well done to all involved!
You can learn more about our other literacy and numeracy initiatives here: https://www.eskeretns.ie/literacy--numeracy.html
Have a look at some of our photos from the Winter Showcase! Our Aistear theme for the month of December was 'Winter Wonderland' and we learned lots about the coldest season for Ireland and about animals who live in arctic climates.
We learned how to wrap gifts and dressed up as arctic animals at the role play corner, played in the icy, bubbly water at the messy play station, built igloos with the polydron blocks and made beautiful winter arts and crafts too!
Our poem was called 'I'm a little penguin' and we all performed it together to create a video that our class watched live on Zoom with our families and the other children at Esker ETNS. Even though we were apart, we still celebrated the festive season as a whole school community!
You can watch our full performance and the videos from other classes here: https://www.eskeretns.ie/learn-together-assemblies/december-17th-2020
Our Aistear theme this month is the building and construction site! The children have been playing in role as builders, architects, designers and clients as they plan and construct their very own houses, towers and buildings. Have a look for yourself and ask your child about what is happening in each of the photos. Ask questions like "I wonder how they built that?" or "What is the child making in this picture?". Your child can fill you in on all of the news from the building site!
We have been learning about diggers, cranes, bulldozers and cement mixers and how they help with the materials needed for construction. The children have also been investigating and constructing with recycled materials at the Junk Art station. There have been lots of great Lego towers and bridges built in Junior Infants.... Although some of them have also come tumbling down! All of these experiences are part of investigating, testing, trial and error as a successful builder :)
On our last day before midterm break we dressed up in our favourite costumes and Halloween outfits to celebrate! Milena prepared Halloween biscuits for us to decorate and bake in school. We used chocolate squares and smarties to create spooky skeleton faces. After our baking we played musical statues and had a picnic while we watched a Halloween movie. It was a great day!
September was a busy month with lots of new changes to our school! The children in Room 1 started primary school for the very first time and we were blown away by how well they settled in. They were extremely brave and all settled in so quickly to the new routines and rules about handwashing and keep their hands to themselves.
In our classroom there are three adults helping us: Giorgia (class teacher), Laura (support teacher) and Carol (our Special Needs Assistant / S.N.A.). We have five different pods (table groups) in our room: Yellow, Orange, Green, Red and Blue. Each day the children work only within their pods and at breaktime they play only within our class bubble. The children only use the bathrooms allocated to their pod as well. This means that they do not mix with other class groups during the day.
During the day, the children use a lot of hand-held materials and resources (eg. Lego, blocks, beads, counters, figurines, cards). We are very careful that children only play with the resources allocated to their pod to prevent any mixing between table groups. Each day, we steralise the materials using antibacterial soap and warm water, or alternatively we quarantine the toys in sealed containers for 72 hours until it is safe for the children to use them again. We change the activities at the table groups each day so that all of the children get a chance to play with new activities every day!
For the last few weeks you have all been hard at work, from home. Staying safe and minding your families is so important at this time. I was delighted to see you bring the fun spirit of our classroom home with you to share with your families. Take a look at some of our friends hard at work (and play!).
Check out this clever way to revise your numbers, wow!
This butterfly looks just like one of our painted ladies, I wonder which one it was?
,The artwork seems to be a firm favourite! Look at how talented our little siblings are, too!
Being at home is the perfect time for some junk art - this looks like a train! I wonder where it's off to?
We even got outside to enjoy a little bit of fresh air and had a picnic. What a lovely idea now that the weather is improving!
Some of the children have been watching RTÉ's home school hub and were so excited to show off their projects!
There was lots of maths too! I think there's a few budding teachers in our parents yet!
I hear there's a new italian restaurant open in town! I can't wait to order some takeaway when we're back at school, that pizza looks yummy! What's your favourite pizza topping?
We're getting our steps in everyday with Joe Wicks!
*Happy Easter Holidays everyone!*
Hi my name is Giorgia and welcome to the Junior Green blog. See what we get up to in our first year of school!