Each morning children line up outside from 9:10. I collect the class at 9.20 and we walk into school to start our fine motor activities. The children have a different activity each morning. These activities help with handwriting skills, fine motor development and hand-eye coordination.
At 9:45 we take the rolla to see who is in school that day. After we have a chat together as part of our circle time. We tell and listen to stories, jokes and news from one another. We sing songs and nursery rhymes together, play a game to develop our phonological awareness and take part in a movement break (eg. Yoga, dancing, stretching or exercising).
Next, we have literacy stations at our tables. Each group works together at a literacy based activity (2 teacher led and 3 independent). These activities change each day and are very interactive!
After playing outside for little break, the children come back to the classroom and eat their small snack and piece of fruit from Carambola. These snacks are distributed each morning by Barry our caretaker.
Ansin, tá sé am-Gaeilge! Oibrimid le chéile chun foghlam faoi téamaí difriúila gach coicis. Tá na ranganna Gaeilge múineadh trí amhráin, dánnta, cluichí, cómhrá, aithris agus athrá i Naíonáin Bheaga. Tá Gaeilge neamhfhoirmiúl úsáidte againn i rith an lae chun frásaí agus grammadach úsáideach a cleachtadh chomh maith. Is aoibhinn linn an Ghaeilge sa rang seo!
Then, it's time for Irish! We work together to learn about different topics each fortnight. Irish lessons are taught through songs, poems, games, discussions, repetition and revision in Junior Infants. Informal Irish is practiced throughout the day to familiarise the children with useful phrases and grammar. We love Irish in this class!
Next is the best part of the day.... Time for play! This is where our themed learning takes place through games, play based activities and child led fun. The children learn about Science, History, Geography, Art, Drama, STEM, Maths and Languages during this time. Our themes change each month. For the month of September it was 'The Home'. The play activities rotate every day so that each child completes all activities in a week. This is a time when important life skills including problem solving, communication, imagination, planning, reflection, critical thinking, sharing and turn taking are happening in the classroom. The children love this time of the day and so do the teachers!
After play time, the children work together to tidy up the classroom and discuss what they did during the play time. This is when ideas are shared and the children really learn from one another!
After all that learning it's time for big break! The children play outside in their yard area and on days when it is too wet, they take part in indoor exercise breaks. The hot lunches from Carambola arrive at 12:30 and children eat together in class while chatting or listening to a story, nursery rhymes or music. Everyone helps to clean up by scraping their hot food into the correct bins afterwards (red for compostable items, green for the tinfoil trays).
In the afternoon the children complete numeracy activities at their tables. At this stage in the day they are very tired so after Maths activities it's time to tidy up, relax and get ready for the weekly story. Reading is so important for children and we read a story every day to develop a love of reading in the classroom. The children love to recognise patterns, make predictions and notice new information or pictures each day. This is a time to calm down, relax and enjoy a book together.
After the story the children line up and get ready to go home for the day. Although the day is short, we manage to squeeze in lots of learning and fun during the day!