1st Class: Pine Forest Tour

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First Class enjoyed an amazing trip up the Dublin mountains to Pine Forest Art Centre.

The day began with a lovely walk through the mountains where we crossed the county border into Wicklow and on a visit to an enchanted fairy forest!  We also made art creations and produced some fantastic work as the photographs attest!

The Twits

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On Thursday all of 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes went to see a performance of “The Twits” in the Mill Theatre.  We all had a fabulous time!  Here are some photos of the fantastic socks we decorated to participate in the play.  They really illustrate the creativity of all the children!

Down Under

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First Class have thoroughly enjoyed studying all about Australia.  They have learned many new facts about its landscape, Indigenous culture and Art.  They have produced lots of fun fact files on native wildlife and their Art work is truly fantastic!!!

First Class prepare for their visit to the farm….

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They have been very busy finding out about the farm. They have been reading and writing about farms. They have set up and played with their own small world farm, which continues to grow and adapt as they learn new information. They have set up a role play corner Farm Shop, labelling their farm produce and deciding prices for items. They are always looking for customers to buy their wares. Just be sure to check your change!

They have even interviewed Mrs. Carpenter about her farm life so they are well prepared in advance of their school tour.

Children love topics connected with animals and farm animals has provided lots of fun, creative, playful and insighful learning of the full curriculum whilst developing skills such as observing, organising, problem-solving, decision-making, recording, interpreting and predicting.

“…[The] world’s greatest discoveries have been made because people were playing around with an idea. The freedom of thought allowed for by play may unlock the learning potential which more confined approaches to the curriculum leave behind.”  (Taylor and Baulter, 1993)

“We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”  (George Bernard Shaw)

1st Class Irish Dancing

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Over the last number of weeks we have been given the opportunity to learn Irish dancing.  We have had a very enjoyable time and our skills have improved greatly!  Here are some pictures from our last lesson.

First Class WBD activities

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First Class celebrated World Book Day in style! Many arrived in truly amazing and inventive book related costumes.

 

Then Carmel Uí Cheallaigh arrived, author of children’s Irish-language books: ‘Spidey’, ‘The New Cat’, ‘Leanbh Nua’ and ‘An Tolg Draíchota’. The children loved listening to her read to them both in English and as Gaeilge. They had lots of questions for her and learned lots about being an author. If anyone wishes to learn more about her books they may like to visit Carmel’s website: ‘Carmelsbooks.com.

 

The rest of the day flew by reading and doing fun reading related activities. The children enjoyed experiencing a wide variety of reading genres, different formats and styles. At times they cosied up for a quiet read by themselves. Sometimes they paired up and shared stories and many participated in a book swap with their peers. Another highlight of the day was reading play scripts together in small groups, where the words quite literally lifted right off the page and came to life. Magic!

 

The aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to pick up a book and read. First Class most certainly achieved that 🙂

“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”- Benjamin Franklin 

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“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”– Benjamin Franklin

 

First Class are getting big into Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Three great ways WE can eliminate waste and protect our environment! Why don’t you ask them for tips as they have some great ideas and also some fab new inventions for eliminating waste in the near future.

Following on from an interesting debate about pollution in the sea and how we might choose to handle it, the children were keen to design their own sea bins and help rid the rubbish caused by humans, especially plastics.

In keeping with our theme, they brought in lots of recycled materials from home for this and busied themselves designing and making an appropriate bin bot prototype.

Some designs acted like a vacuum cleaner and quite literally hoovered it all up. Other designs sported spikes where litter might catch on to the sides. Many had grabbers or mouths to gobble up the bad stuff. Some even had quite complex systems of filtration to ensure only rubbish could be collected and no harm could come to any sea creatures. Some also featured add-ons, such as windows to make it possible to see when the bin was full and would need emptying.

Unfortunately the photos taken cannot capture the essence of the lesson learned, but they do give a snippet into how enjoyable it was to discover ways to recycle waste, whilst also reusing their own waste in a creative and fun way.

 

As a quick aside to this lesson the children had a go at putting some of their filtration designs into action. We filled basins of water to represent the sea and dropped rubbish into it, including some packaging from their lunch boxes. They tried sieving out the rubbish using a variety of instruments: mainly a recycled plastic cup with small holes in it, a simple flour sieve and both a small and large kitchen colander.

Most agreed that the large colander was most effective at removing rubbish…until we added coffee and the water turned a brown mucky colour. They were fairly disappointed not to find a solution for turning the water colour back again, even though one child thought perhaps with persistence they had changed it back just a little bit.

From this the children concluded it was very important to try to prevent water getting polluted in the first place but if it did end up getting polluted that it would be a tricky process to get it back to normal, but not impossible.

As you can imagine they were flabbergasted and enthralled to learn that in some parts of the world, the wastewater that flows down the drain – yes, including toilet flushes – can now be filtered and treated until it is as pure as drinking water!

But would you like to try it? Or have you already done so?

The Owl and the Pussycat

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First Class have been enjoying a watery theme this term:

In English they have been reading some classic poems, such as Edward Lear’s poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” which has delighted readers of all ages for generations.  One child very kindly brought in his money box from home when he realised what the characters were from!

During Art the children sculpted blue paper into three dimensional waves.  The way they diligently chopped, twisted and curled the paper to suggest the movement of the sea was especially effective.

The Dentist

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1st Class have been learning all about the dentist and minding our teeth.  We conducted an experiment to see what happens to our teeth enamel when acid is left on it.  We used eggs in our experiment, egg shells are just like our teeth enamel.  Look at our results!  We learned that water is the best drink for our teeth.  We also enjoyed creating dental instruments and our role play in the dentists.

 

First Class decorations!

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Merry Christmas from Ms Blain’s class.  We had great fun yesterday making Christmas inspired pictures using lollipop sticks and cubes.  We also enjoyed making our stained glass window pictures which make our room very festive!!  We made a nativity scene from cubes.  Rudolph in the snow.  Christmas trees, candy canes and stables.  Snowmen.  Santa’s sleigh.  Reindeer and Santa on his sleigh.

Science Experiments

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Last week in Ms. Kiersey’s first class the children carried out three science experiments.  The first one involved making a rainbow from skittles and warm water.  The second one was creating a lava lamp using vegetable oil and alkaseltzer.  The third and final one was making a bouncy ball from an egg.

1st Class makes Slime!!

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Last week was science week so Ms Kiersey’s first class concentrated on materials and textures.  We watched a short video on how to make slime then experimenting by making our own.

 

We used;

PVA glue (white or clear)

Food colouring (optional)

Baking soda (Bread soda)

ReNu contact lens solution

Bowl for mixing and something for stirring

Measuring spoons

A sealable bag or container to store your slime in afterwards

 

Then we followed a recipe:

Pour 1/8 cup (30mls) of PVA glue into the bowl

Add a few drops of food colouring if using

Add ½ teaspoon bread soda

Mix all together

Add approximately 1 teaspoon of ReNu contact lens solution while continuing to mix. We soon found out through trial and error that you get better slime if you don’t add too much contact lens solution.

 

Once the slime starts to stick together and comes away from the sides of the bowl, take it into your hands and start kneading and stretching it.

 

Our verdict:

8/10

This gave a great slime that was stretchy and non-sticky and lasted well once placed in a sealed bag or container.

First Class Aerial Maps

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The 1st class children in Ms Kiersey’s class were working on aerial view maps.  They created road maps in small groups that showed their journey from home to school.

 

1st Class School Tour

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First Class had a great time on our school tour in Pine Forest Art Centre.  They spent time out walking in the forest and back in the centre making brilliantly colourful bird magnets which have now flown back to their classrooms.

Sense of “Taste”

The pupils in Miss Coe’s Fourth Class have been working hard preparing explanations about our sense of “Taste” for Mr. McConnell’s First Class.  First they conducted research in the computer room where they discovered and recorded lots of interesting information.  Next they planned, edited, redrafted and published their work.  There were lots of different designs, colours, diagrams and shapes used during their publishing work and they looked wonderful!

Fourth class had lots of fun delivering their explanations to First Class.  They also gave a short quiz to the pupils they were working with and First Class had star pupils all round!

Walking for Water

The children took part in the Walk for Water on World Water Day this Thursday and they wore blue to school to symbolise water.

What would it be like to balance a container on your head and walk 6km a day to get water?

In Junior Infants the children balanced books on their heads while walking.  In First Class the children tried balancing beanbags while walking in our yard.  You have to be very careful and it takes a long time!!  We needed to concentrate.  We held out our hands to help our balance.

1st Class & The Case of Mr. W. Wolf

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We have been very busy.  Firstly we convicted Mr. Wolf of his crimes and sent him to prison!  On his escape we created posters to warn everyone!  We also helped with the recapture of this fugitive by collecting evidence.  We even wrote letters to Mrs. Carpenter to let her know the good news.  Mr. W. Wolf is now safely back in Fairytale jail!!!

First Class

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The eco-warriors of first class have designed posters, making people aware of the dangers of pollution.

 

In the lead up to Christmas first class created star decoration from lollipop sticks.