Hi everyone,

 

I hope you are all enjoying the well deserved midterm break. I opened my laptop today for the first time all week- a real sign of switching off! I am ready now to go back and face the second half of the term, which no doubt will fly by.

 

Anyway, I know a lot of student teachers are starting teaching practice next week, so this post is going to answer all the questions I have received this week. I hope it helps somewhat.

First of all, teaching practice is all about preparation. If you want to do well you have to put the work in, there’s no two ways about it I’m afraid. But, do not panic. There’s still the weekend and you can get a lot of lesson plans done in one weekend if you put the head down!

hi i know I am late with the blog queries i only saw it now. but i am covering Chinese New Year in English and Art and wondering if you had any help, 3rd class ? thank you

Chinese New Year is a great theme to do. I covered it last year with 5th and 6th. We made 3d lanterns in art which were really easy and very effective as a display. The children wrote reports on the Chinese New Year in English. They also did letter writing, we wrote letters to an imaginary child in China in which we compared and contrasted school life in Ireland and China- a good way to integrate geography too. You could also have the children pretend they are journalists reporting on the Chinese New Year parade.

 

Hey I know you have loads of mails re tp, hope you can help though, I’m on tp2 with senior infants what tips/recommendations would you have, especially when the supervisor calls, which I always dread.

Senior infants is a great class to have for TP so don’t worry too much! I find the most important thing with the junior classes is to make sure they are  ALL engaged at ALL times. This is easier said than done, but I find that short lessons (30 minutes) are key, as well as varied methodologies so lots of talk and discussion, group work etc- don’t have them writing for the whole lesson! Have some good transitions for in between lessons too up your sleeve- (go noodle is my go to site) Make sure you walk the room, move between tables, talk to the children during their group work time, do not stay at the front of the room.Have a strong and positive behaviour management system in place and use it A LOT!

Hope you’re having a lovely Midterm. I’m just wondering if you have any ideas for Science Week. I have to organise it this year and I have no idea where to start! I feel that I’ve gone on every website but haven’t come up with anything. Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated

I am on a huge science buzz this year because we are entering the Discover Primary Science awards, and I am running an after school science club so I will be posting a blog post all about science week. The first thing you need to do is choose a number of experiments for your class, or each class if you are in charge of the whole school science programme. There are lots on the primary science website and there are loads on pinterest. Then, source the materials you need and put them into separate shoe boxes, one per experiment. You could have a whole school science fair where children present their experiments to other classes or even to parents.

These were mine for our Halloween experiments

 

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Hi Valerie, sorry to bother you but I am studying to be a primary school teacher with hibernia college and Im about to start my second placement. We have to have an overarching theme for the month which we didnt have to have before. I’m just wondering if you’d any ideas that could help me I’m thinking winter as the theme and winter animals then for one week then another week winter holidays as I’m not doing SESE for this time I am unsure what else to do for the other two weeks. I would really appreciate any insight to this if you have the time.

Over Arching Theme: Winter

Week One: Winter Animals

Week Two: The Arctic

Week Three: Antarctica

Week Four: Winter Explorers

You could also use a winter themed story book for a week. I often did this on TP and found it so easy for integration.

Would you recommend in English to do a certain topic for the four weeks of placement? I’m thinking of doing report writing so am I best to carry on that the four weeks?

I wouldn’t recommend spending four weeks on one genre. Rather, personally (and this is my opinion only) I would spend a week per genre ( the class teacher will do and redo genres throughout the year so don’t worry) I would do report writing for a week, possibly two, and then move on. Procedural writing is always a fun one for TP!

Hi Just a quick question …. I see in your blog that you covered the novel Private Peaceful before did you use world war 1 as your overarching theme for this period? Also what were your 4 weekly themes for it? I am looking to do this for the month of November in 6th class

I used WW1 as my theme, and my themes were, origins of ww1, women during the war, children during the war, and life in the trenches.

 

Reward system for 5th and 6th?

I used table points- each table was named after a house from Harry Potter. Whichever table had the most points by the end of the week got to choose a prize or a homework pass. I also used a raffle ticket system, good behaviour earned a raffle ticket. We had the raffle on a Friday and the winner got a homework pass.

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