I have been pouring over the new oral language Engish scheme from CJ Fallon called 'Rainbow'. We are planning on changing schemes this year and upgrading from good old Winchilla and Globby *(THANK GOD!!) We has a staff meeting and had a look through the various programmes now available. So I thought I would share what I think of each scheme for you, as it is a big decision for a school to make and we want to get it right!
The Rainbow Scheme is a full English curriculum scheme , but in this review I am focusing only on the oral language component because there's a lot to it.
The first thing that struck me about this offering from CJ Fallon was the online resources. They are really vibrant and bright, and engaging for the junior classes.
There are 16 units per year, each divided into 4 lessons. Each unit includes:
- Interactive posters and dialogues-- ( The online posters are amazing, they talk when you zoom in!)
- Oral language games
- Animations and slideshows
- Songs and poems.
You use one thematic unit per fortnight, and the planning section is really clear and straight forward. A huge plus for me is that the plans are downloadable and editable, which is going to cut planning time in half!
The Response Book offers a means of recording each pupil’s progression and is an excellent means of assessment. Comprehensive Teacher’s Notes are also provided for each lesson.
The Interactive Digital Posters provide conversation models, language skills and styles and topic specific language. There are also Interactive Games which use the language relating to each specific theme. The themes link to Aistear which again means planning is much easier and it promotes integration and linkage in the curriculum. If you search the online material you will find thematic stories, songs, poetry, riddles, rhymes, tongue twisters and jokes which provide structured language practice. Differentiation is really easy with this new programme too.
In addition to the fortnightly lesson plans in each teacher’s resource book, they have provided adaptable online plans at https://my.cjfallon.ie. These plans link each unit explicitly to the oral language learning outcomes of the new primary language curriculum.
The Oral Language Programme unfortunately only runs from junior infants up to second class, I am not sure if there's plans to extend it or not.
I haven't taught infants in seven years (since my first TP) so I really had to study this programme very well, but it was actually easy to navigate even for an infant novice like me!
Hope that helps, I will review the whole Rainbow scheme in my next review.
The teacher's manual pictured below is so detailed and gives excellent plans. The photos also show the online material of the interactive posters, the songs, poems and games.