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Coffee Machine Mechanics

Across the school we have been taking some barista lessons. Our classes have looked at various coffee machines and decided to draw some plans and making our own specially designed coffee machines. We have designed machines with built in cream frothers, milk jugs and double coffee cup holders. The children invented so many wonderful coffee machines it is exciting to see what happens when we put our minds to it.

Drawing the plans.

The baristas in action in Costa Ballinteer.

Helpful Otto

We had a very exciting day in Senior Infants today, we met Otto. Otto is a highly trained ‘task specific’ golden retriever dog. He is assigned to a wonderful child and he helps keep him safe and calm during stressful situations. He walks very well on a lead and helps him with day today tasks.

Otto sitting when requested.

He follows directions and stops when asked. We learned the importance of not disturbing assistance dogs when they are working. We can tell Otto was working when he is wearing his blue vest.

We had lots of fun getting to know Otto today and learning how certain animals can be trained to do special jobs for people.

Otto uses a special lead that is attached to the person he is walking with and they can hold Otto using another lead. We want to thank Otto’s family for bringing him into our class today and helping us learn more about assistance dogs and Autism.

The Arctic

This December the Senior Infants have had the joy of becoming Arctic explorers and going on an expedition to the Arctic. The boys and girls been learning all about Arctic traditions and animals. They boys and girls have been looking at the many ways people and animals have had to adapt to survive in the Arctic.

Some of the traditions they enjoyed learning about were throat singing and ice fishing. They boys and girls agreed that they would enjoy building snowmen if they were in the Arctic. They thoroughly enjoyed learning all about caribou, lemming, huskies, polar bears, seals and snowy owls.

We also introduced a sensory box, full of sago seeds which looked like snow. The children loved the feel of the beans. They constructed Inuit villages in the sensory box and played with the Arctic animal figures.  They also enjoyed building Igloo’s out of Lego and cubes.

Thank you to everyone who send in books and toys to help our exploration of the Arctic.

Shapetastic

We have had lots of fun in Senior Infants this month learning all about shapes. We used lots of materials in our classes to learn about shapes. Have a look at our cool pentagons and hexagons. We love using lollipop sticks and straws to make new shapes.

 

We had a lot of fun arranging ourselves into various shapes in our groups. We organised our groups into the new shapes in our classrooms. We love maths and we had so much fun.

We had so much fun using markers and straws in our classes to  build shapes and the best thing is we can do the same activities at home. We can’t wait.

 

 

 

Some of the songs we listened learned to help us remember our shapes are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M44hNrLgT3I

 

Sowing seeds in First class

   

In First Class we have been learning all about living things. We have carried out an experiment to see what conditions plants and animals need in order for them to grow. This is an aspect of our study about habitats and what habitats we have in ireland. Each group got some different seeds to sow and over the next few weeks we are documenting how they grow.

We have designated a water person in our class to water the plants on a daily basis and we know this is a big job with a lot of responsibility.

 

 

The Compost

 The pots with all our names.

Putting the compost in the pots.

Each group getting their seeds. It was lots of fun to shake and feel the packet and guess what our seeds would look like.

Finally sowing the seeds which will be watered daily. We can’t wait to watch our seeds grow.   

We have also left one pot in the press in total darkness to see what happens to that pot as it will receive no sunlight in order for it to grow.

Second Class showing their baby chicks to the school

Second Class

Second Class undertook the very exciting project of hatching baby chicks using an incubator in class. They waited patiently for 21 days for the eggs to hatch and made sure the incubator was at the correct temperature everyday so that the baby chicks could  grow inside the egg.

 

  

The incubator in our classroom and the calendar counting down the time until the chicks are ready to hatch.

 

 

When the chicks hatched out of the egg they were very wet and they weren’t moved from the warmth of the incubator until they were properly fluffed up. They needed to be strong enough to survive in the outside world outside the warmth and safety of the incubator before they could explore the classroom.

             

When the chicks were strong enough for visitors all classes came to our class to look at them. They loved the names we put on the chicks like Conor McGregor.

 

We learned about what is necessary for the chicks to grow. We fed them some bread and cut up lettuce. We always made sure they had enough water to drink to help them grow.  We also learned all about how to create an environment necessary for animals to grow and strive. We fed the baby chicks

 

When the chicks were ready to move outside our teacher Laura brought them home to live with the chicks at her house. There they have plenty of space to grow and they have a safe place to run around.

Coder Dojo

Barbara Hughes sharing her knowledge and expertise with the classes.

 

Powerpoint presentation briefly outlining computer science and the science behind coding…….

What is Computer Science

 

Magnificent magnets

Fun with magnets in First class.

 

 Testing out the magnets with iron filings.

   Testing out the force of attraction through a table. 

The children thoroughly enjoyed moving a car across the top of the desk using a magnet and a car attached to a magnet.

Testing out magnetism. The boys were using round hoop magnets to see how attraction and repulsion worked. They thoroughly enjoyed watching the floating magnets “defying” gravity.

Dancing raisins

 

Investigate what happens when we put raisins in sparkling water and 7up.

This week we wanted to investigate what happens when we mix objects of different densities, ie. raisins and 7up. We chose 7up but any clear fizzy drink will work.

 

We poured the  7UP into the tall glass. We noticed the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas released from the liquid.

We dropped 6 to 8 raisins into the glass.

 

Raisins are denser than the liquid in the soda, so initially they sink to the bottom of the glass. The carbonated soft drink releases carbon dioxide bubbles. When these bubbles stick to the rough surface of a raisin, the raisin is lifted because of the increase in buoyancy. When the raisin reaches the surface, the bubbles pop, and the carbon dioxide gas escapes into the air. This causes the raisin to lose buoyancy and sink. This rising and sinking of the raisins continues until most of the carbon dioxide has escaped, and the soda goes flat. Furthermore, with time the raisin gets soggy and becomes too heavy to rise to the surface.

Walking Water

Mission: To see if we can make water to move from one location to another.

Our investigation of capillary action. Capillary action as we found out is how flowers move water from the ground beneath them up through their stems up into their petals and leaves. From our discussion on habitats we discovered that cacti must be really good at capillary action as there is not much water around them.

We used clear cups. paper towels, water and food colouring for this experiment. The best part is we could do this at home very easily as there are not a lot of materials needed.

  

 

We put the two glasses next to each other and filled both with the same amount of water. We then put a drop of different coloured food colouring into both. It is easier to see the water with the food colouring in it.

   

We then put the paper towel which was cut to an inch wide into both cups. We then put an empty cup in between the cups that were full with water.

  

What happened: After some time we saw the coloured water crept along the paper towels and pooled into the empty cup all by itself. We made the water walk.

 

 

Marvellous marbles

The mission: roll a marble from the top of the box to the bottom in the slowest time possible.

This week we were working as engineers looking at ways to slow things down. Traffic engineers use all kinds of ways of slowing down traffic. They have designed methods to encourage drivers to slow down and not drive too fast by setting up speed bumps and chicanes. Some measures make drivers slow down because they change the a the road looks- like planting trees along the sides of the road, or making the road narrower. We took all of this into consideration when building our marble runs.

Firstly like all good engineers we designed a plan before getting started. We looked at the materials we had to work with and organised how we would place them on the box to design the slowest run possible.

 

We drew our plans using all of the materials and placing them on the box to measure for size before sticking them down.

 

Next when were were happy that we had used all the materials correctly we stuck them down using double sided tape and blue tack.

           

Then we tested our first run. we wrote down the time it took to get the marble from the top to the bottom. This was the fun part but we noted that sometimes the marble got stuck so we had to move the track to ensure it flowed freely.

We then all came together and spoke about our designs and the time it took from the marble to run from the top to the bottom. When we heard the times we all set back to work again moving the materials to see if we could make our run slower before we retried the run.

 

We tried the run another two times and wrote down our times. It was a lot of fun testing the marble, but it was very hard to slow it down the second time.

  

 

We really loved this experiment and it was so much fun testing other peoples marble runs and seeing what people design using the same materials.

 

The winning design with the slowest time. Well done 🙂

Investigating Engineering in Dundrum

As the school have moved location this year we decided to take advantage of this and go on a class walk around our local area. We looked at aerial images of the school on google maps in our class with our teachers and learned about Dundrum. We picked out some of the most obvious features like the road and the Luas and decided to study them as a class. We also looked at some old pictures of Dundrum and we compared our findings against the land features that exist today and we discovered that Dundrum has changed a lot. The Dudrum Shopping centre wasn’t always there and the Dudrum Luas Bridge wasn’t always there. Our teachers explained that the new Luas Bridge used to be a train station years go before the Luas  existed.

As part of Engineers week we decided to investigate the Dundrum Luas Bridge. We watched this video in class and decided to see if we could find similar features in our local bridge.

 

    

Video on building Bridges:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVOnRPefcno

We noticed that the Luas Bridge also had triangles as they are an important feature of a bridge and used for strength and stability.

 

      

We enjoy studying engineering in our local area and reading books about bridges.

Lets get connecting

K’Nex Masters at work

We have been very busy in school this week constructing with our K’NEX. We have decided to explore the world of Civil Engineering and try our hand at building structures for specific purposes.

First of all we spent some time drawing up the blue print and planning the building we wanted to build. We then had a class discussion about the materials we could use. This team chat was great as we could see everyone’s ideas and figure out what would work best.

 

We then got down to the construction. Some of the children had experience playing K’NEX at home, and they gave us some advice. They knew all the K’NEX tricks and were able to share their advice with the group. They became the project leaders and advisers.

 

 

For every structure we started with a foundation and decided that the most stable shapes were squares and rectangles. They were also the easiest to build.

  

 

 

For the roof we decided that a triangle would be a good shape to help the rain and snow flow off the roof. We learned that a triangle is the strongest shape for construction, from building our bridges.

 

 

We had so much fun using the K’NEX and can’t wait to use them again.

Up Up and Down

Learning all about Pulleys..

In First Class we are learning about simple machines we use,  to make everyday life easier. To start off our investigation we are learning all about pulleys. We first of all looked at a simple video of how a pulley worked and had a short discussion about Pulleys in our lives.

     

We decided that cranes work the same as a pulley and some  other everyday pulleys include flag-posts, boat and masts, wells and building sites.

 

      

We looked at the details of a pulley and decided that simple pulleys need two features:

  • a curved edge
  • a string to attach to the item you wish to be pulled.

  

There were lots of things with a curved edge and a cylinder shape that we could use and we chose a rolling pin and an empty spool of thread. We then attached items of different weights to be raised up by the pulley.

Some of the things to learn about during this experiment were gravity and pulleys using a fixed and movable pulley. One of the best things about this experiment is that this is an old invention still in use today. It was fun to learn about how things in  our great grandparents time were used and how the same is in use  today, many years later.

 

This was the biggest challenge, a heavy bucket which we had to stabilize so none of the pencils would fall out. We learned about balance and where the best place to hook the string to the item would be. We had to pull the weight steadily so the pencils wouldn’t fall out. This was loads of fun.

Trailing around our school

Trailing around School 

This week in First Class we decided to take our Maths outdoors and it was loads of fun. We took our clipboards and sheets and went outside to gather the information we needed. We decided to measure how many steps we took from the front door of our school to the gate. We then counted the number of bars in the gate when we reached it.

 

It was difficult to count and walk at the same time so we had to concentrate very hard. It took us about 150 steps to reach the gate from the front door.

       

Group number two had to take a record of the number of cars at the front of the school and we wrote down all the registration numbers of the cars and the colour of each car. We discovered that the colour silver was very popular among the teachers in school. Our teacher said that was because it was easier to keep silver cars clean :).

 

 

 

We also had to count the number of windows at the front of our school. As there were lots of windows it took us a few goes to get it right. It was very interesting to note the difference in the window shape from our school building to the window shapes in the new school building where second and third class are.

We thoroughly enjoyed our Maths Trail around the school. It was lots of fun to get a chance to do some Maths outside.

 

 

Catapult

Catapult experiment

 

For science this week we looked back into the past to see what science experiement people used years ago. We decided to make a catapult.  We made an experiment with lollipop sticks and elastic bands. It was very simple and lots of fun. We realised we needed to reinforce the catapults to make them stronger. Reinforcements are very important for structures in all of our science experiements, to make sure our structures are strong and stable.

We now know that the triangle is one of the strongest shapes in the world, we learned this while undertaking our spaghetti bridge building experiment.

 

 

Catapults were first introduced in battles to destroy castles. We learned about elasticity and how it is stretchy and how rubber bands stretch very far. We also learned that if we stretch it very far and let it go it will hurt your fingers.

 

The best part about the catapult challenge was when we had a catapult race at the end and had to see which catapult could shoot the stick the furthest.

The Science bit:

Elasticity is the ability of an object or material to resume its normal shape after being stretched or compressed. We used a rubber band for the elasticity part of our experiment. When looking at catapults from years ago, we learned that big rubber bands would not be effective they had to use ropes instead. We decided to vary our experiement by using different numbers of rubber bands.

An Egg-cellent Friday

We’ve had a busy week in First Class this week. We have been learning all about protein and how it is important for our growing bodies. We spoke about where protein comes from and why it is important in our diet. As part of our investigation, we decided to carry out the egg and vinegar experiment.

Step one:

On Monday  we put one raw egg into a full glass of water and we put another raw egg into a full glass of vinegar.

We made predictions about what would happen to the egg in 24 hours.

Some of our predictions were:

“The egg in vinegar will crack”, “The egg in vinegar will float”, “The egg in vinegar will sink”

We labelled the glasses and set them aside.

Step 2:

After leaving the egg for 24 hours we rechecked the egg to see if any of our predictions were correct. After the set time, we examined the egg and noticed that the egg in the vinegar had changed. There was a new bubbly substance in the glass forming at the top. Everyone got to feel the egg in the glass and we all noticed a difference. The egg was now smoother and some children remarked that it was spongy and foamy, not like a typical egg. We then set the egg aside for another 24 hours. The egg in the glass with the water was now at the bottom and no physical difference was noticeable.

Step 3- The fun part!

After leaving the egg to set for 48 hours it was now time to see what changes had come about. We took the egg out of the vinegar and washed off the foamy substance. We were left with an egg free shell, in a rubber sack. The children all felt the egg and remarked that it was similar to putty or a rubber ball. We had to remember to be very careful with the egg and make sure not to squish it too much in case we burst it.

 

Testing the egg:

We decided to test the egg by throwing it forcefully onto the grass at the front of our school. We all watched as the egg crashed to the ground and to our delight it exploded. We then examined the remains and the rubber sack had burst and the normal egg was now cracked on the grass.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed this experiment and working as scientists this week. We realised that while working as scientists we need lots of patience and we need to take records.

 

We can’t wait for the next experiment.

Edible Engineering Experiment

Edible Engineering Experiment

 

This week in science we were set the task of working as an engineer to build a bridge out of food. Before we undertook the project we came together as a project team and discussed the work of an engineer. We then look looked at the most important infrastructures in our immediate environment for our build.

The planning stage:

 

 

 

 

Fortunately for us, our school is located beside the Luas Bridge in Dundrum. From looking at this incredible bridge we studied the structures and shapes that we saw and deduced that triangular shapes are important when building a bridge.

Step 2. Construction

 

   

 

We then looked at some bridges that we had seen on our travels and holidays and we came up with some more examples of bridges Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

 

When building the bridges using spaghetti and marshmallows, we realized that sometimes we need to make the materials we are using smaller or bigger to suit the build. We had to half some of the spaghetti and use twice as many marshmallows to make the structure secure.

 

We concluded that if our structure were to stand string for a long period of time we would have to reinforce the spaghetti and use twice as many spaghetti sticks to make the bridge hold. This was a really fun experiment and we learned that it is sometimes hard to work in a team but when we listen to each other the outcome can be very successful.

Taking measuring into our own hands

                                                                    

Our busy fingers have been tracking our steps this week in first class. The cold weather didn’t stop us putting our coats, gloves and scarves to go on our measuring adventure.  We have been using the i-pads to measure the perimeter  of the AstroTurf Pitch and the Netball pitch at school. From walking around the small Netball Pitch we soon realized it was almost half the size of the big AstroTurf pitch.

 

 

                                             

 

We had lots fun tracking our steps and the distance we walked,  we could see the loop it made on the i-pads. It was fun to take the i-pads outside on an adventure too. When we came back to class we calculated that if we walked around the AstroTurf pitch four times we would have walked a full KILOMETER.

 

Using google maps in class we could see an aerial and map view of our school building and the area around it. We were able to tell from looking at the map that the Netball pitch was much smaller.

 

 

                                                                           

We look forward to tracking our distance withe the I-pads on our next adventure.

 

 

 

Dashing into December

December has been a very productive month in First Class.
Animals adapting
We learned that Winter is a very special time for all animals and birds, unlike humans animals cannot layer up to protect themselves from the cold. We studied Reindeer, Robins and Penguins and looked at how they adapted to suit their climates.
We studied the animals that can be found in the Artic and agreed that we would love to go on an exploration like Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean. From studying these Polar and Artic explorers we learned how important teamwork is and how each person had an important role to play in the expedition.
Real Life Resources
We have been learning all about money in maths. We have practiced using coins up to 20c and have played shop in class. We loved using real money and we are ready to hit the shops in Dundrum soon. Counting money and working as a shopkeeper was lots of fun and giving people change was a tough job but we enjoyed it.
Hanukkah
We enjoyed learning about Hanukkah this month and how this is an important Jewish celebration.
We look forward to the winter break and spending time with our family and loved ones over the holidays.

Nollaig Shona Duit

 

Closing the book on October

As Deireadh Fomhair draws to a close so does Autumn and in First class we have spent a great deal of time looking at the changes in the seasons. In first class this month we examined the warm autumnal colours and used them in our Art. We looked to the school grounds for inspiration and as the leaves fell, this became the perfect inspiration behind our art work. We learned all about animals hibernating, and we discovered how to do our bit to get ready for this special time of year. We examined the hedgehogs closely and told Jim the caretaker to look out for any hedgehogs that might be hiding out in the piles of leaves on the school grounds.

 

 Storm Ophelia was also a very interesting time for us as we look at the effects of the storm on the school grounds and the country. From reading the book After The Storm, we now have a better understanding of what we can do to help animals after the storm.

 

 
We are thoroughly looking forward to the book fair that is taking place this week. We all got to look at the selection of books on offer and we had the chance to recommend books to other children in the class.
October was an action packed busy reading month for us and we look forward to sitting and reading our new books in November and beyond! First Class

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