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Claire’s First Class have been very busy bees since returning to school in September… Take a look at some of what we have been up to!..
Mathematicians at work. We love working and playing together during our maths stations.
Re-telling the story ‘Don’t Worry Little Crab’ by Chris Haughton with our own handmade crab puppets. Art, Drama, S.P.H.E and literacy all in one!
A history lesson on Helen Keller tied in nicely with our science lessons on the senses and we wrote our names in braille, using the sense of touch to read.
Learning about school long ago was fascinating, we are glad we didn’t have to go to school long ago, school today is alot more fun and friendly! We certainly had fun identifying what these artefacts were used for with our groups.
Artists at work, creating collages like Matisse.
We loved learning about all our native Irish trees and the changes that occur in Autumn. We love learning outside and had lots of fun making habitats for woodland creatures and collecting sticks, stones, leaves and conkers to make nature mandalas.
Book week was so much fun! We wrote book recommendations, designed covers for our favourite books, made bookmarks using origami and went on a Where’s Wally search but most of all we loved curling up with a good book for Drop Everything And Read…
Our classrooms and corridors came alive again this September.
10 familiar songs from our whole school singing assemblies are waiting. We would love to see your videos of you and your family joining in with some of our school songs. If you have a favourite Ballinteer Educate Together song that you would like to hear, please send us your requests : )
On the 6th February the children will come to school for the 100th day of the school year since we started back on 29th August.
There will be lots of fun, number-related activities taking place throughout the day to mark the occasion: 100th Day activity stations and relays, number games, 100th Day art activities and poetry and lots more! Our senior classes will be looking at some more challenging work around number systems and code breaking.
Children are invited to come to school on the day in a 100th Day T-shirt of their own design. This could be decorated with 100 buttons, stickers, smiley faces – the more creative the better!
The 100th Day Celebration is part of our School Improvement Plan for Numeracy; Problem Solving. This plan was implemented last year and can be found here:
As the Winter set in we did “10 at 10”, ten minutes exercise at ten to ten, on wet days. (That’s a lot of counting by 10.)
We had lots of fun carving the pumpkin, making pictures and baking “báirín breac”.
On a beautiful Autumn day, we set of in search of “Leafman”.
“A leafman has got to go where the wind blows. “
Developing the skill of observation and drawing.
“Every child is an artist”
“Oh the places you will go!”Dr Seuss
In term 1 we explored 2D shape, number patterns, ordinal number and fractions. We learned about these new concepts and developed our Maths skills in lots of fun ways.
1st Class were learning all about Outer Space for the last couple of weeks. During Science week we visited the Planetarium in the Mill Theatre and got a sense of what it might be like to really blast off into space! We read the picture book, “The Darkest Dark” by Chris Hadfield and enjoyed some of Hadfield’s videos about life on a space station. We also learned about Neil Armstrong’s visit to the moon.
The children created amazing art work of the solar system. Using marbles and paint we created some colourful paper which we used to make the planets in the solar system.
To consolidate all this learning the children engaged in some space themed play and construction activities. The children most certainly had a blast! Have a look at the photos to see some of our creations!
Lisa’s 1st Class were very busy in Term One. You can see a selection of photos of their art work and activities here.
After enjoying the story of Fantastic Mr Fox the children drew their very own fox using oil pastels. Didn’t they do a great job?!
During the autumn months we collected all types of leaves, sketched some of them, made leaf rubbings, made leaf creatures and much more!
We enjoyed the Enormous Turnip story and followed this up with a sequencing activity which involved lots of team work. Then the children created their own little turnips and pumpkins using some orange play dough.
Halloween was lots of fun in 1st Class this year. The outfits were super! As part of our morning meeting, 1st class had a super spooky spider web greeting on the last day of term. It was quite tricky to untangle at the end!
Last month, First Class were learning all about weight so what better way to test out our knowledge and skills than baking cupcakes?!
In groups, we weighed out the butter and sugar, before mixing it together in the mixing bowl. Next we carefully cracked the eggs into the bowl, making sure no shell went in to the mixture (imagine crunching on eggshell in your cupcake! Ew!). When we had mixed the eggs with the butter and sugar, we weighed the self-raising flour were and gently mixed it in to the batter.
This helped our buns to rise and be lovely and fluffy when they were cooked.
We then placed the mixture into bun cases on a baking tray, before putting them into the oven for 20 minutes. When they turned golden-brown, we took them out and got to make yummy icing to decorate our buns. The best bit was definitely getting to taste our iced buns. They were absolutely delicious!
This week First Class were describing how houses and homes can be different, before drawing and labeling pictures of our own homes.
In our table groups, we then had to work together to build houses out of Lego. We were given a brief of what our houses must include (a door, windows, 2 storeys and a roof). At first, this seemed like a very challenging task but the amazing architects, brilliant builders, perfect problem-solvers and enthusiastic engineers of First Class powered through and every single group successfully completed the brief.
1st class have been very active in Maths class this week! We have been learning about length, width and height. We have been making predictions and then measuring various items around the classroom. We used non-standard units of measurement such as cubes, links, hand spans and strides. Today we tried measuring with a standard unit of measurement, the metre! We used a piece of string, which was exactly one metre long, to measure the doors, windows, desks and even the width of the entire classroom!
Last week, we were exploring and experimenting with pattern in maths, art, music and almost every other subject you can think of! We realised we are surrounded by different patterns so our pattern-making skills were Level: Expert! We made patterns in a variety of ways, including Lego, buttons, shapes, colours and cubes. We even created a grid of 28 different patterns on paper using oil pastels. We then painted each pattern grid with watercolours but the clever oil pastel was able to resist the paint, resulting in these fabulous masterpieces.
We have been learning about 2D Shapes recently and decided to see how many shapes we could find in our own classroom. Did you know we are surrounded by all kinds of shapes everywhere we go?
Our bin has a circle at the top.
The 100 Square is a giant square itself.
Our Worry Monster has an oval-shaped tummy.
Our paint pots and glue sticks have circle faces too.
For World Book Day, we dressed up as our favourite characters and creatures.
Most of Hogwarts came to our school on this day, as well as other witches and wizards, football players, doctors, ghosts and even Horrid Henry! It was an eventful day trying to do maths and read stories with dinosaurs, princesses, zombies, pirates, Alice in Wonderland, ghostbusters and Lego ninjas sitting in our classroom!
First Class had a busy day today learning lots about Science. First we learned some interesting facts about the solar system. We then work on some space themed problem solving in Maths class. Later we were invited by Lucy’s 5th Class to see a science demonstration, called “Elephants Toothpaste”! 5th Class students showed us that when you mix yeast, water, washing up liquid, food dye and hydrogen peroxide, they create a chemical reaction, that really does look like a giant toothpaste tube being squeezed out! After that we went back to our own class and created some art work to represent the solar system. The children used marbles to create an interesting effect on their planets. I will share some photos of the finished work later, as they are not quite completed yet!
A super day of science!
You have heard of Google Maps but now get ready for First Class Maps!
We became cartographers last week when we made maps of our classroom. We had to imagine we were spiders crawling along the ceiling and looking down at the desks. Standing on our chairs and looking directly down at our tables helped us imagine how the other objects in the classroom would look from a Bird’s eye view.
Last Tuesday, 1st class had a visit from Ian Patterson, who told us lots of interesting facts about birds of prey. He brought in two of his birds, Fluffy, the long eared owl and Bob the falcon. Although Fluffy had the most amazing big bright orange eyes, we learned that owls cannot see very well in the daylight. We also learned that they fly almost completely silently due the type of feathers they have. This makes them excellent hunters. Some of the children got the chance to put on the leather glove and wait for one of these amazing birds to fly and land on their outstretched arm! It was a wonderful experience for all!
Fun with magnets in First class.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are enjoying learning together in First Class. Every day we work in small groups to improve our literacy skills. We rotate through four different literacy activities. Nick helps us with our writing skills and Ann and Sinéad work with us to develop reading and comprehension skills. We have learned plenty of new information and skills from reading very interesting books and from writing in different genres.
In maths we love to use materials and play games to help us learn. We work as a team and help each other to complete mathematical challenges!
In our Irish lessons we have become fantastic at having conversations and singing songs ‘as Gaeilge’. Some children have even started to write little books as Gaeilge. Bainaigí úsáid as bhur gcúpla focail sa bhaile leis an gcomhrá thíos!
Dia duit…….Dia is Muire duit.
Conas atá tú?………Tá mé go maith.
Cén rang ina bhfuil tú?…….. Tá mé i Rang a hAon
Cén aois thú?………Tá mé sé bliana/seacht mbliana d’aois.
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.