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A Tangram is an Ancient Chinese puzzle made up of specific shapes that when put together correctly can make a square. You can also use the shapes to make many different patterns such as animals or people. In Second Class we used them to solve some Tangram puzzles and then used our shapes to create some animals for a display. Lunar New Year falls this week and it is the most celebrated festival in the world. Each year celebrates a specific animal and this year’s animal is the Tiger.
Gong Hei Fat Choy! (Happy New Year)
We have looking at buildings in Second Class in recent weeks and in particular we’ve been looking at the plans for our new school building. Beforehand, we thought about what it might look like and what we would like it to have. Then we looked at the actual plans of the building focusing on the Elevation (Front View) and the Plan (Bird’s Eye View).
Everyone had a go at drawing their own plans of the actual building and finally we looked at an artist’s impression of the proposed buildings in 3D and our school looks great! It has got us really excited for our move there next year. Next week we are going to make some 3D models of our new school using recyclable materials.
Photos to follow….(technical error!)
In Second Class we did lots of research on owls. Then we wrote about what we learned and we made owl collages using autumn leaves.
Second Class have settled in to their new school year very comfortably. We have all got to know the new routines quickly and we have enjoyed getting down to work. Here is an example of some art work we completed using oil pastels. First we explored leaves, collected some and then discussed how they change during autumn when they are losing their chlorophyll. Then we chose autumn coloured pastels to create our own.
This week Alison’s Second Class enjoyed a trip to our local farm, Airfield. The gardens were beautiful, the flowers were in full bloom and smelt wonderful. We saw grape vines and vegetable patches. We loved seeing all of the different farm animals and completing the challenges set up across the farm. Our favourite part was the playground, especially the zipline!. We would like to say a big thank you to all of the staff at Airfield for allowing us to have such a fun and exciting day.
We’ve planted, germinated, watered and taken care of lots of growing things in Second Class this term. It’s been great to watch the seeds sprout and see how the different plants grow. We’ve grown lettuce, spring onion, spinach, carrots, broad beans, tomatoes, garlic and two different types of sunflowers. Everyone got to take home a plant this week to care for over the next few weeks or months. Nature has been a great focus over the past few months and complemented our studying of Earth and Biodiversity perfectly.
Last week Aongus’ Second Class were lucky to get a free walking trip to Airfield. We walked up in the fresh air enjoying the sights of Dundrum village as we went. It was a 20 minute walk. We saw a lot of biodiversity including some very large trees in the gardens of the house and we think one of them is a Sequoia or Giant Redwood, they are from the largest family of trees in the world. We noticed that the gardeners had planted a lot of new and different vegetables in the garden. There were also a lot of broad beans similar to those we have planted at school and in our classroom, and we saw artichokes as well! We also looked at the walled garden and the beehives nearby. There was a lot of different insect life there as well as extra birds probably because of the many wild plants that have been let grow to encourage pollination, just like we are doing at school on our green area. After visiting the farm animals which included the Jersey Cows, we stopped by the playground and zipline. We’re very grateful to Fiona and the staff at Airfield for facilitating our free visit.
This week the children learned a lot about the different parts of a food chain and why they are so important to all of us animals. They learned vocabulary such as Producer, Consumer, Predator, Herbivore, Carnivore and Omnivore. For their homework the children made a poster containing a food chain which they had researched. They really did brilliantly with this task. A few of the Food Chain posters are posted below.
In Second Class we have started learning about Biodiversity. We’ve been thinking about our ‘Beautiful Earth‘ and our ‘Colourful Earth‘. Today we tried to find as much diversity in our plant life as possible by focusing on different colours. We were very successful and put our colour samples together on a ‘Colourful Earth’ display card. Sinéad pointed out to us that we have a once rare flower growing in our small but diverse green space, the cowslip. We tried not to take too many samples so as to leave food for the insects and bees as well as leaving opportunities for the bees to collect pollen.
Today in Aongus’ 2nd Class we came up with a list of nine characteristics or attributes a good friend might have. Then we tried to decide which of these would be most important in a good friend. We used a ‘Diamond Sorting’ technique which is an active learning method. The children decided which characteristics might go at the top of their diamond and why, and also decided what should go at the bottom and why. There was some good debate about what a word like ‘cool’ or ‘beautiful’ might mean to different people. The children first worked in pairs, then with their pod and then we sorted them out as a whole class. We realised that a good friend may not always be happy and that maybe you need to be a very good friend to them in that moment. Caring, Kind and Helpful were characteristics that were thought of as very important.
On the last day of September, 2nd Class had an interesting Zoom conversation with Margaret who works with the DSPCA shelter near the Dublin mountains. She told us lots about what the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does and the children were able to ask some of their own questions. We found out about the interesting and unusual animals they have given shelter to and also how they help animals that are in difficulty.
Second Class took a trip out to the park at the back of our school recently to identify some features of Autumn in our neighbourhood. The two trickiest things on the scavenger hunt were the Squirrel and some Fungi, but we got them! We also collected some twigs and leaves to create our hedgehog collages.
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 : )
Orlaith’s 6th Class and Katy’s 2nd Class have been sharing their love of books and reading by coming together regularly to do buddy reading. This has been a fantastic opportunity for both classes to develop literacy, social and leadership skills and the children have greatly enjoyed the experience. It is anticipated that these sessions will progress further and lead on to some collaborative creative writing experiences before the end of the school year!
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:
Anna’s 2nd Class wrote their own fantastic story books with exciting plots and beautiful illustrations. The children shared their books with Yvonne’s Senior Infants during a buddy reading session. Both the authors and listeners really enjoyed the experience!
Second class have been learning all about their local area and about Ireland. As part of this theme, we are becoming familiar with our local environment. We read a story about a magpie who cleans up his environment and then we had our Science class outside to hunt for materials in our own school. We foraged out beside the tennis courts to see what materials we could spot. We found twigs, soil, rocks, flowers, feathers and we felt their texture.
In second class we are hatching chickens!! Our chicks are starting to hatch! They have a big job ahead of them, pecking a little hole, turning, pecking another hole, turning… until they have pecked the whole way around and can kick their way out into the world. If you look carefully, you can see it wobbling!
We’re off to a flying start in Second Class with visits from feathered friends! Ian brought his birds of prey for us to see, and because we were so respectful of the birds, some children even got a chance to hold them! We had been learning all about barn owls, so we were delighted to get to meet Tyto the barn owl.
We are also learning about caring for living things, by hatching chicks at school. They are due to hatch on the 9th of October, if all goes well.
Niall de Burca dropped in to tell us a few funny stories, and we had such a good time, we didn’t want it to end!
We’re enjoying all the Autumn colours coming out, and celebrating the season through our art.
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.
Barbara Hughes sharing her knowledge and expertise with the classes.
Powerpoint presentation briefly outlining computer science and the science behind coding…….
2nd Class have been enjoying the changes that Autumn has brought to our new school grounds. We have been out discovering all the different kinds of leaves and seeds that the beautiful surrounding trees have been dropping. We identified oak, ash, sycamore, horse chestnut, beech, birch, and more!
The Autumn colours have been great inspiration for our art, too.
We have some very welcome guests in 2nd class. The chicks that hatched out at the start of October are very much at home here, and are in safe hands with the children!
Second Class have been lucky to get rugby training from Avon and Kieran of Leinster Rugby this year. They have learned the basics of rugby by playing tag games and they’ve really enjoyed the different activities. Avon has told the children they are picking up the sport very quickly.
“The toughest and roughest game we’ve learned!” – Rhys
“They teach us how to play matches in rugby.”
“The coaches are nice.” – Maya
“It’s really fun! – Layla
This year to mark Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s Festival of Inclusion, the Social Inclusion Unit are holding a Primary Schools Drawing Competition.
The theme of the competition is ‘Celebrating Difference’ and we here in 3rd Class are tremendous at doing just that. Our entries for the competition are amazing as you can see. They will be on public display in County Hall from the 10th to the 14th October as part of the festival.
Thank you and enjoy!
Our Second Classes have been busy planting pumpkins, beetroot and herbs for our garden. This week our beetroots were ready to harvest! We weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty as we picked the beetroots, cleaned them, tasted them, chopped them and made them into a delicious smoothie!
Our Second Classes would like to say a special thanks to Laragh Havelin (James’ mum) who helped us with our harvest.
Aongus’s class wrote a special report about the day that they would love to share with you :
Laragh joined us last Monday to harvest some vegetables from our vegetable patch. First we looked at the vegetables that we planted earlier this year. There were beetroots, pumpkins, brussel sprouts and leeks. Then Laragh taught us about the vegetables and we formed a line to pick the beetroots to bring them inside. We pulled and tugged them from the soil. After that we went inside to prepare them. Next we pulled off the stalks and washed the beets.
We peeled them and chopped them before we made them in to smoothies. Laragh had also made brownies for us. Finally, we ate the brownies and drank the smoothies, they were delicious!
Second Class went out into the wooded area today to collect natural colours to create an Earth Day collage.
We reminded ourselves to reduce, reuse and recycle!
Then we celebrated Earth Day by listening to relaxing music and doing some mindfulness colouring.
Second Class have been really busy this month learning all about Extreme Weather and Extreme Earth!
We have learned lots of interesting facts about tornadoes, volcanoes and earthquakes so far.
We made a tornado machine in Science that showed us the shape of the tornado.
We wrote lots of facts about tornadoes and volcanoes using some of our new key words!
We know tectonic plates, crust, cumulonimbus clouds, vortex, magma chamber and many more!
We used colour mixing to create these tornadoes in Art, we mixed each colour with white and black to create different shades.
We made paper maché volcanoes using empty bottles and painted them! Then we added baking soda and vinegar and watched our volcanoes erupt!