Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Coding, Coding: Scratch | Posted on October 16, 2014
In the past few weeks we have been working our way through
Code.org ‘s Courses for Elementary Students.
We are doing Course Two.
As we build on our skills the things
we can do get more and more interesting.
We can find activities that suit our interests.
Bruno enjoys art and Alex prefers creating games.
Click on the screens to see the games and artwork in action.
Then click ‘run’.
— 2ndClassR6 (@2ndClassR6) October 16, 2014
And in this game, after ‘run’, click the screen again!
— 2ndClassR6 (@2ndClassR6) October 16, 2014
— 2ndClassR6 (@2ndClassR6) October 16, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in A Local Hero, Our Town | Posted on October 15, 2014
Simon is a Dad in our school.
He wrote a wonderful script
for our Christmas pageant.
Five years ago Simon started
to write a movie.
It is called ‘My Name is Emily’.
He began writing it with a pen
or typing on a keyboard.
Because he has motor neuron disease
he finished it using
a special “eye gaze” computer
that allows him to type
by looking at letters on a screen.
In November 2013
we wrote about how he was
fundraising to make a movie.
You can read more
of his inspiring story here.
Since then Simon has written
a book called:
He has been on TV and on
the radio and in the newspapers.
He began making his movie
in early September, 2014.
He is now more than half way
through shooting it.
We are excited because Evanna Lynch, the
wonderful actress, who played Luna Lovegood in the
‘Harry Potter’ movies is playing the part of Emily.
I don’t ever want @SimonsFilm to end. So happy and love-filled. 💘❤️🚕 🌊
— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) October 1, 2014
Here in Greystones Simon Fitzmaurice is our Local Hero.
This is the last week of shooting the movie.
The last week of My Name is Emily this week. All good things, to an end they must come Been SUCH an incredible experience.
— George Webster (@GeorgeWebster) October 13, 2014
We think Simon’s work shows
us that you can do anything
you set your mind to.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Maths | Posted on October 15, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Prayer Service | Posted on October 14, 2014
Good morning & welcome to the school hall on this special day
when we remember the people we love who have gone home to God.
Sign of the Cross x3
(God came down…In the name of the Father… As Gaeilge)
Candle Prayer; ‘Chase away the darkness.
Fill the world with light,
be a little candle flame and shine out bright’.
First song: This little light of mine.
Why do we light a candle?
To remind us that God our Father in Heaven is always with us.
Song; If I go climbing/rowing/swimming/ driving/ flying/ sleeping
Now it is time to say GOOD MORNING
to God our Father in Heaven
and to remember how much he loves us.
Father in Heaven, you love me…
I’ll try to please you Father. That is not always easy.
But if we do make mistakes and are sorry in our hearts,
then God our Father in Heaven will always forgive us.
So let’s say SORRY to God
O my God I thank you for loving me.
I am sorry for all my sins,
for not loving others and not loving you.
Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again. Amen
And now it is time to say THANKS to God
God our Father I come to say,
thank you for your love today.
Thank you for my family and all the friends you give to me.
Guard me in the dark of night and in the morning,
please send your light. Amen.
What day is it? Month?
Next month: November is the month of the holy souls
and we believe that just as Jesus died and rose again
to share new life with God Our Father in Heaven;
so too are all our loved ones happily living their new life with God
Good News! The Bible tells us there will be no more tears in heaven.
Those who have gone to heaven will never be hungry or thirsty
because God is there and he minds them.
Jesus tells us not to worry.
He says if God looks after the flowers in the fields
and the birds in the trees so well,
surely he will look after us even better.
He says the flowers in the fields don’t worry
so why should we.
Song; The Flowers in the Fields
Even though we cannot see the people we love
who are in Heaven,
we remember them.
We have photos to help us remember,
and memorial cards, we light candles.
When my Granny died I planted lots and lots of bulbs
and every spring when they flower I think of her.
Now I need some helpers to help me plant some bulbs.
Here is a prayer to say:
God through your goodness
we have these little bulbs to plant.
God we ask you to care for these daffodil bulbs
and help them to grow.
God with the work of our hands
we have planted these bulbs.
Keep these bulbs safe.
Watch over them through the dark of winter,
until the light of Spring shines again Amen
Now try this one;
The little bulbs are now fast asleep
safe in the earth they lie
The children have covered them over
and said little brown bulbs goodbye
The bulbs are asleep,
but the sunshine and rain will help them
wake up to new life in spring.
Even though we cannot see the people
we love who are in Heaven,
we remember them.
We know they are with us always.
They never go far away.
They are our friends in heaven, there to help us.
We can be happy, remembering that
and remembering them.
So let’s finish with a happy song.
Final song: Jesus is my friend
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Maths, Real Life Maths | Posted on October 14, 2014
5th Class are learning about angles.
We were using protractors
and learning that a right angle is
Teacher thought there would be
a lot of work to do learning about angles.
But it turned out many of the students
knew a great deal about angles already.
This is because of stunts they can do
on their scooters and skateboards.
Cian knows about scooter stunts.
Here is what he said.
The 1080-degree spin is three full rotation.
‘All these stunts are just about possible. It’s all about practice.
Try these stunts over and over again.
Balance and skill will come over time so just keep practising.
It will take a while to master each stunt
but keep setting yourself targets and eventually
you will get there.’
You can see some simple scooter tricks here.
Most importantly Cian says:
‘Be safe. Always wear your helmet, elbow and knee pads’.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Maths | Posted on October 13, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Maths, Maths: Computation, Maths: Data, Maths: Estimation, Maths: Fractions, Maths: Shape | Posted on October 10, 2014
A Party for ‘Smarties’
These parties are great fun,
but students have to work for their reward!
I plan to have mine on Friday at the end of Maths Week
You will need a small box of mini ‘smarties’
(66kcal per box) for each child in the class.
I usually buy two multipacks containing 20 boxes approximately.
I time this lesson for just after the children’s own lunchtime.
It is important to check if any child is allergic to chocolate.
They can have jellies instead perhaps.
Before the children can eat the sweets
they have to do some work.
Here are some suggestions:
You might want to use just SOME of them!
The activities chosen will depend on the age of the children.
Look at the box
Can you find the list of ingredients?
How many ingredients are there?
What are they?
Are you surprised by any of the ingredients?
What do you think red cabbage is used for?
What other ingredients give the colours do you think?
What do you think the beeswax does?
Did you know spirulina is a seaweed?
It gives a blue colour.
There is information on the back of the bag
about other natural colouring used.
What percentage of these sweets is milk chocolate?
What percentage is the rest of the ingredients?
Who is the manufacturer of these sweets?
What shape is it? (cuboid)
How many faces has it? (6)
How many edges? (12)
How many corners? (8)
Open up the box.
What shapes can you find?
How many rectangles are there?
Pour out the contents.
Are the colours of the contents similar to the colours on the box?
How does the size compare?
Estimate the number of sweets in your box.
Now count them.
How close was your estimate?
How many sweets does each child have?
Are there the same number in each box?
Why do you think this happens?
Who had the most sweets in their box?
Who had the least?
Can you work out the average number of sweets in each box?
There are approximately 20 boxes of sweets in each minipack.
Can you estimate how many sweets are in a full minipack?
With a younger class you can practise
adding and taking away using the sweets.
There is also potential for talking about
- tens and units
- and sharing/division.
Count the different colours.
How many colours are there?
How many yellow sweets have you in your box.
How many red? pink? orange? green? purple etc.
Lay them out like a pictogram.
Which is the most common colour in each child’s box?
Which is the most common colour in all the boxes?
The children can create patterns
and pictures with the contents of their box.
And that’s not all!
If your class can resist eating the sweets
for this length of time you can talk about
- the five senses:
sound (of the sweets rattling in the box)
and smell (there isn’t one.. initially at any rate!)
- Words to describe the
sensation of the sweets dissolving
or crunching in the mouth.
Sometimes too there are jokes or riddles
on the back of the box.
Music Potential for work on ‘composition’
using voice and sweets in their box
as a percussion instrument.
You could also talk about
the journey the sweets will make
through the digestive system.
and the job saliva does in the digestion process
How long can you make a sweet last in your mouth?
Mindful of healthy eating concerns
I restrict giving out sweets to twice in the year:
Maths Week when the class earn a ‘Party for ‘Smarties”
as ‘Golden Time’ for hard work and good behaviour.
We will also have a pirate themed treasure hunt
in the Summer term where the ‘treasure’ will be edible.
‘All you need is love,
but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt’.
Charles M. Schulz
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Children's Writing | Posted on October 9, 2014
Kind hearted Kyle, had given the
Humpty Dumpty story a happy ending
and the Fire Service a starring role:
Happy Humpty had a world record to break,
climbing the highest wall.
He climbed the wall.
Humpty fell off.
Everyone stared at Humpty.
Suddenly the firemen came
and rescued Humpty.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Blogging Buddies | Posted on October 8, 2014
One of the things we love about blogging is the friends we make.
Alex and Bruno have just begun to code using Scratch.
This week they got great encouragement from a 5th/6th grade
class from Hobart, in Tasmania: 5/6 Clark/Smith.
They are further along in their coding than us.
They are doing really interesting projects using Scratch.
Click on this link and see the great work they are doing.
Below is a Storify of the conversation we had with them
Bruno and Alex were amazed and encouraged
to get a message from a class that live 17,739 km away!
This is the first time we used Storify. It was easy and it was fun.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in The World Around Us, Twitter Project | Posted on October 8, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Children's Writing | Posted on October 8, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Halloween | Posted on October 7, 2014
Thirteen school days left until we get our
holidays for Halloween. Unlucky for some!
However we get great mileage
out of this pagan festival in school !
Click here for ten poems in English
and two in Irish on the theme of Halloween.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Children's Work, Children's Writing, Genres; Narrative | Posted on October 7, 2014
Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen.
The King loved money and the Queen loved honey.
She had ten pots of honey and he had ten pots of money.
One day the Queen asked the King to buy
ONE HUNDRED pots of honey.
‘OK, then.’ The King did just that but then
all of his money was gone.
The King was sad, but the Queen was happy.
Then the Queen had an idea.
The King opened a shop to sell honey.
So then he had lots of money again.
And they both lived happily, ever after.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Art: Digital, Coding, Coding: Scratch | Posted on October 3, 2014
‘Scratch’ and Code.org are generating
a lot of excitement among students.
Bruno and Alex from sixth class have
been coding for a VERY short while.
— 2ndClassR6 (@2ndClassR6) October 3, 2014
If you click on the link in the tweets on this post,
you will see the digital art being created.
You can also see the code the students wrote.
— 2ndClassR6 (@2ndClassR6) October 3, 2014
We look forward to learning much, much more.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Children's Writing, Writing Prompt | Posted on October 3, 2014
‘Once upon a time there was this person
and he was very silly.
He loved money but he had none
because he bought a mansion
and that’s why he had no money.
So he and his family had to move
into a giant shoe!’
This story by Daniel in 1st Class,
made Teacher smile.
He seems to have summed up the
rise and fall of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ here.
Perhaps he will be an economist when
he grows up. Well done Daniel.
Senior Infants and First Class are learning about Magic ‘e’.
They know Magic ‘e’ makes
the first vowel in a word call out its name.
So ‘pet’ changes into ‘Pete.’ That’s magic!
Magic ‘e’ is sometimes called Silent ‘e’ or Bossy ‘e.’
These online activities and games
help us learn about Magic ‘e’.
There are ‘click and drag’ activities
If you like rescuing princesses as much as we do
you will enjoy the adventure game on
and learn about Magic ‘e’ at the same time.
This was our favourite and if you play it
we are sure you will see why.
Finally Learn English Kids has a story
that uses ‘Magic ‘e’ words
and it is followed by game
These activities make learning fun.
Do you know any online games that teach
the ‘Magic ‘e’?
We would love to hear about them if you do.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Educational Websites, History Projects, Virtual Tours | Posted on October 2, 2014
Third Class are learning about Tutankhamun in school.
He was nicknamed the ‘Boy King’.
He became Pharoah of Egypt when he was eight or nine.
We found these websites helpful when we were learning about him.
These pages from Woodlands – Junior School, Kent
are detailed and interesting. There are lots of pictures.
We enjoyed writing our names in hieroglyphics here.
You can see a virtual tour of Tutankhamun’s tomb
on either of these sites:
The first one is photographic and the second is an animations.
Which one do you prefer?
Finally there is a Pyramid Challenge from BBC Schools
for more senior students.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Coding, Coding: Scratch | Posted on October 1, 2014
We are back at school a month.
Learning Scratch is really taking off.
Learning to program is proving to be a collaborative task
that involves a lot of thought and problem solving.
We have completed Code.org’s ‘An Hour of Code’
and have started Code.org’s ‘Beyond an Hour of Code’.
Today we were artists and our activity involved
calculating distances and angles. We had a good time.
It was fun and we were learning.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Language Development - Oral, Poetry, The Seasons, Writing Prompt | Posted on October 1, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Phonics | Posted on September 25, 2014
the students are working hard on their phonics.
The activities on the cleverly named website
complement the synthetic phonics that the children
are learning in class.
The children enjoy the games and are learning
to read at the same time.
Why not try ‘Teach Your Monster To Read’ at home !
And if the novelty ever wears off there are some
more reading games to choose from here.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Learning to Code | Posted on September 25, 2014
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Blog Awards Ireland | Posted on September 24, 2014
We are ‘excited and delighted’ to be finalists in Blog Awards Ireland.
We find ourselves in the company of blogs that we greatly admire.
Anseo.net is a magazine style web site valued by teachers
for its information and opinion type pieces by Simon Lewis.
In particular, teacher has found Simon’s reviews
of new technology more than useful.
In addition he also has an uncanny knack of being able
to accurately predict the future of ICT in classrooms in Ireland.
Then there is Evelyn O’Connor’s Leaving Cert English.net .
This invaluable resource for all
Junior and Leaving Certificate English students
and their teachers too I suspect. A source of advice
and information for students in a year when many of them
must feel caught between a rock and a hard place.
Finalists, the Youth Media Team are a group of teenagers
who attend and report on educational conferences in Ireland.
Their reports, in the form of lively interviews, blogs and tweets
provide a youthful and informed perspective on education
and educationalists in Ireland.
We are delighted that the list of finalists include another
This blog showcases the wonderful work of students and teachers.
We particularly like their use of podcasts and vines.
The podcasts give the students a voice.
The vines really bring their blog to life.
They remind us of the animated photographs
in Harry Potter.
But that is not all.
You can see these finalists along
with three other excellent blogs;
‘My College Advice’
and ‘Dr. How Science Wows’ here:
In other news we are happy to report that Seomra Ranga
the creator, collector and archivist of teacher resources
here in Ireland has reached the quarter finals of
Web Awards 2014 in the category of Education and Third Level.
All this has happened in a week when we reached
a total of 40,000 visitors
and we published our 800th post.
(You have just read it!)
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Anne Frank, Great Wall of China, National Tree Day, National Tree Week, Virtual Tours, Websites for Teachers | Posted on September 23, 2014
There is no need for a permission slip
and no end to the places a class can go on a virtual tour.
There are many virtual tours on the world wide web.
Not all of them have potential for classroom learning.
I chose three that I thought were interesting.
Take a look and see what you think
about their potential for classroom use.
This one might be useful
on National Tree Day, 9th October.
Before using these in class I would suggest
getting very familiar with the navigation involved in each.
How fortunate we are to be teaching
and learning in schools in the 21st Century!
We have come a long way from ‘chalk and talk’.
Posted by merrybeau | Posted in Children's Work, Children's Writing | Posted on September 18, 2014
A Story by Kyle
Once upon a time there lived two Kyles.
Those two Kyles went to school together.
The two Kyles were at the same table
and at Phonics Blast.
The two Kyles were very funny.
Shannon liked us and Lizzie did as well.
P.S. This is a TRUE story
Once upon a time, there were three little girls and their Mom.
One day, there was a a storm.
They lived in a cottage in a wood, far off from a farm.
The storm blew.
A tree that the little girls climbed on every day fell down.
Their cottage fell down.
They couldn’t live anywhere.
They went looking for somewhere else to live.
The Very, Very Messy Ladybird, by Sofia
Once upon a time there lived a very, very messy ladybird.
Her name was Messy Maggy.
Everyone called her that because her house was always messy.
Her house always had cobwebs in corners.
and muddy foot prints up the stairs and dust everywhere.
One day all of her friends made a plan.
They all said she needed help to tidy.
So one night all of her friends went to her house
and while Messy Maggy was asleep each one of them had a job.
Magic Matilda hoovered.
Violetta Valentina dusted and beautiful Beth mopped.
‘Team work,’ they all said.