Have YOU seen any ladybirds? ‘Signs of Spring’ Twitter Project

Lady Bug Note Generators
It has been quite cold

in Greystones so far this Spring

and we haven’t seen any ladybirds yet.


Next week we are going to learn what

Chris Hadfield and ladybirds have in common.

Can you guess?

‘Signs of Spring’ Twitter Project

Following the fun we had during the first week of October

when we took part in a Signs of Autumn Twitter Project

Click here to read about Signs of Autumn Twitter Project


this week we are taking part in a collaborative project about

the Signs of Spring on Twitter.

Read about it here on Seomra Ranga.com


We are tweeting photos and comments

about the signs of Spring that we see

using the hashtag  #antearrach


Teacher looks forward to this opportunity

to continue using  Twitter with 2nd Class, Room 6.

Click here for the link to our Twitter feed.


Boys and girls in 2nd Class Room 6

Can you see the Spring photo you took today? 


Would you like to vote for your favourite season?

Click on the page below to vote!

Update 8th March 2013

Signs of Spring Twitter Project chirpstory

We live in Viking Meadow!

The children of 2nd Class, Room 6 were very interested

to hear stories about the history of Greystones.


Matthew lives in Rathdown.

He was amazed to hear that

people have been living in Rathdown

since the Stone Age.


Twenty years ago, a cliff near Rathdown

fell into the sea.

Among the rocks and earth,

people found Stone Age axe heads.


The children in 2nd Class, Room 6

were also fascinated to hear

that Vikings were in the area.

One of our favourite things to do,

when we have visitors from older classes

or students from Transition Year,

on work experience, visiting our classroom

is to challenge them to a game of Viking Quest.

Click on the link below to play!

BBC’s ‘Viking Quest’

We don’t always win this game …

but we usually do!


This is what we learned in class:


We know Vikings visited our local area because


1. Some of the local placenames

came from the Vikings.

‘Gata’ is the Viking word for road.

Windgates is the road

between Bray and Greystones.

Wicklow comes from

the Viking words ‘Vyking Alo’

which means Viking Meadow.


2. Viking coins were found

in the local area.


3. The monks wrote a book called

‘The Annals of the Four Masters’.

In it they said that there had been

a big battle nearby at Delgany in 1021 AD.

The King of Leinster beat

the Viking King, Sitric.


We think it is exciting that Greystones

has had such an interesting history

from the time of the Stone Age

and that Vikings visited here too.


Later we heard that a castle

was built at Rathdown.

We look forward

to learning more.



Best Wishes to all our visitors

to our visitors from

 United States (US)854

 United Kingdom (GB)470

 India (IN)211

 Philippines (PH)131

 Canada (CA)130

 Australia (AU)110

 France (FR)62

 Singapore (SG)35

 Pakistan (PK)30

 New Zealand (NZ)29

 Spain (ES)28

 United Arab Emirates (AE)25

 Malaysia (MY)22

 Indonesia (ID)19

 Russian Federation (RU)19

 Belgium (BE)18

 Germany (DE)17

 South Africa (ZA)16

 Italy (IT)14

 Netherlands (NL)14

 Saudi Arabia (SA)13

 Poland (PL)13

 Egypt (EG)12

 China (CN)11

 Hong Kong (HK)11

 Brazil (BR)11

 Europe (EU)11

 Turkey (TR)10

 Thailand (TH)10 

 Greece (GR)9

 Qatar (QA)8  Trinidad and Tobago (TT)8  Portugal (PT)8

 Taiwan (TW)7  Bangladesh (BD)7

 Mexico (MX)6  Hungary (HU)6

 Korea, Republic of (KR)5  Kuwait (KW)5  Romania (RO)5  Oman (OM)5  Kenya (KE)5

 Jamaica (JM)4  Slovenia (SI)4  Ukraine (UA)4  Sri Lanka (LK)4  Nepal (NP)4

 Jordan (JO)3  Israel (IL)3  Ethiopia (ET)3  Mauritius (MU)3  Sweden (SE)3  Japan (JP)3  Bhutan (BT)3  Colombia (CO)3  Austria (AT)3  Slovakia (SK)3

 Nigeria (NG)2  Seychelles (SC)2  Peru (PE)2  Czech Republic (CZ)2  Argentina (AR)2  Belarus (BY)2  Norway (NO)2  Zimbabwe (ZW)2  Switzerland (CH)2  Bulgaria (BG)2  Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)2  American Samoa (AS)2  Armenia (AM)2  Uganda (UG)2  Puerto Rico (PR)2  Belize (BZ)2  Nicaragua (NI)2  Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR)2  Asia/Pacific Region (AP)2  Yemen (YE)2  Cyprus (CY)2

 Paraguay (PY)1  Lesotho (LS)1  Botswana (BW)1  Chile (CL)1  Antigua and Barbuda (AG)1  Guernsey (GG)1  Dominican Republic (DO)1  Estonia (EE)1  Finland (FI)1  Latvia (LV)1  Virgin Islands, U.S. (VI)1  Northern Mariana Islands (MP)1  Denmark (DK)1  Uruguay (UY)1  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VC)1  Azerbaijan (AZ)1  Montenegro (ME)1  Netherlands (N)1  Grenada (GD)1  Venezuela (VE)1  Lebanon (LB)1  Palestinian Territory (PS)1  Angola (AO)1  Bahamas (BS)1  Malawi (MW)1  Guatemala (GT)1  Barbados (BB)1  Croatia (HR)1  Mali (ML)1  Cambodia (KH)1  Myanmar (MM)1


and Ireland (IE) of course: 3,583 visits.

Double click on any of the place names

to see where they are in the world

using Answertips.com


Information from  Clustermap for this blog


As we say here in Ireland ….

Nollaig Shona Daoibh Go Léir

If you would like to comment,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and a comment box will appear.

2nd Class Room 6 wish all their friends and families a Very Happy Christmas!

Create your own Animation

Illustration by Senan.

Merry Christmas Everyone 🙂

How Well Do You Know Your Tables? We Challenge YOU!

Balloon Popping Fun

The class record in 680 in mixed addition and 674 in subtraction!

Would you like to try it?

You are very welcome to try multiplication and division also.

Click on this link:

Balloon Popping Game

If you would like to tell us how you did,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and enter your score in the comment box.

Do tell us how you get on 🙂

from 2nd Class, Room 6

Explaining subtraction with ‘renaming’ for the parents of 2nd class Room 6

At the moment the children are learning subtraction with ‘renaming’.

This methodology is required for example when you are doing a sum like:


 4 3

-3 5


The student starts ‘taking away’ the units and realises that they can’t take 5 from 3.

We are doing subtraction with ‘renaming’ in school.

We have done a lot of practical work using Dienes Blocks.

We are at the early stages of learning how to do these kind of sums.

At the moment, for homework, the majority of the class are getting

a worksheet of subtraction without renaming.


This has caused some confusion as the children attempted to ‘rename’

when it wasn’t necessary.

Identifying when a sum will need ‘renaming’ is a skill in itself

and one which we are working on!


More confusion can arise because some parents may have learned

how to do this kind of subtraction using the

‘borrow and pay back’  method.


Another factor that may confuse you is that ‘renaming’ is also referred to as ‘regrouping’!


You might find this Tips Sheet from the NCCA helpful:

NCCA’s Tipsheet for Parents: Helping your child with subtraction


or on the Maths is Fun website below where the methodology is clearly demonstrated:


A demonstration of ‘renaming’ on the Maths is Fun website


Strategies we use – Bridging the Ten

I have found that the children who know their tables are completing these sums sooner than the children who don’t.

I am encouraging the children who find tables hard to use strategies to help them.

You might hear them talk, for example about ‘bridging the ten’.


Ask a child to take 7 from 10 and they will say 3 with confidence.

This is because they are very sure of ‘what makes 10’.

However when one asks a child a sum like 17 take away 9, they are less sure of the answer.


One of the solutions is for the child to learn the ‘make up’ of 20

and be as sure of it as they are of ‘what makes’ 10.

Again, we are working on this!


The other solution is that the child learns to ‘bridge the 10’.

Take that sum 17-9 again:

The children are fairly secure in the knowledge that 7 steps will bring them back to 10

‘Nine is one less than ten. So you add 7 and 1 and the answer is eight’.


Just in case you missed it…

I am reposting the link the the post on this blog on the importance of learning tables.

Click here for that link!

Thank you for your continuing interest and support.

Look what you can do with K’nex. Nice work Senan!


Letter after the Parent Teacher Meetings

Dear Parents,

As the Parent Teacher Meetings draw to a close

I thought it would be useful to ‘recap’

on what was said at them.


At the PT Meetings you saw

our system of record keeping in the school.

We also looked at reports from other years.

We examined the recurring themes in those reports;

the positives,

and where we may need to focus with your child.


In many cases, this was in the area of

English comprehension

and tables and computation in Maths. 


We looked at standardized test results from other years.

The test results we looked at were from last May,

a time when children would not have developed ‘exam skills’.


A test is just a ‘snap shot’ in time.

For more information on Standardized Tests

you might like to take a look at

Information about Standardized Tests from elsewhere on this blog


Looking at your child’s copybooks and workbooks

give a much better overview of how your child is progressing.

We compared the children ability as indicated

in those standardized tests

with the day to day work that they do in class.


Many parents spoke about the difficulty

of fitting in time for tables.

At the moment we are also learning how to take away using

the ‘decomposition’ or ‘renaming’ or ‘regrouping’ method.


In class I note that children think

that they are not getting the sums right

because they aren’t ‘renaming’ correctly,

but more often than not it is that

they have made a mistake when they take away.


So we will continue working them.

You may find the following useful from

The Importance of Learning Tables (from this blog)


Ways of learning

In 1st and 2nd Class we practise tables,

in a concrete way, using lollipop sticks and unifix cubes.

We also use the table book.


In school we use Joyce O’Hara’s

Addition and Subtraction CD

from Ashton Productions


In class we say ‘one and zero make one’,

one and one make two’…

‘one from six leaves five’.

In this way we use the same language as this cd.


Children learn in different ways.

Many respond to working with concrete objects;

lollipop sticks,



Some children learn best by singing or chanting the table.

For some, keeping track of their tables on their fingers

(a kinaesthetic approach) helps.


Strategies to help your child with addition

At some meetings I spoke about strategies we teach children

to help them when they are adding up.

I said I would follow up with more details.


In class I say to the children:

1. Start with the larger number.

It is easier to add 11 and 2 rather than tot up 2 and 11.


2. When adding nine, add 10 and

take away one or to remember the pattern:

Adding 9 to a number the number in the unit place

is always one less.

When adding nine, add ten and then take away one.


3. If you are totting up three numbers,

spot can you make ten with two of the numbers

and then add the other.


4. If you know your ‘Table of Doubles’

and that 7 and 7 are 14,

then it is easier to work out ‘near doubles plus one’ 7 and 8,

near doubles take away one 7 and 6

or near doubles plus two 7 and 9

near doubles minus two 7 and 5.


The children have been revising the ‘Table of Doubles’

for homework this week.

This is so that they can use ‘near doubles’ to add up quickly.


You might find this more detailed link useful:

Strategies for Learning Tables


This may seem a lot and a bit confusing,

but each time we work through a page of sums

I remind the children of these strategies.


The other ‘hiccup’ in computation,

occurs when children are required to ‘take away’

across the 10.

Ask a child to take 7 from 10 and

they will say 3 with confidence.

This is because they are very sure of ‘what makes 10’.


However when one asks a child a sum like 17 take away 9,

they are less sure of the answer.


One of the solutions is for the child to learn

the ‘make up’ of 20 and be as sure of it as they are of 10.


The other solution is that the child learns to ‘bridge the 10’.

Take that sum 17-9 again:

The children are fairly secure in the knowledge

that 7 steps will bring them back to 10

‘Nine is one less than ten. So you add 7 and 1

and the answer is eight’.


Another question parents asked was

How do I help my child with comprehension?

When you read with your child check that they understand

what they are reading by asking them questions.


I have noticed that when children aren’t

observing the punctuation

on a page they lose the meaning of what they are reading.


Sometimes, in the early days when children are doing

comprehension exercises in school,

they attempt to answer the questions

without reading the piece!


To start with, the children are asked

1. to read the piece of comprehension.

2. To read the questions underlining

what they are being asked.

This means they will be reading the piece

with the questions in mind.

They will be reading with a purpose.

3. To read the piece again with the questions in mind…

underlining what they think would be useful.

4. Then to go through the questions one by one,

looking for the answers in the comprehension piece

and writing down the answers.

As they get good at this, there is less need for underlining.



You could even do them orally. Try the Second Grade Ones.

When these are complete have a go at

some of the Third Grade ones.




Question words like ‘Who?’ ‘Where?’ ‘When?’ ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ may help.


I found the Parent Teacher meetings very helpful.

I feel I know your child much better now.

I am very grateful for your continued co-operation

and support.

An edited version of this letter

will be going home on paper shortly.

A D.I.Y Recorder Concert for the Parents of 2nd Class, Room 6

Great work Abi!

Dear Parent,

Your child is going home with
their recorder
their music book ‘Recorder from the Beginning, Book 1’
and the cd from the back of the book.

We have been learning the recorder for six weeks.
Teacher thinks that Room 6 are a musical class.

Recorder class is often one of the most pleasant times of the day as we all work together to make music.

We hope you don’t mind too much that we haven’t been bringing our recorder home to practice!
Now we should be able to play you our repertoire using the backing track on the cd.

We should be able to play as far as the tune called ‘Chicka Hanka’
and perhaps ‘Chatter with the Angels’.
Certainly we should certainly be able to play: ‘Hot Cross Buns’.

Just in case this plan does not work out, this is Plan B.
Perhaps you would like to listen to a podcast of 2nd Class Room 6
playing a tune on the recorder.

Teacher feels that many of the children are playing ‘by ear’ very successfully
but between now and Christmas we will work on reading music.

Who knows what we might achieve by June!

Well done Owen.
Create your own Animation

Visualizing ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

We are working on comprehension strategies

in reading, following the

‘Building Bridges of Understanding’ programme.


We spent the first six weeks of the school term

predicting what was going to happen next

in the stories we read.

Now we are adding ‘visualization’ to our skill set.

Teacher has read six short novels in class this year.

This one is our favourite by far.


“…Outside a light wind was blowing

the last of the storm clouds away.

In the east there was a glow,

and streaks of pink and violet

and duck-egg green tinged

the darker edge of the sky”.


From: ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’

by Janet and Allan Ahlberg


Teacher thinks Nicole has visualized the sky at dawn, very well:

We all worked hard on ‘visualizing’ as you will see:

‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg 

As always I would remind you to supervise your child when they are online.

Jake visualizes ‘The Pirate Ship’.


Click here to see our book review and to hear our podcast.

Book Review: It was a Dark and Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

Teacher read  ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’

to the children in 2nd Class, Room 6.

‘It was A Dark And Stormy Night’ by Allan Ahlberg

It was a big hit.

It is a ‘laugh out loud’ book with plenty of scope

for dramatisation and funny voices.


Great fun to read aloud in class!

It was impossible to predict what was going to happen next in the story.

But guessing was fun too.


Book Review by Jack S

Antonio is the hero.

He is eight, the same age as me.


Antonio is captured by brigands.

The Chief of the Brigands is bored.

He tells Antonio to tell a story to pass the time.


Antonio’s story is about


and sharks,


and killer parrots.

There is a castle in his story with a ‘Thingy’ in the moat.


Antonio uses the story telling

to distract the brigands

so he can escape,

and get back to to his own family.


I would recommend this book to children my age. It made me laugh.

Create your own Animation

Finally we made a podcast of what we thought was best about this book.

If you would like to comment,

please double click

‘Continue Reading’ below

and a comment box will appear.

Signs of Autumn Twitter Project

We are taking part in a collaborative project about

the signs of Autumn

on Twitter

during this first week of October.

Get your own Poll!

We are tweeting photos and comments

about signs of Autumn that we see #anfomhar.

You can see more details about this project

on the following link:
All about the Signs of Autumn Twitter Project on Seomra Ranga.com

Teacher looks forward to this great opportunity to introduce the class to the uses of Twitter.

Click here for the link.

As always I am very conscious of online safety.

No photographs of the children will be used

and I will only use the children’s first names.

This is the project so far, at the half way point:


Can you see the Autumn photo you took today? (PhotoPeach)

Please supervise your child when they are online.
Create your own Animation

2nd Class, Room 6 – Let Us Introduce Ourselves

Hi there! We are 2nd Class, Room 6

There are 29 children in 2nd Class, Room 6.

There are 17 boys and 12 girls.


We are an interesting class.

Our families come from





The Phillippines

The UK

and USA,

South Africa,

St.Kitt’s in the Carribean

and Ireland


John Paul is new to our class.

He comes from The Dominican Republic.

Welcome John Paul.  

You won’t be long making lots of new friends.


We love singing.

We also love lunch time,

Katie Taylor,


and rugby.


Today was our first day back in school

We are excited to have a classroom blog.

Senan called it our

‘digital diary’.

Create your own Animation