Author: Jennifer Johnson (page 1 of 2)

Aistear in Senior Infants – February

The theme for February’s Aistear was Fantasy and Fairytales. We had great fun with this theme for the three weeks as it involved a lot of dressing up!

During the month we read and discussed lots of fairytale stories. The class focused mainly on the books ‘Cinderella’ by Niamh Sharkey, ‘Into the Forest’ by Anthony Browne and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’, which were read as part of the Story-Station in Aistear.  We examined what is usually needed to make a good fairytale and then we created and wrote out our own unique fairytales using prompt cards and a dice. We learned about the features and rooms within a castle. We explored which materials were waterproof and non-waterproof by experimenting and finding a suitable material to create our own umbrellas. We sequenced events and created maps of the journey taken in the story ‘Into the Forest’.

At the Construction Corner the groups worked collaboratively to make superhero transport from the large wooden blocks.  They also created The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff’s bridge before re-enacting the story using their bridge and masks of the main characters.  They also built a medieval castle from Lego at the Small-World Area.

At the Home Corner the children had the opportunity to act out various characters in The Castle and at The Superhero Rescue Centre, where they had to design a superhero passport which gave them super powers and they were sent on lots of important missions.

Oil-pastels were used to draw and colour a picture of a castle using 2D shapes inspired by Paul Klee’s ‘The Castle and The Sun’ at the Art Table. Also at the Art Table we used masking tape to make an imprint of the shape of The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff‘s bridge on paper before painting a background, peeling off the tape and adding a troll.  Finally we all became superheroes when we painted our ‘Superhero Cityscapes’ and coloured in our own superhero costume to attach our faces to and fly. These superhero pictures are up on display outside our room so make sure to have a look. Finally, we sculpted ‘fairytale characters and scenes’ and ‘superheroes and villains’ out of play-dough.

Here are some pictures of all our hard work.

Ms. Johnson.

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Aistear in Senior Infants – January

The theme for January’s Aistear was Our Family. This is a great topc with lots of learning involved and the children really enjoyed it.

During the month the children discussed and identified the different members and various roles within a family and recognised their own place within their family. We read and discussed two lovely stories called ‘Cave Baby’ and ‘Seen and Not Heard’.  We learned all about the different stages of the human life cycle and the development that takes place at each stage. We examined the different types of homes that people can live in, the similarities and differences between homes in the past and present and labelled the features of a house.

For the first week  we were learning all about caring for babies and each child had the opportunity to take on the role of caring for and bathing a baby at the Water Table.  is being careful to hold the baby correctly and support their head. The children learned how to hold a baby correctly to support it’s head, how to wash and dry the baby, how to change a nappy, feed and wind the baby at this station and at The Baby Clinic in the Home Corner.

Also in the home corner this month the children took on a variety of roles in The Home and at The Birthday Party.  At the Art Table they used oil pastels to draw a picture of New Year’s Eve fireworks over a city, they designed a 3D paper bag house using coloured card and a brown paper bag and completed a family tree by painting the tree and cutting out and sticking pictures of family members onto apples on the tree.

The class also sculpted their families out of playdough. At the Construction Corner the children were building houses using the large wooden blocks and the new plastic building blocks and a toy shop where they had to sort real artifacts (various old and new toys) into two sections; old toys from the past and new toys.

Have a look through the pictures of us hard at work below!

Ms. Johnson

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Aistear in Senior Infants – November and December

During the month of November Senior Infants were focusing on ‘Our Locality’ and we were very busy! The class learned all about the different types of buildings in our community and the jobs involved in these. We looked closely at our own school and the activities and jobs within it. We read the story ‘The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse’ to compare and contrast living in a town/city or the countryside and we discussed ways to care for the environment and our communities.

At the Home Corner the children had the opportunity to play as various characters and explore the jobs in The School, The Bakery, The Fire-Station and The Post-Office. Each week was a huge success as they all required very different roles and scenarios to be acted out.

At the Art Table the children looked at the work of Wayne Thiebaud whose work is largely focused on paintings of food and cakes. The children then drew a slice of cake from observation and coloured the different layers and plate using oil pastels. They looked fabulous and of course very tasty! We then spent the further three weeks of the month working on a collage inspired by the movie ‘Up’ for the Art and Wine Evening where we sold all our works of art and they looked great.

At the Playdough table the children were asked to create playdough meals and at the small-world area they designed the playground of their dreams, a shopping centre and a postal run (village) with Lego.

With the large construction blocks the children built a garage and used toy cars and a road mat to act out scenarios, while another group tested the toy cars on the friction ramp with various surfaces and heights to explore forces and gravity. They also created a village of burning buildings with res paper flames to rescue using our fire-trucks and emergency vehicles. We also explored the dangers of electricity in the home and conducted experiments with magnets to find out which everyday items were magnetic.

We were very lucky to have a number of people to come into our classroom as guest speakers and tell us all about their jobs. Firstly we were very excited to have Ben’s uncle in, who is a drone expert, and he brought a fireman with him who works for Dublin Fire Brigade. You can read all about their visit and see photographs further down the page. Later in the month we also had three parents in who explained their jobs in the community. Conall’s mum told us all about her job as a physiotherapist, Daniel’s mum told us about being a biomedical engineer and Ollie’s mum had some lovely stories of how  she cares for people as a nurse. We are extremely grateful to all our visitors and we learned so much,  Thank You!!

In December we only had two weeks of Aistear as we were very busy with practicing for our concert, writing to Santa and going to the panto.

The class read some lovely Christmas stories during the month, including The Gruffalo’s Child and The Jolly Christmas Postman. We examined the types of materials found in presents and created our own texture hand prints by matching a range of materials to descriptive words. We were discussing the type of weather we have in winter, signs that winter is here and changes that occur at this time of year before we wrote our very first acrostic poem on the word ‘winter’.

In the Home Corner this month we took on a variety of special roles at The Christmas Post Office and Santa’s Workshop, both of which were lots of fun!

At the Small World Area we built the nativity scene with the stable, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the three wise men, the angels and the shepherds. We were very familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth as we had spent lots of time over the course of the month  listening to and discussing stories about it in RE. We also worked really hard on making Junk Art sleighs using plastic containers, bottle tops, round lids and gold strips of cardboard as another Small-World activity.

At the playdough table we made lots of imaginative Christmas presents and decorations and we constructed Santa’s sleigh and grotto from large wooden blocks. In art we created lovely glittery Christmas baubles to take home and put on our trees and painted a wintery scene with willowy trees and Christmas robins.

However, the highlight was definitely the Christmas concert where the class performed four songs for their families on stage in the hall, all dressed up as elves. They did a really good job remembering all the words and it was a lovely show!

Please look through the photographs of us hard at work.

Ms. Johnson

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Senior Infants Aistear – April

During the month of April Senior Infants were learning all about Habitats in Aistear. There was a lot to learn each week and so we were very busy!

Throughout the month, the children discussed each habitat in depth, examining its climate, identifying the animals and plants found there,  learning interesting facts about the adaptations of plants and animals for living in such habitats, observing pictures of the landscape and describing the lifestyle of people who live there. We took part in a quiz at the end of each week to see how much we had learned about each habitat. The class also went on a mini-beast hunt in the school garden and examined the life-cycle of the butterfly.

We worked at the construction  corner twice this month, worked as part of a team to build an igloo and a boat out of large wooden construction blocks. Working as a team meant senior infants could make a larger structure whilst also using the skills of communication and cooperation to plan and build. The class also designed a zoo out of Lego during the month, adding lots of small details such as separate areas for each type of animals, tree houses, zoo keepers and the zoo bus!

At the home corner Senior Infants had the opportunity to play at being Jungle Explorers, Polar Explorers, working in the Bug Investigation Lab and visiting The Aquarium. This experience afforded them the opportunity to learn more about and investigate various sea creatures, mini-beasts, jungle and polar animals. The home corner was filled with photographs of plants and animals from each habitat, new vocabulary and an investigation page had to be filled out each week at the station.

We made some wonderful Art pieces at the Art table during April too. The children  created a colourful paper collage fish inspired by our English book, The Rainbow Fish, constructed cardboard tube mini-beast and designed polar animals.

The children had great fun at the water table identifying and naming sea creatures and recreating polar scenes using polar animals and polystyrene ice caps! While at the sand table our focus was on desert habitats and animals. Lastly, we used our fine motor skills to manipulate playdough to sculpted mini-beasts and jungle animals. Here are some pictures of us busy at work.

Jennifer Johnson






Senior Infants Aistear – March

During the month of March we have been learning all about the theme ‘Space’. We spent two weeks learning lots of fascinating facts before we went on our Easter holidays. It was a very popular theme because it was so interesting and lots of fun!

Over the two weeks we learned all about the solar system, astronauts and the first moon landing. We learned all about the stars, the moon and the planets. We now know that the sun is actually a giant star and the position of all the planets in relation to the sun (thanks to a very clever song!). We discussed what it would be like to be an astronaut in space, read a very funny book called Aliens Love Underpants in English and discovered how shadows are formed. We also heard all about the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and learned all about the crew in Apollo 11. We really enjoyed watching the video of the first moon landing from 1969, our favourite part was when Neil and Buzz danced around on the moon. We even wrote a short report on the life of Neil Armstrong and drew some lovely pictures.

At the home corner, the children had the opportunity to take on the role of an astronaut  in both The Space Ship and Space Station set up in the home corner. Here they had to fill in a space passport, travel to space, enter data into the Log Book, use tweezers to find aliens and stars hidden in sand in the exploration boxes at the research area and to journey outside The Space Station to stick the Irish flag into the moon.

In the construction area, we spent one week making space ships out of the large wooden blocks and another making them out of junk art materials, including old wool spools, cups and silver paper. At the Art Table, we created flying saucers with aliens inside and designed our own colourful underpants inspired by our book ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Lastly, the children spent time creating the solar system, planets, rockets and aliens from playdough. Have a look at our photos to see how much fun we were having!


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Aistear in Senior Infants – October 2015

During the month of October Senior Infants have been learning all about ‘The Farm’ in Aistear. We started by learning about the different types of farms there are, before identifying the different animals that live on a farm, the types of homes  they occupy and matching different produce to the correct animals.  We sequenced ‘The Story of Milk’, finding out where our milk starts out and it’s journey before it reaches us in the shops. We also explored the different machinery used on farms, especially at Harvest time, which we were celebrating in school. After discussing farming in the past  we even churned our own butter from cream in class and enjoyed it on crackers!

Below are some pictures of Senior Infants working away in the various Aistear Stations. During the month, the children got the opportunity to take on various roles at ‘The Mart’, ‘The Vet’s Clinic’ and ‘The Farm Shop’. They also made farm buildings and the farmer’s house out of large construction blocks and various farm machinery from Mobilo. At the Art Table, we made a scarecrow from fabric and fibre, sequenced and recreated the ‘Life-cycle of the Hen’, made an autumnal picture by painting and printing real leaves onto paper and formed a clay hedgehog. Finally we learned about seasonal changes and the effect these have on our local wildlife. We sequenced the hibernation cycle of a hedgehog and made bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and bird seeds in order to help the birds find food.

We are now moving onto our next topic ‘My Locality’ for the month of November.

Ms. Johnson

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