Aistear in June
The Aistear theme for the month of June was ‘Summer and Holidays’ and we spent three weeks focusing on this topic. We learnt all about the type of weather experienced in the summer season, the different vocabulary to explain different types of weather, selected clothes to wear during the summer and discussed activities and traditions associated with the summer. We also learned about the types of holidays we go on, how we might get to our holiday destination and the type of buildings we could stay in. We read two fun books in English; ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ by Roald Dahl and ‘Come Away From The Water Shirley’ by John Burmingham.
At the Home Corner the children took part in delivering a live weather forecast in front of a green screen at The Weather Station and they described the type of weather to be expected in different parts of Ireland using the large map of Ireland and weather symbols. They also filled out weather charts and dressed ‘Teddy’ for the day here. At The Airport the children had the opportunity to make a passport to show at the check-in desk to receive their boarding cards, weigh their bags on a conveyor belt and go through an x-ray machine at airport security where the airport police took their jobs very seriously. Finally they could board the plane ready for their holidays! On the last week the children went camping. They had to register their tent to get a pitch and then they could enjoy activities such as sleeping in the tent, going fishing, having a picnic or sitting around the campfire. Toasting marshmallows on the campfire and then eating them was definitely the highlight of this week!
At the construction area, they worked collaboratively to build different modes of holiday transport out of large wooden blocks, while on the third week they enjoyed free play with these and the new plastic building blocks. They also made Lego models of a luxury hotel, drawing on personal experiences of the facilities they might enjoy there.
At the Art Table we discussed the works of numerous artists and tried our hand at our own version of their art. We used oil pastels to create a Gustav Klimt inspired tree trunk with Wassily Kandinsky’s concentric circles as flowers. We sketched and then coloured a picture of three ice-cream cones inspired by Wayne Thiebaud using oil pastels and we sketched from observation and painted ‘Irises’ by Van Gogh.
At the Playdough Table we sculpted weather charts and we enjoyed splashing around in our water park at the Water Table. It has been a busy year of Aistear in Senior Infants. We all enjoyed different aspects but have definitely learned a lot and had great fun!
Infants School Tour
Senior Infants and Junior Infants went on their school tour to Art Zone in Rathfarnham at the beginning of June. They really enjoyed it. They spent two hours working in the studio with some lovely staff from Art Zone to make a plaque for their bedroom doors that was inspired by a teddy bear’s picnic. They used air dough and the results were fantastic. Have a look at some photos of our finished products below. We also had time after Art Zone to visit the playground in Rathfarnham Castle and also take a castle tour. The whole day was a huge success and thank you to all the mums who came along to help!
Aistear in May
The Aistear theme for the month of May was ‘Capital Cities and Countries’ and Senior Infants were very busy as there was a lot to learn. We focused mainly on France, Spain, London and Kenya. We learned all about the lifestyle and culture of these countries and discussed their location on the map, the language, the weather, main cities, traditional food, popular sports, animal and plant life and traditions. We looked at lots of photographs of famous landmarks, watched video clips that gave us a glimpse of life in each country and we read two lovely books in English called ‘A Lion in Paris’ by Beatrice Alemagna and ‘Iggy Peck Architect’ by Andrea Beaty. We also enjoyed some French food tasting, sampling baguettes, croissants and brie cheese!
The Home Corner was set up as The French Restaurant, The Spanish Café and The London Tourist Information Office with a Red Bus Tour And a visit to Buckingham Palace.
At the construction corner the children worked collaboratively to construct famous landmarks such as The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, The Plaza Espana, The Sagrada Familia, a Spanish Bull Ring and a variety of other famous buildings from the book ‘Iggy Peck Architect’ from the large wooden blocks.
They also built the city of London from Lego and some of the city’s buildings from Mobilo, while designing and creating their own bikes for The Rathmichael Tour de France out of pipe cleaners and straws.
At the Playdough Table we sculpted Picasso inspired faces and traditional African and North American homes, while at the sand table we explored the type of animals and plants you would find in desert areas.
Finally, the class produced some amazing art this month. They painted Claude Monet’s Poppy Fields from observation. They sculpted Spanish carnival masks from clay which they stuck feathers into, painted and added sparkly detail to. They spun paint on a paper plate in a salad spinner to mimic Damien Hirst’s Spin Art and experimented with Pop Art inspired by Andy Warhol.
Take a look at our work below.
Aistear in April
There was only three weeks of Aistear in April, split up by the midterm break, two before the holidays and one week after. As a result the theme for this month included a mixture of Space and Spring.
Space was a great, fun topic that interested everyone and Spring gave us an opportunity to do fun activities such as planting potatoes and onions in the school garden as one of our Aistear stations.
During the month we read Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s book ‘The Darkest Dark’ and an exciting story called ‘Aliens Love Underpants’. We enjoyed this story so much that we attempted to write our own small mini-books based on it but with the aliens coming to earth to find all sorts of strange things! We worked really hard on these so that we could impress everyone with them on open day!
We also learned the different parts of a plant, the lifecycle of a plant and what plants need to thrive. We discussed the signs of Spring we observed and the variety of new life in nature during this season.
At the Home-Corner the children had the opportunity to take on roles at The Space Station and The Garden Centre. They learned lots of facts about space to write into their space passport and they created paper flowers out of straws and crepe paper within this station.
We created our own paper collage underpants based on our story ‘Aliens Love Underpants’, cardboard tube butterflies and impasto painted Easter Eggs (paint mixed with flour to give it texture) with blow-painted boxes at the Art Table.
The groups worked collaboratively to build a space ship out of large wooden blocks, they enjoyed designing a garden out of Lego and they sculpted the solar system and a bunch of flowers out of play dough independently.
We are really hoping that our potatoes and onions that we planted will grow and be ready to harvest before the end of the summer term.
There are plenty of pictures below to give a glimpse into our hard work.
Aistear in March
Senior Infants were lucky to have Ms. Cooke teaching them for March and leading Aistear for the month. The theme for the four weeks was Habitats. The children were very interested in each topic and embraced the opportunity to play in role as explorers in The Jungle and The Arctic, tour guides and costumers at The Aquarium and scientists at The Bug Research Lab at the Home Corner.
During the month Senior Infants also spent a lot of time learning about the plant and animal life within each habitat in class and reading stories such as ‘Gorilla’, ‘Over in the Meadow’ and ‘Rainbow Fish to the Rescue’ based on the topic.
At the Art Table, the children made paper plate jungle animals, paper collage fish, junk art mini-beasts and they created a chalk picture of ‘The Northern Lights’.
Playdough was a station each week and involved sculpting animals from each habitat, the results of which were brilliant! The Construction Area focused on building animal homes and playing with these using small world materials such as plastic animals, trees and rocks.
At the Sand Table the children dug for mini-beasts and at the Water Table the play centred on sea-creatures one week and penguins and polar ice caps another week.
Senior Infants would like to thank Ms. Cooke for all her hard work setting this up!
Below are some pictures of us hard at work.
Aistear for 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.
Aistear in 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!
Aistear for 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.
Visit from author Don Briggs and Naomi Peppard
Senior Infants were very lucky to have the opportunity to meet author Don Briggs and artist Naomi Peppard today. Don and Naomi have created a wonderful and exciting book called ‘The Boy Who Wanted A Dragon’ and Don very kindly read the story to the class and Naomi sketched a dragon and painted it with water colours right before our eyes. It was fantastic watching an artist work! We really enjoyed the rhyming story and seeing the pictures created from scratch just as they are in the book. Thank you Don and Naomi!
Buddy PE – Junior and Senior Infants
Senior Infants and Sixth Class also teamed up again this week to do Buddy PE. Senior Infants love working with Sixth Class and had a great time. Sixth Class had set up mini-football games which rotated so that different teams were playing each other every five minutes. This was the perfect activity for Senior Infants who had been learning and practising all their ball skills for the last two months and they took the opportunity to show off their dribbling, passing and shooting to the Sixth Class. From everyone in Senior Infants “Thank you Sixth Class”!!
Fireman Visits Senior and Junior Infants
On Friday, Senior Infants and Junior Infants had some visitors in to talk to them about helping in the community as the theme for Aistear in Senior Infants for November is ‘My Locality’. Firstly Ben’s uncle Ian came in to explain how he uses drones in the community to assist with crowd control at events or to assist the Fire Brigade. He also brought a fireman with him who works for Dublin Fire Brigade. It was great to see a fireman in his uniform and he explained to us how each piece of his uniform helps and protects him. He told us all about his job as a fireman and we got to ask questions. Much to our delight he also visited our very own fire station at the back of the classroom and sat in our fire engine. He said he was very impressed! We were lucky to get some great photographs and it was a brilliant experience so a big thank you to Ben’s mum for organising it all!
October Aistear – The Farm
Senior Infants were learning all about ‘The Farm’ this October in Aistear. We had great fun and were very busy. We were learning all about the different machinery used, identifying the types of animals found there and where they live on the farm and matching different produce to the correct animal. We also discussed farming in the past and compared the way we produce milk and butter now with how it was made in the past. We even churned our own butter in class and enjoyed it on crackers! As it is now Autumn we also discussed signs of autumn, seasonal changes and kept a nature table to gather autumn leaves and cones.
At the Home-Corner the children had the opportunity to take on a variety of roles at ‘The Mart’, ‘The Farm Shop’ and ‘The Pet Groomers/The Pet Shop’. At the Art Table, we painted lovely farm scenes (which are now on show outside our classroom), we recreated The Life-cycle of a Hen and made an autumnal painting by printing painted leaves on a tree.
On top of this each Aistear group also got to design a farm from Lego, construct scarecrows using the large blocks, explore stuck in the muck animals at the sand table, create harvest machinery from Mobilo and sculpt playdough farm animals.
For the last week of October, we focused on Hibernation, creating clay hedgehogs, constructing hibernation homes from large wooden blocks, sequenced The Hibernation Cycle of the Hedgehog and listened to the story ‘Bear Snores On’ in The Hibernation Station before taking on the role of a hibernating animals sleeping for the winter (their snoring could be heard all over the classroom!!).
Finally, Senior Infants also made bird feeders using pine cones, peanut butter and bird seeds to help the birds who struggle to find food in the winter. We then went out in our Halloween costumes on the last day before midterm to hang the bird feeders in the school garden. Have a look below!
Our topic for November is ‘My Locality’.
Senior Infants enjoyed Friendship Week on the first week of October. They each had a buddy from Sixth Class and we worked together on a number of activities during the week, including buddy reading, a Friendship Tree (made with handprints and five things they liked about each other), friendship bracelets (made from a plait three different coloured wools), PE (set up and led by Sixth Class for Senior Infants) and picture frames (designed, painted and embellished in the pairs). The children had a great time and really enjoyed making new friends. We will continue buddy reading every Monday for the rest of the year.
Here are some pictures of us having a great time together!
Senior Infants say “Thanks Sixth Class”.
Butter Churning in Senior Infants
Senior Infants were discussing farming in the past today. They compared life on the farm in the past with life on a farm today, including machinery, milking cows and making butter. We examined some old black and white photographs of butter churning and even got to see a real butter churner from the past (an artefact kindly brought in by a parent from the school). We then made our own butter. It was very exciting! We learned that all we needed was cream to make butter. Each table got a small container with cream in it to shake in order to churn the butter. It was hard work on our arms so we each took a turn of a minute and a half and we had a timer on the board so we knew when to swap. The butter was ready when it separated from the butter milk and a solid lump formed (the butter). We gathered around one table to pour out the buttermilk and then we enjoyed our freshly churned butter on crackers. We all agreed that it tasty really great!
Here’s some pictures of the activity:
Aistear – September
The Aistear theme for September in Senior Infants was ‘Ourselves/Our Bodies’.
We had great fun with this theme and spent a lot of time during the month discussing our talents, likes and dislikes, similarities and differences amongst the class and how we are all unique. The children also learned about the different parts of the body, how to keep their bodies healthy, the importance of a balance diet, how we use our sight to see different colours in the environment and identified the different teeth and their functions. In English we read ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘Izzy and Skunk’ as a stimulus to discussing our emotions and we learned all about Florence Nightingale in History to compare the job of nurses in the past with today.
During the month the children had the opportunity to take on a variety of roles as stylists, customers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, patients and dentists at the socio-dramatic corner set up as The Hairdressers, The Hospital and The Dentist. The children particularly enjoyed acting out scenarios and the process of calling and travelling in the ambulance on their first week and then attending The Hospital for treatment on the second week.
At the Art Table we made self portraits inspired by Paul Klee by sketching our faces in crayon and then painting over squares of tissue paper with water to create a colourful background. These were then hung up in our room to create our ‘Senior Infants Art Gallery’ (as seen below). The class also collaborated to make a collage of The Food Pyramid using pictures cut out of food magazines, created colour wheel hot-air balloons by learning how to mix two primary colours to make a secondary colour and designed unique paper glasses.
The class built and designed a number of model constructions, including an ambulance and the dentist’s chair from large wooden construction blocks and a hospital and some of The Seven Wonders of the World (amazing things to see) from Lego. Hairstyles and X-rays were also sculpted from play dough and patterns were combed into sand at the Sand Table.
One of the most enjoyable activities this month was exploring our Five Senses through popcorn, something you can hear, see, touch, smell and taste. We had great fun choosing words to describe popcorn using the senses and then creating our popcorn buckets for our display. Our favourite part was definitely tasting the popcorn! We also examined a feely box, matched smell pots and completed taste tests at The Five Senses Exploration Table.
Below is a selection of photos of us busy at work. Our Aistear theme for October is ‘The Farm’.