Ceadúnas Pinn – Néatacht a chur chun cinn // Pen Licences – Developing neatness.

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Seo bealach go mbím in ann a bheith cinnte go mbíonn an obair á dhéanamh go néata ag na páistí i mo rang. I mo rang na rialacha ná go mbíonn orthu dáta agus teideal a chur ar chuile píosa oibre a dhéanann siad. Bíonn peannaireacht néata, ceangailte de dhíth atá soiléir agus éasca le léamh. Bíonn cead acu peann gorm nó dubh a úsáid. Ní ligim dóibh tarraingt ar na cóipleabhair (tugaim ‘doodle’ copies do na páistí go bhfuil gá leis).

Tosaíonn gach páiste amach ag scríobh le peann luaidhe amháin. Ní bhíonn cead acu peann a úsáid go dtí go bfhuil an ceadúnas pinn tuillte acu. Bíonn ar a laghad coicís ann ag tús na bliana go dtí go bhfaigheann éinne ceann. Nuair atá ceadúnas acu bíonn cead acu peann a úsáid. Ach, má bhíonn píosa oibre déanta acu nach bhfuil ar an gcaighdeán cuí, cuirim poll i mbosca amháin ar an gceadúnas (ar nós pointí ar cheadúnas tiomána). Tá trí bhosca. Má bhíonn trí pholl faighte acu, cailleann siad an ceadúnas agus bíonn orthu filleadh ar an bpeann luaidhe go dtí go bfhuil ceadúnas nua tuillte.

Faighim gur iontach agus éasca an bealach é gach duine a choinneáil néata agus a chinntiú go bfhuil iarracht á dhéanamh acu agus nach mbíonn an caighdeán ag sleamhnú nó ag ísliú. Má tá suim agat, is féidir iad a cheannach anseo.

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This is how I ensure that the children in my class present their work neatly. In my class, the rules include that there must be a date and a title on every piece of work that they do. Their handwriting must be neat, cursive, clear and easy to read. I ask that they use only blue or black pen, and I don’t allow them to draw in their copies (though I have given ‘doodle’ copies to a couple of children, where necessary). 

To begin with, all of the children are only allowed to write with pencil. They cannot use pen until they’ve earned a pen licence. I have at least a fortnight at the beginning of the year where nobody gets their licence and we regularly discuss the requirements. They can use pen once they’ve earned their licence. However, if they do a piece of work which doesn’t reach the expected standard, I punch a hole in one box on the licence (like points on a driving licence). There are three boxes. If they get three holes, they lose their licence and must go back to using only pencil, until such time as they earn a new licence.

I find that it’s a great and an easy way to keep everybody working neatly and to be sure that the effort continues rather than slipping or lowering. If you’re interested, you can buy them here.

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Stáisiúin sa Mhata // Maths Stations

Is iontach an bealach iad na stáisiúin deis a thabhairt duit an méad is mó gur féidir leat a dhéanamh as an t-am atá agat. Tá go leor leor buntáistí ag baint leo chomh maith.

  1. Is brea leis na páistí iad agus bíonn an-suim acu.
  2. Foghlaimíonn na páistí níos mó agus iad a ‘imirt cluichí’ agus ag tabhairt faoin bhfoghlaim ghníomhach.
  3. Tugann sé deis duit tabhairt faoin idirdhealú i mbealach atá fíor éifeachtach.
  4. Is féidir cleachtadh a dhéanamh agus tabhairt faoin measúnú go héasca sa bhealach seo.

Seo cúpla pictiúr de na páistí i mo rang féin ag tabhairt faoi na stáisiúin an tseachtain seo. Is féidir teacht ar na pacáistí ag na nascanna seo. Tá siad uilig as Gaeilge. Táim ag súil le níos mó a chur leis an méad atá ann ach tógfaidh sé roinnt ama.

  1. Luach Suíomh
  2. Achar
  3. Céatadáin
  4. Airgead
  5. Codáin

The stations are a great way to get the most done in the time you have. They have lots of other advantages too.

  1. The children really enjoy them and always show great interest.
  2. They learn more as they ‘play games’ and while they are actively learning.
  3. It gives you the opportunity to differentiate really effectively.
  4. It gives the children a great opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned and gives us teachers a great opportunity to assess learning and inform future planning.

Here are a few pictures of the children in my class during stations this week. You can get the packages at these links. They are all as Gaeilge. I’m hoping to add to what’s currently available thoug it will take time.

  1. Place Value
  2. Area
  3. Percentages
  4. Money
  5. Fractions

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An Chéad Cúpla Lá // The First Few Days

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Seo cuid de na gníomhaíochtaí a bheidh ar siúl agamsa ar an gcéad cúpla lá ar ais ar scoil. Gníomhaíochtaí a thugann seans do na páistí socrú ar ais isteach go deas mall agus go compórdach, agus a chabhraíonn leis an múinteoir aithne a chur ar an ngrúpa nua atá os a c(h)omhair. Chomh maith le seo beidh muid ag eagrú na téacsleabhair, ag plé na rialacha agus ag dul i dtaithí ar na modhanna oibre a bheidh againn agus an caighdeán a bheidh uaim. Is Rang 6 a bheidh agam ach d’fhéadfá na gníomhaíochtaí seo a dhéanamh le beagnach aon rang.

These are a few of the activities I’ll be doing during the first few days back at school. These are activities that allow the children to settle back in slowly and comfortably, while also helping me, as the teacher, to start getting to know the new group in front of me. We’ll aso be organising the textbooks, discussing our rules and ideals and getting used to procedures and expectancies. I’ll have 6th class but you could do these activites with almost any class.

Liathróid Trá // Beach Ball

Cluiche simplí atá ann. Tá ceisteanna simplí scríofa agam ar an liathróid. Caithfidh muid timpeall é agus freagróidh siad an cheist a bhíonn díreach os a gcomhair nuair a bheireann siad air.

This is a simple game. I’ve written basic questions on the ball. We’ll throw it around and  they will answer the question that is facing them when they catch it.

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Mise Mé Féin // All About Me

Is breá leo an ceistneoir seo a líonadh isteach agus cabhríonn sé liomsa gach bliain foghlaim faoi céard gur maith leo, céard atá faiseanta faoi láthair ó thaobh ceoil nó scánnáin de, agus céard gur féidir liom ceachtanna a bhunú ar chun suim a mhuscailt. Is ón gceistneoir seo cúpla bhliain ó shin gur chuala mé don chéad uair faoi ‘5 Seconds of Summer’! Oideachas don mhúinteoir a bhíonn ann uaireanta!

They love to fill this questionnaire out and it helps me each year to learn about what they like, what’s fashionable at the moment when it comes to music and movies, and what I could base lessons on in order to grasp their interest. It’s from this questionnaire a couple of years ago that I first heard of ‘5 Seconds of Summer’! Sometimes, it’s an education for the teacher!

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Céard atá de dhíth orainn? // What do we need?

Cuirim na ceisteanna seo a leanas ar an gclár bán. Tugaim post-its ildaite do na páistí. Greamaíonn siad post-its chun na ceisteanna a fhreagairt agus ansin bíonn plé againn ar na freagraí éagsúla a fhaigheann muid.

  1. Céard atá tú súil le foghlaim i mbliana?
  2. Céard gur ceart do na daltaí sa rang a dhéanamh ionas go mbeidh bliain maith againn?
  3. Céard a bheidh de dhíth ortsa le bheith rathúil i mbliana?
  4. Cén bealach gur féidir liomsa a dhéanamh le cabhrú leat i mbliana?
  5. Ba cheart go mbeidh ár seomra ranga _______________ i mbliana.
  6. Tá an scoil tábhachtach mar _______________________.

I put the following questions on the white board. I give the children coloured post-its. They answer the questions by sticking the post-its on the board and then we have a discussion about the answers we get.

  1. What are you hoping to learn this year?
  2. What do the students in this class need to do for us to have a good year?
  3. What do you need to be successful this year?
  4. How can I help you this year?
  5. Our classroom should be _____________this year.
  6. School is important because _________________.

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An Eachtra is Mó a Tharla sa Samhradh // The Biggest Event of my Summer

Gníomhaíocht simplí scríbhneoireachta san aithris. Ligeann sé domsa caighdeán na Gaeilge agus caighdeán na scríobhneoireachta sa rang a fheiceáil don chéad uair.

A simple recount writing activity. This allows me a first chance to see what standard of Irish and what standard of writing there is in the class.

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Troid Liathróid Sneachta // Snowball Fight

Scríobhann gach páiste trí rud futhu féin ar phíosa páipéir ach gan ainm a chur air. Ansin, bíonn troid liathróid sneachta againn – na ‘liathróidí’ uilig a bheith caite timpeall an seomra ranga. Cúpla nóiméad níos déanaí, iarraim orthu ceann amháin an duine a phiocadh suas. Ceann ar cheann, léann muid iad agus bíonn spraoi acu ag glacadh tomhais cé a scríobh. Is féidir leis an gcluiche seo a bheith an-chabhrach má tá daltaí nua ag tosú sa rang.

The children each write three things about themselves on a piece of paper, but without putting their names on it. Then we scrunch them up and have a snowball fight – throwing the ‘snowballs’ around the classroom. After a few minutes, I ask them to pick up one snowball each. One at a time, we open and read them and have a bit of fun guessing who wrote them. This game can be especially helpful if you have new students joining the class.

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Suaitheantas Pearsanta // Personal Crest

Bíonn na páistí ag tarraingt i ngach bosca ar an suaitheantas seo na caitheamh aimsirí atá acu agus na talúin atá acu. Ansin, bíonn siad lánaithe, gearrtha amach agus greamaithe chun tosaigh ar na filteán a bhíonn ag gach éinne.

The children draw their pastimes and talents in each box on these crests. They’re them laminated, cut out and we stick them to the front of their personal folders.

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Aimsigh Duine Éigin // Find Somebody

Seo chluiche deas simplí gur féidir leo a imirt go héasca. Bíonn siad ag bogadh timpeall an seomra agus iad ag cur ceisteanna ar a chéile ag iarraidh ainm a chur sna boscaí uilig. Cuireann sé ag labhairt arís ionas go dtiocfaidh an Ghaeilge ar ais go nádúrtha i ndiaidh brieadh an tsamhraidh. Bíonn riail agam nach féidir an ainm céanna a scríobh i níos mó ná bosca amháin – déanann seo cinnte go mbíonn siad ag labhairt le gach éinne. Is féidir an cluiche seo a cheannach ó mo shiopa TpT anseo.

This game is nice and simple and they can play it easily. They move around the room asking each other questions, trying to fill in the boxes. It gets them talking again so that they can retrieve their Irish naturally after the summer break. I have a rule that they can only use each name once – this ensures that they speak to everybody. You can purchase this game from my TpT store here.

 

 

 

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Mo Sheomra Ranga 2016 // My Classroom 2016

Cé go bhfuil mé ag bogadh go seomra nua agus go mbeidh leagan amach difriúil, tá cuid mhaith den troscán agus áiseanna céanna in úsáid agam is a bhí anuraidh. Sin ráite, dúirt sibhse go raibh sibh ag iarraidh an seomra a fheiceáil agus nílim ag iarraidh nach bhfaighfeadh sibh atá uaibh. Mar sin, seo cúpla pictiúr den bhealach go mbeidh rudaí ag tosú i mbliana.

Although I’ve moved to a new room and so have a diffeent layout, I’m still using much of the same classroom furniture and resources as I did last year. Nevertheless, you guys said you wanted to see pictures and I’d hate to disappoint, so here’s a few pictures of how things will be kicking off this year.

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Seo ar an doras. Cheannaigh mé na litreacha agus chlúdaigh mé le páipéar beartán iad. // This is on the door. I bought the letters and then covered them with wrapping paper.

Seo ceithre phictiúir – ceann ó gach cúinne den seomra. // Here’s four pictures – one from each corner of the room.

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Seo mo chlár bán agus é réidh le dul. // This is my whiteboard ready to go.

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Seo cuid de na taispeántais atá curtha suas agam faoin am seo. // These are some of the displays that I’ve put up at this stage.

Seo filteáin na bpáistí. Bíonn ceann do gach éinne. Bíonn cóipleabhair A4 in úsáid acu agus foghlaimíonn siad conas a gcuid oibre féin a eagrú. // These are the children’s folders. Each child has one. They use refill pads and learn how to organise their own work.

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Seo ríomhairí na bpáistí a bhíonn in úsáid go laethiúil agus ansin bíonn na taibléidí againn uair nó dhó in aghaidh na seachtaine. // These are the children’s computers. These are used on a daily basis and then we have the tablets once or twice a week.

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Seo na cláracha bána beaga, na boscaí ina bhfuil Focal an Lae agus Word of the Day agus na filteáin don léitheoireacht PALS. Feicfidh sibh ansin chomh maith an teirmiméadar, a thomhaiseann an teocht sa seomra agus an teocht taobh amuigh. // These are the mini whiteboards, the boxes containing Focal an Lae and Word of the Day and the folders for PALS reading. You can also see here the thermometer which measures the temperature both inside and outside.

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Seo an áit ina mbíonn na stáisiúin eagraithe agam. Istigh sa chomhad tá na háiseanna uilig do na stáisiúin agus ansi bíonn siad a chur amach do na grúpaí éagsúla sna boscaí ar bharr. // This is where I organise the stations. All of my resources for stations are inside the filing cabinet and then I put them out for the groups in the boxes on top.

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Seo na tarraiceáin ina mbíonn ár bpáipéar. // These are the drawers that we keep our paper in.

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Seo an chúinne léitheoireachta (mo leithscéal – níl na leabhair eagraithe sa leabharlann go fóill) // This is my reading corner (do excuse me – I haven’t organised the books in the library yet).

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Seo an áit ina mbíonn obair ghrúpa á dhéanamh agam, grúpaí léitheoireachta a thógáil nó grúpa lag sa mhata a thógáil leo féin nó aon rud mar sin // This is where I do group work, reading groups or sometimes a weak group for maths.

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Seo an áit ina mbíonn na téacsleabhair, na cóipleabhair agus obair críochnaithe. // This is where we keep the textbooks, the copies and finished work.

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Seo spásanna an mhúinteora – an deasc, mo chófra agus mo ríomhaire. // These are my teacher areas – my desk, my cupboard and my computer.

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Agus seo díreach cúpla phictiúr eile timpeall an seomra. // And this is just a few more pictures around the room.

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Acmhainní do na Naíonáin // Resources for Infants

Cé go bhfuil mé ag obair leis ná páistí móra i Rang 6 na laethanta seo, chaith mé cúpla bliana leis na naíonáin roimhe seo agus chun an fhírinne a rá is ag an am sin a thosaigh mé ag smaoineamh faoi Réalta Ranga a thosú. Bhí mo chuid acmhainní lámhdéanta féin á dhéanamh agam toisc nach raibh mórán ar fáil a bhaineann leis an aibítir i nGaeilge – go leor rudaí álainne don fóneolaíocht sa Bhéarla ach faic domsa. Dúirt múinteoir eile liom gur cheart dom iad a dhíol. Sin an síol – agus faoi dheireadh thosaigh me. Rinne mé na rudaí seo do seomra na naíonáin ag an tús. Gach seans go mbeidh siad an úsáideach do mhúinteoirí atá leis na naíonáin i  mbliana. Más maith leat níos mó eolais ar aon ceann acu nó chun iad a cheannach, cliceáil ar na pictiúir.

Although I’m working with the big kids in 6th class these days, I spent a few years with the infants before that and to tell the truth, it was at that time that I began to think about starting Réalta Ranga. I was making lots of my own handmade  resources and games because there wasn’t a huge amount available based on the Irish alphabet – lots of lovely things for phonics in English but nothing for me. Another teacher told me I should sell the things I was making. That was the seed – and eventually I started. I made these resources for the infant classroom at the beginning. They might be useful to any of you who are teaching infants this year. If you need more information on any of them, or you wish to purchase them click on the pictures.

Póstaeir Aibítre // Alphabet posters

Dathanna geala agus pictiúir daite, deasa. Na gutaí fada (é, í, ó, ú, á) san áireamh.

Bright colours and nice, colourful pictures. Also includes the long vowels (é, í, ó, ú, á).

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Meaitseáil Aibítre // Alphabet Matching

Cluiche meaitseála aibítre ina mbíonn na páistí ag meaitseáil an pictiúr leis an litir cuí. Tá na litreacha sa phrionta agus sa script reatha.

Alphabet matching game where the children match the picture with the appropriate letter. The letters are included in both print and cursive.

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Domanóanna Aibítre // Alphabet Dominoes

Tá na domanóanna aibítre seo iontach mar chluiche i ngrúpa le linn am stáisiúin.

These alphabet dominoes are great as a group game during station time.

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36 Focail Radhairc // 36 Sight Words

Focail Radhairc ar luaschártaí atá geal agus daite.

Sight words on brightly coloured flash cards.

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Míreanna Mearaí Léitheoireachta // Reading Puzzles

Míreanna Mearaí déanta as na focail CVCC, CVCV, VCVC agus CCVC. Is gníomhaíocht iontach iad seo don fóneolaíoht agus léitheoireacht ag am stáisiúin.

Puzzles made from CVCC, CVCV, VCVC and CCVC words. These make a great phonics and blending activity for station time.

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Scríobh & Scrios : Gníomhaíochtaí Liteartha // Write & Wipe : Literacy Activities

Tá trí chluiche éagsúl san áireamh anseo, ar leibhéil difriúla – gach ceann acu le bheith lánaithe ionas gur féidir scríobh orthu agus ansin iad a ghlanadh agus a athúsáid arís is arís eile.

here are three different games included here, at different levels – each designed to be laminated so that they can be written on and then wiped clean for reuse again again.

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Ballaí an Seomra Ranga ar an gCéad Lá ar ais // Classroom Walls on the First Day Back

schoolIs post deacair é an seomra ranga a réitiú agus a eagrú don bhliain scoile nua agus cinnte go dtógann sé tamall na ballaí a líonadh, cuid de na taispeántais ag athrú go minic. Sin ráite, tá rudaí áirithe a bheidh ar mo bhallaí ón gcéad uair go dtagann na páistí isteach agus, i gcás cuid mhór daoibh siúd, a bheidh ann ó thús deireadh na bliana. Seo na taispeántais a bheidh in úsáid go laethiúil againn agus nach mbeinn in ann maireachtáil gan iad.

Setting up the classroom for the new school year can be a mammoth task and certainly wall displays will build over time and will change fairly regularly. That said, there are certain items that will be on my classroom walls from the moment the children arrive and, in the case of most of these displays, that will stay on the walls for the entire year. These are displays which will be used on a daily basis and which I really couldn’t live without.

Gramadach // Grammar

Táim an-dhian maidir leis an ngramadach díreach ón tús. Sa bhealach seo, foghlamaíonn na páistí an-tapaidh nach bhfuilim sásta glacadh le droch-ghramadach nó gramadach leisciúil, ach go háirithe nuair atá a fhios acu conas é a úsáid i gceart. Ceartaím droch-ghramadach I GCÓNAÍ, sa labhairt agus san obair scríofa. Bíonn na ceachtanna ghramadaí as Bain Súp As á leanúint againn, agus iad ar fheabhas. Déanann na háiseanna seo cinnte go mbíonn cabhair i gcónaí ar fáil ionas gur féidir leo iad féin a cheartú, fiú nuair nach bhfuil muid ag tabhairt faoi cheacht ghramadaí fhoirmiúil. Roimh i bhfad, déanann siad go héasca é. Ba cheart do na háiseanna maidir leis na Réamhfhocail agus na Ceisteanna Comónta a bheith i ngach seomra ranga ó Rang 1 nó Rang 2 ar aghaidh agus bíonn an Téarmaíocht Ghramadaí an-chabhrach ó Rang 4 – Rang 6. Cliceáil orthu thíos chun iad a cheannach.

I’m very strict in terms of grammar, right from the beginning. This way, the children learn very quickly that I won’t just accept bad or lazy grammar, especially when they know how it should be used correctly. I ALWAYS correct bad grammar, both in oral language and in written work. We do a lot of our grammar lessons following the Bain Súp As lessons, which are excellent. These resources ensure that help is always at hand so that they can correct themselves, even when we’re not doing a formal grammar lesson. Before too long, it becomes second nature. The resources for the Réamhfhocail and the Ceisteanna Comónta should be on display in classrooms from 1st or 2nd class onwards while the Téarmaíocht Ghramadaí are particularly helpful from 4th to 6th class. Click on them below to purchase.

ceisteanna comónta

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Téarmaíocht Gramadaí

Scríbhneoireacht // Writing

Is áis iontach é seo toisc go bhfuil sé i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla. Bíonn siad lánaithe droim le droim agam ionas nach bhfuil le déanamh ach é a chasadh timpeall le bheith oiriúnach don cheacht atá idir lámh againn. Déanaim cinnte go dtéann siad i dtaithí ar an bpróiséas ó thús na bliana chun nósanna dearfacha a chruthú. Cliceáil air thíos chun é a cheannach.

This is a great one because it is in both English and Gaeilge. I laminated them back to back so that all I have to do is turn it around to suit which language we’re writing in. I insist on getting them to grips with this process right from the beginning so that we create good habits. Click on it below to purchase.

Próiséis Scríbhneoireachta

Mata // Maths

Is cuma cén ábhar mata atá á chlúdú, bíonn i gcónaí fadhb-réiteach i gceist leis. Mar sin, má bhíonn an Piar-Theagaisc ar siúl (is féidir léamh faoi sin anseo) nó muna mbíonn, níl aon dabht ach go mbaineann na páistí an-úsáid as na póstaeir simplí seo don bhliain uilig. Agus, níos fearr arís, tá siad SAOR IN AISCE! Cliceáil thíos chun é a íoslódáil.

It doesn’t matter what topic is being covered, there will always be an element of problem-solving involved. So, whether or not we’re doing Peer-Tutoring (which you can read about here) or not, these simple posters are a must have and they stay on my wall all year. And, better yet, they’re FREE! Click on it below to download.

Fadhbanna Focail

Measúnú // Assessment

Bíonn TAFF agus TAL in úsáid againn i mo scoil ionas go mbeadh an méasúnú chun foghlama curtha chun cinn agus le cintiú go mbíonn a fhios ag na páistí céard é atá á fhoghlaim acu, conas agus cén fáth. Bíonn na páistí dírithe ar an obair agus tagann feabhas ar an bhfoghlaim. Is i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla atá an áis seo chomh maith ionas gur féidir an leagan cuí a úsáid le gach ceacht. Cliceáil ar thíos chun é a cheannach.

We use WALT and WILT in our school in order to promote assessment for learning and to ensure that the children know what they are learning, how and why. This allows for better focus and maximises learning. This resource also comes in both English and Gaeilge so that the appropriate version can be used. Click on it below to purchase.

Measúnú chun Foghlama 1

Bainistíocht Iompair // Behaviour Management

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Tá an rúin seo ar fheabhas (is féidir níos mó a léamh futhu anseo). Bíonn siad crochtha agam i rith an lae go dtagann na páistí ar ais. Bíonn plé ranga againn ar cad a bheidh soghlactha nó doghlactha inár seomra ranga agus an rud atá uainn ó thaobh rialacha de. Tar éis an phlé sin, agus cuid bheag stiúradh, de ghnáth tagann na rúin dearfacha seo chun cinn. Bíonn siad crochta agam in áit sofheicthe ionas gur féidir tagairt dóibh i rith na bliana. Cliceáil air thíos chun é a cheannach.

These classroom resolutions are great (you can read more about them here). These go up on the wall during the first day back. I discuss with my class what should be deemed acceptable or unacceptable in our classroom and what they want from classroom rules. With a bit of discussion, and some gentle steering in the right direction, we usually come up with these positive resolutions and then I hang them prominently in the room and refer to them during the year, as necessary. Click on it below to purchase.

Rialacha nó Rúin1

Eagarthóireacht // Organisation

Chomh maith le bheith an-phraiticiúil agus an-úsáideach go laethiúil, cabhríonn an dá áis seo leis an seomra a choinneáil eagraithe, néata agus álainn. Cliceáil orthu thíos chun iad a cheannach.

These two resources, as well as being practical and useful on a daily basis, also just really help to keep the classroom well organised, tidy and pretty. Click on them below to purchase.

Féilire 2017-18

Lipéid Ranga

Freagra

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Conas go mbíonn Litriú á mhúineadh agam // How I teach Spelling

spelling

Le blianta fada anuas tá bunscoileanna na hÉireann ag tabhairt faoin litriú sa bhealach céanna. Bíonn liosta focal ag na páistí gach seachtain, foghlaimíonn siad cuid acu chuile oíche don obair bhaile i rith na seachtaine agus bíonn scrúdú litriú gach Aoine. Ar an gcéad dul síos, ní ag ‘múineadh’ litriú atáimid sa bhealach seo agus ar an dara dul síos, níl buntáistí le fáil ag éinne mar sin, na páistí láidre nó na páistí laga. Faigheann cuid dóibh 9 nó 10 as 10 seachtain i ndiaidh seachtaine ach ní bhíonn dúshlán os a gcomhair go minic. Tá cuid eile dóibh go mbíonn torthaí isle faighte acu chuile seachtain agus go mbíonn siad ag cailliúnt féin-mhuiníne. Bhí an t-ádh liom go pearsanta nuair a thosaigh mé ag obair sa scoil ina bhfuil mé, scoil nach bhfuil éinne ann eaglach faoin status quo a athrú, nó sean-modhanna a athrú . Deirim go bhfuil and t-ádh liom mar, i mo thaithí féin, níor mhúin éinne domsa conas litriú a mhúineadh fad is a bhí mé sa choláiste. Mar MNC, leanann tú polasaithe na scoile agus tá gach seans, agus mé in aon scoil eile, go mbeinn i ndiaidh dul síos bóthar scrúduithe an Aoine chomh maith.

For a great many years spelling has been dealt with in the same ways in Irish primary schools. Children are given a weekly list of words, instructed to learn to spell them for homework, a few each night, and they then have a Friday spelling test. Firstly, this is not ‘teaching’ spelling and secondly, this method does not benefit anybody, the weaker or the stronger spellers. The strong spellers get 9 or 10 out of 10 week after week and are rarely challenged by the words on the list. Weak spellers get low results week after week and their self-confidence takes beating after beating. I was lucky in many ways when I began working in a school which was not afraid to challenge the status quo, and not afraid to replace out-dated methods. I consider myself lucky because, in my experience, I was not taught how to teach spelling during my teacher training. As an NQT, you follow school policy and I suspect that had I been in another school I may well also have gone down the route of the Friday spelling test.

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Baineann muid úsáid sa scoil as córas Brendan Culligan chun an litriú a mhúineadh agus feicimid go bhfuil an córas páistelárnach seo  ag cabhrú le gach páiste ar a leibhéal féin, nach ligeann sé do na páistí a bheith comórtasach  agus tugann sé dúshlán nuair is gá leis. Tosaíonn an córas le go leor cluichí litriú, pátrúin a fheiceáil, sreanganna litreacha a aimsiú, litriú a fhoghlaim i gcónaí i gcóthéacs trí deachtú agus ligint do gach páiste na focail atá de dhíth orthu go pearsanta a fhoghlaim. Tá an deachtú bunaithe ar na focail a bhíonn litruithe go mícheart go minic. Ba cheart go mbeadh páistí ag foghlaim conas na focail atá de dhíth orthu a litriú in ionad focail atá sa ‘chlann’ céanna ná na focail eile atá ar an liosta. Cé gur i gcás an Bhéarla go raibh córas Brendan Culligan cruthaithe, tá an próiséas céanna in úsáid againn don Litriú Gaeilge agus tá ár gcleachtaí deachtú féin déanta amach againn bunaithe ar na focail ba mhinicí a bhíonn litruithe go mícheart. Tá siad deartha chomh maith againn le tabhairt faoi na haimsirí éagsúla – an aimsir chaite, an aimsir láithreach, an aimsir fháistineach agus an modh coinníollach.

We follow the Brendan Culligan system for teaching spelling and are seeing that this child-centred approach helps each individual child at their own level, does not foster competitiveness or comparison and provides appropriate challenges when necessary. The system begins with lots of spelling games, recognising visual patterns, identifying letter strings, learning spelling in context through dictation and allowing each child to learn the spellings that they need to learn. The dictation exercises are based on the most commonly misspelled words. Children should learn to spell frequently required words as opposed to words that just happen to be in the same ‘family’ as the others on the list. While Brendan Culligan’s approach was only created with English spelling in mind, we use the same processes for Litriú Gaeilge and have created our own dictation exercises based on the most commonly misspelled works as Gaeilge. We’ve also designed these to contain verbs in the past, present, future and conditional tenses.

Conas mar a oibríonn sé go praiticiúil, go laethiúl? Bhuel, seo mar a dhéanaim é le Rang 6. Tugaimid faoin deachtú ceithre lá in aghaidh na seachtaine – as Béárla faoi dhó agus as Gaeilge faoi dhó. Bíonn cúig abairt á léamh amach agam. Nuair atá gach ceann acu scríofa acu, cuirim an abairt iomlá, agus é i gceart, ar an gclár bán.  Déanann na páistí féin-cheartúchán orthu (Tógann seo tamaillín agus bíonn ort breathnú go gear orthu ag an tús). Tá foclóir pearsanta ag gach páistí agus cuireann siad isteach ann aon focal a litrigh siad go mícheart an lá sin. Roghnaíonn siad ansin cúig focal ina raibh botúin acu le foghlaim an oíche sin. Caithfidh siad focail a roghnú don obair bhaile a bhí cheana féin san fhoclóir pearsanta acu (toisc nach seo an chéad uair go raibh botún san fhocal sin acu). Muna bhfuil cúig botún déanta ag aon páiste, líonann siad na bearnaí sin le focail ó na liostaí Word of the Day nó Focal an Lae. Is féidir níos mó a léamh faoi na liostaí sin anseo.  Sa bhealach seo tá an méad céanna obair bhaile ag gach páiste ach le focail éagsúla a thugann dúshlán cuí dóibh.

So how does it work on a daily, practical level? Well, here’s how I tackle it with 6th class. We do dictation 4 days per week – twice in English and twice as Gaeilge. I dictate five  sentences. After they have written each one, I put the entire sentence, correctly spelled, on the board. The children self-correct (This takes time and initial strict moderation). Each child has a personal spelling dictionary into which they add any words they have spelled incorrectly that day. They then choose five of their mistakes to learn at home that evening. If any of the words were already in their personal dictionary (indicating that this is not the first time they’ve misspelled it) then they must be chosen as one of the five homework words. For those children who have less than five mistakes, they fill the gaps with words from our Word of the Day or Focal an Lae lists. You can read more about that here. Each child then has the same amount of homework but with words that they are individually challenged by.

Is i gcónaí obair bhaile scríofa atá sa litriú le cleachtaí a bhíonn simplí agus difriúil. Déanaim iarracht leis na cleachtaí seo go mbíonn siad ag díriú ar phatrúin a aithint. Uaireanta, mar shampla, bíonn orthú dathanna difriúla a úsáid  – gutaí le dath amháin, consain le dath eile nó b’fhéidir litreacha árda le dath amháin, litreacha ílse leis an dara dath agus litreacha atá ar chrochadh leis an tríú dath, srl.

The spelling homework is always written and the exercises are simple and varied and I aim to focus on pattern recognition with these exercises. Sometimes I ask them to use two or three colours – vowels one colour, consonants another or maybe tall letters one colour, short a second colour and hanging letters a third, etc.

Ní bhíonn aon srúdú litriú na seachtaine – níl siad de dhíth. Is féidir leis an múinteoir agus an páiste measúnú a dhéanamh ar líon na mbotún sa deachtú. Déanaim measúnú tapaidh ó bhéal chomh maith fad is atá na cóipleabhair obair bhaile á cheartú agam gach lá  – ag iarraidh ar gach páiste focal amháin a bhí ar a liosta féin a litriú.  Ní chun an litriú é féin a mheas a dhéanaim seo, ach le cintiú go mbíonn an litriú á fhoghlaim acu sa bhaile agus nach mbíonn na focail díreach á chóipeáil isteach sa chóipleabhair acu.

There are no weekly spelling tests, nor are they required. Both teacher and student can assess progress through the amount of errors being made in dictation. I also do a quick oral assessment as I’m correcting the homework copies – asking each child to spell one of the words that was on their list the previous night.  This is not so much to assess the spelling but more to ensure that the children actually do learn to spell the words at home, rather than just copying them into their homework.

Mar is eol daoibh uilig, bíonn botúin á dhéanamh le focail áirithe níos minicí ná le focail eile. Ar an lá gach seachtain nach bhfuil an deachtú á dhéanamh againn, bíonn ceithre nó cúig focal mar seo roghnaithe agam agus bíonn muid ag obair, mar rang iomlán, ar stráitéisí chun iad a fhoghlaim agus a chuimhniú.  Uaireanta, is cuimhneolaíocht a bhíonn in úsáid acu, ar nós BECAUSE : Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants. Uaireanta eile, cabhríonn sé leo páistí áirithe sa rang sin a úsáid, ar nós : B’FHÉIDIR. D’úsáid siad an téarma simplí ‘Bhuaigh Fiachra Héileacaptar’ le cuimhniú ar an tús agus mar sin, ní fhaca mé ‘Béidir’ go minic i ndiaidh sin. Straitéis eile a bhíonn in úsáid acu ná focail a aimsiú taobh istigh de focail eile, mar shampla, is féidir an focal AOINE a aimsiú taobh istigh den focal smAOINEamh.

As you will all have encountered, there are some words which are more commonly misspelled than others. On the one day each week that we don’t do dictation, I choose four or five of these words and we work, as a whole class, on strategies for learning and remembering them.  This is sometimes done using mneumonics such as BECAUSE : Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants. Other times it will be through using specific children in the class, for example : B’FHÉIDIR. The simple term ‘Bhuaigh Fiachra Héileacaptar’ helped them to remember the beginning and meant I rarely saw ‘Béidir’ after that. Another strategy they sometimes used was to identify words within words, for example SMAOINEAMH contains the word AOINE  – smAOINEamh.

Ag deireadh an lae, fiú nuair atá an litriú dírithe ar an páiste féin, beidh fós páistí áirithe a bheidh ag streachailt leis an litriú, ach go háirithe páistí a bhfuil disléicse orthu. Tá sé fíor-thábhachtach go ndéanann muid cinnte gur rud dearfach an litriú do na páistí seo, ag cinntiú gur féidir leo tabhairt faoi. Le linn deachtú, ní bhím ag iarraidh orthu abairtí iomlána a bhreacadh síos ina mbeadh an-chuid botúin. Iarraim orthu focal amháin a roghnú as gach abairt sa deachtú. Bíonn orthu an focal amháin sin a litriú le stampaí nó leis na litreacha beaga. Déanann seo nach féidir leo na mílte botún a dhéanamh agus cabhraíonn sé leis an bhféin-mhuinín a ardú.

When it comes down to it, even when spelling is individualised, there will still be some children who really struggle with spelling, particularly those who are battling dyslexia. It is important that we do everything we can to make spelling a positive experience for these children, keeping it achievable. During dictation, rather than asking them to write entire sentences which will inevitably contain a high proportion of errors, I ask these weaker spellers to choose one tricky word from each sentence. They should then either spell that word using letter stampers or lettered beads. This keeps their potential for error much lower and helps to build confidence rather than destroy it.

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