A Short April in Áine’s 2nd Class

The children returned well rested after the Easter break for a short but jam-packed April curriculum.

English:  We are getting outside in the sunshine to read our choice books when we can, as well as practising choral reading in class every day. This is where all children read their levelled class reader aloud at low volume for 10 minutes simultaneously while I move around and listen to children, signaled by a gentle tap on the shoulder. Reading aloud enhances children’s reading fluency and comprehension.

We have been doing lots of reading comprehension where the children read and answer questions about unfamiliar texts as well as discussing vocabulary definitions.

We had a delivery of new picture books which the children loved hearing me read aloud to them at story time. We read: ‘What happened to YOU?’ to explore how people with disabilities might feel if we initially only see and ask nosy questions about their disability.

We read ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘The Day the Crayons Came Home’ by Oliver Jeffers simply because these books bring so much joy to all children as Duncan’s crayons come to life and complain about their often-limited usage! Then the children wrote their own postcards from a crayon with hilariously creative backstories.

We read ‘The Magic Moment’ by Bressie on a day that tensions ran high in the class in order to learn a new calming down technique and appreciate that it’s okay to feel scared, nervous and excited about new experiences.

Gaeilge:  We have been doing a lot more Irish reading to strengthen the children’s Irish written word recognition to complement their oral Irish skills. We finished the theme of ‘Sa Bhaile’ and moved on to ‘An Teilifís’ which the children are enjoying. The highlight was when the children asked me to call the ‘fake’ phone number of the character Róisín to see if she would answer! Well low and behold, the call was answered, not by the cartoon character, but by the author of our Gaeilge programme, Seán De Brún, author and lecturer at Mary Immaculate College of Education. Seán was so thrilled to speak Gaeilge to me and the children on speakerphone and hopes that one day he can come and visit the school and speak Gaeilge with us.

Music: For Earth Day, we all enjoyed singing along to an Arthur Askey’s (comedian and actor 1900 -1982) ‘Bee song’. The children also learned to sight-sing using tonic sol-fa notes ‘do, re me’ on a music stave.

SPHE: The children enjoyed exploring the topic of healthy nutrition to keep our bodies strong. We examined the food pyramid daily portion recommendations and categorised everyday foods into the correct section. We all tucked into a beautiful fresh fruit platter, so generously donated by my local fruit and Veg supplier, Terry Fruit Boxes! There wasn’t a mandarin segment left by the time we had finished.

Maths: We practiced a lot of double-digit column addition with regrouping in class and ensured the method and language being used is consistent. Please see below for a summary of this method and language you should ensure your child is using.

  • Add the units first.
  • Always start with the top number first (2 + 9 = 11)
  • Since 11 contains 1 group of 10 and 1 unit, place the 1 unit under the line on the unit’s side and regroup the 10 to the tens side.
  • Regrouping the 10 means writing a small 1 on the right side of bottom number on the tens side so we don’t forget to add it in.
  • Next add the tens.
  • Always start with the top number first (4 tens + 3 tens + 1 ten  = 8 tens) N.B. It is important that your child realises that these are groups of 10 and not single units.
  • Write 8 below the line as the answer to the total groups of 10.
  • Therefore, 42 + 39 = 81

The children also worked on the topics of AREA and LENGTH.  I was blown away when many of them had a lightbulb moment as to how to calculate the area of a surface. I gave the pods a deck of cards each and asked them to work out how many cards it takes to cover the surface area of one table. Little did I know that 52 cards would not be enough, but the children problem-solved the lack of cards by covering one length of the table in cards and one width. Some of the children were able to articulate that once they knew how many were needed for the length, they could add this number of cards together in accordance with the number of rows along the width!  I was so proud of them as they had come up with the formula of ‘Length multiplied by Width = area’, (L x W) all on their own in 2nd Class!

P.E.  We worked on acquiring Frisbee skills of throwing (Point – Cross – Step – Flick) and catching methods Alligator snap and Lobster claws. Over the 4 lessons, the children become much more confident at throwing, catching and aiming accurately. We look forward to learning how to play rounders next week!

Art: Working with clay was a very joyful experience for the class. They pounded and wedged the clay to remove any air pockets. They learned the pinch-pot technique to make turtle shells and relied on their fractions knowledge to cut up legs, tail and head for their turtles. To join the limbs to the turtle shell, the children learned how to slip and score the clay so that there would be a firm attachment. Everyone was engrossed and worked to the best of their ability during this project.

Hoping May will be another great month!