I have to admit that I have a bit of a problem… I am becoming obsessed with Igam Ogam on the Cula4 Player and so are my class!!!
Igam Ogam is a 10 minute cartoon series designed for toddlers. That is just about the perfect amount of time for a cartoon in a 2nd language. It is also a perfect duration for showing in class as part of your Gaeilge lesson.
Igam Ogam is an adorable and fun loving Stone Age cave girl. Igam Ogam is always looking for adventure with her pet dinosaur, “Madra” and her monkey friend, “Roly”. Each episode has a specific focus with a repetitive narrative line running through it. Last week poor Igam Ogam was “ró-te” because of a heatwave. After a few viewings my class were joining in and laughing knowledgeably. The next episode saw “Madra” begging Igam Ogam to play with her before breakfast. She was not at all ready to play as she had not eaten her breakfast or washed her teeth. “Ní anois” was the phrase that my class learned.
I really would encourage Infant teachers to make use of the fantastic Cúla 4 player. It is not blocked by our internet security settings. Igam Ogam is a Telegael/Calon co-production for S4C, Channel Five, TG4 and ZDF Enterprises. It is great to be able to support TG4 in our classrooms!
Here is a link to the Cúla 4 player. Scroll down on the right and locate Igam Ogam. Bain triall as!!
I am delighted to invite you all to a talk that I am giving in Wexford Town Library on November 7th at 7.30 pm. It’s called “Cracking the code: Phonics and High Frequency Words for Beginner Readers”. The lovely staff have told me that booking is recommended. You can book your place by phoning +353 53 9196760
I will be demystifying phonics. What it is. Why we teach it. How you can help your child successfully “sound out” words.
Phonics is only one aspect of literacy that beginner readers must learn.
What happens when my child tries to “sound out” a word and it doesn’t “sound out”?!!! Children also need to build a “lexicon” or word bank. There will be lots to explore here:What are High Frequency words? Are they the same as Dolch Words?! Why should my child know them and what can I do to help?
Here are a few teasers! I am not going to explain. Hopefully you will be intrigued enough to come on the night!!!
At the end of the night you will leave knowing all of my top tips, my favourite websites for phonics and HFW word games, and a list of my favourite authors for emergent readers and lots, lots more.
Please share this page with your friends who have little ones who are learning to read.
Ghost Blaster II would make a fantastic game for any 1st Class pupil to play over Mid-term. It would also be a great warm-up game on the first day back after Mid-term. Ghost Blaster allows you to revise adding numbers 0-10 which was covered in Senior Infants. The curriculum links are shown here:
Strand: Analysis of Number Units: Combining & Numeration
explore the components of number, 1-10
solve simple oral and pictorial problems, 0-10
I love maths games that allow the teacher/parent to select exactly what numbers are being explored. It is great to be in control and know that children are exploring exactly what they need to explore. No sums that are outside of the curriculum remit will appear. Ghost Blaster ll does not disappoint in this regard. You are in complete control.
Simply type in your selected number in the “practice the sums of…” box. I selected 10 but you could choose any number family you want from 0-10.
You can select either 1 or 2 players. Imagine the fun of 2 children or two teams playing against each other in a classroom! It would be tonnes of fun!
A pair of ghosts will briefly flash up on the screen. You need to be fast to play Ghost Blaster II !!! Click “z” on your keyboard if the sum of the two ghosts makes your choosen number. It’s a simple as that
Do you love teaching Data Handling? I just ADORE it!!! It is one of my absolute favourite maths topics to explore. It is so much fun and serious cute too!
I always block my data handling and tie it into fun, seasonal themes. I did a graph a week for the month of October on a Halloween Theme. We created Halloween themed graphs about spiders, ghosts and bats.
It’s so much easier to get children buzzed up about data handling when you explore it thematically I also feel that children understand more fully the use of graphs and graphing when it is linked to something meaningful in their own lives. Because I am mildly OCD on linking lessons I also try to tie my Data Handling into the story that we were reading for the week e.g. Aaaaargh Spiders and a graph about spiders.
Here are the Representing and Interpreting Data Curriculum Objectives for Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class:
represent and interpret data in two rows or columns using real objects, models and pictures
I simply cut out the title and stuck it to a sheet of poster paper. Pupils stick their ghost under the column that applies to them. My class seem to be particularly brave. Not one of them said that ghosts were creepy!! Mind you, I think that the ghosts above are particularly cute. They are from the Enlightened Elephant.
Data Handling naturally lends itself to making comparisons and naturally creates language rich Maths Talks. We stopped periodically to predict which column would win and why, what the difference was between columns, what difference one more vote would make to each side… Lots and lots of math talk was generated. I also love it when children spontaneously use maths language in their response. “I predict that creepy will win because it has more” or “I predict that cute can’t win now because only 2 children are left to vote and that’s not enough to win”. Talk like that just blows me away!!! Oh yeah, the use of the word “predict” ties in with the Reading Comprehension Strategies we are exploring.
I hope that you like my Ghost Themed Pictogram Freebie and manage to squeeze it in next week. It would make for a great maths lesson on the day of the holidays
You might have noticed “The Blog Awards Ireland 2013″ Finalist Button has been displayed with pride for a number of weeks now. The final was last Saturday night in The Osprey, Hotel, Kildare. All the great and the good of the education world in Ireland were there ;): Simon and Rozz from anseo.net and Damien Quinn from seomraranga. It was fantastic to meet up and chat with them. I am even more buzzed up about blogging now!
Just incase you are curious here are a some official photos from the night and a few from my iPhone:
The theme was “Cabaret” hence all the feather boas etc. I can’t remember the last time when I laughed so much or for so long. The event was put together with extreme attention to detail. We all had our photographs taken upon arrival with some Cabaret Themed props. Did you see all of the treats in our goodie bags? I felt like a superstar!
It was a long wait from 7.30 until 10.20pm when they announced my category!! All of the messages of support and encouragement from all of you on Facebook and Twitter kept me going. It meant so much to me that people took time out of their Saturday night to message me. It was also helpful to spread my nerves out among all off you. It allowed me to eat dinner
I was so shocked, no stunned to win! I had to be prompted to leave my chair and walk to the stage to collect my award. I made very brief acceptance speech in which I thanked my husband Ed. You might not be aware of it but Ed set up missmernagh.com and launched it for me on Twitter. I was clueless and was certain that I would run out of things to blog about after a week! I was also certain that no one would ever read it! It seems like I might have been wrong………..
I will be back tomorrow with some Halloween themed Data Handling activities.
I think that I could happily teach phonics all day long! It is definitely one of my absolute favourite things to do!!! I always get really excited when children are learning to blend and segment sounds into words.
For those of you who are not familiar with these terms “blending” is when we sound out a word using a continuous sound eg ccccaaaat= cat. Segmenting is the exact opposite. It the way by which we spell words. We “chop” them up into their constituent sounds c…/a…/t… It is really important not to confuse the two and for children to be taught to use both blending and segmenting. They also need to know when to use each.
I have met lots of children who only know how to chop up/segment sounds. It is really, really hard to know what an unfamiliar word is when you read it in a robotic voice! When you s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out words are much easier to hear. This strategy will hence forth be known as “stretchy snake”!
You can read more about blending and print my Stretchy Snake poster by clicking here.
I have been busy creating a presentation of Group 1 Words for tomorrow. Group 1 Jolly Phonics words cover: s, a, t, i, p, n
I will open the PDF in Activeinspire. This means that I can get pupils to circle individual sound eg circle the “s”. We can also have lot of practice blending the sounds into words. I will use the same words with a blank page on my flip chart and have my class “sound talk” or use their robotic voice to segment/chop up the sounds in a word and I will write them.
Here are some images of the slides that you can download: