Making a Plan: Classroom Procedures

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A classroom that runs seamlessly is an instant indicator as to how hard that teacher is working. It is not something that comes easy. Many children crave routine and rules (to a certain extent!). They like to know what to expect when they arrive at their classroom door and enjoy being praised for complying with and taking on the responsibility of the routines.

A quick google of “Classroom Procedures” will immediately provide an array of images and ideas to provoke thought. Each teacher has their own preferences and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. Making a plan is the perfect example of “Tús maith, leath na hoibre”, once you have decided how you want your classroom to work, it’s a matter of instructing the children and reinforcing the procedures to ensure they are absorbed by the pupils.

Our 10-page plan will provoke your thoughts on how you want to manage your classroom. Stick it into your diary or folder to have it on hand and easily accessible for any substitutes throughout the year. It’s also ideal for job-sharers to ensure both teachers are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Our plan is currently available for FREE to customers who make a purchase on the site throughout the Back-to-School season!

Surviving Supervision!

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It’s officially winter.

Yes in Ireland, we often experience the four seasons in one day but we’re at the stage of the year where we are guaranteed two things, it’s going to be cold and it’s going to be wet. For many working people, this is an inconvenience as their car is a little cold when commuting to work in the morning and the settings for the workplace heating are up for debate each day. Now for teachers, it’s so much worse. We battke elements to and from work as well as the thrilling thirty or so minutes  during the working day where we get to patrol the playground and dodge soccer balls, skipping ropes and airborne children. In order to survive the concrete jungle of chaos, each teacher should be equipped with a travel mug of something hot and more importantluy, a good yard coat. Some like to keep a coat in their classroom that is only used for yard purposes, it hangs on the same hook and is available for hire to forgetful teachers. Others wear their coat of the day on the yard and wrap up with warm accessories. Then there’s the minority, those lads and ladies who somehow manage to look stylish while navigating through the bedlam.

We have pulled some styles together for you to browse through, collated to form the 4 Ps! Each one comes with its own advantages and is sure to get a compliment from a keen 1st classer. “I like your coat teacher :-)”

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No matter how small or eager to please they are, a compliment is a compliment!

Scroll on down to see our Ps of choice. The Parka, The Puffa, The Professional and The Pretty. So which one are you?

Browse the boards below, all info is linked on the individual pieces 🙂

The Parka

 

The Puffa

 

The Professional

 

The Pretty

 

For the Ceann!

 

Bits and Bobs

 

For the Boys!

 

Halloween Costumes for Teachers 2016!

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With one week to go until Halloween holidays, it is time to wrap up the first half our toughest term. Many schools will be celebrating in style and to help you, we have trawled through the internet’s finest costume sites and chosen some we think you might like 🙂

The Typical Teacher Costume

Aka “the safe option”! Something you can buy online, will be comfortable-ish to wear and provides an opportunity for the kids to learn something new.

Where’s Wally?

An oldie but a goodie.

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Harry Potter

Instantly recognisable and can be worn over regular clothes.

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Crayola Crayon

Can be done as an individual or group costume.

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Cat in the Hat

Easy enough to assemble with materials from the classroom.

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Minion

Pupils will love this but not for the shrinking violet!

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The Originals

Not something you see every year, these will surely go down a treat with your pupils!

Three Blind Mice

Perfect for a trio that want something funny yet easy!

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Ruled page

Maybe for the teacher at the senior end of the school who is blue in the face from reminding pupils to rule their copies!?

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Pokeball

Simple yet very effective. Kids would absolutely love this!

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Guess Who?

Not a complicated one to make and very effective if you rope in a partner!

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A Tad Topical

These 2016 inspired costumes are relevant and provide an opportunity for discussion.

Ghostbusters

The movie was released during the summer but always a good Halloween option!

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Tiger

2016 saw the numbers of tiger increasing for the first time in over a century. Fantastic news. Share it with your class!

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For the Creative Kind

Ideal for those of you with an an over-flowing art press and time on your hands!

Gumball machine

10 packs of pompoms and a glue gun should sort you!

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Tetris

Ok, you need a group for this one. Don’t go solo!

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Google Map Pointer

Perfect for those who want to avoid coloured hairspray and facepaint!

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Whatever you decide to go for,  hope you have a fun-filled and safe Halloween!

Special Days, Events and Celebrations in October!

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We made it through September! Before you read any further, give yourself a big bualadh bos. It was difficult, yes. It was exhausting, yes. It was fun, no! But we made it out the other side and with all the Back to School Packs we sold, I think there should be a lot of classes out there towing the line with the promise of a prize from the teacher’s bosca. The last two months for us have been very busy and we’d like to say a big thank you to each and everyone of you who purchased a little something from our siopa. Our pupil rewards and teacher resources have been flying out the door and we are expecting deliveries of new stock this week so stay tuned for the new additions!

For now, we will take you through this busy month with a quick peek at the some of the special days, events and celebrations that October has to offer!

Space Week: October 3rd to 8th

Ireland’s newest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Week will undoubtedly have many fans in your class. The website boasts many activities for classrooms with plenty of opportunities to get involved. The week is run in parallel with World Space Week so there’e no excuse but to get out your moonboots and tinfoil hat. 

 

World Teachers’ Day, Wednesday 5th October

Our day has come! A chance to put the feet up on the desk, have lunch served to you and a break from the tapping “Teacher, teacher, teacher”……ok maybe not but it’s a day to celebrate the profession we have chosen. Tell your class about a teacher that made a positive impact on your life, share some rice cripy buns with your pupils or read some of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” to the class with special attention to Miss Honey and of course, the Trunchbull. Finally, give yourself a pat on the back for making it through September and for getting up everyday to guide, support and inspire the next generation.

Products which may be of interest:

National Tree Day, Thursday 6th October

A popular day now well established in our calendars, National Tree Day takes place in the middle of a very busy week this year! There are plenty of resources online for primary teachers looking to mark this special day. Coillte and Planet Ark have some really worthwhile activities. Your SESE section in your cuntas míosúil will be jam packed if you manage to cover Space Week and Tree Day this year!

Products which may be of interest:

Maths Week, Saturday 15th- Sunday 23rd October

A now key event in our school calendars, Maths Week has grown in popularity each year. Again, there are numerous events to get involved in but you can also integrate it into your already prepped lessons for that week. Get your class to open their “Maths Eyes” (use props if available in the younger classes!) and take notice of the maths that surrounds us. Ask a parent or member of the local community to come in and share with the class how they use maths in their workplace. Take a photograph of your shopping receipt and work through it with the class (remove the prescribed alcohol from the receipt!). 

We will have many of our Maths prizes and resources on promotion throughout the month so keep an eye out for them!

Products which may be of interest:

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Monday 17th October

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly, designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Poverty eradication remains at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the development of the new Sustainable Development Goals. 

Halloween, Monday 31st October

So this celebration needs no introduction or explanation. We’ll all be covering “Oíche Shamhna” lessons for the weeks leading up to the mid-term. I have used the same resources for years in different classes and just adjusted them to suit the needs and abilities of the kids at that particular level. 

Here are some ideas* for your planning:

pumpkin-cuteA Halloween cauldron filled with creepy critters is the centerpiece of this math activity, which works well at a learning center or work table. Find a large pot (such as a plastic cauldron you might find at a party or craft store). Fill the pot with an assortment of small plastic Halloween toys, such as plastic spiders, ghosts, pumpkins, eyeballs, and snakes. You’ll also need a dipper, such as a soup ladle, for students to scoop up the critters. Place the pot of critters on a table. Next to the pot, provide pattern “recipes” written on index cards. A sample recipe follows.

Spider Stew

Take two scoops of critters. Then make this pattern: 2 spiders, 2 ghosts, 1 snake Repeat the pattern three times, adding one more scoop if necessary.

Encourage students to invent new patterns, then write their own recipes on index cards and challenge other students to follow them. Students can also use the pot of critters to sort the contents in different ways, or create picture or object graphs that show how many different kinds of critters are in the pot. For a language arts connection, have students scoop a small number of critters from the pot and write a short story about the creatures.

pumpkin-cutePumpkin Patch Bulletin Board

This activity is a great way to begin the month of October. At the beginning of the month, print some copies of a pimpkin outline. Write a math fact that represents each day of the month on each of the pumpkins, or assign each student in the class a different day of the month to come up with the fact for that day. (For example, you can write the math fact 12 – 11 for October 1, 9 – 7 for October 2, 0 + 3 for October 3, and so on. Write the answer for each equation on the back of the pumpkin. Staple the pumpkins to the bulletin board in random order. Use green construction paper vines and leaves to turn the board into a pumpkin patch, if you wish.

Each day in October, challenge students to identify the pumpkin that correctly represents that day. (On Mondays, you might wish to include the weekend days, too.) Ask students to write their choices on slips of paper and place them in a box or plastic pumpkin that you pass around. Invite the student who wrote the math fact for that day to turn over the correct pumpkin. Review the box of guesses to see who guessed correctly.

Here are some other ways to use the pumpkin patch:

Each day, challenge students to come up with additional facts that equal that day’s date.

At the end of the month, have students harvest the pumpkins and try to arrange them in sequence from 1–31.

Invite students to count pumpkins by twos or fives. How many groups of each are there? How many extra pumpkins are there?

If you enjoyed this post, then please share the love! If you didn’t enjoy it, then please give us another chance! Check out our other diary entries here 🙂

 

 

 

*Ideas sourced from Scholastic Teaching Resource book entitled “Halloween

Say No to BTS Fear!

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The 1st of September is only getting closer and Back to School season is in full swing. It’s everywhere you look; on television ads, shop windows, it was even mentioned in the Rose of Tralee (but then again a large number of Roses were teachers, I think it’s the law at this stage). 

To help you get set for September, we have a to-do list for you, which directs you to the important jobs to be completed. Mentally, we have probably all counted the number of sleeps we have left. I start back on Monday 29th so Sunday will be spent doing the things I have to do e.g. organising clothes, food shopping for lunch for the week and talking about getting an early night (which 100% will not happen). One thing that will happen is, the fear. Not the alochol related fear, this one brings all sorts of tremors and sweats. I’ll ask strange questions of myself: “What did I do for the last 9 weeks? Why didn’t I read more books? How do I even set an alarm?” It will start Friday morning and stay until Monday morning when I start the shower.

To help both you and I stave off the inevitable fear, below is a bucket-list of nice stuff you will want to do before we head back. By going through this list and ticking off some of the points, you might feel a little happier knowing you had a summer well spent. It will bring the last 9 weeks to a sweet end and ensure you start September with a smile on your face!

If you decide to get involved, please let us know! Use the hastag #saynotoBTSfear or tag us on any our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Or snap us! “molanoige”

1.Bake

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Your definition and my definition of baking are probably very different. As much as I love a cupcake, the mess in creating a just-about-edible batch is too much for me. Cleaning up flour and spilled sprinkles takes the fun out of it so I like to stick with an old reliable…The Rice Crispy Bun!

Whatever you decide to bake/make, it should be an enjoyable experience involving music playing in the background, licking the spoon and the end result being a treat to have that night with a cup of tea. Heaven!

2. Pamper

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My Saturday night! Similar to the baking above, it can be as basic or extravagant as you like. Run a warm bath, throw on a face mask and paint your nails. The effects will be long-lasting and sure to promise a great night’s sleep.

Bring your relaxed body to the couch, open a bar of chocolate and watch a movie, something easy to follow or an old favourite.

3. Afternoon Tea

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One for the group of girls. The perfect activity for the afternoon you want to get dressed up. You will always find somewhere last-minute and it’s a great chance to catch up on all the summer holiday chat before work starts again. If there are small people that like running around to consider, then host your own! Triangle sandwiches, queen cakes and a pot of tea will be plenty. Splash out on a bottle of something sparkly if you want to really impress.

4. Lunch for One

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An important one. You will be so busy for the next few weeks with after-school meetings and school work in the evenings that this quiet alone time will be well worth it. Avoid large coffee chains, go somewhere small and quaint with a magazine. The pre-packed sandwiches in the well-known coffee spots cannot be good for the mind!

5. Buy Flowers and a Candle

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Treat this as the prescription you have to fill! You will really appreciate fresh flowers in your kitchen and the warm scent of a new candle when you return from work tired. Light the candle a half hour before bedtime and it will ensure you get to sleep at a reasonable hour!

6. Go for a Walk

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Exactly as it says above. Go to a place you haven’t been in a while or somewhere new and stretch the legs. You won’t need your lycra shorts or ankle weights, just get some fresh air into your lungs and a break for the brain. Check out our beautiful town of Killaloe the image above, the perfect excuse to get and about!

7. Catch up with Friends and Family

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There will always be someone that you didn’t get a chance to see over the holidays despite numerous promises and best wishes from both sides. Text the friend you haven’t seen and arrange a quick cup of coffee. Don’t think about it, just do it! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, bite the bullet and meet up and you’ll feel so much better. Make sure you have checked in with all family as weekends might be busy for the next while.

8. Sleep Late

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Some of you will have this down to a tee already! Simply, stay in bed. Even if you’re awake and twiddling your thumbs, just stay there! Have smallies running around? Bring them in with some sort of distraction for an extra 30 minutes and….stay in bed! 

9. Online Shopping

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If you read our diary entry from last week, you’ll be educated on this already. Whether it’s a new outfit, candle or Back to School Pack, buy yourself something new. Yes, you might have been good to yourself over the holidays but it’s called retail “therapy” for a reason. You’re worth it!

 

Back to School Clothes Shopping!

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Going back to school means early mornings, school lunches and the familiar feeling of exhaustion bearing down on you. But that’s not where the fun stops! The best part of going back to school is shopping for a new wardrobe. Due to our less than generous salary (which we won’t get into now) we don’t have the luxury of hiring a personal shopper and filling the boot of the car with perfectly boxed dresses and neatly folded pants.

At this time of year, “Back to School” or “Back to College” articles and posts are two a penny. How is this one different? It’s written by a teacher for teachers! As a teacher, when shopping for school clothes, I look for items that I can mix and match to make various outfits and that are comfortable to wear while standing/bending/kneeling all day. I like to layer pieces as the temperature change between when I leave my house at 7.30am and walk out of school in the late afternoon is often drastic! Irish weather (which we won’t get into now) can be unpredictable. Lastly, I like to have something in casual and formal dress codes, to wear depending on my schedule or even my mood!

Laid out below is a typical busy week in school with various demands placed on the teacher. There are outfit suggestions, all chosen from online high-street shops so purchasing  is accessible for everybody, affordable and on trend. Have a browse and let us know what you think!

Click the images to find out where each item was found and how much it costs!

 

Monday:

Monday is always a busy day in the Primary Classroom. Spellings are introduced, topics are explored for the first time and songs are taught. This ensures the teacher is on her feet all day, dancing for the attention of the pupils and bending down to help where needed. I have chosen a comfortable outfit for this Monday. The jeggings are soft and stretchy. The jumper is comfy and cosy and most importantly, the shoes are flat. I applaud those of you with the incredible ability to wear heels to school!

 

Tuesday:

This is the day you have a parent-teacher meeting, IEP or visitor to the classroom. If you like a more formal style, then this is the one for you. I give you the LBD! This dress will be a staple in your wardrobe for years with its appropriate length and cute capped sleeves. Also, a bargain at €33! The brogues are defintiely a “love them or hate them” item but a comfortable yet stylish option! And of course, that handbag will fit your lunchbox, diary and big bunch of keys with plenty of space left.

 

Wednesday:

PE day! With the increasing number of initiatives focusing on children’s physical health and well-being paired with a great push by coaches to get their sport into schools, many teachers are left with little PE time to instruct and manage. However, even if is this case for you, supervision duties and general classroom management, often call for a more relaxed and loose-fitting outfit. These straight leg pants are perfect for those looking to be comfortable yet maintain a professional style. The adidas trainers could be paired with jeggings another day, with the print making them very on trend.

 

Thursday:

Thursday for me always means on thing, Art! Love it or loathe it, we have to get stuck in and probably get dirty. I keep an apron in my classroom for all art lessons, regardless of the materials being used. Cleaning paint trays, cutting clay or collecting scraps are all tasks that require physical energy and exertion. The loose cream top is perfect to keep you calm and cool with the choker adding a current twist. Topshop have a great reputation when it comes to jeans. This “Joni” style in khaki could be put with black footwear and accessories for a very different look.

 

Friday:

School assemblies and performances are not at the top of every teacher’s “Things I Love About My Job” list. Some feel the pressure of creating a dramatic or musical event is too much while others love the opportunity to be creative. Like it or not, the pupils are not the only ones on stage and under the spotlight! Make the most of this extra attention and wear something fancy. I love this navy top as it’s quite simple yet the frill detail makes it pretty. The skirt is a thick fabric which won’t budge and the chain headwrap will work with all hairstyles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to get set for September!? Check out our Back to School Pack now!