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!

Follow our Snaps and Reap Some Rewards!

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As you may know already, we are very active on many social media platforms.

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Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages are updated daily and we are very lucky to get  a lot of positive feedback from our followers.

We have run giveaways on each site and experienced amazing engagement with each one. Our last Facebook competition reached over 100,00 people!

This week (September 26th-30th) we are focusing on our Snapchat account and us, the people behind Mol an Óige. We are two Primary Teachers who work full-time and run our business usually with a small person in tow, piggy-backing for the fun. 

We will take you through our day, which starts early and finishes late, and we’re going to make it worth your while. At the end of each day, we will give a discount code exclusively to Snapchat followers. That discount code will be valid for the following 24 hours. For example, we will give you a discount code on Monday night which will be valid for Tuesday only. Another code will be given Tuesday night which will be valid for Wednesday. We are going to give our biggest discounts yet with the minimum being 20% off your order!

Sound interesting!? Add us on Snapchat now: “molanoige” 

See you bright and early Monday morning!

What to Expect from an Incidental!

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The dreaded incidental. We call them “drive-bys” for a reason. They (the scary inspectors) arrive as an unpleasant surprise, select their target and do their worst. Ok, not really but the negative connotations are there for a reason! 

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Having had just one incidental visit from a Department Inspector in my years teaching, I found it to be an experience like that of a trip to the waxing salon. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but I wouldn’t be rushing back to go through it again. 

With the new language curriculum and talk of Droichead included in the ever-changing classroom, we are all curious to know “What do the inspectors want when they come for an incidental?” Are we putting time into the right areas or should we spend more time elsewhere? What paperwork is necessary these days?

I spoke to a senior class teacher in a single-stream, mixed school who recently had an incidental visit and asked the 20 questions we all want to know.

Q: When did the incidental take place?

A: The second week in September.

Q: How did he/she select classes?

A: She chose one class from the Junior end, Middle classes and one from the Senior classes. She did not go with principals suggestions.

Q: What classes did she visit?

A: Sen Infants, Fourth and Fifth

Q:How long did she stay in each class?

A: She spent the morning in Infants, between breaks in the Middle class and after big lunch, she went to the Senior class. She left the last classroom ten mins before home time. She met each teacher individually for feedback (10-15 mins approx)  However, she did not give feedback to all involved in Literacy Life-Off or station teaching, she only met the class teacher.

Q:Did she introduce herself to the kids?

A: Yes, she was  very friendly and pleasant. She had a little chat and banter with the children upon entering the classroom.

Q: What paperwork did she look for from you?

A: She asked for any planning to date, particularly long terms. I was not asked for fortnightly schemes or my daily diary which was on table. Fortnightly notes were in with Long Terms but she mentioned that she didn’t see it.

Q: Did she comment on the given paperwork?

A: She did not at the time but in the review afterwards she did, she was very positive.

Q: Did she request any particular lessons or did you stick to your timetable?

A: She specified that she wanted us to stick to timetable.

Q: Did she speak to the pupils throughout the lesson/at the end of the lesson?

A: She spoke to them at the beginning only.

Q: Did she look at sample of pupil work/copies/books?

A: Yes. She wanted a sample of copies from the class across Gaeilge, English and Maths. She asked that we select a strong, middle and weak child. She went through 9 copies in total from 3 children.

Q: Did she speak to you in a one to one basis after your lessons?

A: Yes, as mentioned she met with class teachers for feedback and reiew afterwards.

Q: Did she look at your roll book (if you have one?)

A: She did not ask me to see mine, but as it is not kept in the classroom I’m not sure if she asked the principal to see it.

Q: How was her demeanour?

A: She was professional, friendly and approachable. 

.Q: Did she look for anything different in these classes?

A: She had the same requirements in each class. Each teacher was asked for the same work samples from the pupils and their own paperwork.

Q: Was there anything that seemed of particular interest to her? (Any initiatives/programmes)

A: She was very keen to see our Literacy Lift Off and Station Teaching lessons. 

Q: Did she offer any advice/constructive criticism?

A: Yes, she gave constructive advice. She suggested a written activity at the end of the SESE lesson and a KWL chart before. 

Q: Did she refer to the new language curriculum?

A: Yes she spoke of it and how language is central to every lesson ie. SESE (which she observed)

Q: Did she look for your Child Protection Policy/Critical Incident Policy/Code of Behaviour?

A: Yes to all of the above.

Q: Did she tell you anything about a WSE/future visits?

A: She mentioned that we were not off the list because of the incidental visit.

Q: Anything else to add?

A: It was a very positive experience and nothing to be afraid of. Her needs seem to be language, differentiation and assessment. She looked at school standardised test results. She wanted to see in reception where the DLP and DPLP were clearly labelled for visitors. She checked that the Child Protection Policy was on display in each room.

A Review from Irish Primary Teacher!

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We sent some of our prizes to the very lovely “Irish Primary Teacher” recently to see what she thought and she very kindly shared them on her website www.irishprimaryteacher.ie

See below how she rated them!

 


Prizes from Mol an Óige

I was delighted to receive some prizes and certificates from Mol an Óige yesterday.

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Mol an Óige has a huge range of stickers, pencils, badges, bookmarks, certificates, rulers, reward charts, stampers, wristbands, erasers – everything you need for stocking up your prize box! Last year I waited until after the Easter holidays before using prizes as one of the rewards when the children reached 10 points on Class Dojo. They were so excited to find something they liked from the Prize Box – the pencils, erasers and wristbands were their favourites and they got so excited to see a sticker on their copies when I thought their work was really brilliant! The prizes above will be perfect for the resource room this year.

Stickers

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The first stickers are about speaking, taking turns and talking quietly while the next set are focused on listening. The third set are about working hard while the fourth set have different praise – eating my lunch, spelling, numbers, putting my hand up etc. these will be targets for some of the children I’ll be working with this year so these stickers will be perfect!

Certificates

I used these a lot last year and the children were so excited bringing them home to their parents. They are perfect to use when a child reaches a target/ works extremely hard all day/ week.

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Sticker Collector – Bookmarks

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These come in a pack of 20 and are currently only 2 euro! Check them out here!

There are so many uses for these ‘sticker collector’ bookmarks. Children could earn stickers for

  • behaviour
  • reading books
  • tables (multiplication/division)
  • targets

I think I’ll use these initially for reading – when the child reads 10 books they get a ‘Reading Achievement Pencil’

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Or when the child knows how to spell all the Dolch list words they get a ‘Super Speller’ pencil.

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Or when the child knows their times tables – they get a times tables pencil!

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I had a few packs of pencils in the prize box from Mol an Óige last year and they were really popular. The children loved the vibrant colours of the ‘Reading Achievement’ pencils and the pencils were excellent quality – they didn’t break after 1/2 uses!

If a target is behaviour – then these badges would be a perfect prize when the child has earned 10 stickers.

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Overall I think the prizes from Mol an Óige are brilliant and theres lots of bargains and offers!