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!

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!

 

 

 

 



Back to School Packs are here!

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With just two weeks to go until we embark on the return to school, it is the perfect time to start selling our Back to School Packs. Last year, we sent our packs to thousands of schools around the country to help teachers get set for September.

Why were they our bestselling product for 2015-2016?  The answer is simple: Amazing products at incredible value.

We got a lot of positive feedback from teachers and principals, who were just delighted to get teaching resources and pupil prizes with just one purchase. We also got some queries about featuring other products in the pack. We have taken all the feedback and queries on board when creating this year’s pack, some products feature again with some new products being added to the pack. 

The RRP for this year’s pack is €35.15, the total cost of buying all the products individually, but we are putting them together for you for just €20

Packs will go on sale at 9am on Monday 15th August, get yours and then get back to relaxing on one of our last FREE MONDAYS!

Buy Now!

Back to School To-Do List!

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It’s the 11th of August and whether we like it or not, the first day back to school is looming in our minds.

Some super-organised people may have the bulk of prep work done since June (such people are rarer than Mew Pokémon), some will head in a few days before the first day back and some will delay the inevitable until the first day back to school and get stuck in from then on.

Whether you’re the rare Pokémon teacher or still have it all left to do, you may be compiling a to-do list and a shopping list for supplies.

Spending hours on Pinterest will give you a lot of ideas and inspiration. However, it will also give you a lot of jobs for your to-do list, many of which will be unnecessary and not the best use of your time.

We want to enjoy the last few weeks of our holidays and yet, we want to start September as we mean to go on; organised, prepared and stress-free. 

So to help you with all of the above, we have a compiled a to-do list for you with, what we think, should be your priorities. Get this much done and you’ll be off to a great start!

BTS To-Do List!

Save the above image, screenshot it, email it to yourself or share it with friends on Facebook for easy-access when you decide to make a start!

 

  1. Clean classroom

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First things first, ensure you have a tidy desk! There will be so much stuff left (dumped) on your desk in the first few days that you’ll be constantly organising and tidying your desk. You don’t want to misplace permission slips, money or notes at this early stage of the year. Baskets and containers are quite cheap and great for organising flashcards and stationery.

2. Print Class list and Booklist

Print about 10 copies of your class list. If your school uses the software Aladdin, then there’s a very simple way of downloading your class list.

Arrange the children’s first names in alphabetical so you can quickly locate an individual if needs be. These lists are perfect for recording money, counting books and copies, taking attendance in the first few days and making quick notes. I like to collect all books and stack them in piles according to subject. I then go through the pile, ticking off each child’s name as I see their book, and can quickly see which children are missing books. The first few mornings can be chaotic with meeting parents and collecting money. If possible, send them to the school secretary with money as it saves you a job and the school office will have a cabinet or safe to lock money away securely.

Keeping a copy or two of the booklist may also come in useful. Some parents will have been away when they were given out earlier in the summer or lost theirs and will come to school without one or all of the books or materials listed. Don’t start off on a negative note with any parent if this is the case, for everybody’s sake and sanity! Politely hand them a copy of the booklist and ask them to get them as soon as possible.

3. Print Pupil Names on Labels

On the subject of books, print some sheets of labels so you have 4-5 labels for each child. Not all parents will labels the books and copies on the front and rather than send them home to be done (they may take days to come back!) you can stick labels on them immediately as you notice they are missing. Labels are also handy for the kids to wear while you learn names, for putting on coat hooks or jobs charts. Help me out with some labels!

4. Cover Display Boards

You may have some displays which stay up year-round. Always start afresh for your Arts and SESE boards. Cover them with fadeless paper and instantly clean up the walls of your classroom.

5. Purchase Diary and Plan your First Week

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The first week of school is often a time to try nice lessons with plenty of group work and discussion. You can learn a lot about your pupils in the first few days. Ensure you have your diary purchased and plan your lessons for the first few days (my personal fave are the not-so-cheap Ban.Do diaries as seen above!). Lessons will vary depending on the class level but if you’re stuck for ideas, let us know on info@molanoige.com, or any of our social media accounts and we’ll write a diary entry on this!

  1. Buy Stickers and Small Prizes

Establishing your rules and routines is vital in the weeks of September. Try to develop a relationship with each child, easier said than done I know but learning something (pet’s name, number of brothers/sisters, favourite cartoon) about each pupil will make a great start.

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Once upon a time the phrase “Don’t smile until Halloween” was suggested as a classroom management strategy. Times have changed and so has our style of teaching. Reward efforts made by pupils and positive behaviours with stickers and small prizes. These small tokens paired with affirmative feedback can have a great effect. Our Back-to-School Packs have everything you need to get set for September and are fantastic value at just €20! (Available in both English and as Gaeilge)

Special Days, Events and Celebrations in September!

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With teaching our core subjects, SESE, Arts subjects, SPHE and an ethical/religious curriculum as well as establishing routines, setting up a behaviour management system, collecting and recording money AND filling in the roll book for the first time (I envy those who don’t have to do that anymore), September is just chaotic.However, I always think it’s nice to highlight certain days and events with your new class because it’s a celebration of something, you can create a nice display for your probably-bare walls and it gets the kids talking at home. If you’re looking to mark a certain day and integrate it with your other subjects (the magic word “integration”) then we have identified some important dates for your diary this September. 

8th September- International Literacy Day

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This is the 50th year of the annual celebration. A great excuse to talk about books read over the summer, complete a book report, chat about summer holidays, learn a poem or read a picture book together. Older classes could dig a little deeper and look at the facts and statistics about literacy rates around the world.

Products which may be of interest:

13th September- Roald Dahl Day

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On September 13th 2016, Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday will be celebrated. Although Roald Dahl Day is marked each year with events all around the world, this is sure to be the biggest celebration to date. There is no limit to the lessons you can cover that day or week. With a junior class, I have held a costume party on the day, read “Revolting Rhymes”, watched the infamous chocolate cake scene from “Matilda” followed by a discussion on school’s treatment of pupils and organised a science lesson on the changing state of chocolate.

19th September- Talk Like a Pirate Day

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A personal favourite of mine and one I have celebrated many times! It is at it says on the tin. With some preparation, pupils can get so much out of this day as well as have an absolute blast. Activities could include a fancy dress day, “Find your Pirate Name”, learn about parrots and monkeys, look at some language pirates have given us and a drama about being shipwrecked and assuming of roles! If you have some structure in place in your classroom by the 19th, then you really should give it a go.

Products which may be of interest:

22nd September-World Car Free Day

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Start off the year the right way and link this event to your Green School action plan. This date is chosen to encourage motorists to leave the car at home and use an alternative method of transport. It would not need much organisation or monitoring; simply encourage the kids to walk/scoot/cycle/bus or carpool to school and chat about the effects of making such an effort.

Products which may be of interest: