Junior Infants and Le Chéile began ‘Aistear- learning through play’ in October with the theme of ‘The Supermarket’. This theme was very relevant to the children’s lives and so they could all make real life connections throughout their learning. The children learned a new range of vocabulary throughout the month to help them with Aistear, including; receipt, cheque, cash register, conveyor belt, aisle etc. The children took on the role of customers, shopkeepers, deli workers, butchers, bakers and shop floor assistants at the Role Play Station. They made fridges, freezers, store rooms, tills etc. at the ‘Junk Art’ and ‘Construction’ stations. They also developed their sorting skills by sorting various foods into their correct categories i.e. fruit, vegetables, poultry, grain and dairy.
The children got the chance at the end of this theme to put all that they had learned into practice when we went to the local supermarket. Each child brought €2 and got to choose and buy their own item, completely independently at the till. They absolutely loved this and were very proud of themselves for being so responsible.
You can see some of our AISTEAR photographs below.
The Post Office
Throughout the month of November, the children explored the theme of the ‘Post Office’. They learned about the job of a postal worker and began to understand more about how the postal system works. The children enjoyed writing letters to each other and ‘buying’ stamps for their letters at the Post Office in our role play area. This theme helped the children to develop their writing skills, sorting skills and conversational skills. Children enjoyed taking turns at being the postal worker and delivered letters to Mr. de Róiste and to our secretary, Carmel.
The children were very excited when the local postman popped in for a visit during AISTEAR one morning. They asked him many questions about his job and discovered that he sometimes delivers up to 400 letters a day! They also found out that he needs to get up very early in the morning to start his day and that his job can be very tiring at times. He prefers it in the summer months when the weather is sunny and bright.
Take a look at some of our AISTEAR photographs below to truly understand how much the children enjoyed this theme.
In December, the children’s excitement for Christmas was heightened when our AISTEAR theme was ‘Santa’s Workshop’. This followed nicely from our theme of ‘The Post Office’ as the children were writing letters to Santa and making lists. They used the class post box to ‘send’ their letters to Santa. During the Aistear stations, the children took on the role of Santa’s elves, making toys in Santa’s Workshop. They also visited Santa’s Grotto where they cooked meals with Mrs. Claus and got to tell Santa their Christmas lists. They helped Santa by sorting toys into the correct sacks for the boys and girls on the nice list.
As you can imagine, this theme really brought Christmas spirit alive in our classrooms.
Back in January, Junior Infants and Le Chéile learned all about the Arctic during English, geography, science, drama and art lessons. They also spent the month of January ‘learning through play’ at our AISTEAR stations which were based on the theme – ‘The Arctic Hotel’.
Children from Junior Infants and Le Chéile were very lucky to get a visit from Dona, a native Inuit woman, from Canada. Dona came to visit the children to speak about life as an Inuit long ago and life as an Inuit now. She also answered the children’s questions about the Arctic regions and about Inuit life.
The children impressed her with their questions and knowledge about food, clothing, animals, transport and schooling in the Arctic.
Dona brought in stone sculptures from her native country of a polar bear and an inukshuk and told the children some facts about each of them.
She read the children a modern fairytale inspired by Canadian Inuit legend called ‘Hide and Sneak’. The story touched on some traditional Inuit folklore and values about the Inukshuk and Ijiraqq . The book really engaged the children and captured their imagination.
The children loved learning about the Arctic and enjoyed interviewing Dona to find out even more information. Take a look at our photos below!
The Fire Station
Throughout the month of February, children in Junior Infants and Le Chéile learned all about the fire station as part of their ‘Aistear-learing through play’ theme.
During this Aistear time, children learned about the fire station at four different stations: ‘Role Play Station’, ‘Small World Station’, Sand and Water Station’ and ‘Creative Station’. Children got into role as fire fighters and used vocabulary associated with the fire station when playing at the various stations. They really enjoyed this theme, and it didn’t end there!
Junior Infants paid a visit to the Fermoy fire station where they were given a guided tour of the station by the local fire fighters. The children prepared questions in advance to interview the firefighters about their job.
They really enjoyed their trip.
Take a look at some of our Aistear photographs below to see the great fun that the children had learning about the fire station.
Our theme for the month of April was ‘The Farm’. Children learned about the job of a farmer during history, geography and science lessons. They also developed their understanding about the farm during our AISTEAR lessons and oral language lessons that took place throughout the month. At the art station, children created farm animal masks. During the small world and role play areas, children got into role as farmers and animals at the farm. Children also began to problem solve to fix things in the farm that were broken and began to build new stables and barns to house new calves etc. that were ‘born’ during the role play session. The children developed a keen interest in this theme and are now very much looking forward to our upcoming school tour where we will be visiting ‘Leahy’s Open Farm’.
Take a look at some of our ‘Farm’ pictures below to see what the children got up to during Aistear.
Our AISTEAR theme for the month of May is ‘The Vet’. This theme followed nicely from last month’s ‘The Farm’ as the children were greatly interested in the animals and looking after them. During AISTEAR the children learned about the role of the Vet and the importance of a Vet for animals. They learned all about the equipment that a Vet uses and loved learning the names for some of these, i.e. Stethoscope, thermometer, syringe etc. The children took on the role of the Vet, the receptionist, the assistant Vet and the clients who brought their pets to the ‘Pet Surgery’. They further developed their vocabulary and sorting skills during ‘small world station’ and ‘sensory station’.
On 11th May 2016, the children received a visit from a local Vet and parent of one of the children, Edward Myers. The children prepared questions in advance of the visit and were excited to find out more about the Vet. Ed very kindly brought his golden retriever ‘Sandy’ with him, which was a great hit with the children. They adored petting Sandy and really enjoyed watching his eyes, ears and heart being checked by the Vet. They developed their knowledge of the Vet by asking their questions and they were given some tips on how to look after their own pets.
See our pictures below to understand why many of the children called this day ‘The Best Day Ever’.
Keep an eye out for our next theme which will begin in June!