Category Archives: Mash News

Black Friday 2021

Black Friday takes place on Friday, 26th November 2021. We asked our sellers if they were doing any deals on the day. We’re listing them here from Monday 22nd November. Check back during the week for more offers!

Guinea Pig Education – 25% off all teaching products with code ‘BlackFri25’

Oideachas na hÉireann – up to 27% off lesson plans 

Múinteoir Grace – 25% off all products

TheFourEyedTeacher – 50% off from Wednesday to Saturday

TeachingMadeEasy – 20% off all products

Misslorakatesshop – 30% off everything 

teachnchatter – 20% off all products

The Teacher Student – 30% off everything with the code: FRIDAY30TTS Thursday 25th to Tuesday November 30th.

teacher_elaine_ – 20% off all products

Check out these sellers who have told us they have some offers coming up for Black Friday – For the Love of Literacy, Sióg sa seomra, and Class of Creativity

Also, check out Rhyming Multisensory Stories who are doing a free, full resourced step-by-step multi-sensory story for Christmas called Dear Santa. It’s aimed at children and teenagers with special educational needs. Here’s the link https://www.rhymingmultisensorystories.com/post/dear-santa-a-free-multisensory-christmas-poem.

Getting to know our webinar guests

We can’t wait for our webinar next Thursday, 26th August, which will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live. We thought you might want to get to know our featured guests a little better. Each of our featured sellers will be giving away one of their products at the webinar. Find out what you could win!

My name is Adam Barrett and this will be my 3rd year teaching. I qualified from Mary Immaculate College in 2019 and worked as a Special Education Teacher for 2 years. This year I will be teaching 2nd class, and have a passion for all things inclusion and special education.

Adam is giving away his most popular mash.ie resource: his SET teaching guide. https://mash.ie/mister-muinteoir/set-teaching-guide.html 

The Primary Teacher Interview Consultancy was established to help teachers, at any stage of their career, in any educational setting, engage in interview preparation and guidance, to realise and achieve their full potential. The consultancy has many consultation plans which cater for those of all levels of experience and self-confidence within the area of teaching interviews.We are here to support you, through 1:1 consultations, webinars and mock interviews, to ensure that you achieve your goals. 

Maria is giving away her most popular mash.ie resource, 30 buzzwords and what they mean: https://mash.ie/30-interview-buzzwords-what-they-mean.html

Grace is a Mary Immaculate College graduate with three years of classroom experience. Her special interests are Gaeilge and supporting substitute teachers. Grace enjoys creating high quality and innovative resources to support her fellow teachers and has a wide array of products on her mash.ie store Múinteoir Grace 💜

Grace is giving away her most popular mash.ie resource this evening, it’s her Subbing Essential Toolkit https://mash.ie/subbing-in-the-irish-primary-classroom-the-essential-toolkit

Claire is one of Mash.ie’s top rated sellers and focuses on providing extremely high-quality planning documents for primary teachers. She runs a Facebook and Instagram page @teachingplans.ie, as well as a teaching blog. Claire has a decade of experience spanning mainstream, SET, EAL and management. She will be teaching an ASD class in September.

Claire is giving away her most downloaded product on mash.ie to one lucky teacher. 

These are the Primary Language Curriculum PLC Fortnightly Plan Template and Sample for both English and Irish. The winner can choose their class level. https://mash.ie/new-language-curriculum-fortnightly-plan-template-and-sample-bundle-for-both-english-and-irish.html  

Michelle Lyons-Doyle is an experienced autism class teacher and is also parent to an autistic child. She is passionate about special education and catering to the unique needs of autistic children. 

Michelle set up Star Star Autism as a page to share information and ideas with other teachers and SNAs, and to chronicle the ups and downs of life as a parent. 

Michelle is passionate about the need for a respectful, strengths-based approach in special education and believes that neurodiversity should be celebrated.

Michelle is giving away her most popular mash.ie resource which is her Visual Schedule Symbol pack https://mash.ie/visual-schedule-symbols.html

Ciara is a Third Class teacher in an Educate Together school.  She has taught Senior Infants, First Class, Third Class and SET.  Ciara is passionate about inclusive, multicultural education and makes resources that help teachers to create a positive and welcoming learning space for all students.  

Ciara is giving away her most popular mash.ie resource which are her conversation cards https://mash.ie/ciaralynch101/circle-time-conversation-cards-for-multicultural-classrooms.html 

Coming Soon: Back to School Webinar

We’re delighted to be running a Back to School Webinar near the end of August.

Last year we held two super webinars for teachers heading back to school. The first was centred around COVID19 mitigation measures and what teachers could expect. The second was all about infant education.

The webinar will take place on 26th August from 7:30pm. It will consist of 3 parts with 6 of our top sellers chatting with the Mash Team about everything from Special Education Teaching to setting up a Side Hustle as a teacher.

Why not save the date on your calendar here:

Something BIG is coming to Mash

Just wanted to let you know that some big changes are coming to Mash.ie

Over the coming days, we’ll be transforming our site with a whole new look and feel, changes that will not only make it easier to find the educational resources you’re looking for, but also see exactly what you’re getting. And by adding some new payment options and improving security, we’ll be making our check-out experience much more convenient too.

However, there is a small downside. To make these improvements, we need to take Mash offline for 2 days and you won’t be able to buy any products from us during this time.

To minimise disruption, we’ve scheduled the changes to occur from 13th to 14th July, our least busy summer holiday period, so on the off chance you’re looking for educational resources during this time, we apologise for any inconvenience.

We promise the changes will definitely be worth the wait, so please bear with us, we’ll be back up and running by the 14th July.

Preparing for an Interview

Useful Language & 5 Topics to Consider

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“The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare”

Preparing for an interview is a daunting experience. Where to begin? What topics to research? What language to use

Throughout this blogpost, I am going to walk you through some useful tips and tricks around the areas of language and popular topics to consider. Remember, you are a highly qualified individual and an interview is an opportunity to showcase YOU! I am going to show you how.

Language is the reflection of ourselves. It is an exact reflection of the character, knowledge and growth of its speakers

Positive language is vitally important throughout an interview. An interview board want to appoint someone who is positive, expressive, informed and happy. A positive teacher, using positive language has a tremendous impact on a school community. Positive attitudes in the classroom are fundamental to promoting positive mental health in the classroom, as well as building the self-esteem and confidence of the children in that classroom. A positive teacher is also significant in developing staff morale and a satisfactory staff dynamic in a school.

Examples of positive language to be used throughout an interview:

  • I was fortunate to….
  • I thoroughly enjoyed….
  • I love teaching
  • I was inspired by….
  • The initiative was very beneficial to the children
  • It may have been challenging but it was worthwhile as the children benefitted greatly
  • I am passionate about….
  • I have an appreciation for…..

Buzzwords are a useful tool to utilise throughout an interview. Buzzwords aid in presenting a candidate as someone who is passionate about teaching, knowledgeable in the area of current research and committed to continuous professional development.

Here are some examples of useful buzzwords

Pssstt…..find 30 Interview Buzzwords and what they mean here: https://mash.ie/product/30-interview-buzzwords-what-they-mean/

5 Topics to Consider when Preparing for Interview

  1. Know who you are and what your strengths, qualities and talents are

This seems like an obvious one, but is often one of the first questions asked in an interview and can challenge candidates.

The main reason for this is because it is a question that we often refer to as being “easy! I know everything about myself and what I am going to say”. It is only when you begin to say it out loud that this answer is difficult to structure as some information about yourself will not be relevant while other information is significant. It is one of the most important questions as if it is not answered well, can unsettle a candidate.

  • Promoting Positive Mental Health

Now, more than ever, promoting positive mental health is fundamental to teaching and learning in our schools. Holistic education is a comprehensive approach to teaching which supports positive mental health in our schools. This is where educators seek to address the emotional, social, ethical and academic needs of the students in an integrated learning format. It is important to be clear on ways in which you plan for holistic education in your classroom and therefore, promote positive mental health within your classroom and beyond.

  • Research the school and know what they value most

Knowing and referring to the achievements, values and priorities of a school is very important in an interview. An example of this may be that the school community are passionate about promoting positive mental health throughout the school. Can you add to this? What would you like to add? Have you engaged in any initiatives or programmes previous to this interview such as The Amber Flag Initiative with Pieta House? It is crucial that you make reference to the research you have done on the school and how you can be of help in further developing some initiatives and ideas.

  • Mandatory Policies

Mandatory policies are fundamental to the safe operation of any organisation, but particularly a school. Mandatory policies are policies which are among the most important documents in a school’s building. These include, but are not limited to-

  • Child Protection
  • Health & Safety
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Code of Discipline

Research these policies on the school’s website and refer to them throughout your interview.

  • The Continuum of Support

The Department of Education has set out the Continuum of Support framework to assist schools in identifying and responding to students’ needs. The framework recognises that special educational needs occur along a continuum, ranging from mild to severe. The Continuum of Support is a problem solving model of assessment and intervention that enables schools to gather and analyse data, as well as to plan and review the progress of individual students. It is important to research this framework. The resource pack is available here: https://www.sess.ie/sites/default/files/inlinefiles/neps_special_needs_resource_pack.pdf

The Primary Teacher Interview Consultancy– How can we help?

The Primary Teacher Interview Consultancy was established to help teachers, at any stage of their career, in any educational setting, engage in interview preparation and guidance, to realise and achieve their full potential. The consultancy has many consultation plans which cater for those at any level of experience and self-confidence within the area of teaching interviews. We delve into all relevant topics, current research, legislation, policies and circulars. We provide for well-structured answers and a high standard of vocabulary and language, also known as ‘buzzwords’. All consultations include a copy of our ‘Sample Questions Booklet’. We are here to support you, through guidance consultations and mock interviews, to ensure that you achieve your goals. All mash.ie followers receive a 10% discount when quoting ‘mash.ie’ on booking, before the 1st of July 2021.

Follow us on Instagram for lots of tips & sample questions- @teacherinterviewireland

Email us at primaryteacherinterview@gmail.com to make an enquiry/ booking

Review: Let’s Teach! Library (Prim-Ed)

If you are a fan of the Prim-Ed ‘Comprehension Box’ and are also a regular and frequent user of digital tools in your classroom, then the Let’s Teach platform will be a perfect fit for you. The Prim-Ed, ‘Let’s Teach’ library is an online interface where teachers and students can access and engage with the very popular resource, ‘The Comprehension Box’.

Once you log in for your free two week review, you have access to the three levels of The Comprehension Box and the corresponding teacher manuals. The Comprehension Box 1 (red box) is aimed at 1st and 2nd Class, The Comprehension Box 2 (green box) is aimed at 3rd and 4th Class and The Comprehension Box 3 (blue blox) is aimed at 5th and 6th Class. You then set-up your students and assign them to the appropriate level box. The Let’s Teach Library is a digitised version of the actual boxes.

Then you must register your class. Each student can be registered individually and registration requires an email address. Realistically this will have to be a working email address that the children can gain access to their login details and password generated and sent through the platform. In this case, using their Google Classroom accounts would not work, so you would need to have the parents email.

When the children log-in, it does require a little bit of guidance from the teacher as to how to access the comprehension cards and questions. However, once they have mastered this the rest is very easy to navigate. The children can begin on card number one and work their way through the entire box, at their own pace. Each digital box is broken down in 15 different colour coded sections, which progressively increase in complexity as you move through them. Each card has a specific comprehension skill as a focal point. The child reads the card on screen and then completes the multiple choice questions. The child receives a score of how many answers they got correct and the option to view the incorrect answers they chose. They then move on to the next card.

From the teacher side, you can keep a track of what pupil is on what card and can collect data on what percentage they are getting correct. It is very easy to interpret and to use. Mistakes are highlighted and patterns of errors easily identified. These could then be used to target a mini-lesson on the specific area of difficulty. I really love this aspect of the platform, as I do not have to wade through checklists and grids to identify the areas that need improvement.

The digital version is pretty identical to the actual The Comprehension Box which almost every school has. If I was a learning support teacher in the senior end of the school, this would be one of my tools to help children work independently on skills they require. I would re-teach the comprehension skills being taught in the classroom. I would then work on completing a card together and then assign a card for the child to complete independently (either at home or in school). This would be a fantastic way to engage their attention, integrate technology and reinforce skills that they will require through their school life. The younger children would definitely need adult support to navigate their way around the platform. However, the older children would have no issues. A child in fifth or sixth class, with an exemption from Irish and/or with literacy difficulties would gain a lot from completing the cards independently. This is a great tool that a teacher could add to their planning for Literacy.

Teachers can avail of a free trial with this link – https://www.prim-ed.ie/lets-teach-library-free-trial/ 

Themes for June

We’re nearly there! June is a month that lunch breaks get slightly longer as we keep the children outside for a few more minutes because it’s good for them. Nothing to do with the fact that a bit of sun won’t do the tan any harm! 😂  However, inside the classroom there’s still work to be done in between the Sports Days and school trips (remember those pre-COVID?) Here are some ideas to keep your class engaged as we move to the end of the school year.

June 5th is World Environment Day and June 8th is World Ocean’s Day. It goes without saying that there’s anything much more important that environmental awareness. Our sellers agree and you’ll find tonnes of products based on the environment.

June 12th would have been Anne Frank’s birthday. If you haven’t studied the Second World War with your class, a good starting point is Anne Frank’s Diary. As harrowing a story it is, it’s really important that we learn from the past so we don’t end up repeating the same evils that were done.

June 15th is known as Fly a Kite Day in the US in celebration of Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment. The name of the day almost writes the lesson plan itself in terms of what you might be able to do with your class – gather up some paper and string, put your feet on the ground and you’re a bird in flight…. 🎶 (OK, we’ll stop channelling our inner Mary Poppins) 

Fathers’ Day is on June 16th and it’s a great way to celebrate the fathers in children’s lives. With more and more diverse families in our classrooms, it’s a topic that should be explored sensitively. One of our favourite products on Mash, that does this really well, is from Ciara’s Classroom. (I think this is the 3rd time we’ve highlighted this product in less than a month!)

June 21st is World Handshake Day and in light of COVID19, we’ll have to leave that for this year at least and come up with something else – maybe World Salute Day or World Non-touching Fist Pump Day? Instead, you might give Yoga a go as it’s also World Yoga Day. You can read our post about yoga here.

June 24th is World Fairy Day so dust off those festival wings! However, this year you might want to celebrate Eric Carle’s birthday on June 25th as he has just passed away in the last few weeks. Eric Carle is most famous for his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and it’s a standard in all primary schools with thousands of lesson plans and resources based on the book. Eric Carle’s book has given inspiration to many a minibeast hunt as well as hundreds and hundreds of maths and literacy lessons.

And finally, if you’re in school for the last few days of term, June 27th is the day the melody for the Happy Birthday Song was written. Why not end the year with the children writing a goodbye to their class in the same tune? Have a lovely last month of term, everyone!

A Grand Stretch

International Yoga Day takes place on 21st June every year. Many teachers have added Yoga into their PE classes and those working in Educate Together classes may have added some into the Learn Together curriculum. This Irish Times article gives some examples of teachers that already have incorporated Yoga in their classrooms.

Even Jerry Buttimer, the Fine Gael Senator, has called for Yoga to be taught in primary schools, though it hasn’t gone down well in some quarters! The Bishop of Waterford was none too impressed with the idea of Yoga in the classroom.

Whatever you think yourself, International Yoga Day is a good day to get started if Yoga is something you’d like to see in your classroom. You might even consider trying it out as part of CLIL. We have 2 products on Mash where Yoga is taught as Gaeilge!

Sports Day 2021

Last year’s Sports’ Day was a virtual one. Teachers and other staff stood in front of their Zoom cameras and led virtual events while children around the country jumped, skipped and hopped in front of their TVs and tablets! This year we are in school for Sports Day but the government guidelines mean that there will still be restrictions. With classes having to take part away from their peers, it’s a good idea to maybe try out some new PE activities. Here are two products on Mash worth considering:

We scoured the web for some examples of COVID-19 friendly Sports Days and we found a great example in the UK. St. Richard’s Primary School have a fantastic page on their website showcasing their Sports Day last year.

We were also impressed with STRIDE Active’s ideas for Socially-distanced Sports Days too. They are divided up into age groups. If you aren’t familiar with the UK system. KS1 roughly translates to Junior Infants to 1st Class and KS2 gets you from 2nd class to 5th/6th class.

I Scream for Ice-Cream

I scream, we scream, we all scream for ice-cream… so goes the song written in 1927 by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, and Robert A. King.

Who doesn’t love an ice-cream! It even has a day dedicated to it. Unfortunately, for most of us, it takes place in July but that shouldn’t stop us dedicating some of our summer lesson plans on it. In fact, some of our sellers have created some great ice-cream-related resources, so you can scream for an ice-cream theme!

You can find all our products relating to ice-cream here.