Starting off in SEN

Hi everyone, I’m Grace and I’m currently teaching 4th class. Before this, I was in SEN and sometimes felt overwhelmed with the paperwork requirements, so I’m going to share a few tips I think might be helpful for those starting out in SEN! Basic organisation: First things first, have a folder dedicated to every child stored in the same place every day in your room – this will make storage a lot easier and quicker as opposed to fumbling around with worksheets. Allow the children themselves to be responsible for the taking out and putting back of their folders, as well as keeping them tidy! Have a well-stocked room in terms of having spare stationery. Of course, this is important in any classroom, but time slots are so limited in support that there’s no time for the children (or teacher!) to procrastinate by going back for a pencil, but...

Promoting Positive Behaviour

This month, we're delighted to welcome one of our sellers, PrimaryTeachersIreland, to write a guest blog about Promoting Positive Behaviour. There's a coupon at the end of the blog post for anyone who wishes to check out her store. Promoting positive behaviour in the classroom is one of my favourite parts of teaching. As a former teacher in a special needs setting, I have used many different forms of positive behaviour promotion, and was happy to learn that they transferred over into the mainstream setting as well. Over the last few months, I have been subbing in different schools, and in different class levels, opening my eyes to a world of ideas and experiences. It’s not easy going into a new class every day, and trying to have control over the children in front of you. I picked up some handy tips along the way that I would like to share...

Using Musical Instruments in the Classroom

This month we welcome one of our sellers Shane Mc Kenna from Dabbledoo Music. You can find Dabbledoo Music's Mash Store here. The first time you hand out instruments to a room full of eight year olds is a scary moment. The noise levels start to rise. One child is putting every ounce of strength and concentration into banging that cymbal as loud as possible. Another puts their triangle down to covers their ears. You are in the middle of it all handing out shakers and trying to keep control. This was my first experience anyway. I had studied music education for secondary school and then a Masters in music technology, so it had been a while since I'd been in a classroom and I had never attempted to give a full class an instrument! My Masters thesis was about new types of music notation for education and use in the classroom...

Making your English lessons to-the-point

This month we're delighted to welcome this guest post from Ben Pyne from To The Point Passages.  Like many teachers around the country, I found myself trawling through the internet one Sunday evening looking for interesting, worthwhile English activities. Two hours later and I had found ...very little. Yes, there are some valuable reading comprehensions out there, however I found that many lack real learning focus. I would agree that there is value in almost any kind of reading (I often recommend to parents to allow children read appropriate magazine and newspaper articles), however I wanted something more than just a passage to 'keep the class busy'. I wanted a clear focus on what they would learn from each specific piece. I hoped to find a set of comprehensions that would include questions encompassing each of the important aspects of...

Vocabulary Instruction Matters

There really is no getting away from it, vocabulary instruction matters and needs to be embedded into a balanced framework of literacy instruction. This means finding time in an already stretched teaching day. The research highlights the strong link between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension. According to Graves (2016) vocabulary knowledge in the early grades is a significant predictor of reading comprehension in the higher grades. The work you put into it in the early years is worthwhile. So how should explicit instruction look? Vocabulary instruction can be approached in different ways. For example, whole class teaching for approximately 10 minutes a day. Table 1 outlines a suggested instructional sequence for teaching individual word meanings across a week. If you are lucky enough to have on-going in-class support for literacy a...

Quick, purposeful ways to plan Literacy Lessons

Every month, one of our wonderful vendors writes us an article about an aspect of primary education that they are passionate about. This month we welcome Rebecca Jane Morrissey who runs the fantastic Rebecca.The.Irish.Teacher store. Here is her article on literacy ideas.   Quick, purposeful ways to plan Literacy Lessons Do you find that your writing lessons are taking you ages to plan? Are your children engaged and motivated by what they’re writing about? Well, if not, you’re not alone! Here I will share my top tips to plan for exciting writing lessons. Day One: The hook The hook can be as simple as an object to set the scene of what they will write about. For example, above is a “dragon egg” made from thumb tacks. This can be the starting point of your writing lesson to hook the children in to the topic that...

Making Verbs Fun

This month, we are delighted to welcome Michelle Moriarty as our featured seller with a very interesting article on how to make learning verbs fun. You can find Michelle's store here! I don’t know about you, but after ten years of teaching Irish verbs there are days where I really wonder if I managed to teach anything at all! I teach in a DEIS 2 school in Dublin. When I started here Irish was not a priority but in the last few years we have really tried to focus in on improving our school-wide standard. One of the areas I have been focused on at the senior end has been the dreaded Briathra na Gaeilge. Once we have identified the rules there’s the inevitable worksheets and exercises in the textbook. Kids get bored of these very quickly. So, I tried to find other ways to practice conjugating verbs – what games do we play in other...

TP’s, Dips and Tips!

Every month we give our blog over to one of our wonderful teacher sellers to give you some advice and tips for your classroom. Our October teacher is Kate and she has very kindly written a piece giving some tips for new teachers. Please visit her store: KB's Classroom! Hi everyone, I’m Kate, and I’ve been a seller on Mash.ie for the past three years now (can’t believe it’s been that long myself) and I’m the girl behind ‘KB’s Classroom’! I’ve taught for over four years in a few different school types as both Class Teacher and SET Teacher. Although my products can be bought and used by any teacher, I believe my shop mainly caters for TP and Dip students as having gone through it all myself I felt I had an insight into what exactly helps students and NQTS and that for me was the idea of ready made lesson packs that have...

Planning for the New Primary Language Curriculum Made Simple

Every month we give our blog over to one of our wonderful teacher sellers to give you some advice and tips for your classroom. Our September teacher is Top Teaching Resources and she has very kindly written a piece about making the New Primary Curriculum easier to understand. Please visit her store: Top Teaching Resources! I am currently teaching First Class and have used the new Primary Language Curriculum (PLC) for teaching and planning for the past year. It seemed very daunting at first, but once I got my head around the terminology in the new curriculum, it became no more challenging than planning for the 1999 curriculum. This is a very simple explanation of the PLC that I used to understand the terminology and to transition from the 1999 curriculum in my planning and teaching: Elements are listed instead of Strand Units. ...