2019 Updates to The Primary Language Curriculum

This article will discuss what to expect from the release of the Primary Language Curriculum for Infants – 6th Class due in September 2019, and will provide some guidance in how to use and plan with it. I am currently teaching First Class and have used the 2015 Primary Language Curriculum (PLC) for teaching and planning for the past two years. 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 using for the 1999 curriculum. For those who haven’t used the PLC before, below is a very simple explanation of the terminology that I used to help me transition from the 1999 curriculum in my planning and teaching: Elements are listed instead of Strand Units. Learning Outcomes are listed instead of the Content Objectives of the 1999 curriculum. Progression...

Guest Post: Edit Column Long Term Planning for the Class Teacher

Long Term Planning for the Class Teacher This month we have a special article from our top seller on Mash.ie: Top Teaching Resources. This article explains how to work at long term planning with the new Primary Language Curriculum. Enjoy! Top Teaching Resources One of the biggest jobs that a class teacher can do over the summer to prepare for September is to get their long-term planning started. The requirement for written notes for primary teachers has been in place for a long time. Rule 126 of the 1965 Rules for National Schools states that teachers are required at the beginning of the school year to prepare a definite and detailed scheme of work in each subject suited to the needs of their pupils. However, the demands in terms of level of detail and complexity of these plans seems to be ever increasing, and...

Interview Preparation

We're delighted to welcome Top Teaching Resources for her top tips for job interviews. Here are her thoughts. The summer means school holidays, but it also means interview season for teachers looking for their first job or for those looking to change job. While job interviews can be stressful, there is a lot you can do in advance to make sure you are prepared and that you give yourself the best chance possible at getting the job. The following are 10 tips that should help you put your best foot forward and make sure you impress the interview board. Punctuality - Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get to your interview, particularly if it is in a location you have never been before. If possible, it would be a good idea to go to the school the day before to check where it is if you are unsure. Arrive at least 10 minutes...

Thematic Teaching

Our final guest blogger of the year is Múinteoir Grace. In this article she talks about thematic teaching. My name is Grace and you may know me as Múinteoir Grace from my Mash.ie store https://mash.ie/store/gracewithloveresources/ Grace Today I wish to share my love for animals and appreciation for thematic teaching in education with you readers. Thematic instruction is an educational methodology whereby a teacher plans their lessons centred around a common concept/ topic. Examples of themes suitable for primary school children include myself and my family, school, sports, food, animals, toys etc. The Irish Primary Curriculum strongly advocates an integrative approach to learning especially to reinforce learning for younger children. Language Development Oral language, reading, writing and vocabulary development are essential...

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...