Review: Prim-Ed Integrated Oral Language Program

The Prim-Ed Integrated Oral Language Program is going to be an absolute life-saver for any teacher who is wise enough to use it to its fullest potential this coming year!  I intend on having it as a go to for my Oral Language lessons as its structured approach will keep me on target to engage the children in my class in each of the learning outcomes proposed in the Primary Language Curriculum. I will supplement the program by including stories and pictures books to flesh out the themes and topics being explored and to ensure the children have a context for each unit in the program. All of the themes fit really well with the Aistear framework and also can be integrated into EAL teaching. To give a brief overview of the program itself is very difficult as it is  jam packed with best practice approaches and...

Review: C-PEN ReaderPen

The C-PEN ReaderPen is a portable scanner that reads aloud any text in a natural voice. As its name suggests, the scanner is shaped like a pen and is roughly the length of an ordinary pen. It is wider than a pen which gives a nice amount of space for a small screen. This small screen displays what is scanned by the user and this can be read out or stored. I am reviewing this product for the purposes of primary school use. (If you want one, you can enter our competition at the bottom of this review) A photograph of the C-PEN Readerpen First things, first - is it any good at its job? The quick answer is a definite yes. It simply works. All you do is push the pen down and slide it over a line in almost any book and the pen reads it out. However, there's more to this pen than that and in this review, I'm going to go through some of its...

Review: Lizzie and the Birds (Prim-Ed)

You could win a copy of Lizzie and the Birds worth €100 by simply entering your email address at the bottom of this review. The competition is for a 10-pack of readers and a Teacher's Guide. A big thanks to Joanna for reviewing this series for Mash.ie. A random entry will be selected on 26th May 2019. Lizzie and the Birds is a really well-thought out literacy programme which ticks all the boxes of the new Primary Language Curriculum. This programme is clearly written by teachers for teachers. It lends itself to plentiful opportunities for cross-curricular lesson integration while developing the key literacy skills in an integrated and meaningful manner. The scheme is based around a little girl called Lizzie who has moved to a new house with her Dad. Lizzie befriends a diverse flock of birds and the story lures us into their adventures...

Review: Science: A STEM approach (Prim-Ed)

Science: A STEM Approach is a series of copymaster books that runs from Infants class to Sixth Class. It uses a STEM project(more about that later) to support the Science curriculum. Each book is divided into four sections-Living things, Energy and forces, Materials and Earth and the environment so it can also support integration of the geography curriculum as well. What is STEM? STEM is the buzz word currently, especially with the Department of Education despite the fact STEM is not a curriculum subject! STEM is the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts using project based and cooperative learning. Breakdown of the units Each of the four units detailed above is broken down further into lessons, summative assessment test with teacher notes and a STEM project. Science: A STEM approach...

Review: Sounds in Focus: A whole school phonemic approach to spelling

I have been using the Senior Infants Sounds in Focus programme since September last year.It uses a phonemic approach to learning how to read, write and spell. The main skills that the programme utilises are: Identifying Sounds, Counting Sounds, Segmenting and Selecting Graphemes. Within the Teaching guide, there are many and numerous activities for oral language, listening, attention, speaking, questioning and photocopiable resources available online to download to your own device. Each class level has 36 units of work, designed to fit into the school year. Each unit is based on a specific phoneme(s), and with the teacher’s help and assistance, pupils explore the grapheme(s) that can be used to represent it. Each unit is given a thorough treatment in the Teacher Guide, which guides the teacher through a Monday-Friday schedule of work though...

Review: STEM projects: Prim-Ed

Despite it not being mentioned in any of the curriculum subjects, STEM is everywhere! STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering and maths and it is a way that primary school teachers can integrate the subjects of science and maths using the skills of ed technology and engineering. I think teachers are interested in STEM and how it might look in the primary classroom. With this in mind, Prim-Ed have made a dinky, colourful box of STEM activities for all classes to use. I received an Infants’ box to review. Each box is made up of 4 different colour-coded sections. These are living Things; Energy and Forces; materials; and Earth and the Environment. We can see how SESE and the Ethical Education curriculum (taught in Educate Together schools) can be focussed on with these sections. The cards contain explanation on what STEM education...

Review: The Maths Box: Early Years: Prim-Ed

I have been sent the Maths Box for Early Years to review. I am currently teaching Senior Infants and have had the last month to put the activities to use! First of all, let me explain the product for you. The Maths box is a colourful and robust box that contains 300 colourful cards to help support the teaching and learning of mathematical skills in the Infant Classes. It is not intended as an independent resource but more so teacher-led table or group. There are 4 copies of each of the 75 unique maths cards and I would be able to use a card per table if I had access to three other SET teachers. Therefore, this resource would be absolutely super for in-class support or a smaller withdrawal setting with the SET. Each card sets a challenge based on a maths curriculum objective. The photocopiable Teacher’s Guide that comes with it has a full...