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 subjects that I could adapt to this topic?

First stop – Scoot! Popular all over Pinterest this game is one of my class’s absolute favourites. Numbered Task Cards are left out on the tables, the students have an answer sheet (or whiteboard) for noting their answers before the teacher shouts “Scoot!” as the sign to move onto the next card. I’ve also used these task cards as a classroom scavenger hunt, at the control points in orienteering activities (integration!) and as an early finishers task. I made a quick board game to go with the cards (which I printed out smaller, so they looked more like board game cards and I save ink and paper – win win!)

This year I wanted to expand on the answering questions in their copies, so I made up little stories with fill in the blanks spaces for the verbs. I laminated them and stuck the answers on the back. These were a big hit! They fill them in using whiteboard marker and because they are self-checking they get pulled out of the early finisher boxes regularly.

For online resources I first went to the old reliable – Kahoot! Any opportunity to turn learning into a competition is well received in my classroom so I have made several Kahoot! quizzes over the last few years based on various aspects of Irish grammar. This year I’ve been trialling digital homework with my class using Kahoot! and they love it. A more recent discovery for the days when we don’t have I-Pads is Plickers. If you’ve not come across Plickers yet make sure you look it up. You only need one device as the kids all have a card they use to answer, and you scan the room to collect their answers using your smartphone camera.

A final resource that I was delighted to come across was studystack.com – A website that allows you to make flashcards on any topic to display on the IWB. I put the cards up and they race to answer on their whiteboards. It can also generate crosswords, matching games, hangman, bingo cards, word-searches or printable flashcards of various sizes.

I hope this has given you some ideas for jazzing up briathra in your classroom!

Michelle

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