Friday 23rd February 2018
Hooray!! This week the sun made a much needed appearance to give us a little boost after a long winter! We have been suffering from a major cases of winter blues in P1-4 … wind and rain, then more wind and rain – some wintry showers - then more wind and rain. We were beginning to feel really fed up!! So on Monday we made the most of the weather and headed outside for Active Start. It was lovely to see the children playing football with their friends, drawing and exploring the garden. I am hoping that with Spring not too far away that this is something we’ll be able to do more often. Not only was it great to get some fresh air but tidy up time was much quicker! Big bonus for me!!
I have been feeling super inspired after my Learning through Landscapes training and have lots of exciting things coming up that I hope to be able to share with you all very soon. In my teaching practice I am making a conscious effort from here on in to adhere to the philosophy of if it’s best taught outside … get outside! In Numeracy we’ve been learning about fractions this week so we spent time in the playground looking for examples in our environment. I used a few ideas from Juliet Robertson’s Messy Maths materials including one where the children had to find a stick and break it in half. Once they’d done this, they had to break it into quarters then eighths (we stopped at this point as no one had a stick big enough to go for sixteenths but they got the idea!) Then later on in the week we went outside to play a game to reinforce the colours we’ve been learning in Gaelic. It was a very simple game where I put out different coloured cones around the playground, called out the colour in Gaelic and the last person to reach the cone was out. Simple but effective … so much so that some of the children then went on to play it themselves during break time. Later on when we were returning home on the school bus from swimming I overheard two of the little boys in my class playing a game of eye spy using the Gaelic colours which just goes to show the impact injecting fun and games into their learning has.
During my time out of class on Thursday morning I met with Sarah MacLean from Beairteas Bharraigh to discuss the upcoming Island Clean Up. I am delighted that this year my class will be taking a more active role in organising this as we have been tasked with co-ordinating the beach clean ups! Next week we are going to begin work on posters to promote the event in the community as well as writing letters to local businesses to encourage their participation. The island clean-up is scheduled to take place the week beginning Monday 26th March so locals and visitors please get involved! Those of you who’ve been following the blog know I love a video clip so below is another excellent example highlighting the importance of keeping our beaches and oceans free of plastic. This one got quite a strong response from my little class …
During our Teach on the Beach session itself this week I started introducing my class to Loose Parts play on the shoreline. They loved this and needed no encouragement whatsoever in creating their own pebble pictures! They are all awesome but the “pebble panda” is my favourite!
This is the first session we have had our bothy bag for and it is amazing! I think at long last I have been forgiven for the hail shower incident! As always we stuck to our promise of taking some of the plastic we came across off the beach … to change it up a bit we had to collect as much litter as we could in 5 minutes – 2 full bags was the answer, pretty depressing but I keep trying to reassure the children that they are working really hard to do their bit!
Back in class on Friday during our literacy lesson we wrote a letter to our local MSP, Alasdair Allan, asking him if he would consider becoming a “species champion” of the peregrine falcon. You can find out more about this initiative by visiting http://www.scotlink.org/work-areas/species-champions/
We had a good look at the wide range of biodiversity in the Western Isles and the peregrine won the vote hands down! I think what edged it was when the children discovered from their research that it is actually the fastest animal in the world. I did not know this either so we all learned something! We look forward to hearing back from Alasdair with his response soon.
I would like to finish up this blog post by saying a big thank you to my boys and girls. I am very good at saying thank you to everyone else but sometimes I forget them! Today is my birthday and when I came in to class this morning they all sprang up out of their chairs and started singing “Happy Birthday.” They then set up a “birthday card factory” during Active Start and I received lots of lovely cards and pictures. They really are so kind and they make me laugh every day. I am extremely lucky with them, they have been the absolute driving force of Teach on the Beach and I am so happy to be their teacher.
Have a very happy weekend everyone!