Archive for March 2nd, 2018

Exploring Motion, Tracks and Traces with Junior Infants.

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Junior Infants,

Teacher – Ms. O’Sullivan

14 pupils

Session 1

We began our sessions with construction. I brought in a variety of materials and things to connect the materials such as elastic bands, string, large and small clothes pegs and lengths of elastic.

The children worked in the three groups that they are already in. They worked really well in groups, sharing ideas and trying things together.

There was a ball in our materials box. Toward the end of the session they started to make routes for the ball. This informed session two. Tidying up was a great opportunity to sort everything.

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Session 2

We began this session by looking at this YouTube video to inspire us.

I added a lot more balls to our materials, and also large cardboard tubes. I cut some of these tubes in half to create long channels. The children kept to their working groups but used the whole classroom adding tables and chairs as construction materials.

They were very excited and created their own challenges- like sending the balls along channels and into buckets or having the balls hit an object at the end of its journey. They found some short cardboard cylinders which were a bit like wheels. These went even faster than the balls.

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At the end, each group showed the other two groups what they made and how it worked. We encouraged them to use new vocabulary and understanding by asking each other questions.

How can the ball/wheel go fast?

How can the ball/wheel go slow?

Can the ball/wheel roll uphill?

Children began to use new words like uphill, downhill, steep etc. One child explained gravity to the rest of us.

When we tidied everything away I gave out plastic tubes, beads and buckets so they could work individually on what they learned in their group.

Then I gave out magnets and paper clips. The children explored lifting the paper clip without touching it with the magnet. I gave them A4 card and they moved the paper clip around the card with the magnet at the back. Some used pencils to draw roads and the directed the paper clip along the road with the magnet.

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This informed session three.

Session 3

Paper construction

Making worlds/playgrounds

Learning new skills.

Paper Skills – Dividing shapes in half, cutting, tearing, scoring, folding, scrunching, curling, fringing and making tabs.


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The children glued their constructions to sheets of A4 cards.  Using magnets they moved their paper clips and pieces of pipe cleaner around their worlds. They began to share their worlds so I gave them lengths of card to connect up their card with roads and bridges. This brought about a whole new set of possibilities. The children shared their ideas and showed their work to each other when they finished.

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At the end of the session when we had tidied up Ms. O’Sullivan brought in her bicycle. We looked at the wheels and asked questions about going uphill and downhill. This informed session four.

Session 4

Ms. O’Sullivan brought in her bicycle again. We spent a lot of time looking at all the parts and how they work. Each child took a turn to point out something that they noticed and ask the rest of us questions.IMG_0521 copy IMG_0530 copy

We looked at the materials that the bike is made from. Each child used a magnet to find our what parts were made of metal. Amazingly the magnet stuck to the pedals. They looked plastic? Well, Kevin immediately worked out that there was metal under the plastic.

They then settled around the bike and made drawings about what they noticed. I observed two girls sitting for a long time not sure what to do. They were distracting each other. I just waited and when they noticed everyone else engrossed in their drawing they started theirs. Another boy totally ignored the bicycle and drew a snowman and person. I let him finish and then handed him a new piece of paper and asked would he like to do the bicycle now, which he did.

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We then took the bicycle out to the yard and Ms. O’Sullivan showed us how she rides it and how the chain, brakes, wheels, handlebars and pedals work. We sprayed the wheels with water to see what kind of prints they make. The yard was a bit stony so it was hard to see the prints clearly so we moved to the front of the school – this was better.

Tracks and Traces.

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We tried our footprints too by spraying the soles of our shoes with water. The children found out that they got the best print by stamping their feet down hard.

Finally we came in from the cold and looked at the story “Mrs. Armitage on Wheels, by Quentin Blake” on YouTube.

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We had a look at the bicycle again and the children had great suggestions for Ms. O’Sullivan,s bike. Ms. O’Sullivan sometimes brings in her cat to school so they had very helpful ideas on how they could make this a safe and comfortable for both of them coming to school on the bicycle.

Session 5

Continuing with Tracks and Traces.

We looked at the pattern on everyone’s shoes again by spraying water and stamping on black sugar paper. We noticed that the pattern disappeared when we put the paper near the heated.

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Then we used white ink. The patterns didn’t disappear this time. We found out that lots of people had a pattern of hearts on the soles of their shoes.

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Ms. O’Sullivan wondered was there a difference between right and left.

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Printing with Tyre Tracks.

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The children made their own print rollers using elastics to make a texture.

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Session 6

We invited parents in to see what we have been doing.  I gave a powerpoint slideshow to show the parents all the work for the past five sessions. We also wanted to create a very special time for parents and children. The children worked with their parents to make a print together.

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The began by making a hand print on canvas.IMG_0880 copy


The children showed the parents how to make a printing roller and a print stamp.

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They glued their hand prints on to the patterned paper.

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When the parents left we looked at each others work.

“Do you know that next week is our last week of Creativity in the Classroom with Liz” said Ms. O’Sullivan. We should have a party was a suggestion from a child and all the children got excited with this idea.

Great planning done!

Session 7

We started by putting out our tablecloths – large sheets of white paper. I suggested that we might have a colour party. Everyone agreed. “Maybe we should start with colourful bunting? Lets put some patterns and colour on our bunting.”

The children discussed different patterns we could do, wavy lines, zigzag lines, straight lines, crisscross lines, circles, squares, hearts, flowers. The list was endless. The were given white triangles and oil pastels.

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When they were finished the patterns I showed them how we could put watercolour over the patterns. Oil and water don’t mix – lets see what happens.

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The bunting added great pattern to the classroom. It began to look like a colour party.

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Oisín noticed that he have a lovely triangle pattern on the tablecloth when he lifted his flag. Everyone had some colour left on the tablecloth from their flags. The decided that the tablecloth needed some pattern and colour.

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Children came up with great ideas like putting fun party words on the tablecloth.

We were nearly ready for the party. We just needed some party hats. We looked at the paper construction we did in session 3 and discussed the techniques we learned. We could use these to make hats.

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When we put all the tables together it really looked like we were ready for a party.

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Ms. O’Sullivan had lots of surprises. She put our lovely colourful sweets, biscuits, and cups and the most beautiful cake.

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She blew up very special balloons that had lots of coloured paper inside and best of all when the food was finished she burst them and the little coloured shapes fell down on everyone.

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The party finished with dancing to the music of Sharon Shannon.

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