I had to think of a theme which I felt wouldn’t be too difficult for the children. As I am in a Naionra lots of the normal topics you would do in a playschool can be to difficult for the children to understand when trying to teach them through Irish. I spoke with my supervisor in work placement about what topics she would recommend and what topics had they done already. I was trying to choose between “my body” and “my school bag”. She felt the second topic would be more suitable and would be a topic she would cover normally during a school year.
Again because this is in a naionra and to ensure the children would have an understanding of what I was discussing, the week leading up to my activity would be spent discussing this topic and doing other sorts of activities relating to it. So that when it came to my activity they would have spent the past four days learning about it. I have attached separately my spider graph and rough work of the 5 daily activities which I prepared prior to carrying out the activity.
I felt the best activity for me to carry out in the class would be the art one as the children would have spent the previous four days learning the words and this would be a fun way to go over it all. Benefits: It will encourage the children to use their physical abilities with the colouring & glueing. focusing on their fine motor skills. The activity will benefit their social development as they interacted with each other and the childcare workers. Their language will be encouraged and hopefully develop through speaking with one another and listening to the childcare workers speak Irish.
The activity will help their intellectual development as each child will have to think about what items are to go into the school bag. Implementation: On the Thursday before work I printed out a copy of a large school bag for the children to colour. I found pictures of some key items you would find in a school bag and printed them. Finally I found pictures of items which wouldn’t regularly be found in a school bag and printed them. I cut out the small items ensuring there was enough of each for the 22 children in class. Each child was to get a picture of a school bag and up to ten items to
choose which were to go in a school bag and which weren’t. I knew the Naionra had colours which I could use and also had prittstick. On Friday while the children where singing their songs with the other workers I organized the colours and prittsticks on each table and put the correct papers in front of each child’s seat.. Once they had finished their songs, I spoke to them about the activity we were going to do, I showed them the picture of the bag and told them how they were to colour it in. I showed them the different items they had been given and how they were to choose which ones belonged in a school bag.
They could colour the correct ones and then glue them to the bag. When everyone had sat down and started colouring my self and the two other staff went between the tables ensuring the children were able to do it and helping them whenever was required. As I would help I would name the item to try and remind them of what they were. I had been given thirty minutes to complete the activity. Once everyone had finished the activity I cleaned away the colours and the left over pictures. Each child’s picture was put away to be given out at going home time.
Evaluation: I enjoyed preparing for this activity, I felt I prepared well for it and had everything organized well in advance for it. I knew what I wanted to do and what I hoped the children would get from it. I saw some children who we noted need to improve on their fine motor skills as they struggled to hold the colours properly. I felt it was appropriate activity for the whole class and nobody was singled out as having significant struggles with it. By making it an art activity the children seemed to enjoy it and appeared to forget they were learning also.
A few did struggle with remembering what the words for certain items were and it was decided that another few days would be spent on the topic. I feel if I was to do this again I would look for more time as it was quite rushed at the end with the other childcare workers needing to step in and help more than I would have liked. I would like to supply a wider range of items to stick on but this could cause further difficulty in remembering what the items are, so I would need to get the supervisors opinion before doing that Future uses & impact on children:
I would use this topic and chosen activity again in another classroom setting. I think the activity would go well with other types of topics also. It was a game, colouring and learning in one which the children appeared to enjoy. It encouraged the children to use their physical abilities with the colouring & gluing. The activity would have benefited their social development as they interacted with the childcare workers & one another. Asking questions about the activity and seeking help from one another. Their language was encouraged and developed.
Their English through speaking with one another and their Irish which would be our main aim by learning new words and applying them to the activity. I also feel the activity would have helped their intellectual development. Each child would have to think about what items were to go into the school bag. They would have to try remember what items they had learnt about during the week, they would have been attempting to recall their short term memory and hopefully by doing the activity moving it into their long-term memory.
Personal learning: From this activity I am aware that I am capable of organizing an appropriate activity that is both fun and educational. That I can prepare and plan as required. That I can implement an activity successfully and ensure all the children are engaged. I feel I could plan my time better going forward for carrying out activities and acknowledge that it takes children longer than expected to carry out new activities.